​When Conservation 20/20 purchased nomination #346 in 2008, it was previously used as a palm grove nursery. Its location is just north of the parking area for the Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve trailhead entrance (6351 Stringfellow Road, St James City). The 35-acre palm grove purchase was the connector to the northern and southern portions of Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve. The former grove owner was given a short-term lease to complete palm sales and have the site cleared. In late 2013, the site was cleared and made ready for restoration efforts. In January 2014, the site was planted with 18,000 south Florida slash pine seedlings purchased from the Florida Forest Service.

The goal is to reestablish this former palm grove to the original pine flatwoods native habitat. The total cost of the project was just under $8,200 (pine seedlings cost $3,780; labor install cost $4,409). The site was planted on Jan. 13-14, just ahead of Arbor Day on Jan. 17, 2014. Continue to watch the pines grow and transform this restored site over the next few years and decades to come.

Before: old palm grove nursery
 

 

After: January 2014-planted pine seedlings