Address/Location: The Preserve access is located west of I-75, at the western end of Veterans Memorial Blvd., off of Livingston Road, north of its intersection with Immokalee Road. The parking area is on the north side at the end of Veterans Memorial Blvd., in a grassed area within the future road right-of-way, across from the Veterans Memorial Elementary School.
Manager Contact Information: Melissa Hennig
Phone: (239) 252-2957
Preserve size: 132 acres
Date Acquired: The first 77 acres were acquired in September 2004. Fifty-five acres to the south were acquired in June 2007.
Cost of Acquisition: The total cost of acquisition was $31,850,050
Public Access Status: This preserve is not open to the public at this time.
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Public Access Facilities: There are no facilities at this preserve.
Plants and Wildlife: This preserve is representative of several of the typical habitat types found in Collier County including seasonally flooded cypress, hydric flatwoods, pine flatwoods and xeric oak scrub. This last habitat type is rapidly disappearing in Collier County due to its higher elevation and well drained soils, which make it ideal for development. For this reason, xeric oak scrub is a priority habitat for preservation in the Conservation Collier Program. This preserve contains one of the last few significant sized (approx. 50 acres) areas of xeric oak scrub in Collier County. Additionally, four hundred and nine (409) species of plants have been identified on the preserve site, including ten (10) species protected by the State of Florida.
Many species of wildlife have been recorded on the preserve. Twenty-seven species of birds have been documented, including those that are wetland dependent, migratory and protected. A resident red tailed hawk is often seen circling and calling in the scrub area. Deer are routinely spotted along with racoons and armadillos. The preserve is also home to a large population of gopher tortoises, a species protected by the State of Florida.
Reasons for Acquisition: There were a number of reasons that contributed to the selection of this property for preservation. One significant reason is the presence of priority habitat as well as other native habitats including marshes and seasonal wetlands that provide important habitat for wetland dependent wildlife species. The overall ecological quality of the existing habitats is very good and restoration potential is high. The acquisition and protection of these properties protects water resources of existing wetlands and provides open space for recharge of the surficial aquifer. Exotic species were present, but were located in relatively concentrated areas where mechanical removal could be done easily. Exotics were removed and restoration of impacted areas is ongoing. Additionally, the large population of gopher tortoises and presence of protected plant species made this site important to conserve.