Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Leon County Commission unanimously supports Fred George Basin Greenway land purchase

Yesterday the Leon County Commission voted unanimously to complete the purchase of the first – and most environmentally sensitive – of five land parcels slated for conservation in the Fred George Basin. This marks the culmination of a two and a half year process that, although not yet completed, will eventually create the 170+ acre Fred George Basin Greenway.

Wildwood Preservation Society would like to thank our entire Save Fred George Basin coalition and everyone that has contributed to this victory for conservation. Without the overwhelming public support this project has received we would never have gotten this far. We would especially like to acknowledge the FSU Environmental Service Program, Preston Robertson of the Florida Wildlife Federation, Tom Asbury and the late Pepper Ghazvini with RP Properties, and the entire Leon County Commission but especially Commissioners John Dailey and Cliff Thaell for their leadership on this issue from the beginning.

It is important to emphasize that more important work lies ahead. There are four additional land parcels identified for inclusion in the Fred George Basin Greenway. Wildwood Preservation Society will not rest until all these lands are protected, and the complete vision of a preserved Fred George Basin is realized.

Below is local news coverage from yesterday’s meeting.

Fred George Basin news coverage 12-9-08

Saving the Fred George Basin
Reported by Liza Park
WCTV CBS News Tallahassee
December 9, 2008

Environmentalists have been working for two years to save what's left of the Fred George Basin and Tuesday night their work paid off.

The Fred George Basin is a large sinkhole and ecosystem along Fred George Road in northwest Leon County.

Those who want to preserve the area say much of the original basin has been lost to development.

Tuesday night Leon County Commissioners agreed to offer $900,000 of "Blueprint 2000" funds to purchase the land and another $200,000 for clean-up costs.

"The city of Tallahassee gets water directly from this sinkhole and we really need to preserve this area for future generations and we finally did it today and we're just very pleased," says Misty Penton of the Wildwood Preservation Society and who spearheaded efforts to save the basin.

The state is matching the funds spent on the preservation which will be turned into a public park.

Endangered wood storks nesting in Fred George Basin, May 2008.

Wildwood Preservation Society is a non-profit 501(c)(4) project of the Advocacy Consortium for the Common Good. Click here to learn more.

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