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Environment

Sarasota purchases more than 200 acres of preserved land along the Myakka River

Preserved land in Sarasota
Lee Amos
/
Courtesy: Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to purchase 228 acres of protected land near the Myakka River.

The additional land will more than double the size of the existing Old Miakka Preserve, which is open to the public for hiking, picnicking and wildlife viewing.

The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to purchase 228 acres of protected land near the Myakka River.

In a news release, commissioners said they approved the purchase of land in Old Miakka that had previously been acquired by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

The land was purchased with money from the taxpayer-funded Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP), a voter-approved initiative that allows for the purchase and protection of natural lands and parklands.

“These efforts are very important to the community, which makes it a priority for our board," commission chairman Alan Maio said in the release. "We value the partnership we share with the Conservation Foundation and their efforts to preserve these lands for future generations.”

The additional land will more than double the size of the existing Old Miakka Preserve, which is open to the public for hiking, picnicking and wildlife viewing.

It will also further connect more than 120,000 acres of conserved land along the Myakka River.

“The process of land conservation has become increasingly complex in recent years, requiring significantly more resources and the ability to act swiftly and without hesitation,” Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation, said in the release. “We took a risk in purchasing the land using short-term loans without having a conservation buyer lined up and are thrilled that Sarasota County has now voted to purchase the land as an addition to their Old Miakka Preserve.”

The purchase is expected to close by the end of the year, according to the release.

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