Page 1

spring 2009

Protecting Southwest Florida’s unique natural environment and quality of life ... now and forever.

inside: from our president The legacy of the norris family stopping The road to nowhere Today’s challenges A plan for the future

Saving Southwest Florida The expanded $33 Million Campaign

Generously underwritten by Lavern Norris Gaynor and Naples Backyard History

Leading the way t o s av i n g s o u t h w e s t f l o r i d a


The Conservancy of Southwest Florida thanks the community and business leaders on our Board of Directors who are passionate about protecting our quality of life ... now and forever.

Chairman Dolph von Arx

Board of Directors

Vice Chairman Andrew D.W. Hill

Dawn Allyn

Edith G. Andrew

Jennifer Cheng

Ted Corbin

Paul Corddry

Sue Dalton

John D. Fumagalli

Jonathan Green

John Hall

Robert L. Heidrick

Rich Housh

Colleen Kvetko

Maureen Lerner

Lisa Merritt

James T. Murphy

Jane Pearsall

Jeannie Smith

Kermit Sutton

Judith C. Tryka

Gene Windfeldt

Past Chair Nicholas G. Penniman IV

President & CEO Andrew McElwaine

Treasurer Gary L. Thomas

Secretary Pamela C. Williams

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 1

president’s note


1450 Merrihue Dr. Naples, FL 34102 Director of Marketing & Communications Senior Editor/Writer Barbara J. Wilson Writers Lynne Howard Frazer Lois A. Bolin


Graphic Design Kate Kintz


45 years later, the Conservancy work is just beginning

18 Visit us at

The people and the story of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Backyard History, we are able to share with you our region’s great conservation successes as well as the unfinished work ahead to preserve Southwest Florida.

today’s challenges

environmental “entrepreneurs,” including the Norris family, had not become

Conservancy Main Number

engaged, involved and passionate about protecting our paradise beginning in


1964. Their success in protecting Rookery Bay along with many other natural

Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic 239.262.CARE (2273)

areas has created a lasting legacy --- one that lets us enjoy the beauty and bounty

Volunteer Information 239.403.4212


A tribute to the people who have made leadership gifts of $1 million or more to the Campaign

We hope you enjoy reading about the history of conservation in Collier County, the role the Conservancy has played in our region since 1964, and learning about our

Our members and supporters know that collectively we have both the ability and


The expanded $33 million Capital Campaign goal

leadership gifts

region and quality of life by working together


4 the campaign

of our land and water for tourism, recreation and personal enrichment.

current environmental challenges. We can save all that we hold dear about our

The actions we take today impact our future

Collier County’s Social Entrepreneurs

stopping the road to nowhere

this publication. Thanks to a generous gift from Lavern N. Gaynor and Naples


Membership Information 239.403.4207

spring 2009 x

the legacy of the norris family

As the Conservancy celebrates its 45th anniversary, I am delighted to bring you

Southwest Florida today would be a very different place if a group of social and

in this issue: president note

Dear Friends,

Publishing services provided by: Gulfshore Life Magazine 9051 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 202 Naples Florida, 34108 239-449-4111

the responsibility to protect our environment and preserve our quality of life in the region. Many have demonstrated this through their financial commitment that helped us surpass our initial $25 million Capital Campaign goal and have provided the impetus to expand that goal to $33 million. Even though it is our 45th anniversary, in many ways our work is just beginning. I invite you to join us as so many other community leaders and residents have chosen to do. Help us secure a clean, productive and safe future for our children and grandchildren. The time is now.


Andrew McElwaine President and CEO Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Protecting Southwest Florida’s unique natural environment and quality of life ... now and forever.

2 Savi ng So u t h we s t F lo ri d a

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 3

T h e




Family C o lli e r

S o c i al

C ou n t y ’ s

E n t r e p r e n e u r s By Lois A. Bolin

4 Savi ng So u t h we s t F lo ri d a

Lavern Norris Gaynor sits on her father’s lap (Lester Norris) while mother Dellora (R) and the multiple generations of the Norris family dote on the new addition.


merson said that a great man is willing to be little. That sentiment can apply to families as well. There are few families who have given so much to Collier County and by their own expressed desires expected so little in return than Lester and Dellora Norris and their daughter Lavern N. Gaynor.

Best defined as “social entrepreneurs,” the Norris

family identified problems on a large scale, acted

been targeted not only towards immediate, smallscale effects, but sweeping, long-term change.

as change agents for society and seized opportunities others missed. Their actions improved systems

The Norris’ began providing contributions and sup-

and advanced sustainable solutions to create social

port to our community in 1945. Since that time, their

value above profits. Without the vision and pas-

contributions have been never-ending.

sion of this socially entrepreneurial family for our

their greatest contribution of all was in 1964 with

community and environment, Collier County would

the founding of the Collier County Conservancy, now

indeed not be the paradise it is today. Their work has

known as the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.


Conservancy of Southwest Florida 5

Love of Southwest Florida

Lester Norris was born in Elgin, Illinois and was a commercial artist and cartoonist for The Chicago Tribune. He married his high school sweetheart, Dellora F. Angell, and had three sons and two daughters. During the Great Depression, a winter school on Keewaydin Island failed and the Norris family began their investment in southwest Florida. The Norris family purchased the former school on the north end of Keewaydin Island and ultimately converted it into an inn for friends and winter guests.

A Vision to Protect the Everglades

The Norris’ had an intense desire to protect and conserve southwest Florida so it never would look like the east coast of Florida. George Vega, the attorney on the Conservancy founding committee, remembers that intense desire. He recalls when Doug Hendry, the County Sheriff at the time, told Lester Norris about the chain saws and crews he saw headed to Big Cypress Bend in 1957. He said, “It took Lester all of two days to buy the land to stop the logging that was in the works.” Ultimately, Norris gave $67,000 and the 640-acre property to the State as Big Cypress Bend. Big Cypress Bend was the start of what was to become the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, vital to Western Everglades restoration.

Protecting Wiggins Pass

Lavern Gaynor, the Norris’ eldest daughter, remembers her mother, Dellora, often taking her to Wiggins Pass and lamenting on how Wiggins Pass reminded her of Key Island. Mrs. Norris realized that this precious natural resource was essential to the community’s quality of life and encouraged Lester to implement a program to save Wiggins Pass from development. Norris helped fund the pavilion at Delnor Wiggins Pass State Naples Daily News, 1970. Lester Norris is presented with a certificate of appreciation for his donation of land for the Big Cypress Bend Preserve. Pictured from right to left: Russell Train of the federal Environmental Quality Commission, Nat Reed representing Gov. Claude Kirk and Park Service Rangers, Dan Raftery

6 Savi ng So u t h we s t F lo ri d a

Park and provided interest-free funding for the land purchase. Mary Ellen Hawkins, State Representative at the time, came to the Naples area at the encouragement of Lester Norris. While the Norris’ asked to not have their names on any contributions, Mary Ellen took it upon herself to blend the first three letter of Dellora’s name with the first three letter of Norris – thus Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park was christened.

A Rose by Any other Name

Lester Norris began a project to provide restrooms at Naples’ first beachfront park. The project became a pavilion and the City Manager, Fred M. Lowdermilk, had the area logged on the books as “Norris Park,” a befitting recognition to its supporter. Lester Norris disagreed. In an amusing twist of events, Norris won out despite the park board’s recommendation and what could have been Norris Park is now Lowdermilk Park!

The Conservancy honored Dellora and Lester Norris with medals honoring them for their dedication to protecting the region’s natural environment.

What if ...

What would our community look like today if the Norris’ hadn’t purchased an initial 60 acres of land to protect Rookery Bay? That first step ultimately led to a

today, probably much like the east coast of Florida.

drive to buy 1,600 acres now totaling 6,000 acres to

values of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

protect Rookery Bay. What if five miles of Keeway-

came from a larger than life family whose willing-

din had not been purchased to support the Rookery

ness to be little has kept the magic in this place

Bay estuary? What if Lester Norris never purchased

we call home very alive and oh so well.

The willingness of the Norris Family to care for the greater whole is the extraordinary legacy they leave as a model for us to follow. The inherent

or deeded Big Cypress Bend to the state? Would we now have the Fakahatchee Strand State Pre-

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is dedicat-


ed to protecting our unique natural resources and

What if the natural asset now known as

Delnor Wiggins State Park had not been saved for

quality of life, living the values and ideals of Lester

the public? What about Lowdermilk Park?

and Dellora Norris. We invite you to join us as the Conservancy begins its 45th year and continues

The “what ifs” can and do go on. The point is made.

its mission in honor of this exceptional family’s

Southwest Florida would be a very different place

quiet, but passionate, love for our community.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 7


hat do corporate executives, retired military personnel, a television personality and city council members have in common? Journey into the history of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the power of grassroots efforts.

It’s 1964. Naples, a quiet backwater community barely on the map, was about to make national headlines. A new road was planned as an extension of Kelly Road (now Bayshore Drive) slated to run through the heart of Rookery Bay. The 10-mile road extension would invade mangroves and barrier islands and was ranked No. 4 on Collier County’s road priority list. Those who understood the importance of Rookery Bay knew it was time to take action.

Stopping the to



8 Savi ng So u t h we s t F lo ri d a

Several local citizens – including Lester Norris, a retired Texaco executive; Naples attorney George Vega; Charles Draper, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel; Joel Kuperberg, a Naples city council member; and Nelson Sanford, a retired lumber executive – immediately began to work together to fight what they dubbed “The Road to Nowhere.” On Lester Norris’ porch at the Keewaydin Club, they planned their strategy. Vega launched a petition campaign against the proposed road, and two days later, during a special commission meeting, he dramatically unrolled a 30-foot-long list with more than 1,000 signatures, telling the commissioners, “These are the people opposed to the road. Now where are the people who want it?” The commissioners agreed to have the road built only to the north end of Rookery Bay. The extension was never begun, and an attempt to revive the road idea a year later was unsuccessful.

Edited by Barbara Wilson In October, 1965 officials of the Conservancy signed an option to purchase the first 1,600 acres in the proposed Rookery Bay Sanctuary. Pictured are Glenn Parker, Glenn Allen, Addison Wood, Doug Hendry, Archie Turner and Lester Norris Conservancy of Southwest Florida 9

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that has ever has.” – Margaret Mead 1981, the Conservancy Nature Center opened, featuring a 250-seat auditorium, museum, nature store, classrooms and laboratory.

Famed television star Arthur Godfrey jests with Willard Merrihue in 1971 following a successful kickoff of a fundraiser at Naples High School.

Conservancy founders Charles Draper, left, and Mr. and Mrs. Lester Norris study map of the proposed Rookery Bay Sanctuary in 1965.

Within a year, the group had arranged to purchase 2,600 acres. A two-year fund-raising campaign was launched to pay off more than $400,000 for the new sanctuary land.

For the next five years, the new environmental organization continued to acquire land for conservation in Collier County, and in 1971 launched an ambitious campaign to raise $600,000 to pay for the acquisition of lands to permanently protect the perimeter of Rookery Bay. To kick off the campaign, radio and television personality Arthur Godfrey, also a noted environmentalist, agreed to make a pitch to the community. He was more successful 10 S avi n g So u t h we s t F l o ri d a

than he planned. Within three months, the original goal of $600,000 was surpassed. The Collier County Conservancy began to diversify, expanding its work as primarily a land acquisition organization to include work in environmental research. The organization was soon involved in the prevention of the wholesale destruction of wetlands caused by the “dredge-and fill” construction of waterfront home sites on Marco Island. With this victory, the Collier County Conservancy took on a new role, offering environmental expertise to planners and developers to ensure environmentally sensitive and balanced growth. The Conservancy also operated a small clinic for injured native wildlife, which launched the Conservancy into another vital area of conservation – wildlife rehabilitation. In 1976, the Big Cypress Nature Center, located on a five-acre site on Goodlette-Frank Road, merged with the Collier County Conservancy, becoming the education division of the conservation organization. Two years later, the Conservancy acquired its current 14-acre parcel of land just south of the Big Cypress Nature Center site. In

Rookery Bay today is a prime example of a nearly pristine subtropical mangrove forested estuary.

45 Years Later:

Celebrat i ng

ture for Forty Na

Despite opposition from pro-growth supporters, donations poured into the Conservancy, and within seven months the fundraising goal had been met.

By its 20th anniversary in 1984, the Collier County Conservancy had become a respected environmental institution, and to emphasize its non-affiliation with Collier County government, the organization changed its name to the Conservancy, Inc.

What started out as the Collier County Conservancy became the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in 1996. This name change clearly reflected its growing regional focus including Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties. The Conservancy mission remains essentially the same as it was in 1964 – to protect the unique natural environment of Southwest Florida. Years

Knowing “The Road to Nowhere” could continue to be revived year after year, that first grassroots group decided to form an organization that could permanently protect Rookery Bay. Kuperberg noted later that “after considerable discussion, it was the will of the group that the Collier County Conservancy be organized.”

, Florida began a willing seller program to buy back an environmentally-sensitive area in Southern Golden Gates Estates for Everglades restoration. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida worked on the time-consuming process of tracking down 17,000 land owners in 2 1/2 years, opening the way for Everglades restoration.

Willard Merrihue, a former General Electric executive, retired to Naples in 1967 and in 1968 became the president of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, then known as the Collier County Conservancy. He, along with the founders of the Conservancy, including Lester Norris, successfully raised over $600,000 to acquire acreage surrounding Rookery Bay. The combined effort helped save Rookery Bay, its mangroves and its wildlife. Following the successful fundraising campaign, Merrihue had a vision to prevent the Naples area from becoming another over-developed Miami or Fort Lauderdale. In 1971, Merrihue expanded the Conservancy mission from land purchases to “concentrate on the threats to the environment in Collier County” and the core belief that all decisions must be based on bestavailable science. Merrihue went on to expand the Conservancy role in environmental science, wildlife rehabilitation, advocacy and environmental research. By 1979, Merrihue was the driving force behind the $1.5 million fundraising campaign to create the Conservancy Nature Center. By the time the Nature Center opened in 1981, all but $200,000 had been raised. He retired as president and chairman of the board for the Conservancy in 1982. Merrihue continued his hands-on involvement as a board member and donated the majority of funds, and his hard work, to remove exotic vegetation from the Nature Center in 1984. Merrihue Drive, the entrance road to the Conservancy, is named in his honor.

e fiv

Preparing for the Future

In 1985

Memories of Merrihue

Attending the Naples Civic Association luncheon are Conservancy founder, Lester Norris, Conservancy President, Willard Merrihue and Naples Community Hospital Board Chairman, James Hullett. Photo: The Naples Star, 1972 Conservancy of Southwest Florida 11



But now, the pressures on southwest Florida’s quality of life are staggering. Explosive growth threatens to devour our resources, our water, our land and our quality of life. By Barbara Wilson

AT one time, mother nature had southwest Florida all to herself.

There are great concerns about the future of our water – whether it will be clean, whether there will be enough. We are struggling to save as many as 60 endangered and threatened species from disappearing during our lifetime. We face enormous challenges. Over a million acres of rural lands in our five county region are proposed for development.

12 S avi n g So u t h we s t F l o ri d a

We have beaches being closed due to unclean water. We’ve experienced shortages in clean drinking water. The future of Lake Okeechobee is unclear. All of the special things that have driven us to southwest Florida are in threat of disappearing – and that has huge consequences for our way of life and our economic opportunities. You can help.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 13

Water worries WILDLIFE WATCH

get involved! sign up for our e-newsletter!


With input and assistance from the Conservancy, two strong, effective fertilizer ordinances were recently adopted in the City of Naples and Lee County. These ordinances establish best practices for reducing fertilizer-polluted stormwater runoff at its source. This is a very important first step to improve our regional water quality and stem future harmful algal bloom outbreaks, fish kills and other environmentally detrimental effects of nutrient pollution.

Water shortages. Red tide. Polluted beaches. Dead fish washed ashore. These water issues are not just recent headlines – they impact our daily lives on a regular basis. Man creates the largest impact on the quality of our water – and we have the power to make a difference and protect our quality of life.

BANDIT ADVOCACY Conservancy policy staff, including Jennifer Hecker and Nicole Ryan, lobby local, state and federal decision-makers on issues that will reduce pollutants into our Bays, including management of Lake Okeechobee water releases and the proper management of stormwater runoff.

POLLUTION POLICE Crabs and sea grasses help us better understand water conditions and freshwater flow into our estuaries. Dr. Jeff Schmid, Conservancy biologist, has been conducting a study in Estero Bay that will ultimately assist regulatory agencies to establish proper water management practices that will control fresh water flows into Estero Bay for optimum water quality and survival of estuarine life.

HOOKING $60,000 Snook, redfish and tarpon are just a few of the species of marine life in southwest Florida. Over the last decades, the southwest Florida bays and the waters of the Ten Thousand Islands have undergone dramatic changes from human encroachment – including altered water flows and pollution from stormwater runoff. As the habitat changes, the fish populations change as well. Yet, a study has not been done in over 30 years. More than 50 teams participated in the second annual 2008 RedSnook Catch & Release Charity Tournament on Oct. 3-5. The $60,000 raised will support the Conservancy Juvenile Gamefish Study to help ensure that our waters remain viable for sportfishing far into the future. Board member, Andy Hill was chairman of the event. Legendary Angler, Roland Martin is honorary chair for the RedSnook Tournament

14 S avi n g So u t h we s t F l o ri d a

“Bandit” was a gopher tortoise crushed by a car at Barefoot Beach Preserve in Naples, Florida. His shell was split open and his spine and pelvis were badly damaged. Bandit was the seventh gopher tortoise hit by a car at Barefoot Beach Preserve in 2008 – despite numerous signs cautioning people to watch out for them. In fact, it was the demise of another tortoise that led to Bandit’s name – earlier in the year he moved into a burrow abandoned by a tortoise who had been hit by a car in the same spot as Bandit. By the time Bandit arrived at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, his back legs and the back half of his body were paralyzed. The Conservancy Wildlife Rehabilitation team, unpaid veterinarians and community volunteers fed him and treated his cracked shell and broken body. Each morning after therapy, Bandit was strapped to a scooter with wheels that he used as a rehabilitation tool to try to get his mobility back. Bandit had become somewhat of a local and an international sensation when his story appeared on local television, in the Naples Daily News and even in the London Times. Sadly, Bandit’s injuries were too severe and he passed away in December 2008. This tragedy did not need to happen. Bandit’s story serves as a reminder that we share our unique landscape with an amazing collection of wildlife that we need to be aware of and help look after.


water worries

Help save our wildlife.

As development destroys natural habitat, native wildlife is forced to adapt – or disappear. Non-native species introduced into our region seriously disrupt delicate ecological balances, jeopardizing native species almost to the point of extinction. Protecting wild lands is key to protecting our native wildlife – and us. Together we can develop a broad palette of strategies to meet the wildlife survival challenges before us.

Sea Turtle Protection The Conservancy has been monitoring sea turtle nests on Keewaydin Island, a barrier island located off the coast of Naples, since 1981. Research data gathered by Conservancy biologist, Dave Addison and other Conservancy science staff includes: number of nesting sites, frequency of nesting, measurements of nesting sea turtles, and egg and hatchling numbers. Conservancy staff and interns also put metal cages over the nests to protect them from predators. Over 250,000 sea turtle hatchlings have been protected during the course of the Conservancy sea turtle work.

Flying Free Conservancy of Southwest Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic (WRC) team released a bald eagle back into the wild at Mediterra in North Naples in June. The eagle had spent the prior five months recovering from a broken left wing. “It was one of those success stories we weren’t sure would happen,” according to Joanna Fitzgerald-Vaught, WRC Manager. The WRC treats over 2,400 injured, sick and orphaned wildlife and successfully releases about half of them back into the wild. Conservancy of Southwest Florida 15

SMART Growth


“... the bulldozer and not the atomic bomb may turn out to be the most destructive invention of the 20th century. Phillip Shabecoff, author, “Earth Rising,” – New York Times, June, 1978

Although wetlands are now recognized for the vital ecological services they provide, such as water storage, water purification and protection from flooding, these wild lands continue to disappear as development moves ever-eastward into inland areas. The destruction of the multitude of small wetlands has added up. Essentially, we now need an amount of additional water storage similar to that held in Lake Okeechobee in order to sustain our water supply and environment in south Florida.

Nature’s nurseries Mangroves, with their sturdy prop roots, are natural coastal barriers against hurricanes and erosion. But the tough, tenacious trees can’t stand up to more insidious problems such as pollution and changes in water flows. Often called “nature’s nurseries,” nearly 75 percent of the important commercial and recreation fish and shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico spend part of their lifecycle amid the mangrove forests in our estuaries. Disappearing mangroves results in disappearing marine life. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has been involved with the study and tagging of over 5,000 mangrove tress to help understand why mangroves are disappearing so we can help restore them and provide protection to our fish populations and to protect us from dangerous storm impacts. 16 S avi n g So u t h we s t F l o ri d a

Over the past several decades, Florida has lost valuable natural lands and agriculture areas at an alarming rate. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida works to balance economic vitality with environmental integrity and sustainability within the region to protect the quality of life we enjoy for future generations in Collier, Lee, Glades, Charlotte and Hendry counties. To protect our quality of life, Conservancy staff work with planners and developers on comprehensive land management plans so development does not occur on a piecemeal basis. We work collaboratively to find ways to appropriately accommodate future growth while ensuring environmental resources are protected.

POPULATION Escalation A 2060 “build out” worstcase scenario assumes that about 7 million acres of land statewide will be “urbanized.” This urbanization will be sourced from current agricultural lands, open lands and native habitat. The “smart growth” work undertaken by the Conservancy today is critical to preventing this worst case scenario.

Population growth by county

Permanent Population

A study released in 2006 by the 1,000 Friends of Florida organization predicted that the state’s current rates and patterns of land consumption, left unchecked, would result in wide-scale loss and fragmentation of Florida’s vital natural places. Rapid development will not only encroach on lands vital to the survival of our wildlife, it will also take its toll on wetlands, vital to our survival.

Disappearing Wild PLaces


SMart Growth

TODAY! JOIN. DONATE. Volunteer. Shop. learn.

EDUCATION & OUTREACH The environment is no longer a special interest – it’s a community interest. We all need air, water and green spaces. Conservancy Education Manager, Troy Frensley and his team develop interactive programs to help the southwest Florida community understand and participate in the complex and interconnected environmental issues we face.

BUILD OUT PLAN The Conservancy is working diligently to ensure that some of the last remaining natural lands in Collier County are protected. While landowners, developers and consultants were trying to bypass an established system for reviewing the development plans in the eastern Collier County Rural Lands Stewardship Area (RLSA,) the Collier County Board of Commissioners agreed with the Conservancy that the plans be reviewed through the established process, allowing a public review and proper vetting through the County Environmental Advisory Council and Collier County Planning Commission.

“It’s so important that ongoing Everglades Restoration monitoring continues. Otherwise, it’s like putting a new drug out on the market without studying its side effects.” – Kathy Worley, Conservancy Biologist/ Co-Director of the Environmental Science Department Conservancy of Southwest Florida 17


Raising $33 million for our water, our land, our wildlife and our future. New Goal

$33 Million

The Expanded Campaign to Raise $33 Million. Many generous friends have helped the Conservancy surpass its original Campaign goal of $25 million. Raising a new total of $33 million will enable us to green our campus and buildings, add a new Discovery Center and increase our endowment to continue protecting our region for generations to come.

Get Involved!

$26 Million Original Goal

The home base of our outstanding team. We are working hard protecting the future of our region.

Conservation Hall

New technology and a beautiful auditorium will welcome guests for meetings, lectures, films and exciting events.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic

Thousands of creatures find their way to us each year for treatment.

Gateway to the Conservancy & Gordon River Greenway

33,000,000 32,000,000 31,000,000 30,000,000 29,000,000 28,000,000 27,000,000 26,000,000

To Date

Environmental Planning Center

Sm i

th P

r es



W ay

25,000,000 20,000,000 15,000,000 10,000,000 5,000,000 1,000,000

The Campaign for Saving Southwest Florida (Millions) Create a World class nature center conserve our natural resources Gateway to the COnservancy & Gordon river greenway










Build a strong endowment $5.4






Totals 18 S avi n g So u t h we s t F l o ri d a

Raised New Goal Needed

Discovery Center

Come face-to-face with Southwest Florida’s past - present - and future.

Learning Laboratory

The Conservancy is preparing the environmental leaders of tomorrow!

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 19

Environmental Planning Center

Discovery Center

This new 17,000 square foot building will be the headquarters and collaboration center for our team of policy analysts, scientists, educators and environmental research associates to develop and implement the strategies for the future of our region. The public will be able to view first-hand how new green technologies and simple practices can provide environmental and economic benefits. Total Goal Raised NEEDED

$ 4.3 Million $ 2.2 Million $ 2.1 Million

The new family-friendly Discovery Center will take visitors into the wondrous ecosystems of Southwest Florida with new exhibits on the Everglades, beaches, mangroves, the past and future of our environment and more



Naming Rights for the Building $2 Million

Introduction & welcome area $250 Thousand

Science Labs & Offices - North $350 Thousand Administration Offices - South $250 Thousand education Offices - North $250 Thousand volunteer Offices $100 Thousand conference room $100 Thousand Offices (7) EACH $25 Thousand

Exhibits: The uplands $300 Thousand western everglades $500 Thousand mangroves $150 Thousand on the beach $200 Thousand under the sea $500 Thousand florida’s future $250 Thousand

As part of our commitment to develop the environmental leaders of tomorrow, the Learning Lab will bring the work of the Conservancy to life with an interactive educational experience. The Laboratory will be equipped with innovative technology, tools and resources to educate the public and inspire our community to protect the natural wonders of our region.

What began as a Cypress-paneled auditorium is transforming into a 21st century conference center with a state-of-the-art theater and the capacity to host lectures, conferences and events.

$ 1.8 Million $ 1.4 Million $ 400,000

$ 3.1 Million $ 1.5 Million $ 1.6 Million

Learning Laboratory

Conservation Hall Total Goal Raised NEEDED

Total Goal Raised NEEDED

SAMPLE NAMING OPPORTUNITIES Theatre $500 Thousand Reception desk $200 Thousand Catering Kitchen $150 Thousand

SAMPLE NAMING OPPORTUNITIES hands-on Learning lab $250 Thousand Classrooms (3) $100 Thousand (each) naturalist Office (2) $25 Thousand (each)

“Green” Room $50 Thousand

Total Goal Raised NEEDED

20 S avi n g So u t h we s t F l o ri d a

$ 1.3 Million $ 1.1 Million $ 200,000

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 21


Leadership Gifts

Discovery Center “Naples is our chosen home – we love it. We appreciate how the Conservancy of Southwest Florida has been greatly responsible for protecting Southwest Florida over the years. The Conservancy is in major need of rebuilding and we believe that supporting a new Discovery Center is extremely important to teach and involve newcomers in the Conservancy mission and help develop the next generation of conservationists.” - Sue & Bill Dalton, Leadership gift for Discovery Center

Conservation Hall The late Dorothy Blair

Sue & Bill Dalton

Bob & Connie Eaton

Geri Martin,

The Martin Foundation, Inc.

“We are all very fortunate to live in Southwest Florida and it is our responsibility to support the Conservancy in its effort to preserve the gifts of nature: clean and abundant water being one of the most important.” -Bob & Connie Eaton, Leadership gift for the Conservation Center.

Environmental Planning Center

Nancy Seeley, The Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation

Lynne & Chip Shotwell

Jeannie & Christopher B. Smith


he Conservancy of Southwest Florida thanks all of our Capital Campaign supporters for their enthusiasm and commitment that has allowed us to expand the campaign to $33 million and complete additional critical elements on our campus and for our endowment.

The extraordinary generosity of those who pledged leadership gifts of $1 million and above, and all who have participated to date, helped the Campaign surpass its original $25 million goal. Please join us in our effort to Save Southwest Florida by getting involved in the Campaign and considering how your gift might make our home a better place to live. Call Robert Moher, VP of Development & Marketing at 239.403.4205 to learn more.

22 S avi n g So u t h we s t F l o ri d a

Dolph & Sharon von Arx

THE Blair Legacy The Conservancy gratefully acknowledges the lifetime contributions of the late Mrs. Dorothy R. Blair to the cause of conservation, including her decision early in the campaign to assist the Conservancy in purchasing the 8 acre Fleishman property. This property acquisition was vital in allowing us to link Goodlette Frank Road to our revitalized campus and help create a significant new preserve in the heart of Naples.

“It seems very appropriate to be funding one of the first green public buildings in our own community. The Environmental Planning Center is a big step for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and I am pleased and proud to be part of this critical effort to move toward sustainable building,” says Geraldine Martin, Conservancy of Southwest Florida supporter. - Geri Martin, The Martin Foundation, Inc.

Learning Laboratory

“I wanted to give the Conservancy a boost as it moves forward with this important campaign. If people who move to Southwest Florida’s paradise don’t protect the area, they will lose it. This gift will help in the critical task of educating the public.” - Nancy Seeley, Leadership gift from the Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation for the new Learning Laboratory

Conservation Policy “Being second generation supporters to the Conservancy provides a lot of long term perspective for us. Though the Conservancy has grown in size, the breadth and depth of the issues it tackles are increasing at an even faster pace. Our leadership gift to the campaign is directed at strengthening the immediate and long term needs for policy and science-based advocacy. We believe strongly in the Conservancy’s talented and tenacious staff and its proven ability to get the job done.” - Lynne and Chip Shotwell, Leadership gift for Conservation Policy Endowment.

Gateway to the Conservancy & Gordon River Greenway “As new residents and long time visitors of Naples we felt obliged to get involved in the community. It didn’t take long to realize what the Conservancy is doing to protect Southwest Florida’s unique beauty, resources and inhabitants.  We are pleased to support this vital organization.  Our hope is that a new entrance to the Conservancy will help bring more awareness to the organization and its tireless efforts. “ - Jeannie and Christopher B. Smith, Leadership gift for the Gateway to the Conservancy & Gordon River Greenway

Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic “The Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic has an important dual role in caring for and rehabilitating injured wildlife, but also introducing more people to the Conservancy than any other program. We chose to make a leadership gift to build the new Clinic with the hope that it will enable the Conservancy to expand and enhance its work.” - Dolph and Sharon von Arx, Leadership gift for the new Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 23

Supporting the

Giving to Save


southwest florida

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida thanks our generous donors to date for

The Campaign for the Conservancy. Align, LLC Mr. and Mrs. William C. Allison Mr. and Mrs. Lew Allyn Mr. Joshua J. Allyn The Martin Foundation, Inc. Anonymous (1) Aveda Corporation Baldwin Foundation Banbury Fund, Inc. Barron Collier, Jr. Foundation, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Albert J. Beliveau, Jr. Mr. Paul G. Benedum, Jr. Bergstrom Foundation Mrs. Dorothy R. Blair * BNY Mellon Wealth Management Mr. Edward Bransilver Mr. Melvin Burkhardt * Ms. Mary F. Bushnell Mr. and Mrs. William L. Byrnes Mr. and Mrs. W. Robert Clay Community Foundation of Collier County Mr. and Mrs. William P. Conklin Mr. and Mrs. Paul I. Corddry Mrs. Nancy F. Seeley Mr. and Mrs. Blake Dillon Mr. and Mrs. John F. Donahue Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Drackett Mrs. Jeanne H. Drackett Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Eaton Mr. and Mrs. William L. Dalton Everglades Foundation Mr. and Mrs. David C. Farrell Mr. and Mrs. Daniel C. Ferguson Mr. and Mrs. John W. Fisher Mrs. Lilian H. Fisher Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Fogg, III Dr. and Mrs. Morton Friedman Mr. H. Furgatch Mrs. Lavern N. Gaynor

Mr. and Mrs. Philip O. Geier, Jr. Elsa and George Gibson Ms. Phyllis Gibson Mr. and Mrs. George Green, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Guild, Jr. Gulf Bay Group of Companies Mrs. Marjorie H. Hagan * Mr. and Mrs. John R. Hall Mrs. Phyllis Hallene Mrs. Joanne Halstead Mr. Stephan H. Hartshorn * Mr. and Mrs. Curran W. Harvey, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Housh Mr. and Mrs. H. Craig Jacobs Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jenkins The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust JP Morgan Private Bank JPMorgan Chase Foundation The Kara Foundation Mr. and Mrs. William G. Kelley The League Club, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Lerner J.D. Loden Financial Services Mrs. Dorothy Lundhal Mrs. Phyllis Maizlish Mr. and Mrs. Jay Merritt Mrs. Barbara W. Moore Mr. and Mrs. Anton Motz Curtis and Edith\Munson Foundation Mr. and Mrs. James T. Murphy National Recreation Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Hugh W. Nevin, Jr. The Elizabeth Ordway Dunn Foundation, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Ott * Mr. and Mrs. David J. Parsons Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Pearsall Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Pearson

Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas G. Penniman, IV Mrs. D’Nyse Pinkerton Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Pruter Mr. and Mrs. Alan B. Rosoff Saldukas Family Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Sidney F. Sapakie Mrs. Patricia S. Schroeder Mr. Douglas D. Schuman Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Schwartz Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Schwartz SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Mrs. Catherine C. Miller Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Selby, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Sherwin Mr. and Mrs. Alfred H. Shotwell, III Mr. and Mrs. Christopher B. Smith Mr. and Mrs. David Byron Smith Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Smith, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Byron Smith Mr. and Mrs. Peter H. Soderberg Ms. Juliet C. Sproul The Stackhouse Foundation The Stranahan Foundation Mrs. Patricia C. Tarnow Mr. and Mrs. Gary L. Thomas Mr. and Mrs. Ron F. Tougas Mr. and Mrs. Tucker Tyler Mr. and Mrs. Peter Vandermark Mr. Henry K. Vandermark Mr. and Mrs. Dolph von Arx Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Andrew Mr. and Mrs. George F. Wasmer Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Wheeler Mr. and Mrs. Frederick W. Whitridge Ms. Pamela C. Williams Mr. and Mrs. Edward T. Yawney

* In Memoriam of Mrs. Dorothy Blair, Mr. Melvin H. Burkhardt, Mrs. Marjorie H. Hagan, Mr. Stephan H. Hartshorn and Mr. Robert E. Ott

24 S avi n g So u t h we s t F l o ri d a

Campaign RESTRICTED AND UNRESTRICTED GIFTS Gifts of any size may be designated for a specific campaign goal chosen by the donor. Or a gift may be made without restrictions. Unrestricted gifts provide flexibility to allocate the funds where they are most needed at the time.

SECURITIES Many donors may realize substantial tax advantages by transferring gifts of appreciated stock. Capital gains on the amount of appreciation are avoided, and the donor receives a tax deduction for the stock’s full market value.

NAMED GIFTS Make a gift in honor of someone close to the Conservancy. Or you can associate your name with a major project, facility or endowment opportunity. The Conservancy will be pleased to provide a list of such opportunities or discuss other naming possibilities.

RESIDENCES AND REAL ESTATE Gifts of residences and real estate can be advantageous ways of making sizable gifts to the Conservancy. Residences can be given, allowing the donor to realize a tax deduction, avoid the capital gains tax and retain lifetime occupancy, if desired.

GIFTS OF CASH Many gifts to the campaign will be cash contributions, for which donors may receive tax benefits if they itemize deductions. Pledges to the campaign may be paid over a period of up to five years.

OTHER PROPERTY Gifts of tangible property may result in an immediate tax deduction for the donor, with the amount of the deduction determined by whether or not the gift is related to the mission of the Conservancy. The gift may also lessen or eliminate the donor’s estate taxes. All gifts-in-kind will be credited to the campaign at the appraised value, including donations of art, equipment, rare books, real estate and similar non-monetary contributions.

PLANNED GIFTS AND BEQUESTS Many donors discover that they can make a substantial gift through planned giving. Donors may enjoy full tax benefits for such contributions, enhancing their own financial situation even as they make a lasting contribution to the Conservancy. Life income gifts such as trusts will be counted at their discounted present value. Gifts of life insurance policies for which the Conservancy is the owner and beneficiary will be counted at cash value. Bequest intentions will be recognized but not counted. The Conservancy can provide more details about planned giving at your request.

MATCHING GIFTS Thousands of companies match donations that employees make to institutions like the Conservancy. Donors are urged to request that their employers match their gifts.

F un ds f o r t h e F ut ur e

Contributions made to the expanded $33 million Conservancy Campaign for Saving Southwest Florida address the challenges we have identified to do our work. However, it is critical to provide continued revenue that will fund future programs to protect Southwest Florida. In conjunction with the Campaign, we have established a goal to achieve an additional $3 million in deferred gift commitments for our “Fund for the Future.” These future gifts will build long-term endowment to sustain the programs critical to our region. Your planned gift or commitment to a designated fund or endowment is a significant way of securing our future. Please join us as we build the Conservancy “Fund for the Future” by including the Conservancy in your charitable gift planning.

For more information, please contact: Christine Kruman, Director of Major and Planned Gifts 239.403.4206

It’s About Time. Naples Cultural Landscape* is a networking of concerned community stewards who believe that time holds value. This value represents traditions of the past and respect for those pioneers who have made those traditions so meaningful. Naples Backyard History, our educational initiative, is working with our EDC, Chambers of Commerce and CVB to position History and Heritage to it’s rightful position. Our past is our greatest teacher. By connecting to the past today, we are connecting our children to their community –to the magic in this place we call home – to the lessons we need to remember. Isn’t it about time we honored those traditions and pioneers of the past? We think so too. Founders: Lavern Norris Gaynor & Lois A. Bolin, Ph.D.

NBYH Mini Museum 1300 Third Street South 239.594.2978

NBYH Historical Aerial Exhibit The Plaza 1170 Third Street South 239.777.2281

Making history more fun ... more available … more meaningful *A Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County

Conservancy Story in Gulfshore Life Magazine  
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