Beckstead Donation

January 11, 2014

News, Video

The Lemon Bay Conservancy announced today a gift of some 9.77 acres of land on
Thornton Key, adjacent to Palm Island. The donation was made by Garfield and
Dean Beckstead, creators of Palm Island Resort located on Palm Island and the
historic Useppa Island Club located in Lee County. The generous donation, valued
in excess of $600,000, is adjacent to the 30 acre Thornton Key Preserve purchased
by Charlotte County in 2009. Adding this property will greatly expand the scope of
the Thornton Key preserve and will result in one of the largest park and
preservation areas on any barrier island on the southwest coast of Florida.
Jim Cooper, Conservancy President, said, “we are overwhelmed with gratitude for
the generosity of the Becksteads. They have long been valued supporters of the
Conservancy, but this gift is truly extraordinary.”
The donated property consists of a number of buildable residential lots as well as
several acres of environmentally sensitive wet lands which border the “Hidden
Lake” area of Thornton Key. This pristine body of water is, as its name implies,
hidden from view and nearly inaccessible. Islanders and environmentalists that
have found “Hidden Lake” are struck by its beauty and the extraordinary flora and
fauna it supports. The Beckstead’s gift to the Conservancy ensures that none of the
acreage bordering the Lake will ever be developed or disturbed. Further, the
donation of this property should provide a catalyst and strong motivation for other
property owners in that area to donate their sensitive land to the Conservancy.
Garfield and Dean Beckstead, and their wives Sanae and Jamie, are best known in
this area for their ongoing management of Palm Island Resort, the Palm Island
Marina and the historic Useppa Island Club. Both Useppa and Palm Island Resort
are acclaimed as extremely successful developments that have shown great
sensitivity to their fragile barrier island ecosystems.

Lemon Bay Conservancy

About Lemon Bay Conservancy

Founded in 1971, Lemon Bay Conservancy is a not-for-profit land trust based in Englewood, Florida. Our long-range vision is: "To forever protect and preserve the natural features of Lemon Bay, Charlotte Harbor, their surrounding waters and uplands, and vital fish and wildlife habitat, through property preservation, environmental education and advocacy for sustainable land and water conservation policies and practices." To support that long-range vision, we focus our mission in three areas: Saving Land; Environmental education; and Advocacy for sustainable environmental policies.

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