fbpx

About Us

North Florida Land Trust was founded in 1999 and is a local land conservation 501(c)3 organization focused on preserving and enhancing our quality of life by protecting North Florida’s irreplaceable natural environment. We have a core service area of 7 counties in Northeast Florida, and work on an as-needed basis throughout the state.

 

Vision:

North Floridians feel more connected to and have a stronger appreciation for our unique native environment. The North Florida Land Trust implements collaborative approaches for long-term solutions commensurate with rapid growth. By protecting more of North Florida’s farms, forests, and natural areas, we maintain traditions, enhance lives, and sustain our expanding communities.

 

Values:

We believe…

• We all bring our greatest strengths, and together they add power.

• Our dedication to innovation and new ideas gets results.

• Our dependability and accuracy earn trust.

• Consistently being transparent and honest brings us together.

• Our passion and connection to protecting our natural environment make a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

Preserved Lands

Explore this map to discover the lands that have been protected by North Florida Land Trust. This map highlights land owned by NFLT, as well as conservation easements and lands we helped facilitate for conservation with other agencies. Check out our Connect Page for upcoming events and service projects on our lands.

Due to the sensitive nature of some of our preserves, public access is currently only available at Bogey Creek Preserve. Bogey Creek Preserve is open year-round from sunrise to sunset and is located at Cedar Point Road, Jacksonville.

If you have an interest in finding out more about any of our preserved properties, please contact us at info@nflt.org.

 

Benefits of Conservation

Our entire quality of life is affective by our environment. Protecting it is to protect ourselves. We depend on clean air to breath and clean water to drink.We need places to exercise our minds and bodies. We need food to eat whether fish, fowl, meat or vegetable. And we need to protect our military installations from encroachment and our communities from noise and danger. Our environment provides all of these ecosystem benefits.

In addition, Florida’s economy is based on tourism and farming. Wildlife viewing alone is a $4 billion a year business. Visitors come to visit our rivers, lakes and beaches. Bio tourism is a growing industry in north Florida and the proximity of places to recover and rehabilitate is critical to its success.

Our population continues to grow rapidly. Overwhelmingly, they relocate because of our environment. With that growth comes the challenge to protect why many of us came here and why so many stay.

In short, everything we do and need comes from our environment. It provides an incredible number of benefits.

Board of Directors

Chair

John Delaney, Fiorentino Group Rogers Towers Law Firm

Vice Chair

David Barton, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Secretary

Ryan Switzer, Pulte Group

Treasurer

Patrick Carney, Business Owner

Members At Large

Mike Barker, Terra Capital Holdings, Inc.

Lisa Barton, Lisa Barton Team Ponte Vedra Beach

Allison DeFoor, Diocese of Florida

Scott Keith, Truist

Jennifer Lasserre, Lasserre Real Estate, Inc.

Melissa Long, City of Jacksonville

Connie McDaniel, Coca-Cola Retired

Ted McGowan, Clay County Port, Inc.

Shawna Newman, The NDN Companies Inc.

Matt Rapp, PGA TOUR

Shane Williams, Renasant Mortgage Lending

Meet Our President

Jim McCarthy, President

Jim McCarthy joined the North Florida Land Trust in 2014 as its Executive Director. In 2015 he was named President.

Jim started his career as a federal government employee, became a lobbyist, managed 56 political campaigns across the country, briefly sold life and health insurance (and as he says “If I was any good at it, I’d still be doing it”). He later started a chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors and sold development, finance, design, build services for Florida’s largest general contractor. 

His experience in the not-for-profit world includes service as a volunteer leader and staff executive. He has served as president of the Virginia Jaycees, the University of North Florida Athletic Booster organization and chairman of three committees at THE PLAYERS Championship and Chairman of the Web.com Tour Championship and THE Junior PLAYERS for the past 13 years. 

Jim was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Environmental Regulation Commission in 2016. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and a Trustee of JAXUSA, the region’s economic development organization. He is also an Advisory Board Member of BB&T.

Meet Our team

Conservation Acquisitions

Ramesh Buch

Director of Conservation Acquisitions

Ramesh has been a full-time real estate professional in the Gainesville area since relocating here with his wife and twins in 2001. He has had a 25-year career in real estate, focused almost entirely on the acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands in Florida. He stood up and ran the Alachua County Forever land conservation program for 16 years. Most recently, he was the Real Estate Services Director for the St. Johns River Water Management District. He has completed almost 50,000 acres of property transactions worth over $152 million.

Upon his retirement from the public sector, Ramesh joined NFLT to continue his passion for conservation land deals. His strengths are problem-solving and negotiating deals and enjoys the collaborative approach to transactions. He believes the best solutions are those that make environmental and economic sense.

Ramesh is a Marine Science graduate of the University of Miami, attended Texas A&M for graduate work in Marine Fisheries, was a diver, an open-water yachtsman, and has played a variety of sports before settling on Pickleball. He likes to hike, travel, cook and eat interesting foods, and read spy novels in his spare time. He and his wife currently have two adopted cats, two adopted dogs, and one fish (purchased).

Read More

Heather Nagy

Conservation Acquisitions Coordinator

Heather Nagy has joined NFLT in 2020 as a Conservation Acquisitions Coordinator. Nagy works with the director of real estate and community conservation to coordinate land transactions, manage the real estate database and research potential real estate projects.

Nagy comes to NFLT after working for three years at Peninsula Open Space Trust in California where she managed the conservation easement program and helped facilitate acquisition projects. She also worked with Tar River Land Conservancy in North Carolina. There she helped develop a strategic conservation plan for the Upper Tar River Basin.

Nagy earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, her masters of environmental management from Duke University and has received a graduate certificate in geographic information systems (GIS). For her master’s project, Nagy researched lemur habitat in a national park in Madagascar and developed a GIS-based model of forest loss to help guide future conservation projects in the area.

Read More

Kimberly Tillman

O2O Program Coordinator

Kimberly Tillman joined NFLT in 2020 as the O2O Program Coordinator. Kimberly is a wildlife biologist with 15 years of experience in natural resource management, conservation and education. Kimberly was a Land Management Specialist with the St. Johns River Water Management District where she specialized in habitat management and population recovery of threatened and endangered species like the Red-cockaded woodpecker and Florida Scrub-jay. As a private contractor she has collaborated with federal and state agencies and private landowners focusing on land conservation, habitat management, population management for listed species, and educational program development. Most recently, Kimberly worked with the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville Florida to develop a program that brings butterfly gardens to Florida schools and promotes outdoor learning. Kimberly has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She is a certified prescribed burn manager as well as an authorized gopher tortoise agent and trained bander for Red-cockaded woodpeckers and Florida Scrub-jays. Kimberly and her husband have two young children that love to be outside.

Read More

Kim Hall

Conservation Transactions Manager

Kimberly (Kim) Hall joined NFLT in 2021 as the Conservation Transactions Manager. Kim began her journey in real estate in 2001, in residential real estate appraisal. Her experience in the appraisal field led to a 15-year career with the St. Johns River Water Management District. During her tenure there, she participated in or facilitated the acquisition of nearly 132,000 acres, at a cost of just over $464.5 million. While at the District, she managed a close partnership with North Florida Land Trust building valuable lasting relationships. This led to several acquisitions in the Camp Blanding Buffer area and Partnership in the O2O.

During her time at the District, she earned her Bachelor’s in Legal Services bolstering her negotiating, research, and contracting skills. While on a 3-year hiatus from Conservation acquisitions, Kim further sharpened her skills in product development, product launch, and vendor management with FPL Energy Services, managing and launching statewide projects. Eager to return to her first passion and armed with her 20 years of real estate and contracts knowledge, she is no stranger to NFLT’s mission as she makes her return to Conservation Acquisition.

Read More

Land Stewardship

Rianna Elliott

Director of Land Stewardship

Rianna joined NFLT in 2021 as the Land Management Specialist. She was then promoted to Director of Land Stewardship in November 2021. Rianna will oversee the stewardship department and will be responsible for the management, restoration and maintenance of NFLT’s preserves and conservation easements. Her duties include a supervisory role of the stewardship department and the direct implementation of certain program areas. She will also serve on the leadership team and contribute to the nonprofit's organizational development and strategic decision-making.

Rianna comes to NFLT with over a decade of experience with the Florida Park Service. As a Park Services Specialist, she focused most of her energy on resource management and prescribed fire. Over time, she achieved her certified prescribed burn manager status as well as other certifications to enable her to better preserve the lands she was charged with restoring and protecting. She has also assisted multiple agencies with prescribed fire through trainings and knowledge exchanges over the years. Prior to her work with Florida Park Service, Rianna spent several years with a non-profit organization working with at-risk youth.

Read More

Philanthropic Services

Lee Anderson Louy, EdD

Director of Philanthropic Services

Lee Anderson Louy joined NFLT in 2021 and serves as the Director of Philanthropic Services. Lee helps individuals and organizations develop and achieve their philanthropic goals. Bringing over a decade of nonprofit leadership and donor experience, Lee is passionate about advancing the NFLT mission for Jacksonville and beyond.

Before working for NFLT, Lee worked as the Director of Development with the University of North Florida, focusing on developing and nurturing long-term relationships on behalf of the University. She was with the University for nearly nine years, and prior, Lee served as the Director of the Bennie Furlong Senior Center with the City of Jacksonville. Lee graduated from the University of North Florida with a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, holds a master’s degree in Public Administration, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Services Administration from Florida State University.

Lee is a Jacksonville native with a deep admiration for the Northeast Florida region and is invested in creating a lasting impact in our community.

Read More

Sarah Hande

Development Officer

Sarah Hande joined NFLT in 2021 and serves as the Development Officer. In her role Sarah helps NFLT achieve its mission by engaging constituents and community members across the seven counties NFLT serves. Sarah’s career has spanned continents and cultures, from working as a flight attendant with a South African airline right after apartheid ended, to managing three consumer magazine titles and their portfolio of events in London. She brings with her more than twenty years of experience in project management and community engagement. In 2003, she moved to Jacksonville and worked with the City of Jacksonville before transitioning into a community engagement role at Florida Blue in their Corporate Social Responsibility area. Sarah moved into the nonprofit sector in 2015 and has served as the Associate Director of Development at MOCA Jacksonville (a cultural institute of the University of North Florida) and most recently served as the Director of Development at the Cathedral Arts Project. Sarah is passionate about connecting individuals with the NFLT mission and in turn working to preserve North Florida’s natural resources and environment. Sarah grew up near the water in Virginia Beach and enjoys doing anything outside.

Read More

Allison Cologne

Creative Manager

Allison Cologne joined NFLT as a Graphic Design intern and was invited back as a full-time staff member in 2018. She now serves as the Creative Manager and brings seven years of design and marketing experience. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. Prior to working for NFLT, Allison was a Graphic Designer for a public relations firm in Washington DC. She is responsible for creating and designing marketing materials, website maintenance, photography and social media coverage. Allison is a Jacksonville native who loves being a part of the mission in preserving the landscapes she so fondly remembers as child.

Read More

Operations

Cassie Froeba

Director of Operations

Cassie Froeba joined NFLT in 2015, and serves as the Operations Director. Her duties include ensuring that NFLT’s everyday activities run smoothly! Creating/ updating policies, developing/implement human resource strategies, orientation and training for staff and Board Members, effective management of finance/accounting, property exemptions, managing the nonprofit’s properties on Talbot Island and overseeing the office as the on-site mom. Cassie led our team to get national recognition as an Accredited Land Trust. Accreditation is the highest standard and acknowledges North Florida Land Trust has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.

Read More

Brenna Blake

Manager of Operations

Brenna Blake joined NFLT in 2021 as the Manager of Operations. She is currently working on her bachelor's degree in business administration. Brenna has 6 years of experience in management and she is very honored to be working to help better our communities and lands of North Florida. Previously from California, Brenna moved to Florida in November of 2020 and is excited to start her new journey at NFLT. Her goal is to make a positive impact on the community and help to make change.

Read More