An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Nonprofits pair up to preserve Celery Fields

The Sarasota Audubon Society and the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast have collaborated to rewild the Quad Parcels at the Celery Fields, creating new bird habitats and wildlife viewing.

In the coming months, 33 acres of Sarasota County’s surplus land — land it didn’t want and didn’t know what to do with — will start to undergo a dramatic transformation. The tracts, known as the Quad Parcels, provide a vital buffer zone between the 440-acre Celery Fields and light industrial property to the west.

It could have turned out differently. The county had put the land up for sale, paving the way for potential commercial development. But quick and decisive action by a few environmental groups persuaded the Sarasota County Commission to protect it from development — in perpetuity. If all goes as planned, a “rewilding” project will begin in the fall.

A joint effort between the Sarasota Audubon Society (SAS) and the Conservation Foundation of the Suncoast, the project will include the beautifying of a stormwater retention pond, major reforesting to accommodate a wide array of animals and plants, particularly birds, an observation platform, birding trails, a children’s natural play area, picnic pavilion, parking lot and other basic amenities.