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Rare Undeveloped Property In Dunedin Close To Being Preserved

Pathway on Gladys Douglas Preserve
City of Dunedin
Environmentalists are trying to preserve the 44-acre Gladys Douglas Preserve in Dunedin.

It appears enough money has been raised to preserve the Gladys Douglas Hackworth property in Dunedin.

Supporters of one of the last major undeveloped parcels in Dunedin are close to raising the $10 million needed to preserve it.

The city of Dunedin, Pinellas County and the Pinellas Community Foundation have raised most of the money needed to make an offer to the trustees of the Gladys Douglas Hackworth property early this week.

Former Dunedin Mayor and Pinellas County commission Chairman Dave Eggers says the support shows the interest in preserving what little is left of the county's natural land.

"The county stands ready to be a great partner in this, and the county commission is extremely excited about the news that we've heard in the last 24 hours and we look forward to making this deal happen," he said during a Friday Facebook Live.

Pinellas County Commission Chairman Dave Eggers speaks at the Facebook Live event
Facebook Live
Pinellas County Commission Chairman Dave Eggers speaks at the Facebook Live event

An earlier contract for the land with a developer fell through and the city, county and a private donor bid $8 million. The estate of the owner offered additional time to raise money needed to reach the $10 million asking price.

Former Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth has been one of the key backers of the movement to save the property.

"I can't hardly begin to tell you how excited and happy my family is to be this close to saving this priceless 100-acre preserve," Hackworth said. "Gladys would be looking down in absolute joy for the tremendous effort that's been made to realize her last wish."

Updated: February 2, 2021 at 1:34 PM EST
County officials said they have raised $10 million needed to purchase the Gladys Douglas Hackworth property in Dunedin and preserve it as a county park. The last $275,000 was raised by the public after an appeal was put out last week. This means that officials with Dunedin and Pinellas County will meet with the attorney representing the trustees of the estate on Thursday to make a purchase offer.
Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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