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Florida RV Resort Restores Natural Wetlands

April 28, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

For decades, the site where Bill Harvey would build Silver Palms RV Village in South Florida was used by local ranchers as a cattle pasture.

Some of that land was a natural wetlands. But over time, the wetlands disappeared and a thicket of Brazilian peppers grew in its place, choking off the ability of native plants to survive.

But when Harvey presented his plans to build a luxury RV resort to local officials, he agreed to restore nearly 13 acres of land abutting the resort to a natural wetlands. And as Florida celebrated Earth Day, Harvey’s plans are being realized, according to a news release.

“We’ve removed the Brazilian peppers and are now planting small clusters of cabbage palm and wax myrtle, which will serve as a natural buffer between the RV resort and the wetlands,” said Chris Sopotnick of Ecological Consulting of Florida, the Stuart-based consulting firm that Harvey hired to oversee the restoration of the wetlands.

Once the buffer zones are planted, Sopotnick will then plant pickeralweed, cord grass, spike rush, Canna lilly, blue flag iris, saw grass, thalia, duck potato and bulrush, all of which he’d like to get established before the rainy season begins this summer.
By next year, some of the new plants should be mature enough to treat residents and visitors to Silver Palms RV Village to a natural Florida habitat that provides forage for resident and migratory waterfowl, Sopotnick said.

The work is being done in cooperation with the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversee wetlands protection and restoration efforts in South Florida.

Meanwhile, construction work is still underway on the $15 million Silver Palms RV Village, which opened in March. For more information on Silver Palms RV Village and its wetlands restoration efforts, contact Chris Sapotnick at (772) 220-7817 or Phyllis Walker at (863) 467-5800 or visit the resort’s website at www.silverpalmsrv.com.

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