West Klosterman Preserve

Help #SaveTheWKP

A 14-acre parcel of ancient natural forest on West Klosterman Road in Tarpon Springs is in grave danger. The land, adjacent to the 76-acre Mariner Point Management Area (MPMA), an environmental preserve, was purchased in 1990 for $651,500 by Pinellas County Schools (PCS) for educational needs using taxpayer money. In 2020, PCS endorsed selling this natural forest to a developer, ensuring replacement by condominiums and the loss of the natural habitat forever.

What’s at Stake?

The land is ecologically stable. It is home to an ancient natural forest, and endangered and threatened trees, plants, and wildlife. Replacing this unspoiled land with multifamily housing, will bulldoze the property, destroying trees, driving out native animal and plant species, increasing air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, and creating toxic runoff into the Gulf of Mexico.

Such urban density will generate traffic, strain local infrastructure, and endanger the adjacent MPMA county-protected land that promotes groundwater recharge and improves surface water quality before it enters the Gulf.

What’s the Status?

In June 2021, the WK Preservation Group (WKPG) entered into a sales contract with PCS to purchase the land. WKPG must raise $3.2 million by July 2022 to close the purchase. The goal for both WKPG and PCS is to realize our children’s environmental and educational future.

Help make this win-win scenario a reality.

In April 2022, the state of Florida responded to the growing community support by adding an appropriation into the 2022 state budget that may provide funding so that PCF, WKPG, PCS, and Pinellas County will be able to save the WK Preserve and realize the goals for preservation established by PCF and WKPG.

Join Our Action Plan

The WK Preservation Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the rural heritage of open space by protecting the natural forest, plant life, and all native animals in this community. Pinellas Community Foundation is partnering with WKPG to provide its fundraising capabilities to this effort. Together, PCF and WKPG intend to save the West Klosterman Preserve and then work on other conservation projects and opportunities in Pinellas County.

With your help, WKPG and PCF intend to raise the $3.2 million required by July 2022 to acquire the property and create a preserve for the benefit of future generations.  Pinellas County has agreed to accept ownership and operation of the property once it is secured. Significant progress has been made, including the potential for funding in the 2022 Florida state budget.

How You Can Help

2

How Sharing Helps

We need to raise as much support as possible in as little time as possible to ensure we save this important natural forest for future generations. By helping get the word out that the land is in danger, you increase our chances of saving it. And when the WK Preserve is saved, we can move on to future projects knowing that the power of your support, joined with many others, can make a difference in preservation and conservation of our natural spaces.

Thank You for Supporting the Partnership Between PCF and WKPG for Preservation Projects

With your help, we will be able to secure and protect natural habitats from destruction and return them to Pinellas County citizens — an eternal reminder of your generosity and dedication to our home.

For more information about the WK Preservation Group, the nonprofit organization working hard to preserve this land and future projects, or to sign-up for updates, visit the WK Preservation Group website.

The WK Preserve property is located on West Klosterman Road, two blocks from the Gulf. The legal description is TAMPA & TARPON SPRINGS LAND CO NW 1/4, SEC 23-27-15 E 150FT OF LOT 26, ALL OF LOT 27 & W 30FT OF LOT 28.

PINELLAS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION IS A 501(c)(3) NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION REGISTERED WITH THE STATE OF FLORIDA. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR PINELLAS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION (CH3646) MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE 800-435-7352 OR VISITING WWW.FACS.GOV. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. YOUR GIFT MAY BE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE; PLEASE CONSULT YOUR TAX PROFESSIONAL TO EXPLORE YOUR BENEFITS.