Rita B. LaMere Memorial Foundation awards $20,000 to Conservation Foundation of Gulf Coast

Funds to help nonprofit continue its work to protect land and water in Southwest Florida

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast recently received a $20,000 grant from the Rita B. LaMere Memorial Foundation, the Foundation has announced.

“The grant supports the not-for-profit’s vital work to protect the land and water in Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature,” a news release notes. “An accredited land trust,” the release continues, the Conservation Foundation “has been saving land since 2003, safeguarding our community, natural areas, and wildlife for generations to come.”

To date, the organization has permanently protected more than 19,200 acres across 56 properties in the five counties it serves, the release adds.

“We are deeply grateful to the Rita B. LaMere Memorial Foundation for their investment in our mission,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, in the release. “Through grants like this one, and with the ongoing support of our conservation community, we are quickening the pace of conservation here in Southwest Florida,” she pointed out in the release.

The critical lands that the Conservation Foundation protects “help capture pollution, provide vital habitats for plants and animals, act as natural buffers along coasts and riverbeds, and prevent flooding by holding rainfall from intense storms,” the release continues. “Notable recent conservation successes include the 8-acre Don Pedro Island State Park Addition in Charlotte County, the 191-acre Crowley Museum & Nature Center in Sarasota County, the 432-acre Myakka Headwaters Preserve in Myakka City, 20 acres of Florida Panther habitat in Collier County, and the centrally located almost 300-acre Bobby Jones Golf Club in the City of Sarasota,” it points out.

The organization also is partnering with the Sarasota Audubon Society and Sarasota County staff “to re-wild the 33-acre Quad Parcels” next to the Celery Fields in the eastern part of the county. The Foundation and Sarasota Audubon hope to break ground on that project by the end of this year, the release says.

In addition to saving land, the Conservation Foundation “offers a myriad of programs and events to help connect people to the wonders of the natural world,” the release points out. Its educational and environmental outreach activities “serve thousands of participants annually, providing memorable, equitable experiences to adults, families, and kids, empowering and expanding the community’s conservation understanding and ethic.”

To view upcoming offerings or to learn more, visit conservationfoundation.com.