In 2003, a portion of Prairie Pines Preserve was used as a training location by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for natural resources managers and private land owners to demonstrate the available techniques for melaleuca control. This included chemical, mechanical and biological control methods. In 2005 and 2006, field tours and demonstrations were conducted to evaluate the response to the different techniques that were used.
Additionally, in 2004, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection granted Lee County $281,000 to remove melaleuca at the preserve. Images below depict the phases of this removal project.
With matching funds from Conservation 20/20 management funds, work was started in the western arm with a mulching machine.
Standing trees were mulched in place. This removal benefited the native pine trees and ground cover onsite.
Once the melaleuca trees were removed, re-sprouts and seedlings were treated as necessary. In 2009, Prairie Pines Preserve opened to the public. The trail system leads visitors through areas where the melaleuca was removed.
Photo Point Monitoring: