Let’s talk Conservation.
We live in a bustling community! Development is taking place from the Gulf to the Alabama Line and from Bay to Okaloosa.
We know it’s happening. We feel it so much some of us miss the undisturbed pines lining the road, the Choctawhatchee as we cross Clyde B. Wells (US 331) or commute on Highway 20, or the dune lakes as we navigate 30a.
We forget the natural beauty because the activity of man distracts us… a pine tree won’t cut you off in traffic. #knockonwood
But as our home is being developed and invested in what will be left for us? Will we pave paradise and put up a parking lot? Will “greed” win?
If you’re distracted enough, you may just start to believe that there is no hope that it’s only a matter of time before we’re living in a concrete jungle.
But I’d ask you now to sit back and close your eyes… well not just yet. I want you to take a moment. I want you to think about our community and what is good. Yes – you’re going to meditate. Please take time and pause to think about each of the following items and anymore that help you appreciate this place.
• The last time you went fishing
• The last time you waved at your neighbor
• The last time you smiled at a stranger
• The last time you put your feet in the water
• The last time you watched a great blue heron stalk its dinner
• The last time you sat still in silence and gazed at a sunset in its entirety
• The last time you were thankful for a rainstorm
• The last time you spoke with a Sheriff’s Deputy or a Firefighter
• The last time you watched children play in the sand or at a park
• The last time you went to a splash pad
• The last time you took the long way home
• The last time you drove to Gaskin for fresh air
• The last time you enjoyed a conversation at the register
• The last time you thanked a tourist for visiting and fueling our economy
• The last time you hiked to the highest point in Florida
Ok now toss your distraction of man out the window and prepare to enjoy connecting with the conservation of Walton County and the potential of Wonderful Walton County!
The Conservation Reality
… not the fear of the Facebook alarmist.
According to the Annual Assessment of Florida’s Conservation Lands the following is true.
There are 67 counties in the state of Florida.
• Walton County is the 12th largest county in the state of Florida.
• Walton County has 13th most amount of acreage under conservation
• Walton County has 38.40% of its acreage under conservation
• Walton County ranks as the 43rd most dense county
• Walton County has just under 10 acres per person
The state of Florida has intention to place an additional 26,558 acres of Walton County in conservation at a cost estimated at (in today’s dollars) $251,412,626! And while this is a big number it’s below an equal share of the total pot Florida is spending. There may be an argument here to lobby our state legislators for a fairer share of the pie being split and place even more land into conservation.
When it comes to the future of this great county, please reflect on the message here today. It’s easy to be distracted by the town crier or the commotion of construction.
But the town crier is flatly wrong when they scream to perpetuate their narrative that we’re too big simply because they just don’t want anyone else here. Not only are we one of the least dense communities in Florida we’re one of the most preserved counties in Florida.
And the construction… it will eventually be over and new possibility and potential will occupy its outcome in the form of neighbors.
Conservation efforts will keep much of our paradise in place and the only greed we’re concerned with is that of the members of the community attempting to perpetuate falsehoods in order to have this gorgeous place all to themselves and lock out a future neighbor as they attempt to close the gate behind them.
Neighbors are where we should rest in happiness. People power is what this community is about. Being thankful for your neighbor and enjoying their company will be the most important component of that thing named Preservation in our Seal. The relationships we form and community we contribute to will be what keeps Walton Wonderful.
Don’t fall for the traps.
Enjoy your neighbors.