TARPONG SPRINGS, Fla (WFLA) — The West Klosterman Preserve could be cleared out by developers if a preservation group doesn’t raise over $2.7 million by July.
The Pinellas County Schools District owns the 14-acre land where the West Klosterman Preserve is located. However, the school district hasn’t used the land since it was purchased in the 1990s and is considering a nearly $3 million offer from developers to sell.
West Klosterman Preservation Group formed in hopes of fighting to keep the ancient forest from being destroyed to build condominiums. An appropriation in the Florida state budget would have provided the funding needed to save the preserve.
On June 2, Gov. Ron DeSantis chose to veto the $3 million appropriation that the legislature approved, and the group is now left with 23 days to fundraise.
“We had thought we had raised the money, we had thought we had done the job,” said Kay Carter with the West Klosterman Preservation Group.
Through donations, West Klosterman Preservation Group along with the Pinellas County Community Foundation have raised $436,000 so far.
“My gosh what are we going to do now? We lost two months of time to raise money, because we thought we had it done” said Tex Carter with the West Klosterman Preservation Group.