Felts Audubon Preserve

Just the Facts

  •  27.8 acres in Palmetto, Manatee County
  • Manatee County Audubon Society placed a conservation easement on the preserve
  • Conservation Foundation manages the easement and ensures the preserve's permanent protection
  • A mixture of habitats provides for a variety of wildlife including 163 bird species and 33 butterfly species
  • Open to the public 


Why it Matters

In the face of rapidly suburbanizing Manatee County, this farmland was donated by Otis & Anita Felts to the Manatee County Audubon Society when Otis passed away in 2002. His dream was that it would never be developed. Manatee Audubon volunteers have worked tirelessly to return the land to a more natural condition.

To safeguard this land and the donor’s wish, Manatee Audubon placed a conservation easement on the property to permanently protect Felts Audubon Preserve. Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast holds and will monitor the easement. Felts Audubon Preserve remains an environmental educational center for people of all ages. The property is a public-access preserve serving the greater Manatee County community with walking trails and bird-watching opportunities throughout a mixture of habitats including basin marsh, pine flatwoods, and mesic hammock. The spectacular Painted Bunting is the signature bird at Felts Audubon Preserve.

In order to complete the conservation easement transfer and ensure the appropriate stewardship of this wildlife haven, Conservation Foundation raised $50,000. Manatee Fish & Game pledged a $25,000 matching grant to the community's contribution ensuring that Felts Audubon Preserve remains a nature treasure for the community and the region forever.  

Together, Manatee County Audubon Society and Conservation Foundation are working to ensure that the property is maintained as vital habitat for birds and other wildlife, and a place for environmental education and enjoyment of the out-of-doors. Visit Manatee County Audubon Society to learn more about Felts Audubon Preserve.