Davie, FL, Voters Approve $25M Open Space Bond

Davie, FL, September 29, 2005: Davie voters have made their views regarding water quality, parks, trails, and natural areas known: they want more of it protected and are willing to pay for it. Today, town voters approved the $25 million Water Quality, Parks, Trails, Wildlife Habitat, and Natural Areas referendum by 60 percent, continuing funding for the town’s successful open space and trails program.

“Without funds from the bond referendum, there was really no other realistic way we were going to protect our unique quality of life.” said Linda Greck, leader of Davie Residents for Open Space, the citizen group working to win approval for the bonds. “Davie’s current rate of development is so rapid that we have no time to delay in protecting those places that make Davie special before they are either all developed or too expensive for the town to buy. I think the voters showed their commitment to slowing growth and conserving natural lands for Davie’s future generations.”

Funds approved by the town’s voters will be used to acquire land to protect the water quality of canals and lakes, preserve and improve wildlife habitat and parks, complete the recreational trails system, and protect natural areas from development. Funds from the program will also enable the town to continue to compete for state Florida Forever land conservation funding. The town’s Open Space Advisory Committee will continue to oversee project selection and open space expenditures. The referendum will mean a contribution of $38 per year for the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 to preserve land and water resources.

“The Davie Open Space Bond was the result of months of careful consideration and an extensive feasibility study,” said Will Abberger, associate director of the Trust for Public Land’s Conservation Finance Program. “I think Davie voters have shown they agree that it makes good fiscal sense to bond for land conservation now to preserve the town’s last remaining open spaces before they’re lost to development.”

The Trust for Public Land’s Conservation Finance program worked with town officials to conduct feasibility research and design the open space measure. The group also assisted the Davie Residents for Open Space, a committee formed to promote the bond by educating voters about the measure.

Davie joins 63 communities in seventeen states across the country voting on new funds for land conservation so far in 2005. Earlier in 2005, voters approved 53 ballot measures for land conservation in fifteen different states raising over $1 billion for conservation and related purposes, including a $100 million measure approved by Pembroke Pines voters in March that earmarked $13 million for parks.

A complete list of results from local and state balloting on conservation and parks is available on-line at www.landvote.org. The results of today’s vote, along with results of all 2005 conservation measures, will be published as a report in early 2006. Results and ballot specifics from past measures since 1994 are also available on the LandVote database at www.landvote.org.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2 million acres of land in 46 states. In Florida, TPL has protected more than 300 sites – over 200,000 acres at a market value of about $500 million. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information please contact us at 850-222-7911 or visit us on the web at www.tpl.org.