Conservation Foundation connecting people to nature in Southwest Florida

Nonprofit provides variety of opportunities for people ‘from all walks of life’ to reap benefits of time spent outdoors

This is a scene from a birding event at Triangle Ranch. Photo courtesy of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast has announced that its 20th anniversary December spotlight is Connecting People to Nature.

As the Osprey-based nonprofit land trust celebrates 20 years of conservation and community activities, each month it is putting the focus on a different aspect of its work and the corresponding community impact, a news release points out.

“The Conservation Foundation’s work to protect Southwest Florida’s land and water creates opportunities for people, from all walks of life, to connect with nature and reap the many benefits of time spent outdoors,” the release continues. “Time in nature is proven to decrease stress and increase health and well-being in both children and adults. Research also indicates that time in nature is critical for children’s cognitive, emotional, social, and educational development,” the release points out.

“Connecting people to nature is essential to fulfilling our mission,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, in the release. “Our youth education program helps the next generation of conservationists grow and connect hundreds of children to the natural world each year. We also work hard to increase, restore, and enhance community lands — for example, our partnership with the City of Sarasota on Bobby Jones Golf and Nature Park, which opens Dec. 15 and will positively impact the quality of life of everyone in our region!” Johnson added in the release.

“The Conservation Foundation provides nature-based experiences for people of all ages through a wide variety of events, programs, volunteer outings, and educational opportunities,” the release notes. In addition to its dedicated youth education program, the Foundation offers “a range of free and low-cost community education programs — from kayaking to mushroom identification walks to learning how to live with alligators!” the release adds. The Conservation Foundation’s educational programs “include topics and activities for new residents and Florida natives alike. The land trust also offers regular volunteer opportunities for those interested in connecting with nature by getting their hands dirty and planting trees, wildflowers, and other native species,” the release continues.

The next land stewardship volunteer day will be held at the Foundation’s 432-acre Myakka Headwaters Preserve on Friday, Dec. 15, starting at 9 a.m., the release points out. It will be followed by a potluck picnic on the land.

To view upcoming programs and events, visit To learn more about how Conservation Foundation is connecting people to nature, visit