Address / Location: 1540 Blue Sage Drive, Naples, FL 34117
Manager Contact Information:
Property Manager: Christal Segura
Preserve Size: 71 acres
Date Acquired: The bulk of the property (65 acres) was acquired in 2005, with remaining parcels acquired in 2008 and 2010.
Cost of Acquisition: $2,507,250
To visit, drive east on White Blvd. from CR 951 (Collier Blvd.) to 23rd St. SW, turn right and drive approx. 2 miles to Brantley-Keane Rd., turn right again and drive approx. 1 mile (past the Hideout Golf Course) to the canal. This unpaved road is Blue Sage Drive. Turn right and travel approximately 1/2 mile for the unpaved 5-car parking area and trailhead.
Plants and Wildlife:
Plants: The dominant vegetation community within the preserve is native pine flatwoods. One-hundred and forty seven (147) plant species have been recorded growing within the preserve boundary. Of these, (121) species or 82%, are native to the site, and 26 species or 18 % are non-native or introduced. The canopy is dominated by South Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa) and scattered cypress (Taxodium ascendens), the midstory with cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto) and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and ground cover is mainly muscadine grapevine (Vitis rotundifolia) and grasses.
Wildlife: Wildlife known to occur or directly observed within the preserve include the bobcat (Felis rufus), cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus), gopher tortoise (gopherus polyphenus) eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi), nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), raccoon (Procyon lotor), spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Big Cypress fox squirrel (Scurius niger avicennia), red cockaded woodpecker (RCW) (Picoides borealis), Florida black bear and at least six different woodpecker species. Of these, the Florida panther, Big Cypress fox squirrel, Florida gopher tortoise and red cockaded woodpeckers are listed by state and/or federal agencies as threatened and endangered.
A bobcat photographed on the Nancy Payton Preserve courtesy of the fStop Foundation.
White-tailed deer photographed on the Nancy Payton Preserve courtesy of the fStop Foundation.
State-threatened gopher tortoise can be spotted along the trails
Management of the preserve will improve habitat and productivity for the state and federally endangered RCW, state listed gopher tortoise and other wildlife. RCWs and gopher tortoises act as umbrella species for other wildlife species that thrive in well managed pine flatwoods habitats.
Red-headed woodpeckers nest within the preserve each year
The Florida Breeding Bird Atlas (FFWCC 2003) lists 49 bird species that have been recorded as confirmed, probable, or possibly breeding in the vicinity of the site that may be present at Nancy Payton Preserve. The preserve also provides habitat for numerous native amphibian and invertebrate species.
Reason for Acquisition: This preserve is significant in serving as an important wildlife refuge within the urban fringe for many native plant and animal species, both protected and commonplace. The protection and management of native species and their habitats is critical to their long term existence in Collier County and throughout their ranges.