Haley Weeks, Land Planner
Bobby Ginn, developer of the Tesoro community in Port St. Lucie, Florida, sacrificed a multimillion-dollar endeavor when he decided to preserve 120 acres of his project (up to $40 million worth of home sites) in order to safeguard an inhabited eagle’s nest and the surrounding land. This property would have been the most expensive and only waterfront property in this luxury golf course community just north of Miami, where houses are selling for up to $5 million. “Some developers would have seen an obstacle in the eagles, sitting in a dead pine tree overlooking a lake and surrounded by acres of nothing but nature. Ginn saw an opportunity not just to protect the environment, but to make the eagles a selling point” (The Associated Press). Ginn, a native of South Carolina, stated “For me, it’s as big an amenity as golf or tennis or a pool. People want to see and enjoy wildlife and they should be able to do it from home.”
Ginn has since partnered with the Audubon of Florida to protect and monitor the eagles using money from his own pocket to help fund the program. His once, prime real estate, is now and forever a conservation area.
In our profession, many of us have or will encounter situations where improvisation and flexibility in planning strategy will make the difference between the success and failure of a project. Whether it is an eagle’s nest, wetlands or even a grand tree, consider nature not as a hindrance but as valuable asset that we sometimes take for granted.
The American Society of Landscape Architects describes Landscape architecture as follows:
“Landscape architecture encompasses the analysis, planning, design, management, and stewardship of the natural and built environments.” If you would like to read the article visit http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23547217/