The Quad Parcels at the Celery Fields

Photo by Karen Willey

On October 6, 2020, the Sarasota County Commissioners protected 33 critical acres at the Celery Fields forever as a conservation easement.
Read Sarasota Audubon Acting President Jeanne Dubi’s letter to the community here.  Donate to rewilding the Quad Parcels here.

An extraordinary partnership. An unprecedented gift. A legacy that protects the Celery Fields forever. Sarasota Audubon and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast are working together to raise the funds to improve the habitat and manage the conservation easement for the Quad Parcels at the Celery Fields.

Here are the facts:

  • 33 acres adjoining the Celery Fields at the intersection of Palmer Blvd and Apex Road in Sarasota County  – see map on this page
  • Sarasota County Board of Commissioners granted a perpetual conservation easement on the northeast, southeast, and southwest Quad parcels under the stewardship of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
  • Sarasota Audubon Society and Conservation Foundation are developing plans to improve the land for nature and for people and will fundraise for this project
  • Sarasota Audubon Society will create habitat and manage the property

Why it Matters:

The Quad Parcels buffer the western edge of the environmentally sensitive Celery Fields from industrial areas and I-75 to the west.

The Celery Fields is a recognized birding hotspot of national and international significance as well as the county’s primary stormwater collection zone. It is vital to water quality and flood protection in the area and to Phillippi Creek and Little Sarasota Bay.

The permanent Conservation Easement and improvement of the Quad Parcels will provide a woodland, attracting a broader diversity of birds and wildlife. As well, it will provide additional, low-impact public access including an ADA-accessible trail.

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Sept. 21, 2021 update:
Sarasota Audubon Society and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announce the selection of Willis Smith Construction as the Construction Manager for their plan to create natural habitat and passive recreation on three of the Quad Parcels at the Celery Fields. Willis Smith joins owners’ representative, Steve Suau of Progressive Water Resources, and site plan engineering firm, Kimley-Horn, to round out the project team. Read media release here.

 

April 6, 2021 Update: Sarasota Audubon Society and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announce the selection of the Quad Parcels Project Owners’ Representative, Steve Suau of Progressive Water Resources. As Owners’ Representative, Suau will assist both organizations in managing the design and construction of the project from beginning to end. Read media release here.

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The Partnership

Sarasota Audubon Society (SAS) and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast (CFGC), along with Sarasota County, have an ambitious plan to create an effective and appealing buffer for one of Florida’s premier recreational and environmentally sensitive areas. This is a huge win not only for wildlife, as more than 240 species of birds have been recorded here, but for people as well. This special public-private partnership will be a community conservation success story that lives on for generations to come.

Sarasota Audubon Society’s and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s partnership is longstanding. For more than 15 years, SAS and CFGC have partnered for the protection of Snowy Plovers on Siesta Key. Part of the Florida Audubon Beach Nesting Birds’ program. CFGC manages the Conservation Easement while SAS monitors and protects the birds that nest on the property. Now we are working together to design and fundraise to create new habitat and public access at the Quad Parcels at the Celery Fields.

Thanks to the support of the community and the many strategic partnerships that both SAS and CFGC have independently forged, we have a proven track record of community projects that provide for the enjoyment of nature, safeguarding of our water supply, and expansion and enrichment of wildlife habitat.

SAS and CFGC will continue to make conservation history for our region, ensuring that the Quad Parcels at the Celery Fields are enjoyed by all for endless generations.