Organizers plan ‘Last Stand for Celery Hill’ protest Saturday morning

Celery Fields Protest

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Another protest is in the works to fight for preserving the Celery Fields. It’s the four parcels of county land east of I-75 on Apex Road and Palmer Boulevard.

County Commissioners have been discussing what to do with this land for years now. They’ve faced opposition from several members of the community who don’t want any major development there.

On November 2, organizers are expecting at least 50 protesters to be standing on Palmer Boulevard and Apex Road to show their support for keeping the Celery Fields exactly as they are.

Adrien Lucas spent her Friday morning busy at work making signs for their third peaceful protest in two years. She said many people think the fight to keep the Celery Fields as public, Sarasota County-owned property has already been won, but that’s not the case.

Back in 2017, the community showed in numbers to voice their disapproval of a proposal to sell this land for industrial development.

In July of 2018, the Commission gathered several recommendations from locals about what they would like to see on this land instead. Suggestions that preserve the green space poured in, like parks and even a YMCA.

But now, Commissioners have hired a Miami consultant to draft a critical area plan report for future use of the land.

Lucas said this is the last stand for Celery Hill.

“I am trying to excite and engage and energize my community because this is important," she said. "We need this particular area to stay as it is. Especially if we’re gonna be fighting red tide, and we can’t go to the beach? Well then we need more inland green spaces to enjoy.”

This protest comes just days ahead of a November 6th meeting where County Commissioners plan to discuss that plan drafted by the consultant and make a decision on exactly what to do with this land.

The protest starts Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

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