With ‘mission accomplished,’ Southwest Florida Land Preservation Trust dissolving

Author: Therese McDevitt, Gulfshore Business
Published: Updated:
Land Trust Board Members: Left to right: Miles “Rocky” Scofield, Dr. Mike Bauer, Scott Cameron, Ellin Goetz, John Sorey Former Naples Mayor, Pat Carroll, Dick Grant, Stanley Hole. Contributed Photo

Southwest Florida Land Preservation Trust mission: “To facilitate public and private interests in creating and preserving the Gordon River Greenway in Collier County for public use, recreation, resource protection and natural area preservation within the riverine system.” 

In 1988, a group of young Collier County professionals who were concerned about the rapid pace of development in the county started the nonprofit Southwest Florida Land Preservation Trust to explore buying land for conservation purposes. 

The founding directors were landscape architect Ellin Goetz; Miles Collier of Collier Enterprises; Lanny Sherwin, then owner and publisher of Gulfshore Life magazine; now-State Senator and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, who was then an attorney; Dick Grant, attorney; the late architect Alfred French; Rick Barber, civil engineer; and Eileen Arsenault, then a board member of Audubon of the Western Everglades and now president of that board; and executive director Ellie Krier, who still serves in that role. 

They soon discovered that the cost of buying significant lands around Collier County would be prohibitive (even in the late 1980s), and after about a year the group pivoted to pursue the idea of creating what is now the Gordon River Greenway. 

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