Water-Related News

Lee County completes acquisition of 427 acres in Alva

FORT MYERS – Lee County has completed the acquisition of 427 acres in Alva through the Conservation 20/20 program.

The parcel is located directly south of SR-80 and less than a mile west of Hickey Creek Mitigation Park. The acquisition adds to a large area of existing conservation land in northeast Lee County, which protects an area nearly 6 miles wide and 3 miles long. The Lee Board of County Commissioners approved the $4.4 million purchase contract for the property in August 2020.

Community representatives and nonprofit organizations have advocated for the perseveration of the land, which is adjacent to the River Hall subdivision and formerly referred to as the Carter Ranch. The land was purchased from Amtel Farms, Inc., and this conservation area will now be known as Oak Hammock Preserve. Passive recreation opportunities including hiking trails with parking are anticipated on this preserve.

The preserve is the 51st Conservation 20/20 preserve acquired by Lee County since the program was established in 1996.

The preserve features several upland plant communities, including pine flatwoods, pine mesic oak and temperate hardwoods. Additionally, the preserve provides significant opportunities for water resources due to its proximity to the headwaters of Hickey Creek, including the potential to provide flooding relief to nearby residential neighborhoods.

The Lee County Conservation 20/20 program acquires land from willing sellers for resource-based recreational opportunities such as hiking, birdwatching, nature study, photography and paddle craft launches. The program for environmentally sensitive land acquisition and management has preserved 31,060 acres since its inception. In addition to recreation, conservation lands help the county to protect drinking water, enhance water quality, protect areas from flooding and provide wildlife habitat. For more information, visit www.Conservation2020.org.