An Oct. 15 fundraiser for “Save Guana Now” raised approximately $2,000 for the grassroots group’s campaign to preserve the 99-acre Outpost currently slated for a housing development.
Held at a log cabin located next to the Outpost on Neck Road, the fundraiser was originally scheduled for earlier in the month but had to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew. Event organizers were pleased with the turnout.
“It was a perfect evening and many neighborhoods were represented at the party, with everyone sharing a passion for saving the Outpost from development,” organizer Nicole Crosby said. “Guests took turns walking out onto the dock where they could face south and view the entire shoreline of the Outpost property that they’re fighting to save.”
Save Guana Now Co-Founder Gary Coulliette provided the entertainment – singing and playing his guitar. Guests were each asked to bring a dish so the maximum amount of funds could be raised for the cause. Supporters dined on a variety of homemade dishes from smoked ribs to Key lime pie made with homegrown limes.
The event also marked the kick-off of the Save Guana Now bumper stickers and yard signs campaign which feature photographs of animals of Guana preserve taken by local photographer Craig O’Neal.
Located near the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Outpost is situated at the end of Neck Road in Ponte Vedra, adjacent to the GTM Research Reserve. The land is currently owned by Gate Petroleum. Save Guana now was founded by Neck Road residents Crosby and Coulliette in response to a zoning application filed by the Ponte Vedra Corp., a subsidiary of Gate Petrolum, in July. The property’s current designation is conservation land, but land owners would like to change the property to residential in order to develop it. The proposed project, “Vista Tranquila,” is a 77-home development that the Save Guana Now group opposes due to concerns over its environmental impact and the amount of traffic such a development would generate.
The group’s primary objective right now, according to Crosby, is to get as many bumper stickers on cars as possible to help raise awareness. The bumper stickers have a suggested donation of $5 apiece and can be ordered online at www.saveguananow.org/bumper-stickers.
This was the first fundraiser for the group; plans for a second fundraiser are already in progress as well as plans for “mini-fundraising events” such as nature hikes or food truck events.