Need for a Plan to Manage Deep Fork Archaeological Site
Weston, Florida

 

Deep Fork Archaeological Site is a preserved Passive Park located in the Weston Hills Country Club Development.

Hurricanes have resulted in a significant loss of trees which were planted in the park by the developer. Trees that were lost were not well-selected initially. They were those species that are now considered weak, or even "pest" trees. Some were simply sub-standard stock.

 

Over time, other trees have failed to thrive. Some have been reset and staked more than once. This is a costly routine in addition to removing large trees and debris after storms.

Because of an unsustainable original plan, presently the park supports a large unshaded area of sod bordered by overcrowded strips of trees. Of these trees, some are weakened or stressed, or have been saved but are nevertheless pest trees.

 

There are also areas of the park where high maintenance planting results in maintenance costs which could be more constructively applied.



The overall sustainable goal for the Deep Fork site would be to

1. Remove non-native species. (labor cost roughly: $15,000)

2. Improve the culture of salvageable native species which are present.

3. Replant a balanced design with "Florida #1" grade native species, to establish a low-maintenance park like setting. (materials and labor cost roughly: $45,000)

A Florida native plant landscape design is particularly appropriate for the acreage as an archaeological site. Still, native plantings have to be chosen carefully to avoid high maintenance or weedy effects. Proper plant selection, spacing, and planting technique will eliminate wasteful maintenance and allow trees and plantings to not only survive, but thrive.

Before adding replacement trees for canopy, and trying to recover the value of the park as it was before the hurricanes, it is cost effective and prudent for the allocation to obtain a sound, goal-oriented plan.

For a successful outcome, the uniqueness of this "created" area requires expertise developing a plan based on knowledge and experience with South Florida plant life, wetland habitats, residential landscape design and property maintenance.

The Deep Fork Archaeological Site is a Florida historical resource, and a valuable, neighborhood green space. A science-based site management plan is essential for the parcel to become a future asset, not a sheer expense.

With good planning it has potential as an ecological resource too, as a haven for birds, a beautiful view for many homes, and a reminder to all who pass, "What a great neighborhood this is!"
 

Report prepared by Leigh Fulghum
Botanist/Landscape Designer
1126 S. Federal Highway #134
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
(954) 832-0251
www.floridaplants.com

leigh@floridaplants.com