North Florida Land Trust acquires property on A1A North in Ponte Vedra Beach

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North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) recently announced that it is now the owner of 4.3 acres of land along A1A North in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The property is located next to the McGarvey-Goelz Preserve, which NFLT has owned since 2004. The land conservation organization reached out to the community to ask for donations to help purchase the property, which had been advertised for sale for residential or multifamily development. The land will now be preserved in perpetuity, giving NFLT access to the property and allowing for public access for picnicking, canoeing and kayaking.

“We are very grateful to the donors who stepped forward to help us purchase this piece of land, especially the River Branch Foundation and Joseph and Renate Hixon,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT, in a recent press release sent by the organization. “The donations we received covered a portion of the $400,000 cost of the property and we used NFLT funds to cover the rest. We are now asking for donations to help us replenish those funds.”

The property is located at 1105 A1A North and is a wetland parcel with 0.55 acres of uplands. According to NFLT, it contains a mixture of live oak hammock and cabbage palm that is surrounded by the freshwater wetlands of the Guana River. The organization continued to explain that it is marsh habitat that is rich with wildlife including roseate spoonbills, tricolored herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, white ibis, clapper rails and others. This acquisition is among the 112,346 acres in NFLT’s 10-county focus area that the organization had deemed in critical need of preservation.

The Guana River is the northernmost waterway feeding into the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve). It is one of 28 coastal sites designated to protect and study estuarine systems in the U.S. According to NFLT, the preservation of this stretch of freshwater marsh and upland maritime hammock is vital to the adaptability to this estuarine system under sea level rise and critical to ensure the future health of the GTM Research Reserve.

Those interested in contributing can send the donation to NFLT, 2038 Gilmore St., Jacksonville, FL 32204 or donate online at www.northfloridalandtrust.org. For further information, contact Jim McCarthy at jmccarthy@northfloridalandtrust.org or call (904) 479-1967.

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