Rivergrass Village in Collier County could impede on panther habitat

In a matter of days, rural land in eastern Collier County will transform into a community with thousands of homes. But some people are worried about taking the habitat of animals living there right now.

Rivergrass Village is a long-awaited project for Collier County. The undeveloped area could turn into a rural village of around 2,000 acres. It would consist of 4,000 residential units, bring homes to hundreds.

But the location is an issue.

Kelton Little said that is 2,000 acres of Florida panther territory.

“I don’t think it’s the best idea that’s an excellent natural habitat for a lot of species,” Little said. “That’s a dying breed that’s going extinct and I’d like to keep that around being a native Floridian.”

Little is not the only person who is worried about the big cats. Joshua Cater said it would be a travesty to have the homes of these panthers destroyed just to build new homes.

But the proposed village could bring development to the area, which is something others are looking forward to seeing.

“It’s Florida progress,” Robert Triana said. “We do live out in the sticks, per se. And it may lure people into the area.”

The increased traffic in the area does not bother Triana.

“We have that now,” Triana said. “It could be a good idea.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
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