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Construction company inaugurates trails, tortoise sanctuary

Palm City celebrates Mattamy Homes' prioject with 5K race
Tortoise 5K in Palm City, Nov. 12, 2023.jpg
Posted at 1:01 PM, Nov 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-12 13:13:58-05

PALM CITY, Fla. — A company developing a community in Palm City is making strides in its new construction project celebrating keeping green spaces green.

Mattamy Homes, which is building homes in Martin County, put the event together, where $1,500 was donated to the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center.

The first Tortoise Trot 5k at the KC Trails took place near the construction site on Southwest Citrus Boulevard in Palm City.

"Part of our project Newfield, our newest master-planned community, is that we’re preserving 70% of the land," James Fitzgerald, with Mattamy Homes, said. "The first segment of the trails is located right here, this is like a sneak peek that we did, get people familiar with the area, familiar with the trails. Ultimately it’ll be opened up to the public in the next four months or so."

The event was a dual celebration. One for the inauguration of the trails, and two, to raise funds for the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center.

The name of the trot, "Tortoise," also is relevant.

Gopher tortoises are a threatened species, and if they are found in construction sites Mattamy wants to use, they must be moved. Now, the company has created a 30-acre sanctuary for these animals.

Christopher Trimbrall with TCWC says contributions from the public, or from private companies keeps them going.

Tripod is a three-legel tourtoise in Palm City. Nov. 12, 2023.jpg
Tripod is a three-legel tortoise in Palm City.

"Just to feed an animal like this, it’s about five dollars a day, maybe ten dollars if we have to find medications and those types of things,” he said, while holding Tripod, a gopher tortoise believed to be at least 20 years old, and missing its front leg after being attacked by a coyote. "Last year we took in over 3,000 animals and released 1,300 of them back into the wild."