Calusa Land Trust
& Nature Preserve of Pine Island, Inc.
Calusa Land Trust
An all volunteer organization of individuals, families and businesses. We agree that acquiring and protecting natural land is important for retaining the quality of life that makes Pine Island attractive. We are a local, not-for-profit land trust supported by volunteers. They donate their time, talent, financial support and even land to protect our irreplaceable natural resources. All fundraising is done by volunteers for the benefit of the Calusa Land Trust
"Help" - Calusa Land Trust
Become a member and donate
Show your support in the the Calusa Land Trust for our preserve lands on Pine Island.
To protect the natural diversity and beauty of Pine Island. We acquire, preserve and manage environmentally sensitive, historical and archaeologically important sites. We foster appreciation for and understanding of the environment and our past.
Since we began in 1976, our membership has grown from the original 4 founders to over 800 members (almost 10% of Pine Island residents). As of April 2018, we have acquired over 2,400 acres of native wetlands, pinelands and uplands. We manage over 67 parcels and help protect over 2/3 of Pine Island’s mangroves - the heart of our fragile subtropical ecosystem. This protects young fish, birds and wildlife, filters water and protects us from storms.
Most of the stately native pines for which Pine Island was named have been destroyed. At least 80 % of the native palmetto and slash pine uplands upon which they grew have been converted to crops and housing - all in the last 100 years. Only some 8 % have been preserved. The remaining 12% are under constant and unrelenting pressure for conversion for agricultural or urban use. Unless something is done, all of the larger and most significant parcels will be lost within the next five years. Even the small upland parcels interspersed between rural housing could be lost within a few decades.
South Florida was once the domain of the Calusa Indians, a powerful and complex society which had as its homeland the rich estuaries of southwest Florida. Using locally available materials — wood, plant fibers, bone, shell, and sharks' teeth — they fashioned ingenious tools: a saber made by attaching shark teeth with resin to a wooden branch, an axe made by fixing a large, sharpened sea shell to a wooden handle, palm-fiber nets that could capture fish in great quantities. And they painted, carved, and engraved, producing works of art that are known the world over