For over 100 years, the Carlton family owned Triangle Ranch and worked the land. Tony and Lela Carlton wanted to see the land protected and gave the Foundation the gift of time to bring a conservation buyer to their property. Over a three-year period, Conservation Foundation elevated the property to the Florida Forever list, and searched high and low for funding, ultimately finding success in a partnership between non-profits, philanthropic foundations, a government agency, and a private philanthropist. Conservation Foundation, The William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, The Morton and Spapperi Family Foundation, Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) and philanthropist Elizabeth Moore came together in order to save this land forever. The ranch is now owned by Ms. Moore, and SWFWMD holds a permanent conservation agreement. Ms. Moore has great passion for conserving the land and is working with Conservation Foundation to restore the land to its optimum natural function.
This conservation project exemplifies the type of projects that Conservation Foundation facilitates: large-scale projects that forever protect all that makes Florida beautiful and vibrant.
Triangle Ranch in Manatee County is just north of the northern boundary of Myakka River State Park. Triangle Ranch is essential to the protection of the Myakka River, its water quality and biodiversity, and our region’s flood protection. More than three miles of the Myakka River winds through Triangle Ranch and conserving the ranch protects,restores and maintains the natural functions of land, water and wetland systems. The 1,105-acre conservation easement and additional deed restrictions on 37 acres will protect these three miles of the Myakka River before it flows into the state-designated “Wild and Scenic” portion of the river in Sarasota County.
The easement provides the opportunity to restore the connection between the Myakka River and the Tatum Sawgrass marsh. The Tatum Sawgrass marsh is one of four depression marshes in the Myakka River valley (the others being Flatford Swamp, Upper and Lower Myakka Lakes) and the least protected. These marshes are responsible for the Myakka River’s water quality, flood protection, and biodiversity.
The protection of Triangle Ranch links and buffers lands already protected including the Myakka River State Park and Crowley Nature Center. In fact, the view from the popular tower at Crowley is a view of the Tatum Sawgrass marsh on Triangle Ranch. More than 120 species of birds and numerous animals from the endangered Florida panther to the threatened crested caracara, call Triangle Ranch their home. As we protect the land and waters of Triangle Ranch, we ensure our natural areas, rivers, streams and woodlands, stay pristine and inviting to residents and tourists alike.
Photos by Glenn Gardner... G2photos