Lee County Commissioners agree to move forward with acquisition of 7 parcels in CREW boundary

Lee County Commissioners voted Tuesday to move towards acquiring 7 parcels within the CREW Project boundary that are located in Flint Pen Strand.
This includes the Palm Tree Farm, an approximately 40-acre parcel that has been on the CREW Land & Water Trust wish list for years.
Ben Nelson, chairman of the CREW Trust Board of Trustees, spoke during the meeting and urged county commissioners to move forward with the purchase of the parcels, which were all nominated by willing sellers.
“These parcels may seem small compared to the earlier acquisitions within the CREW Project but they are just as important if not more so,” explained Brenda Brooks, executive director of the CREW Trust. “We’re coming down to the final stretch of acquiring the lands needed to complete the CREW Project, which has not only been part of our mission but also the vision of the CREW Land & Water Trust. I think of these parcels as the final pieces of a puzzle and until you have that final piece, the project still isn’t finished. However these seven parcels gets us closer and closer.”

Sharing the Trails with Children

Winter is one of our busiest seasons for environmental education programs out on the CREW Marsh Trails. So, don’t be alarmed if you find yourself on the trails along with 120 kids.


group of students on the CREW trails
Calusa Park students learn about CREW


The CREW Marsh Trail is an  exciting outdoor classroom for kids from both Lee and Collier Counties. Jessi Drummond,  our Environmental Education Specialist, takes 3rd graders out on a “Walk through the Watershed” where they spend time dip-netting, getting to know where their water comes from, and the importance of protecting the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed.

Ricky Pires,  from FGCU’s Wing of Hope  Panther Posse Program, brings 4th and 5th grade students to the CREW Marsh Trails to teach them about the Florida panther, its habitat and research. FGCU college students help to lead the Wings of Hope field trips, giving them valuable service-learning experience.

Ricky Pires with Panther Posse students
Ricky Pires with Panther Posse students

Both of these programs, plus a variety of private and home school groups use the CREW trails to help educate the kids of all ages about CREW. As part of our mission to protect the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, these educational programs are important to developing support for the watershed and engaging people in its protection.

So, remember, the next time you go out to the CREW Marsh trails on a weekday from 10 AM to 1 PM, you may find kids exploring nature. Be glad they are there.

Anyone is welcome to come see the magic in action and experience the joy of children outdoors. For more information on CREW’s Environmental Education programs, click here.


Announcing 2012 CREW Wildflower Art Contest

Our 10th annual CREW Wildflower Art Contest is now open to any and all 3rd graders – college age students in Lee, Collier, Hendry, and Charlotte Counties.  With cash prizes for the top three winners in each age category, this contest is a must for all aspiring artists!

Flowers must be native to southwest Florida and preference is given to artwork depicting flowers that grow on CREW lands, so come take a hike on one of the CREW trails and see what’s blooming at different times of the year.

All artwork is due to the CREW offices no later than noon on March 7, 2012. So, what are you waiting for?

Download the 2012 CREW WF Art Contest flyer.

The prizes for this contest are sponsored in part by a micro-grant from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (www.chnep.org).

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