Two well-respected environmental conservation organizations have teamed up to protect and preserve land in downtown Jacksonville. Groundwork Jacksonville (GWJax) and North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in which NFLT will assist GWJax in identifying, acquiring and rehabilitating parcels of land for conservation within the urban core of Jacksonville.
According to Groundwork Jacksonville CEO Kay Ehas, “As we build the Emerald Trail and restore McCoys and Hogans Creeks, we may discover property in need of conservation. We wanted to have a partner in place to help us with that and could think of no organization more reputable, equitable or effective than NFLT.”
The Emerald Trail will encompass 20 miles of new trails connecting at least 14 historic neighborhoods and downtown to existing and/or planned trail segments including the S-Line Rail Trail, Hogans Creek, McCoys Creek, the Northbank and Southbank riverwalks and the FDOTs Riverside connection to San Marco, for a total of 30 miles of contiguous trails and linear parks downtown.
According to the agreement, the two organizations will work cooperatively to identify the best means of acquiring real property including donations by the landowner, financing through a lender, applying for grants or purchasing with donor funds.
“When people hear the term ‘land conservation’ they often think of acres of forest or remote, undeveloped land. The reality is that there is land within the urban core that needs our attention,” said Jim McCarthy, president of North Florida Land Trust. “We look forward to helping Groundwork conserve these urban spaces for future generations.”
About North Florida Land Trust
North Florida Land Trust is a nonprofit organization that champions environmental protection in north Florida. NFLT was founded in 1999 and has protected thousands of acres of environmentally significant land including property at Big Talbot Island, Ortega River, Guana River, Little Orange Creek, Keystone Heights and along the St. Mary’s River and other valued natural areas predominantly in Northeast Florida. NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with private landowners and public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations. For more information, visit nflt.org.