Project Name: Plantation Preserve
Location: 8050 W.
Broward Boulevard, Plantation, Florida
Completion: April 2006
Miller Legg - Michael D. Kroll, RLA
State Nursery & Landscape Company, Inc.
- Mike Ebersold
Owner: City of
Plantation - Jim Romano
The Plantation Preserve
demonstrates the ecological ethos and societal consciousness of Landscape
Architecture by providing a recreational amenity that preserves historical
natural resources through habitat conservation.
This was achieved by the Landscape Architect’s design of the nation’s
first public open space located within the highly managed system of a golf
course. Through innovative designs, the
Preserve’s open space provides an environmentally-focused refuge supporting unique
natural habitats, recreational opportunities and historical reflection.
The Plantation Preserve
was populated by Tequesta Indian tribes from 750 BC – 1500 AD, primarily within
tree islands surrounded by freshwater marshes.
The Tequesta tree island settlement and the on-site burials have been
designated as a significant Florida archeological resource. Modern history for the Plantation Preserve
began in the 1950’s when it was developed as the Plantation Golf Club.
In the 1980’s the facility was forced to
close and the property was saddled with significant arsenic contamination issues,
extreme vagrancy, and illegal dumping activities. In the 1990’s, the City with the assistance
of the Landscape Architect, acquired a Florida Communities Trust Grant and
Broward County Open Space Bond Program funding for the parcel’s acquisition.
Reflecting upon the
historical significance of the Plantation Preserve, the Landscape Architect
developed a program based on the project’s archeological and recent historical
significance. Unique program elements included: 1) Celebration of the archeological site, 2) creation
of freshwater habitats to re-establish the tree island’s original context and, 3)
a linear park that follows the Tequesta trade route.
Plantation Preserve’s 1½-mile
linear park is an oasis of more than 60 acres of upland and wetland plant
habitats within a densely populated area of South Florida. The habitats mimic indigenous natural Everglades’s
ecosystems including shallow pools, herbaceous marshes, willow islands,
hardwood hammocks and pond apple sloughs.
These created habitats are a highly utilized refuge for a variety of
wading and migratory bird species including wood storks, herons, egrets, ibis
and purple martins. The red-capped cardinal has not been observed in the Continental United
States since the 1960’s and had never been photographed. That is until 2008, when a red-capped
cardinal was photographed in the marshes of Plantation Preserve.
To celebrate the
Plantation Preserve’s Tequesta tree island and burial mound, the Landscape
Architect accentuated the elevation of these historic features with organic
soils that also protects the archeological resources. Multi-generation old strangler fig trees were
preserved and the island was reforested with native tree species. The tree island was then enveloped by created
wetlands to reflect the historical geographic context of the site.
Realizing the educational
treasure of Plantation Preserve, the Landscape Architect designed an
audiovisual informational signage system through the Preserve. The topics of this information include the
Preserve’s archeology, the history of the Plantation Golf Club, and the native
flora and fauna. The Landscape Architect
successfully collaborated with artists, archaeologists, and production
consultants to develop the graphics and narratives for this informational signage. In addition, interactive signage providing
audio narratives was sited at the tree island/burial mound and each of the
linear park’s trail heads.
The Plantation Preserve is
a project that preserves, conserves and celebrates the historical significance
of the site. The Landscape Architect’s successful
design responds to its stakeholders while remediating environmental
contamination issues, and providing a unique historical, conservation-focused
recreation resource for residents.
Contractor: Ed Harbauer - Wadsworth
Architects: Jim Borrelli - Borrelli + Partners, Inc.
Smelek - Von Hagge Smelek & Baril
Contractor: John Lewis - Perfect
Relocations: Tom Girley - Tree
Movers , Inc.