Citizens of Martin County understand that once green space is gone, it is gone. Local preservation and stewardship of special places and public parks acts as insurance policy against loss of critical ecosystems, quality of life, clean water and wildlife habitat. With America losing 3 million acres of land to development each year, and state and local governments looking at closing, selling off or shuttering public parks and open spaces to meet financial shortfalls in their budgets. It is now critical that you help guarantee permanent funding for organizations like the Treasured Lands Foundation.
We believe that we have reached a tipping point in the protection and preservation of critical lands in Martin County. We need your help to protect the land you love.Martin County and the great outdoors, a lasting love—with a long history
In 1989, Lands For You was founded to acquire environmentally sensitive lands and develop parks and community centers, resulting in 3,150 acres of conservation lands and 366 acres of recreation lands.
To ensure community input, Martin County Commissioners established a citizen’s oversight committee known as the Land Acquisition Selection Committee. The seven-member panel consisted of a cross-section of the community, including segments of the environmental and business sectors.
In 1996, Martin County citizens recognized the need to preserve lands designated by the state and federal governments as integral to the successful restoration of the Florida Everglades and the Indian River Lagoon. The community approved the Healthy Rivers Program with a one-cent sales tax for five years to acquire lands within Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and the Indian River Lagoon program.
The effort generated $50 million in revenue, leveraged to purchase 42,762 acres of conservation land, including:
In 1999, county commissioners established the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Division within the Parks and Recreation Department, focused on restoring, managing, maintaining, and providing public access to the county’s conservation land resources.
Commissioners also established the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to oversee the development of the county parks system and provide a vision for the future. In addition, impact fees for the development of parks and acquisition of conservation land was established by the commission, allowing funds for park development, additional land conservation land acquisition and capital improvements.
In 2005, a much-anticipated Parks and Recreation Master Plan was adopted by the county commission after relying on a series of charrettes and workshops given to the community to form a vision of the county’s needs through the year 2020.
The master plan relied on impact fees for funding. To supplement the expense, staff members with the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Division introduced the Trust for Public Land to explore the feasibility of alternate sources—the most reliable of which turned out to be Martin County residents.
Through its research, Trust for Public Land determined that strong community support existed among Martin County residents for a ½ cent sales tax for “clean water, wildlife, beaches and parks.”
Birth of the Treasured Lands Foundation
In 2008, a group of concerned residents of Martin County made up of conservationists, local business people and private citizens joined together to establish Treasured Lands Foundation. Motivated by the growing pressure on public lands and open spaces...