Advocating for the conservation and preservation of environmentally sensitive lands in Lee County by means of the Conservation 20/20 program.
Conservation 20/20 Background
In 1996 a non-binding referendum was passed by the majority of Lee County voters to fund a conservation lands program through valorem property taxes. Because the majority of the county voted in favor, the tax was continued on an annual basis per the direction of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). eYes on Conservation 20/20 was initially conceived in May of 2016 under the name YES on Conservation 20/20 as a civilian activist group with the same goal as Lee County’s conservation 20/20 program run by the Lee County Parks and Recreation Department. That goal is to preserve our diverse habitats located here in SWFL. The Conservation 20/20 program was established by a broad based citizens group of business owners, realtors, planners, and concerned residents to ensure that critical habitats, such as preserves on barrier islands, upland habitats, wetlands, and buffer land to rivers and streams are protected. Protecting our ecosystems helps preserve economic property values, quality of life, and natural resources.
The eYes on Conservation 20/20 group formed to help inform voters of the need to acquire environmentally sensitive parcels of land in Lee County in order to preserve more of our precious and fading ecosystems here in South West Florida. On November 8th of 2016, 84 percent of Lee County voters approved the Conservation 20/20 referendum to preserve and protect natural habitats. In fact, the referendum tied for first in the nation for highest percentage approval rate for parks and land acquisition efforts, according to the Trust for Public Lands. Now it’s time to keep conserving Lee County’s natural lands by keeping our “eYes” on Conservation 20/20. The language of the referendum is non-binding, which means there is no legal requirement for county officials to increase the amount of preserved land. The “e” was added to make the organization eYes 20/20 to continue the effort made to make the referendum possible, but this time to keep a fire under our local government to keep securing viable parcels of land. As we continue to grow as a county, we must push to increase the amount of preserved land to balance out our rapidly growing population here in Southwest Florida.
What We Do
Organize, publicize, and promote forums and community dialogue
Encourage Lee County elected officials to continue to purchase land for conservation/preservation.
Educate the public about the existing 20/20 Conservation program
Periodically propose changes to the 20/20 program to Lee County elected officials.