191-acre Crowley Museum & Nature Center property in Sarasota County to be protected permanently, Conservation Foundation reports

Site located on the Myakka River in northeastern part of county

On Sept. 1, the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announced the permanent protection of the 191-acre Crowley Museum & Nature Center in Old Miakka.

Located on the Myakka River in northeastern Sarasota County, Crowley Museum has served as a natural and cultural museum for more than 40 years, a news release explains. Now, thanks to collaboration among the museum’s leadership, the Conservation Foundation and Sarasota County Government, the release notes, “[T]he museum’s 191 acres of Old Florida are forever protected, ensuring Jasper Crowley’s legacy for generations to come.”

The conservation agreement was finalized on Aug. 31, the release adds.

“The preservation of this unique natural and cultural history resource is critical in a rapidly developing Florida,” said Dixie Resnick, president of Crowley Museum, in the release. “We are grateful to Sarasota County and Conservation Foundation for ensuring that Crowley exists for the education and enjoyment of the community forever,” Resnick added in the release.

“Crowley Museum is located on a portion of a farmstead established in 1878,” the release points out. “Visitors are invited to discover the history of early Florida settlers as they explore the museum and authentic pioneer buildings. The property is a birding hotspot,” the release continues, “and a portion of the land is part of the largest floodplain marsh in the Myakka River basin, Tatum Sawgrass Marsh. A discovery path offers hands-on learning opportunities for children,” the release adds, “and a half-mile boardwalk takes visitors through five Florida habitats,” including Maple Swamp.

“The boardwalk ends with a two-story observation tower overlooking the Myakka River and Tatum Sawgrass Marsh,” the release notes. The property connects to more than 120,000 acres of protected land known as the Myakka Island Conservation Corridor, the release points out.

“The Myakka Island Conservation Corridor is a top priority for Conservation Foundation,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of the Foundation, in the release. “We are very grateful to both Crowley Museum and Sarasota County for protecting our pioneer history and these 191 acres that are so important to the health of the Myakka River and this wildlife corridor,” she added in the release.

To date, the Conservation Foundation has protected more than 19,000 acres; more than 16,300 of those acres are in the Myakka Island Conservation Corridor, the release notes.

The Foundation is pursuing new projects in Manatee and Sarasota counties that total more than 2,000 acres, which “will further protect the river and connect other conserved lands,” the release says.

The leaders of the Conservation Foundation and representatives of Crowley thank Sarasota County Government’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program “for purchasing the conservation easement to protect this land in perpetuity,” the release also points out.

Crowley Museum & Nature Center is open the public Thursday through Sunday. Learn more at crowleyfl.org.

Learn more about the Foundation at conservationfoundation.com.