Thanks to all of our voters, supporters, volunteers!

Friends, thank you for voting to improve quality of life in Alachua County, Alachua, Archer, Gainesville, Hawthorne, High Springs, Newberry, LaCrosse Micanopy, and Waldo!   We are thrilled that Wild Spaces & Public Places passed with the support of 60.4% of voters.   It is a testament to the wonderful recreation and land conservation programs that have been run by these local governments that our citizens were willing to reauthorize this funding source in such a resounding way.     

It was a very busy election day, and we are going to rest up for a few days, but some of our partners will be organizing celebrations and a roundtable to learn and share about the upcoming projects that will be funded as a result of this success.   We will share details as soon as we have them.

Alachua Conservation Trust, which was the home base for our campaign, will hold its annual Holiday Mingle at Prairie Creek Lodge on Friday, December 16 at 6 PM and you are all welcome to attend to share some cheer and thank ACT's staff and board for all their hard work and dedication.

Regardless of what happens in the rest of the state, the nation or the world, our first obligation is to do our best to protect and improve our home.   The quality of our water matters.  Having nice places to play, be in nature, exercise our bodies, protect wildlife habitat and experience the arts, regardless of income, is important.   Being a competitive locale to attract and retain workers and employers requires a high quality of life.  

On a personal note I want to thank our campaign chair and treasurer, Tom Kay, who dedicated himself to this task despite having three daughters under the age of three at home!   Lesa Holder spent countless hours managing our financial reports and accounting, setting up events, reviewing materials, and otherwise being a port in the storm.  My colleagues at the Trust for Public Land, Will Abberger, Ray Christman, Doug Hattaway, Wendy Muzzy, Peggy Chiu, and Hannah Kohut were all in for this measure from the beginning, and brought incredible expertise to the table.   We have a talented team we work with all over the nation, including Merv Wampold, Lori Weigel, and Mark Langgin, who helped enormously.

Robert Hutchinson, our County Commission Chair, designed several mailers, and even ran them to the post office, as did Kristen Young. Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos assisted with the website launch, and Adam Carr helped us with mapping.  Commissioner Craig Carter encouraged support and spoke at events on our behalf.  Susan Bottcher, Elisabeth Manley, Charlie Pederson, David Barth, Elena McNiece, Chip Deutsch, Paul Lyrene and others helped with tabling and events, and Terry Fleming, Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Ivor Kincaide, Iqra Ahmed, Chris Burney and others pitched in wherever needed.   Tremendous photographers including Kim Davidson, M.D., and the iconic John Moran, provided their beautiful work for our use free of charge, as did many moms and dads and people of all types. Scott Camil managed our sign distribution like a boss.  Latecia Nicole Richards produced a lovely video.   The Gainesville Sun, the Sierra Club, Florida Conservation Voters, the Iguana, the Alligator and tons of individuals and local governments endorsed (go see our endorsement list!) I know I am forgetting key folks, please excuse my post election fog!

And special thanks to the staff and elected officials of Gainesville, Alachua County and the smaller cities who endorsed, advised, encouraged and otherwise shaped the public policy to improve our parks and save our water and land.

But most of all, thanks to you, the voters, donors, supporters and volunteers.   Well done!

Pegeen Hanrahan
Campaign Manager

P.S.  Obviously if I didn't have Tony, an amazing husband father to our three kids, Evy, Quinn and Tess, I wouldn't be much use.  Evy and Quinn were big helpers in yard sign management, too, and Tess keeps our spirits bright!

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