It wasn’t just Pine Island that lost a champion when Phil Buchanan died. So did the Caloosahatchee, firefighters and the feral cats of the Stringfellow Road Winn-Dixie.
“Such a tragic loss,” said longtime Southwest Florida environmental educator Bill Hammond. “He’s always been an inspiration to me, with his passion and commitment.”
Buchanan, 72, was found dead in his Saint James City home Thursday. A cause of death has not yet been released.
A major lesson of Buchanan’s life, Hammond says, is how much one motivated person can accomplish. Buchanan helped defend and revise Pine Island’s original land use plan, written by Gene and Ellie Boyd in the 1980s. Thanks in large part to Buchanan's efforts, Pine Island retains much of its laid-back, low-rise rural character.