To the Editor:
On Monday, July 8, Lee County completed the acquisition of 92 acres in central Pine Island increasing the size of the Conservation 20/20 Buttonwood Preserve to nearly 360 acres.
The $1.17 million acquisition was completed through the Lee County Conservation 20/20 Program. The Calusa Land Trust and Nature Preserve and the Greater Pine Island Civic Association, provided donations of $5,000 and $250, respectively, in support of the acquisition.
The land, mostly uplands, is located west of Stringfellow Road and north of Maria Drive, about one mile south of Pine Island Center. This site is just east of the Pine Island Commercial Marina in Saint James City and host to a rare fresh water marsh, mangrove forest, salt flats and oak hammock fringe. It features beautiful pawpaw (Deeringothamnus pulchellus), an endangered plant species. Beautiful pawpaw is a low flowering shrub, unique to only three counties in Florida: Charlotte, Lee and Orange.
Conservation 20/20, which has preserved about 29,700 acres since its inception, is Lee County’s environmental acquisition and management program. Conservation lands help the county protect drinking water, enhance water quality, provide nature-based recreational opportunities, protect areas from flooding and provide wildlife habitat. For more information, visit www.Conservation2020.org.
Communications Director, Lee County Government