In the News

March 2017 | Green Horizon Land Trust Annual Dinner


Thanks to all who joined us for our annual membership meeting and dinner at Bok Tower Garden. Tom Palmer presented "A Veteran Reporter’s Environmental History of Polk County & Florida." Tom retired from The Ledger after 36 years as Senior Reporter, Columnist, and Blogger in September 2016 (See Tom Palmer leaves a great legacy, The Ledger).

Our Blazing Star Award honors those who have made significant contributions to the preservation of environmentally sensitive lands or environmental education. The 2017 Blazing Star was awarded to Tom for his non-stop contributions. Read more about Tom.

Guests enjoyed socializing at the reception and dinner. Our successful silent auction included two Diane Pierce “Scrub Jay” numbered and signed prints; one Fish Hawk print, one Tufted Titmouse print, one Ghost Orchid photo; plants from the Tower & Garden Gift Shop at Bok Tower Gardens and also from The Natives, Inc.

Many thanks to our Annual Dinner sponsors: AMEC/Foster/Wheeler Environmental & Infrastructure, Bok Tower Gardens, Citizens Bank & Trust, Duke Energy, Mosaic, Pat Cain Wealth Solutions with Raymond James, and Victor Smith Law Group.

December 2016 | Twenty Acres Added to Lewis Arboretum and Parrott Trial.

Just before Christmas 2016, Mr. Talbot Lewis donated approximately 20 additional acres, adjacent to the 40 acre Michael V. Lewis Arboretum and Luther C. Parrott Trail to Green Horizon Land Trust. The hiking trails and natural areas increased by 1/3 due to this donation in SE Winter Haven off of Overlook Drive.  Many thanks to Mr. Lewis for his generosity!  The arboretum and trails are open during daylight hours to the public with grassed parking off of Overlook Drive across from the entrance to Emily Estates and St. Matthew's Catholic Church.

October 2015 | Generous New Land Donation on Lake Buffum

Green Horizon recently acquired 507.46 acres through inheritance and generous donation from the Estate of (the late) Barbara Lindsey Durrance and Myron Davis. This lovely parcel on the southern edge of Lake Buffum, Ft. Meade, FL is a significant addition, and we are grateful for the generosity of these families. The parcel is mostly wetland with interesting hydrological points, as well as wooded wildlife habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna.

September 27 |New Signs Welcome Public to Lewis Arboretum and Parrott Trail

This summer Green Horizon Land Trust installed signs at Lewis Arboretum along Overlook Drive, Winter Haven, FL. The signs help the public locate the property, park their cars and find the trail.

The signs were donated by Talbot Lewis, who also donated the 42-acre parcel to Green Horizon Land Trust in March, 2011. The "arboretum," named in honor of Talbot's son, Michael V. Lewis, contains a mix of native and exotic ornamental plants reflecting Polk County's horticultural heritage. On February 18, 2013, the gates opened for the public. The property now hosts a community park with a 1.4 mile trail named in honor of Luther Parrott, past executive director of Green Horizon, complete with strategically placed benches along the trail.

Read more about it here.


December 19 | Longleaf Pine Tree Planting at Pedersen Preserve

Pine Planting 2013.12Four thousand (4,000) longleaf pine trees were planted at Pedersen Preserve (S. Scenic Highway 17, Dundee, FL) the morning of Thursday, December 19, 2013 as part of the planned pine tree restoration project on five (5) acres of old citrus grove fronting Hwy. 17. 

This planting (and holiday season) kicked off our Plant - A - Tree Gift Certificate fundraiser. For each Certificate purchased, a longleaf pine tree will be planted at Pedersen Preserve, Dundee, FL, on behalf of the recipient.  Each tree may be purchased for $10.  Gift recipients will receive a Plant - A – Tree Certificate and map with directions to Pedersen Preserve to enable them to visit the pine forest, hike the trails and enjoy the preserve now and into the future as their pine tree (and the pine forest) grows.  Plant - A - Tree Gift Certificates are available year round for special events, birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

Plant – A – Tree Certificates are made possible through Green Horizon Land Trust’s, Plant – A – Tree Certificate Program. Plant – A – Tree is a local, central Florida program providing families, schools, and communities with fun, hands-on opportunities to plant trees or simply gift trees that will be planted on the recipients behalf. All trees will be planted in Central Florida and are native species that help protect and restore natural areas that provide habitat for wildlife.  

September 28 | National Public Lands Day

Volunteers from one Girl Scout Troop and one Brownie Troop participated in trail maintenance activities at Pedersen Preserve (S. Scenic Highway 17, Dundee, FL) the morning of Saturday, September 28, 2013.  Thank you!



July 27 | Ridge Ranger's Melaleuca Tree Removal Workday

Invasive exotic Melaleuca trees were cut and treated with herbicide along the shoreline of Lake Annie at Pedersen Preserve (S. Scenic Highway 17, Dundee, FL) the morning of Saturday, July 27, 2013.  Thank you to the more than one dozen Ridge Ranger volunteers who worked to make this day a success! 

March 5 | Bok Gardens Nature Trail Opens Onto Pine Land Preserve

The public can access the trail as part of the admission price to Bok Tower Gardens and part of the ticket price will go to maintenance and restoration of the Preserve. Photo: Bok Tower Gardens

At 9:00 am on March 1, 2013, David Price, President of Bok Tower Gardens (also President of Green Horizon Land Trust), presided over the ribbon cutting that opened a 1.5 mile trail that winds through open lands surrounding Bok Tower Gardens. The event took place just inside the Gardens’ main gate at one of two new picnic shelters constructed as part of the trail project.

In 2005, the Florida Community Trust awarded a $2.5 million grant to the Green Horizon Land Trust to preserve the land as "vistas critically important to the historic design of the Gardens." "With that preservation we had responsibilities," said Price. "Green Horizon Land Trust and Bok Tower Garden formed a partnership in perpetuity to protect this land, to restore the pinelands, to manage the land for wildlife and the use by the public." As part of this partnership, Bok Tower Gardens committed to developing hiking trails, educational and interpretive signage, picnic shelters, recreational opportunities, and restoration of former agricultural lands to pine forest.
Read the full story
In-Depth Article Published Saturday, March 2, 2013 in the NewsChief

February 23 |Michael V. Lewis Arboretum Grand Opening

The Luther Parrott Trail brings the public up close to the flora of the Arboretum, both native to Florida and exotic. Click to download a large version of this flyer.

On February 23, 3013, at 9 am, we celebrated the opening of the trails and facilities at the Michael V. Lewis Arboretum. In partnership with the Park Foundation's Trek Ten Trails program, Green Horizon welcomed the public to explore the hiking trails and see the wonders of the arboretum.

In March, 2011, Green Horizon Land Trust accepted the donation of a 42-acre parcel containing a mix of native and exotic ornamental plants reflecting Polk County's horticultural heritage. On February 18, 2013 the gates opened for the public. The property now hosts a community park with a 1.4 mile trail named in honor of Luther Parrott, past executive director of Green Horizons, picnic facilities. Read more about the Michael V. Lewis Arboretum.


Sept 16 2012 | Rachelle Selser Makes News as Executive Director for Green Horizons

On June 14, the Lakeland Ledger Media Group published "GHLT Director Explores and Protects" to recognize a new era in leadership for the Land Trust and introduce Rachelle to the community in her new role. A more in-depth profile, Environmentalist's Passion Grew From Childhood, appeared in the Ledger September 16, 2012 for the Monday Profile.

In addition to the informal education about Florida's wildlife habitats received from her father, the late environmentalist Richard Coleman, Selser holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental resource management and conservation planning with a minor in geography from the University of West Florida, and a master's degree in public administration from Troy State University. Selser has served as both recreation supervisor and natural resources coordinator for the city of Winter Haven, taking a brief respite in 2010 to focus on her infant daughter. Read the full story >>