Funds to be used to purchase equipment to improve access to, and stewardship of, lands under the nonprofit’s care
The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast has been honored as a 2022 Impact100 SRQ grant recipient, receiving $110,500, the nonprofit has announced.
The 663 members of Impact100 SRQ gathered on Nov. 6 for their Annual Celebration & Award Ceremony, when they heard presentations from 10 nonprofit grant finalists and then voted to determine which six initiatives they would fund, a news release explains.
The Conservation Foundation was named a recipient for its Improve Land Saved for the Benefit of People and Nature initiative, the release adds.
“The impact this grant will have on Conservation Foundation’s work is both substantial and far-reaching,” the release points out. The critical lands the nonprofit protects “help capture polluting gases, provide vital habitats for plants and animals, act as natural buffers along coasts and riverbeds, and absorb rainfall from intense storms,” the release says. Its work “also increases people’s access to nature and with it all the benefits of healthy lands, such as clean water, fresh air, nutritious food, and improved mental and physical health,” the release adds.
The Impact100 grant funds will be used to purchase equipment necessary to provide better access to, and stewardship of, the land in the Conservation Foundation’s care, the release says. That equipment will allow the organization to create a prescribed burn program, enabling it to restore habitat for species such as the gopher tortoise, the Florida burrowing owl, quail, and the Florida scrub jay, the release notes. It also will the organization to “expand educational and engagement programming for children and adults, including those with mobility challenges,” the release points out.
“This new equipment is desperately needed to restore wetlands on the Myakka River and perform prescribed fire on lands where animals and plants depend upon fire for their existence,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, in the release. “It will also help us connect our community to nature, restore floodplain marsh, improve water quality, and monitor more than 20 different conservation areas so that they are beautiful and functioning, now and forever,” she continued. “We are incredibly grateful to the members of Impact100 and truly honored to have been selected as one of this year’s recipients.”
The Conservation Foundation “has quickened the pace of land conservation in Southwest Florida” since its 2003 inception, permanently protecting more than 19,100 acres across 54 properties, the release continues. Its most recent conservation success was the protection of the 191-acre Crowley Museum & Nature Center in northeastern Sarasota County.
More information about land saved and community programs is available online at conservationfoundation.com.
Impact100 SRQ, a 501(c)(3) organization, is one of more than 60 chapters worldwide, the release notes. Established in 2018, Impact100 SRQ brings together a diverse group of women who annually fund grants to nonprofits in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, the release adds. The model is simple, it notes: At least 100 women each give a $1,000 tax-deductible donation, and together they collectively award grants in increments of at least $100,000 to local nonprofits, the release explains.