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Putting Its Trust in The Lagoon

Will conserving the lands alongside the Indian River preserve Vero Beach
for future generations? The IRLT says yes.

Earlier this year the IRLT acquired Bee Gum Point, a key 111-acre property adjacent to Lost Tree Island that was previously targeted for residential development. As a result, the one-mile shoreline will remain a natural habitat for the thousands of fish, bird and plant species that make the Indian River Lagoon their home.

Earlier this year the IRLT acquired Bee Gum Point, a key 111-acre property adjacent to Lost Tree Island that was previously targeted for residential development. As a result, the one-mile shoreline will remain a natural habitat for the thousands of fish, bird and plant species that make the Indian River Lagoon their home.

For Char Higgins, moving from Western Pennsylvania to South Florida meant not only a change of climate but a change in the scenery. “Where I lived before there were green rolling hills and here the land was flat and there seemed to be all this concrete. It was such a contrast,” says Higgins, remembering her first impression.

That was seven years ago and one of the first things she did was take her children to McKee Botanical Garden and the Environmental Learning Center where nature is preserved, protected and celebrated. When she met Ken Grudens, executive director of the Indian River Land Trust, and heard about the work the nonprofit organization was doing to conserve the county’s natural resources she became a member and currently serves on the IRLT board.

“It’s good to be involved with something that’s bigger than you are, something that affects the lives of so many people,” says Higgins. “It’s easy to forget how important it is to preserve natural lands so that our children and their children will still be able to walk through the mangroves, see all of the butterflies, lizards, frogs and other creatures. Sometimes we take it all for granted and we really can’t afford to.”

Read the entire article in the May 2011 issue