‘Enhancing Communities’ the February spotlight for Conservation Foundation’s 20th anniversary year

Saving land from development produces multiple benefits, nonprofit points out

Participants enjoy an adult hike in the Old Miakka community. Photo by Nancy Guth, courtesy of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

As it continues to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, which is based in Osprey, has announced that its February spotlight is on Enhancing Communities.

Each month of this landmark year, the nonprofit land trust is focusing on a different aspect of its work and the corresponding community impact, a news release notes.

“Saving land enhances communities in a myriad of ways,” the release explains. “At the most fundamental level, land conservation protects vital natural resources such as forests, wetlands, rivers, and wildlife habitats. These resources contribute to clean air and water, regulate climate, support biodiversity, and provide recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike,” the release points out.

“Saving land in Florida also yields significant economic benefits,” the release continues, “contributing to the multiple industries, property values, and overall economic prosperity.”

“When people think of land conservation, they often think of the impact on natural communities,” Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, said in the release. “But our work extends far beyond the plants and animals who live on the land we protect. When we save land, we are enhancing communities by promoting public health, supporting local economies, preserving cultural heritage, mitigating environmental risks, and promoting sustainable development,” Johnson continued. “Our work helps ensure Florida maintains its appeal as a destination for tourists, residents, and businesses, now and forever.”

“Florida’s natural landscapes attract millions of visitors each year,” the release adds. Conserved land provides extensive opportunities for nature-based recreation, such as hiking, biking, kayaking, birdwatching, boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing, “which are vital to our state’s tourism revenue,” the release notes. “By protecting natural habitats and biodiversity, land conservation helps to sustain tourism and nature-based businesses, including tour operators, guides, and outdoor suppliers, thereby creating jobs and income opportunities for residents.”

“Visitors to the Sunshine State also spend money on accommodations, dining, transportation, and other recreational services, further supporting local businesses, creating jobs, and generating revenue for communities,” the release points out

To learn more about how the Conservation Foundation is enhancing communities, visit conservationfoundation.com/februaryspotlight.