Clearing has been started on Parcel 11 in Estate Carolina, which includes removing all invasive plants and shrubs.
A small park area with benches and fruit trees are just a few ideas planned for a one and half acre area located in Coral Bay at Parcel 11, Estate Carolina.
The land is under the control of Department of Agriculture, which is planning its own gardening project on adjacent property on King Hill Road across the street from Love City Mini Mart.
The section of land between the Dept. of Agriculture land and South Shore Road is comprised of about an acre and a half of property, which will be fenced in and mostly restored to it natural habitat, explained Coral Bay Community Council President Sharon Coldren.
CBCC officials are overseeing the Parcel 11 project, which includes clearing the area of invasive plants and restoring natural wetlands on a majority of the property, while creating a small park in the area closest to the road, explained Coldren.
“The whole area we’re working on is going to be mostly wetlands restoration,” said Coldren. “We’re taking out invasive species and we’ll be planting native plants so the area can function properly and be a wetlands habitat. The area that is nearer to the corner and the road, however, is a little dryer.”
“We’re looking at that area to be a natural park setting,” Coldren said. “It will essentially be a natural park area with fruit trees and seating areas.”
Phase one of the project consists of removing all invasive plants and shrubs from the area, which CBCC has been working on for several weeks. CBCC has hosted volunteer days on several occasions, which have brought residents out, helping to clear the area.
Last week officials from Department of Public Works pitched in as well, Coldren explained.
“We’ve gotten good volunteer help from the community to remove vegetation by hand, which we really needed,” said the CBCC president. “Public Works has been wonderful helping us to remove piles of debris and they were great to come by today and clean a whole area of downed branches that were covered with vines. It would have taken us ages to get that stuff out but Public Works came by with their back hoe and dump truck and got it right out for us.”
“We really appreciate their hard work,” Coldren said. “It’s great to collaborate with them on this project.”
Phase one of the CBCC park area project also includes fencing in the property and restoring wetlands, work which is being overseen by local botanist Gary Ray, explained CBCC environmental projects coordinator Patricia Reed.
“The whole parcel is split into two areas,” said Reed. “One area, about two-thirds of the property, will be restored to wetlands and moist forest and then there is the park area. Gary has developed a restoration plan for the natural wetlands area and we’ll be posting that plan to our website soon.”
Once the area is cleared of invasive vegetation and planted with native species, the land will also be fenced in, Coldren explained.
“Phase one also includes putting a fence around the whole property so that livestock can’t get in and eat the plants,” she said. “There will also be gates in the fence so that people can get in and use the area.”
Last week CBCC hosted a community meeting at the site to hear from residents about what they would like to see in the natural park area, Coldren explained.
“We had a meeting last week and we heard from some young mothers who would love an area where they can push a stroller,” said the CBCC president. “Another idea was to have an exercise natural trail on the perimeter of the whole property, which might be phase three of the project.”
“We’re trying to get ideas to implement to make the whole property naturally wonderful and serve the community’s needs for relaxation and walking-type recreation,” Coldren said. “We’re listening to people and we had some great ideas from last week’s meeting. We’ll put all of those ideas together and discuss it at another meeting in November.”
Coldren also envisions installing a few small concrete type of climbable sculptures for children to play on, she added.
“We’re going to plant fruit trees and have several seating areas and we also hope to have some sort of play items for children,” said Coldren. “Even if it is just something simple like a low-scaled concrete structure for kids to climb on. We’re excited about the plans and looking for someone who can sculpt in concrete and could work with us to design that.”
For more information about CBCC’s plans for Parcel 11, call 776-2099, or check out
www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.org. CBCC is hosting another volunteer day at the park area on Wednesday, October 31, at 8 a.m.