The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to purchase a 9.57-acre parcel on Mound Key for the Conservation 20/20 Land Acquisition Program.
The property is the last remaining privately held parcel on Mound Key and is adjacent to the boundaries of Mound Key Archaeological State Park. Mound Key is located in Estero Bay and is accessible only by boat.
Initially nominated for the Conservation 20/20 program in March 2006, unresolved title issues delayed consideration and negotiations reached an impasse in October 2008. The property was re-nominated in May 2018.
The island is a significant archaeological site, thought to have been the cultural hub of the native Calusa people. The State of Florida has owned most of Mound Key since 1961, including a dock and hiking trails. For more information about the park, visit bit.ly/MoundKeyISP
The privately held land also includes a dock and has been used in recent years to pasture goats, which will be removed prior to the purchase closing. Information from the Florida Museum of Natural History indicates that the goats should not have negatively impacted the archeological deposits on the island, as goats just eat above ground vegetation and do not dig into the ground.
Conservation 20/20, which has preserved about 29,700 acres since its inception, is Lee County’s environmental acquisition and management program. Conservation lands help the county protect drinking water, enhance water quality, provide nature-based recreational opportunities, protect areas from flooding and provide wildlife habitat. For more information, visit www.Conservation2020.org.