The Sarasota Audubon Society and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast have announced the selection of Willis Smith Construction as construction manager for their plan to create natural habitat and passive recreation on three of the Quad Parcels at the Celery Fields. Willis Smith joins owners’ representative Steve Suau of Progressive Water Resources and site plan engineering firm Kimley-Horn to round out the project team.
The Celery Fields, a nationally and internationally recognized birding haven and one vital to the community's water quality and flood protection, is buffered from industrial uses on the western edge by four tracts of land known as the Quad Parcels. In October 2020, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners approved a unique public-private partnership which gifted a conservation easement on the northeast, southeast, and southwest Quad Parcels to Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, ensuring protection of these 33 acres forever. Sarasota Audubon Society will manage the properties, and together, the two organizations will create new habitat to attract an even greater diversity of birds and provide additional public opportunities for birding, wildlife viewing, and passive recreation. The design plans will be revealed in the near future. To learn more, visit sarasotaaudubon.org/quad or conservationfoundation.com/quad.