CREW Trust Celebrates 25 Years of Conservation

CREW Marsh after a Tropical Storm
CREW Marsh after Tropical Storm Faye in 2008 (Photo by Deb Hanson)

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2014. This is a watershed year for the CREW Land & Water Trust as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary! The CREW Trust was formed in 1989 by Joel Kuperberg (a former Naples City Councilman, botanist, head of Florida’s Internal Improvement Fund, and later Director of the Trust for Public Land) as a public-private partnership to coordinate the land acquisition, management, and public outreach for the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW). Since then, this watershed stewardship project has accomplished much that it set out to do, including protecting over 45,000-acres of land within the established boundaries of the watershed.

This accomplishment has been the result of efforts by multiple agencies, organizations, landowners, businesses, and private citizens. The CREW Land & Water Trust’s strength over the years has been to build partnerships and bring people together with the vision of protecting this watershed which provides drinking water for residents and visitors to southwest Florida. Some of the main partners are:

  • The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) – the primary landowner and land manager within CREW.
  • Lee and Collier Counties – both of which have purchased land within CREW
  • The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) – which oversees wildlife management, hunting, and law enforcement on CREW lands
  • Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary – which is located in the heart of the CREW and whose former Director, Ed Carlson, helped write one of the initial proposals requesting the SFWMD to purchase Bird Rookery Swamp
  • ALICO – which sold the first land to the CREW project – the Corkscrew Marsh unit off of Corkscrew Road.

Here’s a very abbreviated timeline of some of the highlights of our 25 years….

CREW Timeline

The CREW Trust has multiple events planned throughout the year to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Registration is required for all of these events. You can register at http://crewtrust.eventbrite.com

  • January 16 – CREW Wine & Cheese Social (Invitation Only -Members and Volunteers)
  • February 1 – Hike the Loop: 12-Mile Hike at Bird Rookery Swamp
  • February 14 – Love in the Wild Hike
  • March 1 – CREW Concert & Silent Eco-Auction – tickets at http://crewconcert2014.bpt.me/
  • March 21 – CREW Horseback Ride from Flint Pen to Bird Rookery Swamp
  • April 5 – Butterfly Hike with David Cooper @ Marsh Trail
  • April 5 – Geocaching with The Unusual Suspects @ Cypress Dome Trail
  • April 12 – Wildflower Hike with Roger Hammer @ Marsh Trail
  • October TBD – CREW Golf Tournament
  • October TBD – 10K Trail Run
  • November 15 – Vitamin N Hike for Families
  • December 6 – Bike the Loop: 12-mile Bicycle Trail Ride at Bird Rookery Swamp

We hope to see you at one of our events. Come celebrate with us!

And thanks to Chad Gillis and Andrew West for the article in today’s Fort Myers News-Press about the CREW Trust’s 25th Anniversary.

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