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Lee County produces excellent plan for Pine Island Center 40-acre passive-recreation park

August 7, 2013
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

Pine Islanders that visited the exhibit at Matlacha Park Tuesday evening were in for a pleasant surprise. After numerous bad starts over many years, the Lee County Parks and Rec Department finally listened to Pine Islanders and produced an excellent plan for the 40-acre pine flatwoods parcel across the street from the fire department.

Neither Plan A nor B, as they call them, any longer involve bulldozing the property to build open areas for commercial events, ball fields, pavilions, bathrooms, big parking lots or any of the horrible scenarios that would involve destroying this beautiful habitat - the sole remaining native pine flatwoods in Pine Island Center.

Both plans instead involve only nature trails and an observation deck overlooking the mangroves, plus a small parking lot. Plan A includes eight parking spaces, and Plan B includes 12 parking spaces. Eight spaces are enough, but Plan A also involves more hiking trails (about mile total) and is the preferable plan - in my opinion. Both plans provide ADA access.

My thanks to all the Pine Islanders that expressed their views to Lee County on this issue, and a big special thanks to Parks and Rec for listening to them.

I understand Parks and Rec is taking suggestions for naming this new nature-themed park. Send your suggestions to

"Lamey, Jason" at

Phil Buchanan

St. James City



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