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Walton County Lands Protected

Earthjustice filed and negotiated a lawsuit agreement with Walton County, Florida in 1999 to create natural greenways and trails and to protect wetlands on former conservation lands that the County was proposing to develop as a government center. The county then sold a portion of the land to the local school district, which immediately began construction on the property. In December 2002, Earthjustice filed additional litigation against the school district seeking recognition of the requirements of the earlier settlement agreement. In April 2003, Earthjustice also sued the County to enforce preservation of wetlands and construction of greenways and trails on the portion of the property still owned by the County.

In January 2005, the Walton County School Board agreed to a settlement, which will preserve protected land surrounding South Walton High School. Under the terms of the agreement, the County and the School Board will construct nearly five miles of greenways and trails that will connect to the Point Washington State Forest, create a 10-acre conservation area, and offer an area for science and environmental teachers to educate students on conservation and nature.

The original suit was filed on behalf of the Florida Wildlife Federation and Susan and Bruce Paladini, caretakers of a local nature preserve.