The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Crowley Museum & Nature Center haved announced the permanent protection of 191 acres in Old Miakka. Located on the Myakka River in northeastern Sarasota County, Crowley Museum has served as a natural and cultural museum for more than 40 years. Now, thanks to a collaboration between museum leadership, the Conservation Foundation and Sarasota County, the museum’s 191 acres of Old Florida are protected. The conservation agreement was finalized on August 31.
The Crowley Museum is located on a portion of a farmstead established in 1878. Visitors can discover the history of early Florida settlers as they explore the museum and authentic pioneer buildings. The property is a birding hotspot, and a portion of the land is part of the largest floodplain marsh in the Myakka River basin, called Tatum Sawgrass Marsh. A discovery path offers hands-on learning opportunities for children and a half-mile boardwalk takes visitors through five Florida habitats, including Maple Swamp. The boardwalk ends with a two-story observation tower overlooking the Myakka River and Tatum Sawgrass Marsh. The property connects to more than 120,000 acres of protected land known as the Myakka Island Conservation Corridor.