North Florida Land Trust
North Florida is simply beautiful. It's full of quite a lot of open land with pines, oaks, otters, bears, salt marshes, dunes, tortoises, herons, and so much more.
Within all of this open land, however, is the city of Jacksonville -- the largest city in Florida by population and the largest city in the continental US by area. Additionally, St. Johns County to the south was recently rated the 11th fastest growing area in the country, helping to make Florida the 3rd most populous state in the country.
All of this to say that it's becoming more and more important to protect the natural and cultural resources of the area. Without being properly managed, the essence and southern charm that attracted people here in the first place could be lost.
It is the mission of the North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) to protect this legacy for generations to come. This mission is important to me as well, so I've been excited to help by taking photos at some of their current and future properties to show people what is currently being saved. It's sad to consider places like this being lost to over development.
The first photos below are from a property that they call "Grandma's Farm". Dr. Bob Ragland inherited this 45 acre property from his Grandma in 1952 and protected it for over 60 years, creating a native botanical preserve in the process. Dr. Ragland left the property to his estate, which is in the process of donating the land to the Land Trust to create a botanical preserve, native food forest, community garden, and outdoor learning laboratory benefiting school children.
Another one of the NFLT properties is called Bogey Creek Preserve, and it is a 79 acre property in the Pumpkin Hill area in North Jacksonville. They are working towards purchasing this property and will make this unique land consisting of cypress swamp, maritime oak forest, pine flatwoods, and marshes into a public park with walking trails, marsh overlooks, and a kayak launch. It will definitely be a place I will cherish visiting in the future.