The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announced its 2020 Conservation Partner of the Year, Manatee Fish and Game Association, for its ongoing commitment to land and water conservation. The Conservation Foundation also honored Beautiful Ponds, Inc., as Volunteer of the Year at its annual Conservation Reception, held virtually this year.
As both a donor and community collaborator, Manatee Fish & Game Association helped to permanently protect Johnson Preserve at Braden River and Felts Audubon Preserve in Palmetto through its generous support. It is currently collaborating on the Manatee County ballot initiative “Vote for Water and Land” which, if Manatee County voters pass, will provide funding to protect drinking water, protect wildlife habitat and create parks.
Beautiful Ponds was recognized as 2020 Volunteer of the Year for its generosity in restoring Conservation Foundation lands to their optimal native state. Beautiful Ponds was a significant resource in exotic removal at Upper Myakka Preserve, Tatum Sawgrass Scrub Preserve and Pine Island Preserve. Thanks to those efforts, native species are returning to areas that were obscured for decades by dense exotic grasses that are now blossoming into beautiful marsh lands and meadows.