JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – "I wish everyone in Jacksonville could come out here to see this," said Helen Lane. "To hear the silence."
Lane spearheaded her family's donation to the North Florida Land Trust to cover the cost of the acquisition of 80 acres of wetlands to protect and preserve the natural habitat along the Ortega River.
The Lane Family Tract is located along Collins Road near 1-295 and Blanding Boulevard and is now part of the North Florida Land Trust's Ortega River Preserve, which protects cypress swamps. A public kayak or canoe launch could soon be in the works for the area.
The city of Jacksonville began preservation efforts in the area with the creation of Ringhaver Park and the efforts are expanding.
Lane, along with her her children, offered the donation in memory of Mrs. Lane's late husband.
The North Florida Land Trust is a non-profit organization which serves as a champion of land conservation. It was founded in 1999 and has protected thousands of acres of environmentally significant land and is funded mainly through private and corporate contributions.