Restoration In Progress

What's Going On

The University is working to restore campus Conservation Areas by treating and removing Invasive Non-Native Plant Species that have been overtaking native vegetation in these special places. As a result of this treatment and removal process, these areas may appear dramatically different then they did before. However, since the management goals of these areas entails preserving Florida's native systems, the long-term benefits to the natural ecosystem will outweigh the short-term impacts to each Conservation Area's appearance.

What To Expect

Green vegetation will die off because it is, in fact, treated invasive non-native plants. The wooded areas may look a bit reminiscent of tropical vegetation after a hard freeze.

What Next

Over the next couple of years, various Conservation Areas will be treated and restored. This year the following Conservation Areas will be treated: Bartram-Carr Woods, Digital Design Wetland, Harmonic Woods, Lake Alice Marsh, McCarty Woods, Reitz Ravine Woods, and University Park Arboretum. Another area that has recently been treated is the Wilmot Gardens site at the corner of Gale-Lemerand and Mowry Road.

Invasive Non-Native Plants being Treated

Air Potato Vine Dioscorea bulbifera
Cat's Claw Vine Macfadyena unguis-cati
Chinese Tallowe Sapium sebiferum
Cogon Grass Imperata cylindrica
Coral Ardisia Ardisia crenata
Elephant Ear Xanthosoma sagittifolium
Glossy Privet Ligustrum lucidum
Golden Rain Tree Koelreuteria elegans
Kudzu Pueraria montana
Wandering Jew Tradescantia fluminensis
Wild Taro Colocasia esculenta

Grant Information

In the summer of 2006, the University was awarded a DEP Upland Invasive Plant Grant from the Department of Environmental Protection for the removal of invasive non-native plants in 7 campus Conservation Areas. The grant application was titled "University of Florida Campus Conservation and Natural Areas Invasive/Exotic Removal Project Phase II" and the funded amount was for $44,6000. This is the second grant to be awarded to the University through this program, with the previous one having been awarded to treat the Natural Area Teaching Lab and Hogtown Creek Woods. A primary goal of this project is to prevent the spread of these invasive non-native plant species to new sites on the main campus and into the City of Gainesville through streams in the Hogtown Creek and Lake Alice watersheds. The University has over 30 Conservation Areas on campus and will be approaching invasive plant management as an ongoing maintenance issue. Every natural site on campus has some level of infestation and only a concerted long-term approach will be able to improve this situation. As such, the Facilities Planning and Construction Division and the Physical Plant Division will continue to apply for these grants on a yearly basis. Erik Lewis wrote the grant and Erick Smith is managing its implementation. Site treatment should begin in October of 2006 - so look for dramatic changes to a few of these areas shortly.