The Celery Fields in east Sarasota have been important agriculturally and ecologically for more than 100 years, with the family of landowner Mrs. Bertha Palmer farming vegetables—predominantly celery—in the rich muckland from about 1920 on. In 1995, Sarasota County acquired much of the land; the 360-plus-acre site now serves for flood mitigation and as a home to wildlife, walking and biking trails, birders and a Sarasota Audubon nature center. Community groups continue to protest against proposed use of nearby land as a waste transfer facility, preferring to keep the area pristine as nature lovers approach it along Palmer Boulevard.
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