As our weather turns warmer and rainy season is on the horizon, I find myself reflecting on this past season.
This year the CREW Trust celebrates its 30th anniversary. So much has been accomplished in that time frame, with much more yet to be completed. Of the 60,000-acres within the borders of the watershed, almost 55,000-acres within the Corkscrew Regoinal Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) have been acquired. We continue to pursue our mission of preserving and protecting water, our most valuable natural resource, through working with our partners, specifically Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 program and Collier County’s Conservation Collier.
Education is a key component of ensuring that generations today and those that follow will connect with the land and the wildlife within the CREW Project borders and understand the value of the watershed. We are thankful for the visitors, residents, schools and CREW Trust members who participated in this season’s programs and visited the four trail systems.
This season saw the opening of the fourth and final CREW Project trail system – Flint Pen Strand. Our volunteers have worked for several years to create and mark the first two trails and continue to work on additional trails. Our Board of Trustees have been key players in this process through their work behind the scenes to assist the CREW Trust and our partners in making this exceptional area open to the public.
I have spent time over the last few weeks exploring the yellow loop in Flint Pen Strand. As I stood amidst the dwarf cypress and blooming bladderwort north of Kehl Canal, I thought of my dear friend Jim Goodwin and the hours he put into making Flint Pen Strand a reality. There is no other place in CREW like it, and I’m thankful to our volunteers, members, Board of Trustees and friends who have helped open this fourth trail system so we can all share in the beauty of the watershed.
Summer is our time to plan for next season, and I look forward to seeing you on the trails and thank you for continuing to support the CREW Trust and share in the remarkable beauty that is the CREW Project.
CREW Land & Water Trust