North Florida Land Trust has canceled its upcoming fundraising event in historic American Beach due to concerns over the rising cases of COVID-19. The nonprofit land conservation organization had planned an event on Sept. 16 to provide an opportunity for people to learn about the ecological importance of American Beach and the Little NaNa Dune system and to raise money to pay back a loan obtained to save the dune system from development.
“We thought it best to cancel the event to keep everyone safe but we are available for anyone that has any questions or would like to help us Save Little NaNa,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “This historic community means so much to so many and protecting it protects not only the legacy of the land but the natural benefits it provides. We are now on the clock for raising the money to pay back the loan and we could really use the help of the community.”
NFLT took out a loan for $1.255 million to purchase three parcels of land that are part of the Little NaNa Dune system and were in danger of being developed. The organization has been raising money through its Amelia Forever Campaign but still needs approximately $668,000 to pay back the loan. The Delores Barr Weaver Fund has issued a 2:1 challenge grant which will provide $125,000 to the nonprofit after it raises $250,000. NFLT has created a video that provides information on the efforts to Save Little NaNa Dune which can be found at https://www.nflt.org/ameliaforever/.
Little NaNa Dune is part of the NaNa Dune system which is an important habitat for gopher tortoises and migrating birds. Protecting the land connects the 1.55 acres to the 8.5- acre NaNa Dune, the tallest dune in Florida. NaNa Dune was added to the National Park Service’s Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in 2004. American Beach was founded in 1935 to give African Americans access to a beach during the days of segregation. In 2002, the original beach property was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and the American Beach Museum opened in 2014.
Donations can be made to the Amelia Forever Campaign at www.nflt.org/ameliaforever or by check to North Florida Land Trust with the memo: Amelia Forever and mailed to 843 W Monroe Street, Jacksonville FL 32202. For more information about giving, contact the NFLT office at 904-479-1967 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.