FORT MYERS – The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to acquire 5 acres in southern Lee County through the Conservation 20/20 program. The land is surrounded entirely by conservation land in the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW), owned by the South Florida Water Management District.
The property includes pine flatwoods, hydric flatwoods, cypress strand and wetlands. The purchase price is $5,250 plus closing costs.
The Conservation Land Acquisition and Stewardship Advisory Committee voted unanimously on Nov. 16, 2022, to recommend the board purchase the land.
Efforts to preserve land in the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed began in 1989 and now include more than 60,000 acres in both Lee and Collier counties. The land provides natural flood protection, water purification and critical aquifer recharge. The watershed also serves as important habitat for animal species such as the endangered Florida panther, snail kite and wood stork.
An existing Memorandum of Understanding specifies management responsibilities of Lee County-owned properties within the watershed to the South Florida Water Management District.
In another vote Tuesday, Commissioners voted to acquire 10 acres in Alva as part of Conservation 20/20. The parcel is heavily wooded and adjoins the 1,175-acre Alva Scrub Preserve. The Conservation Land Acquisition and Stewardship Advisory Committee voted unanimously on Nov. 16, 2022, to recommend the board purchase the land.
The purchase price is $100,000 plus closing costs.
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 more than 31,400 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.