PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, FLA. (Aug. 08, 2018) – Set in east Charlotte County, the modern history of Babcock Ranch Preserve dates to the late 1800s. Today, much of it is preserved and a small portion is home to America’s first solar-powered town, Babcock Ranch. In Episode 4 of Adventure & Wildlife - Hosted by the Shark Brothers, hosts and series producers Sean and Brooks Paxton take viewers on a historical journey through Babcock Ranch’s past, present, and future.
The episode begins with exploring the ranch’s modern history. The Perry McAdow family purchased what is now Babcock Ranch in the late 1800s and named it Crescent B Ranch. Pittsburgh lumber magnate and politician Edward Babcock purchased the 91,000-acre ranch in 1914 and by the 1930s, his son Fred Babcock was managing the property which included the family’s timber business, farming, rock mining, hunting and swamp buggy tours. Diamond mines in South Africa were the primary consumer of the family’s timber operation, warding off termites with the pine-based pitch.
Kitson & Partners, led by Chairman and CEO Mr. Sydney Kitson, purchased the 91,000-acre ranch from the Babcock family and sold 73,000 acres to the state in 2006 creating Babcock Ranch Preserve and making it Florida’s largest land preservation deal in history. Of the 18,000 acres acquired, half of it is set aside for preservation, leaving 90 percent of the original 91,000 acres preserved.
The development is called Babcock Ranch and in conjunction with Florida Power and Light, Mr. Kitson’s vision of a sustainable community is being realized. As explained in the episode, more than 300,000 solar panels supply energy to America’s first solar-powered town.
"How you treat the environment and how we can live with the environment is very, very important,” Mr. Kitson said about developing Babcock Ranch while preserving most of the land, “We went out to prove that preservation and development can work hand in hand.”
The Shark Brothers give viewers a glimpse of Babcock Ranch Preserve, the largest state-owned working cattle ranch where modern-day cowboys carry on with the kind of work that's been done for hundreds of years. The Paxtons join Babcock Ranch Eco Tours and take a unique adventure aboard an opened-aired buggy through a portion of the ranch and Telegraph Swamp. During these tours it’s common to spot alligators, a variety of birds, and cracker cattle. Often seen are Osceola turkeys, white-tailed deer, wild boar, and a resident Florida panther, born in captivity.
The series invites those interested in exploring Florida’s wild outdoors, nature-based activities and soft-adventure to visit the Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast in Southwest Florida. The series is available online at AdventureAndWildlife.com and viewers can stay up-to-date with the show hosts at Facebook.com/adventureandwildlifeseries.
Additional episodes of Adventure and Wildlife – Hosted by the Shark Brothers will be released at later dates featuring the abundant outdoor recreation opportunities the area offers.
Users are encouraged to share the videos on social media and use the hashtags #bestsideoutside, #ecologinomical, #thesharkbrothers and #adventureandwildlife
Annually, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau conducts marketing, sales and promotional campaigns to increase awareness of and visitation to Charlotte County. In addition to generating economic contributions, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau is also focused on developing soft adventure or ecotourism, a low-impact industry enabling the county to preserve the invaluable natural resources that contribute to its ecological health, distinguish the area and draw visitors. During calendar year 2017, Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 422,500 visitors, tourism generated an estimated $380,841,400 in direct expenditures, and made an estimated $580,783,200 million economic impact.
Dropbox link to an image of The Shark Brothers during production: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q0yczu85kuyg6jb/AdventureWildlife-SeanPaxton-BrooksPaxton-TerryCovert-BabcockRanchEcoTours.jpg?dl=0
Sean Paxton and Brooks Paxton, aka the Shark Brothers, pose for a selfie during an adventure through the Telegraph Swamp with Babcock Ranch Eco Tours guide Terry Covert and a resident alligator.
ABOUT THE SHARK BROTHERS
The Shark Brothers - Sean and Brooks Paxton, are internationally recognized content producers and presenters headquartered in Southwest Florida. At the helm of their company, Shark Brothers Multimedia, they leverage 50+ years of combined entertainment business experience to provide full-scale production services aimed at the delivery of content for series, documentaries, destination and tourism promotion, innovative live streaming events, education and cause marketing. The brothers enjoy sharing the experiences and knowledge gained from their work through personal appearances and speaking engagements, and remain involved with community outreach for causes they consider close to home. These include the sustainable use and enjoyment of natural resources, education, youth engagement with nature, and the support of our active duty military, veterans, police and emergency first responders. For more information, visit SharkBrothersMultimedia.com.
ABOUT PUNTA GORDA / ENGLEWOOD BEACH
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Punta Gorda /Englewood Beach is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty. In 2014, Port Charlotte was named the top “U.S. Best Value Destination” by Trivago (the world’s largest online hotel search site), and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). For more information on visiting Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach visit http://PureFlorida.com or call 1-800-652-6090.