VENICE — A dairy farm that served people living in Venice and Nokomis beginning in the 1920s will be Sarasota County’s newest acquisition for its environmentally sensitive lands program.
On Tuesday morning, Sarasota County commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of the 32-acre Edmondson Farm property located at 1877 Edmondson Road, Nokomis for $2.9 million.
The property was at the headwaters of Curry Creek, Brad Edmondson said.
“We’re grateful for Sarasota County’s long history of preservation,” Edmondson said. “Dad always said he wanted the property to become a park, so we’re honoring him.
Brad Edmondson is secretary of Edmondson Farm Inc.
Although she was not called upon to make a presentation, a memo from Parks and Natural Resources Director Nicole Rissler laid out the environmental value of the site.
“Native wildlife and plant species include river otter, gopher tortoise, Sherman’s fox squirrel, wood stork, white ibis, yellow-crowned night heron, little blue heron, reddish egret, giant air plant, butterfly orchid, cinnamon fern, swamp fern, giant leather fern, shoestring fern, netted pawpaw, sugarberry, marlberry, tread-softly, and prickly pear,” the memo stated.
After discussing the property and its value to the county on April 4, 2019, and again on Oct. 7, 2021, the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee made a recommendation to commissioners to purchase the property.
“County purchase of the site will fill a gap in the conservation corridor buffering the creek, an historic waterway connecting to Roberts Bay,” Rissler’s memo stated. “Acquisition will also provide habitat and protection for numerous terrestrial and wading bird species. Acquiring this site will help protect native habitat and the creek’s water quality.”
Funding for the purchase will come from tax millage specifically dedicated by county voters several years ago to the purchase of environmentally sensitive lands.
“I’m very pleased,” Commissioner Nancy Detert said of the purchase. “Any time we can buy that type of acreage, it’s a win for the public.”
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