Phase I began in 2009.
Phase II began in 2011 and is about 5 lots to the south of phase I, on the opposite side of the main canal (Phlox/Laurel Valley).
Phase III is planned directly south and adjacent to Phase I. We’ll focus on rebuilding a strengthened natural shoreline using a SHORESOX to contain a mixture of the mulched invasives and sediments pumped from the canal.
PHASE I began with the removal of invasive exotics behind several homes along a main canal that runs between Phlox and Laurel Valley Roads. Rather than an easement, this canal is actually owned by the East Mulloch Drainage District (EMDD), who is responsible for the canal and shoreline adjacent. See the legal tab for more information about the ‘legaleze’ surrounding this restoration project.
This short movie shows the removal of exotics from phase I. EMDD contracted to have the invasive exotic plants (melaleuca and brazilian pepper) from behind lots on Laurel Valley Road in May of 2009.
This June 2009 video shows FGCU students completing their service-learning requirement for University Colloquium followed up by removing a whole LOT of garbage from the canal, and installing part of the SHORESOX shoreline stabilization product.
There were several different materials tested for fill. The melaleuca mulch is still standing up well over 4 years later. (The turtles love to haul out and bask there).
The workers used a trash pump to suck the muck out of the canal and put it onto the steep shoreline. THANK YOU!
In October, 2009 another group of students pulled the grass and air potatoes one more time and then (finally) installed the native plants! Movie coming.
This 2009 CHNEP Partners Grant report chronicles this portion of the project (with photos).
The plants along the first lot (the muck was on the southern end of the lot were watered for a couple of months since they were installed at the start of the dry season. The lot on the north end of the canal was not watered as muck, nor was there as much ‘soil’ for the plants. While we did expect some loss, surprisingly no plants behind the mucked plot died.
Ongoing maintenance since 2009 has included removal of air potatoes, other vines, and some pesky brazilian pepper. In 2014 we are having to trim back the plants from the yard.
A few images:
2011 Brittany Chase completed some hours pulling vines off the natives.
By June of 2012 the plants shot to over a persons head.
In Spring of 2012, a group of students from Professor David Green‘s Environmental Biology of SW Florida helped by removing a LOT of air potatoes, vines and mapping the size and locations of plants on the site. We are (finally) close to having the air potato eradicated.
Here is a June 2014, wide view with my Colloquium students.