Picture of sky and water

2015 Love Your Lake Grant Spotlight:  Stoneybrook of Venice $2,000

Stoneybrook of Venice planted over 3,000 Jointed Spikerush, Eleocharis interstinkta, over 8 community lakes. Some lakes had existing plantings that were added to and otehr lkaes had no plantings at all. Spikerush was chosen because it was already doing well in some of the lakes.

stoneybrook of venice before

 One of StoneyBrook’s lakes before planting.

Picture of stoneybrook after

Immediately following the installation of Jointed Spikerush.

Picture of stoneybrook after

Just a few months after installation, the Jointed Spikerush in 24″ to 36″ inches tall.

Other 2015 Awards:

City of Oakland Park – Twin Lakes $5,000
Lakes Education Action Drive – Lake Somerset $2,150

2014 Awards:

Seminole County – Lake Jesup Park $4,000

City of Casselberry – Lake Triplet $4,000

triplet signage

Signage from City of Casselberry’s Lake Triplet Restoration Project

2012 Love Your Lake Grant Spotlight: City of Casselberry Lake Hodge Shoreline Restoration Project

The City of Casselberry (located just north of Orlando) recently completed the Lake Hodge Shoreline Restoration Project, which was funded in part by a FLMS Love Your Lake Grant. This project consisted of re-vegetation of approximately 450 linear feet of the shoreline of Lake Hodge, a 22 acre lake prone to highly fluctuating water levels and exposed areas susceptible to erosion. It included native and Florida-friendly plant installation, educational signage, a related informational workshop, and a volunteer activity component.

The re-vegetation project was split into two phases. The first phase was completed in March 2011 by City staff. It included removal of nuisance vegetation and installation of native species. This was followed by a neighborhood informational session in September 2011 that addressed both a proposed baffle box project in the area as well as lakefront re-vegetation and the upcoming Lake Hodge volunteer event. In March 2012, approximately 45 volunteers contributed to completing the second phase of re-vegetation.

An educational sign documenting the effort and emphasizing benefits of healthy shorelines, was installed in November 2012, concluding the project. Altogether, 1200 cordgrass (Spartina bakeri), 20 bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), 84 pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), and 240 pine straw much bales were installed for the re-vegetation. As a result, Lake Hodge now has a healthier shoreline that promotes erosion control and pollution control. In combination with the native species that were already well established in the lake itself, including fragrant water lily (Nymphaea odorata), the improved lakeshore will also better promote native wildlife habitat.

Other past recipients include:

1. Lake Seminole Park – Pinellas County ($6,200)

Lake Seminole Park is a 255 acre park located in central Pinellas County. The park offers boating, fishing, and 2 miles of passive recreational trails. Annual attendance at the park exceeds 1.2 million visitors. The shoreline restoration work supported by FLMS will focus on a 3.7 acre pond and include littoral shelf enhancement, the creation of a wildlife island, the installation of an aeration system, and the planting of native vegetation along the shoreline. Interpretive signage describing ecosystem/habitat management also will be installed. Signs will describe the functions of lakes and ponds including their importance to wildlife and the benefits they provide for flood protection, storm water management and watershed recharge.

A sign next to a body of water

2. Saratoga Lake – Cape Coral ($4,300)

Cape Coral ‘s Environmental Resource Division (ERD) is responsible for monitoring 300 miles of the city’s fresh water canals. With declines in water quality, ERD is developing project demonstration sites to display what citizens can do to improve water quality in their back yards. The demonstration site project being supported by FLMS is located along the shoreline at Saratoga Lake Park . The littoral site will be planted with native submersed and emergent vegetation which will be identified by signage explaining the benefits of the enhanced shoreline. The project site also is scheduled to become a Florida Yards and Neighborhoods demonstration area.

3. Cape Coral High School ($4,000)

The Cape Coral High School campus includes a fenced half acre pond site. Students and teachers have spent hundreds of volunteer hours enhancing the site. Debris has been removed, eroded banks have been repaired, exotic vegetation has been removed and a walkway and picnic tables have been installed near the pond. The pond is utilized by migratory and resident birds, small mammals, amphibians, fish and other animals. Science teachers now plan to use the pond as an outdoor classroom and are joining the city sponsored Canalwatch and county sponsored Pondwatch programs. Students will learn to collect and analyze water quality data and track trends for this pond and other water bodies in the area. Students also will use the pond to learn about native/non-native flora, invertebrates, soils, fish and other ecosystem based curriculum. The final phase of the pond beautification project is being supported by FLMS and includes the installation of additional shoreline vegetation and informative educational signs.

4. Lake Alto Shoreline Restoration – Gainesville ($3,000) Lake Alto is located in northeast Alachua County and is connected to Lake Santa Fe. Approximately 500 feet of shoreline near the county boat ramp will be enhanced. Exotic vegetation will be removed, and replaced with native vegetation. Shoreline trees and educational signs also will be installed.

5. Lake Condel – Orange County ($3,000) Lake Condel is a small lake (< 4 acres) located in Orange County. Recently, several hundred feet of invasive cattail was removed from the western shoreline. The lake is again visible but the littoral landscape is bare. The shoreline restoration project supported by FLMS includes replanting the impacted area with native aquatic vegetation and installing informative educational signs. The project will be completed by lakefront home owners and will enhance the lake shoreline by providing wildlife habitat, erosion control and sediments consolidation.