"Conserving Land and Water"
Indian River Land Trust
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About IRLT

Interesting Quote:
Nature does nothing uselessly - Aristotle

A Brief History of IRLT: Highlights

1990 Indian River Land Trust is established in Vero Beach, FL

1992 IRLT helps promote $26 million bond referendum approved by voters to purchase environmentally sensitive land.

1993 Archie Carr Refuge for Sea Turtles Fund - IRLT establishes fund to enable protection of sea turtle habitat in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.

1993-2003 McKee Botanical Garden Purchase and Restoration - IRLT completes ten year, $10 million project culminating in the protection of McKee Garden in perpetuity through a conservation easement held by IRLT.

2004 Environmental Land Bond Referendum - IRLT leads countywide effort for passage of $50 million bond referendum approved by 67% of voters to purchase land and easements to protect our natural, historic and agricultural lands.

2005 IRLT researches and produces computerized map of Indian River County's most important environmentally sensitive lands.

2007 Gopher Tortoise Study - IRLT funds a study in the North Sebastian Conservation Area to determine tortoise populations, carrying capacities of the Preserve, and the potential for relocating tortoises displaced by development.

Protection of Treasure Hammock Ranch - IRLT initiates and facilitates county project to purchase a conservation easement on the 462-acre historic, working cattle ranch containing wetlands, native wildlife, and natural water filtration. This is the first true agricultural conservation easement in the State of Florida.

Protection of Padgett Creek Ranches - IRLT assists with county project to purchase conservation easements on more than 1,600 acres of environmentally significant working cattle ranchland containing the Padgett Branch, a critical waterway leading directly to Blue Cypress Lake and the St. John's River.

2008 Lagoon Greenway – initiated a multi-agency effort to establish and manage miles of trails and boardwalks through 187 acres of conservation lands along the Indian River Lagoon, including a 66-acre property owned by IRLT.

2009 Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail – acquired two parcels totaling eight acres along the Indian River Lagoon which will provide public access to a 40-acre block of publicly managed parcels of oak hammocks, dwindling native scrub forest and essential mangrove swamps, with beautiful views of the lagoon.

2010 August 2010 Historic Quay Dock Road – purchased a 4 acre waterfront property. Planning future kayak launch for IRLT members and guests.

November 2010 completed the purchase of Winter Beach Salt Marsh a 47-acre high salt marsh and mangrove swamp with a ¼ mile of lagoon frontage adjacent to the Spoonbill Marsh conservation area. This acquisition doubles the protected area available to dozen of species of wading birds such as the threatened Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork.

2011 Purchased our largest pieces of conservation property in our 20 year history.

Bee Gum Point - The 111-acre property is one of the last undeveloped wetlands on the barrier island, containing a mile of lagoon shoreline. It situated along the Atlantic Flyway, a major corridor for millions of migrating birds each year, and will remain a natural area for conservation. This purchase was made possible with the Financial assistance of The Conservation Fund.

South Vero Conservation Land – This 185 acres located on the west side of the Indian River Lagoon contains tropical hammocks, wetlands and ponds, as well as a mile of Lagoon shoreline.

2012 Federal Grant - The Indian River Land Trust was awarded a one million dollar grant by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This grant, made available through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, was provided for completing the acquisition of Bee Gum Point.

Pine Island - The Land Trust accepted a donation of 130 acres of premier conservation land. This gift along with the acquisition of 60 acres in March 2012, assembles 190 acre block of significant wadding bird habitat.

2013 Expansion of the Winter Beach Salt Marsh: In an effort to fully protect the Winter Beach Salt Marsh IRLT originally acquired in 2010, we added 5 acres and ¼ mile of shoreline, expanding the property to 52 acres. Now, the IRLT’s salt marsh properties and the County’s adjoining Spoonbill Marsh north of Grand Harbor now make up a nearly 100 acre block of contiguous conservation lands with a mile of protected shoreline.

Purchased Bridge View Properties: The Land Trust acquired another 200+ acres and more than a mile of shoreline property in the spring. In two independent transactions, IRLT acquired a 56-acre and a 150-acre property. These two properties are a critical part of a two-mile stretch of green shoreline in full view from the Barber Bridge.

Additional Accomplishments:
  • IRLT has been an active partner in the improvement and expansion of the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and the historic Jungle Trail.

  • IRLT has been a critical partner in the establishment of the St. Sebastian River Greenway by developing the St. Sebastian River Greenway Plan, adopted by the Indian River County Board of Commissioners, and securing associated lands at risk with the goal of protecting a corridor of native habitat leading into the Indian River Lagoon.