Save Guana Now celebrates one-year anniversary

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Save Guana Now, the local organization advocating for the preservation of the Outpost property, celebrated its one-year anniversary of nonprofit status last week.

According to Co-founder Nicole Crosby, the organization has accumulated 525 subscribers and gathered donations from hundreds of people around the country.

“It’s pretty amazing how broad the support has become,” she said in an email to the Recorder.

The Outpost property consists of 99 acres of Conservation property located at the end of Neck Road and adjacent to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR). Ponte Vedra Corporation, who owns the property, is proposing to rezone it from Open Rural to Planned Unit Development to build a 66-home subdivision there known as Vista Tranquila.

Save Guana Now members claim development of the property would have a far-reaching impact on the environment and wildlife in the area, including migrating birds, threatened species and species of special concern. The group has also expressed concerns about potential pollution that could contaminate the waterways, as well as increased traffic on Neck Road.

To celebrate its anniversary, Crosby said the organization has released a music video featuring drone photography by Aerial Photography Jacksonville that provides views of the Outpost that the public has never seen before. She said it also features a song performed by Elle Browning that pays homage to Joni Mitchell’s

“Big Yellow Taxi” with the iconic lyrics, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” In their version, Crosby said, the words are, “They paved paradise and put up some building lots.” The video can be viewed on the organization’s website: www.saveguananow.org.

The Save Guana Now co-founder also noted that the organization released its new banner at its beach meeting July 26 that depicts the bald eagle species that can be frequently spotted in tall trees on the edge of the Outpost. The banner features the photography of Graham McGeorge. Crosby added that the organization has distributed several yard signs and bumper stickers over the past year featuring the nature photography of Craig O’Neal, which she said has been very helpful in advancing their efforts.

“The generosity of photographers giving us permission to use their photos has been enormously helpful in telling our story and engaging the public,” she said.

Save Guana Now is currently waiting for the Vista Tranquila proposal to go before the Planning and Zoning Agency and Board of County Commissioners. As of now, no dates for those hearings have been scheduled.

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