Tuesday, November 20, 2007

James E. Grey Preserve Opening Day

The short story on how this park came to be involves the previous owner approaching my brothers in law about developing it. Recognizing it's potential as a park, they instead negotiated a deal in which the land could be purchased through a combination of public and private funds. Some of that private fund part came from their own pockets as a legacy to their beloved father.
Lots of other people supported and assisted the effort and eventually a dream became reality.

I think it's safe and accurate to say that the park would not exist if those two men had not seized the day over a decade ago.

I'm very proud of them and grateful too.

Here's the ribbon cutting.
A big chunk of that crowd is my wife's immediate family.


There was a kayak outfitter on hand for the opening and every so often a kayak would drift around a bend as we walked the very long boardwalk through the 'Cotee River floodplain forest.


Emma and Corinne met up with two of their idols.

They had all kinds of activities for young children, from lady bug releases and bird feeder building to pictures with fuzzy celebrities.




Happily, the only sounds of construction on this beautiful piece of land was the sound of munchkins building bird feeders.

Isn't that refreshing.

17 comments:

Laura said...

Someday, I'll have to make a trip up there to take a look at it. And you're right, how refreshing that it wasn't developed... into another walmart strip mall!

Similarly, my parents have been instrumental in bringing two small parks to their neighborhood, making it possible for the people who live nearby to walk down to the banks of the river and just sit under the oaks and enjoy the scenery. Many neighbors told them that before the land was turned into a park, they thought the land was owned by the wealthy homeowners on the river. Now they have a beautiful view, high up on the riverbanks overlooking the St. Lucie river.

It's when people care enough to get involved that the impact is far reaching and long lasting.
I'm so glad your in-laws choose to make good use of this land for all generations to come!

Doug Taron said...

It's a beautiful preserve. I've been involved in the land preservation process a couple of times up here in Illinois, and it's always rewarding to see it come together. One of the things that I really enjoy about your blog is getting to see the knids of things that I love about Illinois going on in another part of the country.

roger said...

a grand accomplishment. what a wonderful family.

threecollie said...

What a sweet and significant gift to the people and land of Florida!

Zanne said...

Absolutely spectacular! It's good to know that it's not always about the money.

ArtfulSub said...

You married into a good family. How are ongoing operations and maintenance being financed?

Sharon said...

Looks like a beautiful place and a great day :)

Hurricane Teen said...

That's awesome!! Congratulations to all your family, and congratulations to the Great State of Florida for having yet another preserve made in the face of "development." That is a truly beautiful place...I will have to make it over there sometime.

Dr. Know said...

Happily, the only sounds of construction on this beautiful piece of land was the sound of munchkins building bird feeders.

If you only knew how many times I've moved in the past 20 years in order to escape the damned developers - from Atlanta to Jax Beach, Homestead, Ocala, North Tampa, Coral Springs, Bradenton, Ft. Meyers. Argh - I eventually gave up on the south. Hopefully, the long overdue housing bubble bust will bring some sanity to future development. Naaa.. who am I kidding.

Great job on the park! Soon, the parks, federal and otherwise, will be the only shards of land in FL that aren't covered with garbage tossing, wasteful, exploitive humans who have no respect for anything but themselves and the WallyWorld crowd.

Cathy S. said...

Perfetion=public + private partnerships. Give your in laws a hug. Better yet, give your wife a hug and say thanks from the people of Florida.

SophieMae said...

What a wonderful legacy! And what a tribute that JE's children would do that to honour him!

Great pics! I sent the ribbon-cutting one to Duller. He recognized several people and seemed glad to see the P&R director he hired is still there.

lori said...

that's awsome!

Floridacracker said...

Laura,
Take your camera when you do! The city has a dog park across the river too, so you might bring the Budster.

Doug,
These grass roots projects really add up in providing habitat for the innocent.

roger,
thanks pal. i hope you are feeling better.

3C,
I agree. A fitting tribute to a good man.

Zanne,
Isn't that the most refreshing part!

Artfulsub,
Yes I did.
It's a city park now, so the parks budget will include it.

Sharon,
It was fun!

HT,
We need this good news!

Doc,
If only A/C didn't exist. Florida would have the population of Idaho.


Cathy S,
Will do.
I agree, the buy in is often better when people have a direct stake in preservation project.


Lori,
You bet!

vicki said...

I know how good it feels when your family is instrumental in preserving a bit of this fragile planet for all to enjoy. It's the very best. And all those ribbons floating down- great shot. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, FC!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Vicki,
You too!

threecollie said...

Happy Thanksgiving to one of our favorite families!

Floridacracker said...

Ditto!