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Smiths recognized for CLT donation

March 14, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Tuesday evening three members of the Smith family joined former Calusa Land Trust president John Kendall to recognize their land donation to the trust.

The land donation began the creation of the now completed Smith Dewane Gateway and Ward Memorial Bridge project at the St. James Creek Preserve.

In February 2013, Brian and Caron Smith donated four Crestwell Road lots (2 building lots) to the Calusa Land Trust. This kicked off the Crestwell Road project which did not end until January 2018.

Article Photos

From left, Brian Smith, Caron Smith, past CLT president John Kendall and Don Smith.


"That was a very generous offer but the lots were separate from the rest of the preserve by lots owned by Bill and Claudia Dewane," Kendall said. "I personally approached the Dewanes and presented them with an offer under the County's appraised value. They indicated that was unacceptable and countered for an even lower amount. After the closing in July, 2014, they then made a sizable cash donation in appreciation of the land trust's efforts at saving Pine Island."

The CLT paid to have the lots cleared of invasives and with volunteer help planted100 native trees, placed the osprey nest, tiki huts and to the west the Ward Bridge.

This preserve now includes the Smith/Dewane Gateway, the Pine Island Garden Club/Matlacha Hookers Pavilion and the Dennis and Ruth Ward Memorial Bridge and provides Pine Islanders with a family opportunity to passively interact with this fragile subtropical island environment which is so special to all of us.

The CLT is striving to provide public friendly nature sites to supplement its traditional emphasis on mangrove wetlands, salt flats and pine uplands on Pine Island. One such project is the Smith/Dewane Gateway in the St. James Creek Preserve.

The purpose of the CLT is to protect the natural diversity and beauty of the Pine Island region by acquiring, managing and preserving in perpetuity environmentally sensitive or historically important land and to foster appreciation for and understanding of the environment and our past.

If you wish to contribute to the Calusa Land Trust, mail donations to Calusa Land Trust, P.O. Box 216, Bokeelia, FL 33922 or at its website,



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