June 02, 2022

North Florida Land Trust is asking the community to help raise the money needed to purchase 4.5 acres of land adjacent to the City of Jacksonville’s Ferngully Preserve in Mandarin. The property, which is primarily wetlands, is currently up for sale and is in danger of being developed. The development would cause significant environmental damage to the land, a habitat for several threatened or endangered species. NFLT, alongside Duval Audubon, is working as the fundraising partner to help the City of Jacksonville add the 4.5 acres to Ferngully Preserve. Duval Audubon owns the land on the east side of the existing preserve.

“We need the public’s help to save this property, which is home to many threatened or endangered wildlife, including the Atlantic sturgeon, wood stork, and gopher tortoise,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “We need to raise $62,500 to match the City’s $62,500, so the City of Jacksonville can purchase this property and keep it in its natural state in perpetuity. In addition to the wildlife the property supports, these lands are also important endangered plant habitats. Furthermore, the wetlands provide eco-benefits, including regulating the area’s water flow to help prevent flooding.”

Ferngully Preserve is in south Jacksonville on Woodside Lane. The City of Jacksonville purchased the preserve in 2001 through the Preservation Project with funds from the Better Jacksonville Plan. City Council Members Matt Carlucci and Michael Boylan and the City’s Assistant General Counsel reached out to NFLT to ask them to help the City raise the money to purchase this property to add to Ferngully Preserve.

Donations to save this property and add it to Ferngully Preserve can be made at Protect Ferngully. Donors can also send checks with Ferngully Addition in the memo line directly to NFLT at 843 W. Monroe St., Jacksonville, FL, 32202.

NFLT works closely with cities and municipalities around the region to assist them in their conservation efforts. They have been working alongside the City of Jacksonville in its conservation efforts for years. NFLT has helped the city with many projects including the expansion of McGirts Creek Park, the acquisition of conservation lands along the Ortega River and the creation of the 7 Creeks Recreation Area which includes NFLT’s Bogey Creek Preserve. They are also currently working with the city to acquire property to create the Emerald Trail, among other projects.

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.