October 23, 2020

This is the first property the nonprofit has helped the City purchase

North Florida Land Trust has assisted the City of New Smyrna Beach in acquiring property on Turnbull Creek as part of the Turnbull Creek Land preservation program. The nonprofit land conservation organization served as a facilitator for the deal to purchase 10 acres on historic Turnbull Creek from Sea Star Realty and Neal Harding for $1.2 million. The land is located at State Road 44 and South Walker Drive.

“Preserving this property is just the first in our efforts to make sure the natural spaces along Turnbull Creek remain natural spaces,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “This property was very vulnerable to development. Now, more than 1,600 linear feet of the creek and the upland forests with oaks and pines will be preserved and free from development forever.”

The property is one of many that the City of New Smyrna Beach has prioritized for protection. NFLT is under contract with the City to assist with the preservation program to preserve the land surrounding Turnbull Creek and protect the waterway, wildlife habitats and natural lands. The City started the program last year with the purchase of the 151-acre Turnbull Trace property as part of the Turnbull Creek Water Quality, Wildlife Habitat, and Natural Areas protection bonds approved by 75 percent of voters in 2018.

Turnbull Creek has both environmental and historical significance. The Creek is a major tributary to the North Indian River Lagoon. The Indian River Lagoon is home to more species of plants and animals than any other estuary in North America. The Turnbull Creek canal system, also known as Andrew Turnbull’s Grand Canal, is on the National Registry of Historic Places and dates back to the 1700s when New Smyrna Beach was founded by Dr. Andrew Turnbull.

About North Florida Land Trust

North Florida Land Trust is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to protect the natural resources, historic places and working lands (farms and ranches) throughout north Florida. Founded in 1999, NFLT has preserved tens of thousands of acres of land through donation or purchase of land as well as conservation easements.  NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with willing landowners and public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations.