Caribbean Gardens

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Caribbean Gardens, Florida
Photo credit: 
Michael Wray

The Naples Zoo is a much loved attraction in Naples, Florida. But the historic zoo and botanical gardens faced closure when the land's owner decided to sell the 165-acre Caribbean Gardens parcel on which they were situated. County voters overwhelmingly approved a bond referendum to acquire the land, but with rising property values, more money was needed. In 2005, at the county's request, TPL stepped in and was able to craft a solution that would bring the land within the county's budget by splitting off two parcels for private sale--one to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. In addition to the 50 acres housing the zoo and gardens, the county protected 80 acres that will eventually be used as a "Central Park" for fast-growing Naples.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.