Region: Northern Palm Beach County
Size: 172 acres
Hours: Pardon Our Dust! For the next 2 weeks crews will be onsite for mechanical restoration. The natural area will be closed Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 3:00pm. It will reopen during the week after 3:00pm until sunset and from sunrise to sunset on Saturday and Sunday.
12201 Prosperity Farms Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 (not a mailing address). The main portion of the natural area is located on the west side of Prosperity Farms Road, one mile north of PGA Boulevard. The smaller Prosperity Oaks tract is located approximately 0.4 mile south of the main tract, and is accessible only by foot from a trailhead located on the west side of Prosperity Farms Road.
Public Use Facilities:
Facilities on the main portion of the site include a parking area for ten cars and two buses, a bicycle rack, a kiosk with educational exhibits, an accessible nature trail leading to a covered observation platform, and two natural-surface hiking trails, one with a 500-foot boardwalk through a cypress swamp. There are no restroom facilities or drinking water on the natural area. The Prosperity Oaks tract has natural-surface hiking trails and two kiosks with educational exhibits.
The natural area contains seven Florida native ecosystems: mesic flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, wet flatwoods, strand swamp, hydric hammock, mangrove swamp, and a small depression marsh. The tidal pond within the mangrove swamp was created in the 1960s, when soil was removed for use as fill for the construction of adjacent residential developments. Five thousand red mangrove seedlings were planted around the edge of the pond as part of a wetland restoration project. Nearly 400 trees and palms, including the cabbage palms lining the entrance road, were relocated to the natural area from a site approved for development. The natural area was purchased in 1995. State Preservation 2000 matching funds for the acquisition were provided by the Florida Communities Trust. The natural area is managed by Palm Beach County with assistance from the City of Palm Beach Gardens. It is part of the Northeast Everglades Natural Area.
The wet, low-lying areas contain giant leather fern, pond apple, and pond cypress. The drier ridges contain firebush, blazing star, coastalplain staggerbush, and pricklypear. The Prosperity Oaks tract contains large live oaks and sabal palms with resurrection ferns and shoestring ferns on their trunks.
Animals observed on the site include black pondhawk, pearl crescent, striped mullet, southern leopard frog, southeastern five-lined skink, eastern mud turtle, chuck-will's-widow, great horned owl, eastern gray squirrel, and bobcat.