Help Save a Piece of Natural Florida

Birds Wood Stork watermark Emil KotikOur chapter is supporting the North Florida Land Trust and the City of Jacksonville’s Parks and Recreation Department in helping to raise funds to preserve a small (4.85 acre) parcel of land that is adjacent to the City's Ferngully Preserve in the Mandarin area. Ferngully is an undeveloped tract of land comprised mostly of wetlands and is habitat for several threatened and endangered species, including Wood Storks and possibly the Southeastern Fox Squirrel, Striped Newts, and several rare plant species.

This property is up for sale and is in danger of being developed, which would cause significant environmental damage to the wetlands and further reduce suitable habitat for the birds, plants, and other wildlife species that rely on it for survival. If the North Florida Land Trust’s fundraising campaign is successful, the property would be added to the Ferngully Preserve and would be kept in its natural state, protected from development.

In addition, Ferngully Preserve is adjacent to a conservation property known as the Grandy Preserve that has been owned by our chapter since the early 1990s, so preserving this extra parcel will ensure that the entire wetlands area (approximately 65 acres altogether) will continue to provide vital ecosystem services like “protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters, and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods.” “Wetlands [also] store carbon within their plant communities and soil instead of releasing it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Thus, wetlands help to moderate global climate conditions.” (Quotes are from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website.)

Ferngully AdditionDonations for the Ferngully Addition are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law, and if the acquisition falls through, contributions will be returned to the original donors. North Florida Land Trust is accepting donations at this link, or you can send a check to North Florida Land Trust, 843 W Monroe Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202. Be sure to write “Ferngully Addition” on the memo line of your check to ensure the funds are allocated to this campaign.

Please consider giving generously to help preserve this piece of natural Florida!