Conservation Foundation extends high-priority wildlife corridor with protection of 10 acres in Collier County

Land just 1,000 feet south of 10-acre Pare property donated to nonprofit in March

On Aug. 25, the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, which is based in Osprey, announced the permanent protection of 10 acres in western Collier County.

This “was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the property’s owners, Gerald and Irene Lichtefeld Neff,” a news release says. The initiative, completed on Aug. 24, involves land that is just 1,000 feet south of the 10-acre Paré property that was donated to Conservation Foundation in March of this year, the release explains.

“The newly conserved land bolsters the existing Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) preservation area and extends a high-priority wildlife corridor,” the release points out. The CREW, which is managed by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), spans more than 60,000 acres across Lee and Collier counties, “providing natural flood protection, purifying our water, and recharging the aquifer, the release adds.

The CREW “also offers shelter to an abundance of native plants and wildlife, including several animals listed as species of greatest conservation need,” such as the Florida black bear, the Florida panther, the wood stork and the Big Cypress fox squirrel, the release notes.

“As Florida’s population continues to grow, connecting and expanding upon conserved areas is vital to safeguarding critical habitat and protecting our water resources,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, in the release. “We are incredibly grateful to the Neffs for their generosity and for their legacy of helping connect more of our protected lands.”

Landowners interested in learning more about conservation opportunities and benefits, or how to create a lasting legacy, are encouraged to contact the Conservation Foundation’s land protection team by calling 941-918-2100 or visiting, the release says.

A nationally accredited land trust, the Conservation Foundation purchases natural areas, holds voluntary land protection agreements, and educates the public on “responsible land and water stewardship” in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties, the release notes. Learn more about its mission at