Friday, July 17, 2015

New Opportunity?

On Tuesday I was invited to a ladies luncheon.  Just a bunch of teachers on summer break getting together to socialize and catch up before school starts again.  Linda, my next door teacher, wanted to make sure that I heard Anita's story.  Anita retired a few years ago and has recently been on a quest.  There is an undeveloped plot of 114 acres near her neighborhood in Suntree, which is just north of where I live.  The county recently realized that it was worth quite a bit of money if sold to a developer, though the only access point was at the end of a cul-de-sac on a single unbuilt lot.  So Anita got busy and started to gather support to petition the commissioners NOT to build on the land.  When I talked to her on Tuesday, they had officially voted against selling the land, but were looking for ideas as to what to do with it instead.  So Anita has developed a five year plan as to how to use the 114 acre plot of land as a site for conservation and education.
It turns out that this land is absolutely full of gopher tortoises.  Gopher Tortoises!  What a coincidence I remarked, because I am part of a group of teachers traveling together to Costa Rica very soon, and our plan is to use our knowledge to study the burrowing activity of Gopher Tortoises when we get back.  Such a small world!  I am hopeful that we will be able to use this land as a second study site.  Right now there is someone who has offered to look at requirements for permitting and find a biologist who would be willing to work with us.  

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