North Florida Land Trust Honors City Council Member with the Robert and Merial Milam Conservation Award

Tommy Hazouri awarded for his help in saving the Spanish-American War Fort

Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 30, 2017 – North Florida Land Trust presented the Robert and Merial Milam Conservation Award to Jacksonville City Council Member Tommy Hazouri. NFLT presented the award to Hazouri at the City of Jacksonville’s Environmental Luncheon. They honored him for his support of NFLT’s efforts to preserve the 1898 Spanish American War Fort. Hazouri was instrumental in acquiring funding needed to help save the important historical structure.

NFLT President Jim McCarthy, City Council Member Tommy Hazouri and Stephanie Burch, Director of the City’s Neighborhoods Department

“We could not have saved this fort without Councilman Hazouri’s help,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “He had the foresight to recognize the importance of preserving this historic fort and the knowledge to recommend a funding source to protect it. His efforts resulted in a unanimous vote by City Council to approve city funding to protect the fort for all to enjoy.”

The City of Jacksonville allocated $162,500 from the Jacksonville Recreational and Environmental Land Acquisition Capital Projects Fund to help save the fort. Hazouri sponsored a bill and rallied support from other council members to preserve the historic property. The money, coupled with a $100,000 challenge grant from the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida, $39,000 from an anonymous donor and many donations from the community helped NFLT reach the $400,000 needed to purchase the property.

“Councilman Hazouri gifted a legacy to Jacksonville by spearheading the protection of this resource and thus expanding the preservation at historic St. Johns Bluff,” said McCarthy. “On behalf of North Florida Land Trust, we are thankful for his leadership in preservation and are honored to award him the Robert and Merial Milam Conservation Award for his efforts.”

Hazouri posted on his Facebook page, “Thank you North Florida Land Trust for the recognition and for all you do. Jacksonville is a better place from the preservation of the Spanish American War Fort.”

The 1898 Spanish-American War artillery battery fort was one of four forts on St. Johns Bluff that acted in defense of the river and is the only one that remains. NFLT is now in the process of transferring ownership to the National Park Service. They plan to protect and manage the fort as a public space and a compliment to the Fort Caroline National Monument.

About North Florida Land Trust

North Florida Land Trust is a non-profit organization who serves as a champion of environmental protection primarily in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns counties. NFLT was founded in 1999 and has protected thousands of acres of environmentally significant land including land on Big Talbot Island, the River Branch Preserve, Pumpkin Hill State Park, Moccasin Slough, along the St. Mary’s River and other valued natural areas in Northeast Florida.  NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with private landowners and other public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations.  For more information, visit www.northfloridalandtrust.org.