“We are very grateful to the donor for giving us this large sum to get us closer to our goal,” North Florida Land Trust President Jim McCarthy said in an announcement about the gift.
The land trust is still trying to raise $150,000 to pay off its debt for 1.55 acres on “Little NaNa,” across a small street from “Big NaNa,” the tallest dune on Florida’s coastline and owned by the National Park Service.
The land trust agreed last year to buy three vacant lots along Ocean Boulevard to be sure no one else built on the land, part of a historic community where development pressure has increased in recent years.© Provided by North Florida Land Trust The North Florida Land Trust paid $1.3 million buying this property, part of the "NaNa" dune system at Nassau County's American Beach, to be sure it wouldn't be developed. An anonymous donor has given $500,000 to help the nonprofit land trust recover its costs.
The dune system is already hemmed in by houses along Burney Road and nearby Gregg Street.
“Protecting this land was very important to maintain the history and culture of American Beach and to protect the natural landscape,” McCarthy said in the announcement. “It is an important habitat for gopher tortoises and migrating birds. We are asking individuals, businesses, foundations and other organizations to donate to help us raise the remaining money needed to pay off the loan and reach our goal.”
American Beach was built on Amelia Island as a Black resort area in the 1930s, when racial segregation barred Blacks from vacationing at or living in most of Florida’s beach towns.
Much of the island’s southern end has been developed since then by white-owned businesses, including firms building around the Ritz-Carlton resort close to American Beach.
As neighboring areas have built up, would-be buyers have raised property values and development interest in American Beach. “Big NaNa” was donated to the federal government by the Amelia Island Plantation development firm and became part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in 2004.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Donor's anonymous $500,000 gift helps repay land trust for saving American Beach dune
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/realestate/donors-anonymous-24500000-gift-helps-repay-land-trust-for-saving-american-beach-dune/ar-AAPGYzT984