County staff puts spotlight on latest acquisitions through Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program

Properties added in the summer bring total protected acreage to more than 35,000

This is a scene within the Old Miakka Preserve. Image courtesy Visit Sarasota County

Thanks to funding from its Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP), Sarasota County has acquired three properties along the Myakka River and in the Old Miakka community, the county has announced.

The new acquisitions are as follows:

  • Sarasota County acquired 20 acres along the Myakka River in east Venice in July. This property links protected land to the north and south with properties such as Pinelands Reserve and Sleeping Turtles Preserve South, a news release notes. “This purchase also helps protect the riverine habitat along the property’s shoreline.” Additionally, the release says, its connectivity with other green-spaces serves as a wildlife corridor.
  • Two properties in the Old Miakka community east of Fruitville Road and north of Myakka River State Park were acquired in August,” the release says. These properties add 80 acres to Old Miakka Preserve, bringing its total area to 230 acres, the release notes. These two properties link the Old Miakka Preserve to more than 120,000 acres of protected lands surrounding the Myakka River, the release adds.

Nicole Rissler, director of Sarasota County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, pointed out in the release that these purchases are part of the county’s ongoing commitment to protecting natural resources.

“Since its inception, this [ESLPP] program has protected over 35,000 acres of land, which are vital for Sarasota County’s current and future generations,” she said in the release. “We appreciate the community’s continued support of these efforts,” Rissler added.

A voter-approved and taxpayer-funded program, the ESLPP was designed to acquire and protect environmental land for conservation, protection of natural assets and public benefit,” the release explains.

“Sarasota County is looking for future parks and natural areas to be considered for protection as part of the ESLPP program,” the release notes. “If you have land you would be interested in selling or donating, contact parksonline@scgov.net.”

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