The widow of former Fort Myers Beach Mayor and County Commissioner Larry Kiker was recently given a tour of the Larry Kiker Preserve. Paula Kiker, who considered running for Larry’s seat, is pictured here with Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass on a recent tour of the 4,000 acres of land named after her late husband.
Paula wrote on her Facebook page, “What an amazing place. The plans for the future of this gem sound incredible! Well done BOCC and Randy Thibaut for working so hard to make this property part of 20/20 for all citizens of Lee County. I can’t wait till it can be shared by all.”
The 4,000 acres was purchased by Lee County back in 2017 for $42.4 million as part of the County’s Conservation 20/20 program. It was the second largest purchase under the program at the time. Conservation 20/20 is a voter-approved program to acquire, and preserve, environmentally sensitive lands throughout Lee County.
In 2019 The Lee County Board of Commissioners voted to name the preserve “The Larry Kiker Preserve.” Kiker died in April of 2019 after a short battle with cancer.
Kiker represented District 3 where the land is located. The land includes habitat for listed species such as the Florida panther and the woodstork.
Kiker was a longtime public servant. Before being elected county commissioner, Kiker served on Beach Town Council for six years, including five as mayor.
Paula toyed with running for Larry’s position on the County Board after he passed. Governor DeSantis appointed Ray Sandelli to fill the seat until the election which is next month.
Cool aerial footage of the preserve can be viewed HERE. Conservation 20/20, which has preserved more than 29,000 acres since its inception, is Lee County’s environmental acquisition and management program. Conservation lands help the county protect drinking water, enhance water quality, provide nature-based recreational opportunities, protect areas from flooding and provide wildlife habitat. For more information, visit www.Conservation2020.org.