The natural area will be undergoing restoration activities in February. Crews will be working on site to reduce vegetation for public safety reasons, to reduce the potential for severe wildfires, as well as in preparation for future prescribed fire activity, and to improve the health of the ecosystem by the reduction of biomass in this area.
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Region: Southern Palm Beach County
Size: 14 acres
Hours: Daily from sunrise to sunset
2901 N. Seacrest Boulevard, Boynton Beach, FL 33435 (not a mailing address). The entrance is located on the west side of Seacrest Boulevard, one-half mile north of Gateway Boulevard.
Public Use Facilities:
Site facilities include a parking area for five cars and one bus, a bicycle rack, a kiosk with educational exhibits, an accessible nature trail, and a natural-surface hiking trail. There are no restroom facilities or drinking water on the natural area.
The natural area contains two native Florida ecosystems: scrub and scrubby flatwoods. It was purchased by Palm Beach County in 1995. Site restoration activities, including removal of invasive nonnative vegetation and prescribed burning, have changed the appearance of the site from when it was first acquired. Most of the trees at that time were older sand pines near the end of their life span. Pine needles and other plant materials that had accumulated on the ground would have provided fuel for a wildfire. A prescribed burn was conducted in 2000 on the northern half of the site to protect the adjacent residences. The trees in that area died after the burn. Other sand pines on the site were blown over by hurricanes in 2004. Because natural recruitment of sand pine seedlings in the burned area did not occur, County staff and volunteers planted several thousand seedling sand pines as replacements. The growth rate of the young sand pines is slow. State Preservation 2000 matching funds were provided by the Florida Communities Trust for the acquisition of the site. The site is managed by Palm Beach County with assistance from the City of Boynton Beach.
Plant species observed on the site include Curtiss's milkweed, largeflowered rosemary, Florida rosemary, jester lichen, ballmoss, narrowleaf silkgrass, paintedleaf, gopher apple, shell mound prickly-pear, and sand pine.
Animal species observed on the site include silver garden spider, gray hairstreak, American bird grasshopper, golden-winged skimmer, green anole, gopher tortoise, eastern screech-owl, ruby-throated hummingbird, blue-gray gnatcatcher, and raccoon.
All Palm Beach County natural areas are publicly-owned and are open for passive, natural resource-based recreational public uses such as hiking, bird watching, nature study and photography. Other recreational uses, as authorized under the Natural Areas Ordinance (Chapter 11, Article XI of the Palm Beach County Code), may be permitted in designated areas on a site-specific basis. Certain natural areas may be temporarily closed for environmental restoration activities and/or other public safety issues. Users should confirm that the natural area they plan to visit has existing public use facilities which match the users proposed activity; not all natural areas are readily accessible or have existing public use facilities such as a parking area, accessible trails, natural-surfaced walking paths, trail markers, and/or information kiosks.