Conservation Foundation celebrating 20th anniversary

Special events planned throughout the coming months

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The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, which is the only accredited land trust in the region is marking its 20th year of protecting the land and water in Southwest Florida, the organization has announced.

Together with a “dedicated and growing conservation community,” a news release points out, the nonprofit has permanently conserved more than 19,200 acres across five counties and 56 properties. “In celebration of two decades of community impact,” the release adds, the Conservation Foundation is hosting a wide variety of special activities and events starting this month and running through September 2024.

“Everything we have accomplished over the past 20 years was made possible with the support of our conservation community,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of the Foundation, in the release. “As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we reflect on the achievements of the past and look toward the future with excitement and enthusiasm. We are grateful to all those who have helped us grow, evolve, and do more,” she added in the release.

The Conservation Foundation was founded in 2003 by Albert Joerger and Pauline Wamsler, the release explains. From its beginning, the release continues, “the organization has worked to permanently protect Southwest Florida’s critical remaining natural areas, strengthening our region’s resiliency to storms and floods, safeguarding water quality, creating and enhancing corridors and preserves for wildlife, and connecting thousands of kids and grown-ups to nature each year.”

As part of the anniversary celebration, each month, the Conservation Foundation will spotlight a different aspect of its work and the corresponding community impact, the release notes. Representatives of the nonprofit say they are looking forward “to sharing stories of partnerships and protections, creating new opportunities for people to connect and engage with nature, and showcasing their vision for a future in which the human and natural worlds thrive together.”

The Foundation will continue to host favorite community events, including Feast Upon the Fields (Sunday, Dec. 3) and the Wild About Nature Festival (Saturday, April 6, 2024), the release continues, along with new events, such as “an engaging cocktail party experience, Party in Paradise” (Feb. 3, 2024) and a Community Art Show (summer 2024), featuring works celebrating local protected lands.

“It’s going to be a busy year!” notes Sam Valentin, the Foundation’s director of marketing and events, in the release. “We would not have made it this far without our supporters, so our goal is to make sure the people who helped get us here have plenty of opportunities to celebrate all we’ve accomplished together. Twenty years of conservation is a major achievement for us and our community. We look forward to the year ahead — and many, many more!”

To learn more about the Conservation Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration, including how to take part in the festivities, visit