St. Johns County Appoints Land Acquisition and Management Program Conservation Board

We are excited to share that the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners has appointed Conservation Board members for the much anticipated Land Acquisition and Management Program (LAMP). 

About the Board

The purpose of LAMP is to acquire and conserve environmentally sensitive land in St. Johns County and provide opportunities for passive recreation on this land where appropriate. The Program is guided by a nine member Conservation Board made up of St. Johns County residents with various areas of expertise. Each Commissioner is tasked with selecting one Board member from their district and the remaining four are chosen at-large. Terms are 4 years, but in order to stagger the terms, the at-large members will serve 2-year terms initially. 

Conservation Board Members

Vernon Hawley Smith III - District 1

Vernon Hawley Smith III is a real estate developer who previously worked as a youth pastor. He is a member of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, Seamark Ranch Children's Home, and the Mandarin Presbyterian Church.   

Michael Adams - District 2

Mike Adams is retired from a diverse career of 42 years spanning state government, private firms, and consulting work. He owns a 94 acre conservation area and sustainable silviculture operation on the St. Johns River. He is a member of the St. Johns County School Board, the Marineland Right Whale Project, and St. Johns Riverkeeper.

Jimmy Watson - District 3

Jimmy Watson serves as Assistant Adjutant General for the Florida Army National Guard. He is a member of the Association of the United States Army. 

Kaley Adamson - District 4

Kaley Adamson is a real estate agent for Keller Williams Real Estate. She previously worked as a Victim Advocate for the State Attorney's Office in Duval County and as a Program Specialist for Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is a member of SHADCO St. Augustine. 

Elizabeth Guthrie - District 5

Elizabeth Guthrie is the Director of Land Stewardship of North Florida Land Trust. She is a member of the Flagler College Science Advisory Board, the Friends of Talbot Islands State Park, the Florida State College at Jacksonville Biotech Advisory Committee, and the Coastal Conservation Association. 

Travis Minch - At-Large Member

Travis Minch was born and raised in Florida and has lived in Saint Johns County since 2007. He attended University of Central Florida and Florida Atlantic University where he studied Public Administration and Urban and Environmental Planning. Travis is currently employed as a real estate consultant and is married with two children.

William Miller- At-Large Member

William "J.B." Miller currently works as the Land Management Coordinator for Fish Island for the City of St. Augustine. He previously worked as a biologist for the Florida Park Service and the Florida Museum of Natural History. 

Wayne Flowers - At-Large Member

Wayne Flowers is an attorney and shareholder at Lewis, Longman, & Walker who previously served as general counsel for the St. Johns River Water Management District and is a member of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce. 

Robin Robbins- At-Large Member

Robin "Shorty" Robbins works as a legislative aid for Representative Cyndi Stevenson and previously served as a park and historical planner for St. Johns County and the City of Jacksonville. She currently serves on the board of the St. Johns County Parks Foundation and is involved with the Stetson Kennedy Foundation and Friends of Alpine Park. 

History of LAMP

As the second fastest growing county in the state, St. Johns County is experiencing its fair share of growing pains. Unsustainable growth threatens our environmental resources, our agricultural heritage, and our way of life. Through the early 2000s, St. Johns County maintained the Land Acquisition and Management Program which focused on acquiring and preserving environmentally sensitive land. Community landmarks such as Alpine Groves River Park, Vilano Beach Oceanfront Park, and the Southeast Intracoastal Waterway Park were acquired and preserved because of the LAMP program.

Unfortunately, the LAMP program was put on hold in 2008 due to funding limitations and never reinitiated once state conservation funding was available again. For the last couple of years Matanzas Riverkeeper, along with partners in the conservation community, have worked to try to get the LAMP program restarted, but ultimately, the decision rested with the St. Johns County Commissioners. In January of this year, the Board of County Commissioners voted to reactivate the LAMP. In March, the ordinance to restart the program passed its first reading before the Board of County Commissioners and was approved and finalized during the second reading on June 15. Members for the new advisory board were appointed on November 16.