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Otter Mound Preserve

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Otter's wall Otter Mound Trail

Address/Location:  1831 Addison Court, Marco Island, FL.  The preserve is located in southwestern Collier County in a residential area of Marco Island, known locally as the Indian Hills section.  Directions to the preserve from I-75 are: Take exit 101 (State Hwy 84 W/SR 951) south towards Marco Island/Naples.  Continue south on SR 951 (Collier Blvd.) past Tamiami Trail East (US 41) towards Marco Island.  Take the Jolly bridge onto Marco Island and turn left on N. Barfield Drive (first traffic light).  Travel 3.3 miles to Watson Blvd.  Turn left on Watson Blvd., go .02 miles and   turn right onto Inlet Drive.  Turn left on Addison Court.  The 3-car parking lot will be on your right.  One handicapped parking space is provided. 

Otter Mound Preserve Parking Area

Otter Mound Preserve Trail Map Otter Mound Location Map

Manager Contact Information:  Alexandra Sulecki
E-mail: 
AlexandraSulecki@Colliergov.net
Phone (239) 252-2961
Preserve Size: 2.45 acres

Date Acquired:  The first section (1.77 acres) was acquired on July 30, 2004.  An additional .68 acres was acquired on June 18, 2007.

Cost of Acquisition:  The total cost for this preserve was $2,234,000 ($1,347,500 for the 1.77-acre parcel and $886,500 for the .68-acre parcel).

Conservation Collier Logo

 Public Access Facilities: There are three parking spots with one additional handicapped parking spot and a bike rack located at the entrance along Addison Court.  The mulched trail, which starts at the parking area, loops through the preserve and is shaded for much of the way.  Benches located along the trail provide comfortable spots to rest.  Along the trail are several interpretive signs that inform the visitor about the habitat and the archeological and historical aspects of the property.  Mosquitos can be numerous during the wet season.  Please note that there are no restroom facilities or drinking water at the Preserve.  The trail is not considered handicapped accessible at present, however, a sidewalk provides access to view the historic whelk terracing. 

 

 

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Plants and Wildlife:  This preserve is representative of a tropical hardwood hammock, which is one of the most rare, unique and endangered habitats found in Collier County  and is identified in the Conservation Collier ordinance as the highest priority habitat for preservation.  Tropical hardwood hammock provides food and cover for many resident and migratory wildlife species that typically use such habitat.  Fifty-seven (57) species of birds (including the Cooper's hawk shown to the right) and one hundred and twenty-seven (127) plant species have been recorded at Otter Mound Preserve.  Other wildlife observed includes opossum, armadillo, raccoon, grey squirrel and even the occasional bobcat.   

Coopers hawk nesting at Otter Mound Preserve

Tropical hardwood hammock

Reasons for Acquisition:  Tropical hardwood hammocks are an increasingly rare type of coastal plant community found in South Florida.  These forests are characterized by evergreen and semi-deciduous woody plant species that area also found throughout the Caribbean.  They ocurr on the highest coastal elevations where it rarely floods and are, as a result,  prime areas for human habitation. Development pressure has resulted in the conversion of many of these forests to urban and agricultural uses.  The preserve was primarily acquired due to the presence of torpical hardwood hammock, a priority habitat type in the Conservation Collier Program, but it also has archeological and historical significance.  It is located on the site of an ancient Calusa mound (c. 700 A.D. - 1,200 A.D.), though it is not thought to be a burial site.  Digging at the site or collection of any artifacts is not permitted.  The property was a homesite for early settlers in the Caxambas Village who worked in the Marco Island clamming industry. 

Management Goals: Management goals for the Otter Mound Preserve are to maintain the property in its natural condition prior to modern development, eliminate or reduce human impacts to indigenous plant and animal life, maintain the trail to provide a safe and pleasant visitor experience, protect the archaeological, historical and cultural Resources, facilitate uses of the site for educational purposes and provide a plan for security and disaster preparedness.