One of the largest land sales in Southwest Florida since 2012, the county intends to use the 4,000-acre Edison Farms land for future stormwater management, preservation and recreational purposes.
Edison Farms is adjacent to Hidden Cypress Preserve, a Conservation 20/20 preserve, and lands maintained by the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. The land includes habitat for listed species such as the Florida panther and the woodstork.
The acquisition of the Edison Farms parcel will:
- Protect a significant, diverse population of wildlife and plant communities.
- Assist with the distribution of freshwater flows in a natural wetland slough system and adjacent uplands that are part of the headwaters to Estero Bay, the state’s first aquatic preserve.
- Help sustain the region’s groundwater levels, a vital component to the area’s drinking water supply.
- Provide flood relief by facilitating the restoration of historic flow-ways in the region.
- Provide opportunities for nature-based recreation in the southern part of Lee County.
The site had attracted interest from builders because roughly 1,200 acres of Edison Farms has been designated for development of as many as 3,000 homes.
But conservationists argued buying the property, which contains headwaters for three major tributaries into Estero Bay, would improve water quality and preserve important habitat for wildlife.
With the county’s purchase, the land is expected to be preserved into perpetuity.