Braden River Nature Sanctuary Gets County Funding


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, April 11, 2018 – Permanent protection has been extended to an acreage of pristine forests by the Braden River in Manatee County at the intersection of Pine Meadow Way and Club House Drive. This development has been hailed as a victory especially for residents of communities flanking this nature’s oasis named as Braden River Preserve, which add to the values of nearby Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton homes for sale.

Assurance on the preservation of this nature preserve came this March, with the Manatee County Commission approving a $2 million allotment for its purchase. The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, this region’s nationally accredited land conservancy, has earlier announced that it is raising $1 million to partly cover the $3 million acquisition cost of this 32.93-acre parcel.

Buy Won’t Tax Locals

Developer Pat Neal who owns this property has offered to sell it because of strong local opposition to its development as a 32-home neighborhood. Significantly, the county’s approved funding for the purchase of this parcel would be sourced from the county’s budget instead of creating a municipal special tax unit (MSTU).

The MSTU would have covered specifically those residents living in River Club and Braden Woods, two communities directly adjacent to the Neal property. The conservation area will total 44.53 acres, as it would include an additional parcel of 11.6 acres nearby which has been donated for conservation.

A “Passive Park”

Braden Preserve

A perpetual conservation easement (permanent deed restrictions) will be created and enforced on the property through the Conservation Foundation. This is to ensure that the property remains a low-impact preserve open for the public to enjoy a pristine natural environment while birdwatching, walking or hiking.

Intended as a “passive park,” the Braden River Preserve will not include rest rooms or other amenities. Nonetheless, it will offer to visitors an Old Florida experience—diverse tropical plants and charming wildlife—uncommon in suburban areas. Besides tall longleaf pines and live oaks, the preserve features mature wetlands vital in storing water and preventing floods. Its riverfront and floodplain forests form part of a vital corridor linking a natural habitat along the Braden River which is a water source for the city of Bradenton.

Living Close to the Preserve


Besides Braden Woods and River Club, the 272-unit condo community of Willowbrook sits next to the newly declared nature sanctuary. This community, which is comprised of 52 townhouse buildings, notably sprawls on 100 acres half of which is a conservation area directly southwest of Bradenton Preserve.

Available residences in Willowbrook are attractively priced starting from the upper $100s, typically featuring two bedrooms and two baths within living areas of about 1,100 square feet. Aside from their rustic setting, Willowbrook homes for sale offer the perk of a pool and spa within the community.

Just east of Willowbrook, larger choices at higher price points abound at the River Club, a golf community with 970 residences. Such listings on the MLS of Bradenton homes for sale feature floor plans of between 3,700 and 5,300 square feet designed four to six bedrooms and offered in the $700s‒$800s range to which proximity to the Braden River Preserve could be factored in their valuations as well.