JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Chartrand family has stepped forward to donated the final $30,000 needed to fund a project by the North Florida Land Trust that includes the purchase of the Bogey Creek Preserve and the creation of a public park.
NFLT received donations from numerous sources to reach the $1.2 million required to purchase the 63-acre property and had been working to fund the $105,000 in ancillary costs.
“We are very thankful the Chartrand family gave us the final money we needed to make this project a reality,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “We had many donors who stepped forward to help us meet the purchase price and come up with the money to do our due diligence, manage the land and make improvements to create a public park. We are very grateful to everyone who helped, including our staff who has been working on this project for many years.”
Sue Spencer and her family donated about seven acres of land near Bogey Creek to NFLT in 2006. The organization has been working since then to raise money to purchase the remaining 63-acres of land from the family. Sue’s dream was to preserve her family property forever. Sue Spencer passed away earlier this year and McCarthy said he is very pleased that they will be able to fulfill her wish.
Within the last month, an anonymous donor gave $210,000 to the project after hearing about a challenge grant of $125,000 pledged by the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida. Another anonymous donor gave $405,000 in the name of Robert P. Milam, Jr., River Branch Foundation pledged $500,000 towards Bogey Creek Preserve and two individuals donated a combined $35,000.
The land is more than a mile of critical marsh front on Clapboard and Bogey Creeks. It neighbors Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve and the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. The property is a matrix of maritime hammock forest, seep-fed cypress swamps and mixed pine-oak forest.
Plans for the public park include two miles of public walking trails with a footbridge and wildlife overlooks, a picnic area, two kayak launches and signage throughout to explain the ecosystem and unique parts of the property. NFLT also plans to create parking access on Cedar Point Road.