Nearly 200 acres of Old Miakka land to be preserved as developments push East in Sarasota County

Cow pastures and the rural way of life are slowly disappearing in Sarasota County as developments continue to push East. Now, nearly 200 acres of land will remain untouched and forever preserved in Old Miakka. 

The land makes up the Crowley Museum and Nature Center. 

"The minute I saw this place, I knew it was something I wanted protected, even when I’m no longer a memory," said Dixie Resnick, the CEO of the Crowley Museum and Nature Center.

Resnick said the museum and nature center is a unique immersive and hands-on educational experience in Florida's natural and cultural history. The museum pays tribute to the land's natives and earliest settlers. 

It's a piece of untouched old Florida, that Resnick uses to educate school aged children and welcome visitors. As construction continues to move East, she knew it had to be protected.

"In an ever developing Florida it became more and more pertinent for us to be shore Crowley would be protected forever," Resnick said. "It’s just a matter of time before development finds its way to Old Miakka."

Resnick worked alongside the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Sarasota County to preserve the land. 

The land is also an important part of the local ecology and watershed. Sarasota County Director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Nicole Rissler said the property has a variety of different natural habitat and wildlife. 

She said it also provides a connection through eastern ranch lands and the Old Miakka area for wildlife. It's now land that will remain untouched, no matter how far development reaches.

"I would love to see children continuing to come here and being immersed in their natural and cultural history far, far beyond a scope of it when any of us can ever consider," said Resnick.

The Crowley Museum and Nature Center is located at 16405 Myakka Road in Sarasota. It's open Thursday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission costs $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 2-12.