Lizard at J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL. Photo: Michelle Voli Photography

Lizard at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL. Photo: Michelle Voli Photography

One of the environmental battles now occurring in Lee County is in Cape Coral over the designation of the old golf course on Palm Tree Blvd. The course was closed in 2006 and left to nature’s care and is now overgrown with grass and weeds and critters. The homeowners around the property are asking the city to use it as green space and park, at 175 acres a perfect use as that is what it’s designated as by the founders of Cape Coral. The property is owned by a financial institution that has offered to sell the course to a developer, D.R.Horton, who wants to build 500 tract houses there, and needs the city to change the zoning to single family residential. The city has offered Horton a land swap, so far Horton has not responded to this suggestion. The homeowners have formed a group and have launched a website: saveourrecreation.us to show you all the effort they have expended to save this from development.

We can help them by keeping in touch via their website and showing up at hearings with the Planning & Zoning Commission meetings as well as City Council meeting when this issue comes before them. We can also buy one of the signs to put in our yard, to let more people know about this, as a park will be good for everyone.

Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve, North Fort Myers. (Photo: Bob Hargrave)

Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve, North Fort Myers. (Photo: Bob Hargrave)

Some good news from the County Commissioners about parcels that have been purchased for Conservation 20/20. In March 2017 they unanimously approved 3 new parcels for permanent conservation:

A parcel of12.24 acres in North Ft. Myers adjacent to an existing 20/20 purchase, the Caloosahatchee Creek Preserve, and 91.77 acres in Olga located along the Caloosahatchee, originally zoned for residential planned development and which served as a horse farm.

Now it will remain home to its pine flatwoods, oak hammock and its creeks, and will eventually open for recreational use. It will also double as a water quality project or filtration marsh planted with native species that pick up nitrogen, one of the major pollutants of the river.

Raccoon at J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL. Photo: Michelle Voli Photography

Raccoon at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL. Photo: Michelle Voli Photography

In addition, 7.88 acres on Sanibel, previously zoned for 5 units and a boat dock, will now serves as a wildlife corridor to Ding Darling Refuge and habitat for many species of wildlife. Next the Commissioners will be continuing the effort to buy Edison Farms in East Lee County, a virgin tract of 4000 acres of wetlands for preservation.

 

%d bloggers like this: