April 19, 2022

North Florida Land Trust and volunteers from several community organizations recently participated in a restoration project at Little NaNa Dune in historic American Beach. The group planted a variety of plants on the dune which was acquired for conservation by NFLT last year. The project was driven by NFLT Board Member Pastor Carlton Jones and William Price who were joined by the NFLT team and volunteers from the Fernandina Beach Sea Oat Lovers, Amelia Island Comp Plan/LDC Working Group, and the Nassau County Extension Service along with other community members.

Frank Hopf from the Dune Science Group provided expertise and guided the team of volunteers who planted many different plant species including sea oats, beach dune sunflowers, blanket flowers, seashore dropseed, sea oxeye daisies and bee balm. The plants chosen for the restoration project were picked to help restore the dunes which are a habitat for wildlife including gopher tortoises and migrating birds. The plants will help renourish the natural space and provide a diet for the wildlife.

Cynthia Jones Jackson and her family purchased the plants for the project. They also provided work gloves, adjustable height shovels, suntan lotion and refreshments. Mike Anderson of Lawn and Order Lawn Service LLC volunteered his time and gas to pick up and deliver the plants from Green Seasons nursery just south of Tampa.

Little NaNa Dune is 1.55 acres adjacent to the larger 8.5-acre NaNa Dune, the tallest dune in Florida. NaNa Dune is part of the National Park Service’s Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Both dune systems are an important part of historic American Beach which 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.

In 2021, NFLT purchased three parcels of Little Nana Dune that were in danger of development. Donations to the Amelia Forever Campaign along with $500,000 from an anonymous donor and a challenge grant from the Delores Barr Weaver helped to raise the more than $1.3 million needed to finance the acquisition.

NFLT established the Amelia Forever Campaign in 2019 to preserve the remaining natural spaces on Amelia Island. To learn more about the campaign and how to help, visit www.nflt.org/ameliaforever or contact NFLT at 904-479-1967 or info@nflt.org.

About North Florida Land Trust

North Florida Land Trust is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the quality of life by protecting North Florida’s irreplaceable natural environment. Founded in 1999, NFLT has preserved tens of thousands of acres of land through the 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.