NAPLES, Fla. - Imagine Central Park in the middle of Naples. The largest environmental campaign in the state is on it's way to making that happen. Tuesday, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida took WINK News on a tour of how it plans to spend $38.5 million.
"It's a whole new day for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida," President and CEO Andrew McElwaine said.
The group exceeded its original goal of raising $25 million. Because of generous donors over the last five years, the conservancy now has $38.5 million to spend.
Twenty million dollars will go to campus improvements, including a pristine environment for a herd of 60 threatened gopher tortoises.
In the last four months, the conservancy has treated a thousand injured animals in a 1,700 square foot building.
McElwaine said they've seen everything from bobcats, to bears, to baby birds. "The major inconvenience is just the difficulty of doing so much work in a small space," he said.
Not the case anymore with a new 5,000 square foot clinic that will have X-ray, surgery, and a permanent vet on site.
Plus, a gallery that will house more than 100 species of live animals is also under construction. That area will educate the public of the major ecosystems by way of water flow from uplands to sea.
A popular attraction at the conservancy is the boat dock and it's guided tours. That whole area will also be reconstructed.
With expansion at a nearby park and the zoo, McElwaine said this corner is set to become the Central Park of Naples. "You put it all together you've got 140 acres of conserved land here."
With so much planned, the conservancy will close for most of the summer to complete construction. They will, however, still take in injured animals.