Everglades National Park Restoration Project
Floravista is assisting the National Park Service (NPS) with management of the 6,000 acre (10.3 square miles) Hole-in-the-Donut (HID) restoration area of the Everglades National Park by conducting intensive field vegetation monitoring, data analyses, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial and temporal vegetation mapping, and annual report writing. Floravista’s services and support to NPS have been ongoing since September 2009 and are projected to continue beyond 2015 until the completion of monitoring activities. Floravista created an approach that combines plant community ordination and classification methods, GIS, and standard statistical tests to test NPS's Scope of Service hypotheses, to determine and evaluate the functional value of the wetland types occurring within the HID, and provide land management recommendations.
This year Floravista will be conducting a Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) analysis to evaluate the wetland functions in the restored HID wetlands. Floravista's long-term vegetation monitoring includes identifying approximately 400 plant species within permanent monitoring plots, quantifying their frequency and coverage, analyzing hydrological, micro-topographical, and plant monitoring data to address HID restoration goals, identifying management/maintenance needs, performing a UMAM, as defined in 63-340, F.A.C., functional analysis of the HID as a whole and on the remaining unmitigated portion of the HID, maintaining and managing the master database, while meeting mitigation goals as determined by federal, state, and local permit regulations.
National Park Service produced the following video in 2011: Hole-in-the-Donut: Habitat Restoration Project, that describes the wetland restoration project NPS is sponsoring.
Threatened and Endangered Botanical Survey along 92 linear miles of Proposed Transmission Line Expansion
During 2009 - 2010, Floravista surveyed 92 miles of a 100 meter wide right of way on Florida Power & Light (FP&L) property and/or easements for sensitive environmental resources. Floravista discovered, mapped, described, and reported 41 State and/or Federally listed plant species and developed restoration recommendations. This project involved extensive GIS mapping of ecological data.
Endangered Species Research/Conservation Project
Dicerandra thinicola (Titusville mint), is an endemic, endangered plant species found only in a limited area of Titusville in Brevard County, Florida. Ms. Kennedy currently co-leads a long-term study of this endangered plant species, a research and conservation project she initiated in 2001 with colleague Dr. Eric Menges of Archbold Biological Station.
With the enthusiastic support of local officials, the project has included controlled burns, seed collection, selective reintroduction, and received a U.S. Fish & Wildlife grant to support seed reintroduction research in publicly-owned land.
A Merritt Island property owner hired Floravista to offer consultation and site design plan services for the restoration of a three acre, residential property with more than 100 feet of shoreline on the Banana River. The owner was interested in restoring the property to a natural habitat, removing all invasive plant species and planting species native to Florida.
With naturally occurring water features, open marsh, and tree hammocks, Floravista restored the wetlands, hammocks, and coastal area to native-species dominated habitats, in phases, during 2008-2010. The property is now an oasis for birds, butterflies, amphibians, turtles, and native mammals.
Tree Inventory and Assessment for Commercially-zoned Property/Arborist Consultation
The Client's goal was to preserve healthy specimen and heritage trees and remove hazardous trees to beautify the proposed retail center and minimize tree replacement costs on a densely wooded vacant site in New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida. These project goals required Arborist consultation, collaborative site design, and municipal presentation and coordination with a focus on maximizing profits while conserving the site's most valuable resources.
Floravista completed a comprehensive tree inventory and health assessment of the approximately 450 trees surveyed on this site: identifying each tree species and its DBH, examining each individual tree following certified arborist methodology, and compilng detailed data to produce a score-card on the health or hazard potential of each tree. Historic trees (e.g., Quercus virginica 36 inches DBH and greater) received special attention and careful evaluation for preservation potential or removal proposal due to severely damaged, diseased, or dying condition.
Floravista recommended a roadmap to apply results to tree mitigation cost estimates and developed a Preservation Optimization plan for the Client.
Conservation Subdivision Design Project Management
Floravista conducted a comprehensive regulatory environmental assessment of the site and coordinated with all parties (Property Owner, County Government, St. Johns River Water Management District, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Project Engineer and Landscape Architect) to ensure the project met all federal, state, and local laws. Floravista provided consulting services to the Client whose goal was to avoid all listed species impacts, specimen/heritage tree impacts, wetland and wetland buffer impacts, while developing and creating a rural, conservation-oriented, wooded, subdivision plat for a 32.58 acre vacant parcel. This saved the developer mitigation time and expenses, while preserving a naturally vegetated and wooded setting between the large-lot home sites.
During 2006, Floravista, Inc. completed an environmental assessment of the site. Floravista mapped the soils and vegetation, which comprised mesic pine flatwoods, hydric pine flatwoods, graminoid marsh, and scrubby pine flatwoods. To meet Brevard County's Tree Protection and Canopy Cover Ordinance, Floravista conducted canopy measurements in sub-sample units of varying canopy densities, including helicopter photography measurements. Floravista inventoried and mapped listed species, including Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows, and conducted a Florida Scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) survey, obtaining federal verification that the Florida Scrub-jay was not using or occupying the property.
The natural vegetation fulfilled the tree canopy cover and landscaping requirements, and eliminated the need for spending money on additional landscaping. This approach resulted in an approved 12 large-lot subdivision with "instant,” native landscaping, offering privacy and a vegetative visual and sound buffer between lots. The Water Management District issued an Environmental Resources Permit for this plat in 2008.
This project is featured on the Owner/Developer's website: Mayan Woods