Rapid Ecological Project Assessment
Matrix Score: 4.93 of 9.44
Size: 92 acres
Number of parcels: 3
Number of owners: 2
Number of Buildings: 3
The 92-acre Hartman Mackey (HAR) Project is
located in an urbanized area of northwest
The HAR site contains a portion of
the headwaters area for Hogtown Creek; there is significant drainage from
surrounding areas onto the site into stream tributaries that lead to Hogtown
Creek. Hogtown Creek flows through the
southern portion of the site. In addition to the seepage stream, the HAR site
consists of approximately six acres of high quality upland mixed forest in the
southwest portion of the site, one acre of cypress dome in the northwest
corner, and a minimum of four acres of floodplain forest adjacent to the
creeks. The remainder of the property has been disturbed and is an old field
successional pine forest. The HAR Project
area is currently being considered for a rezoning change to planned development
(PUD), in preparation for a
Protecting Water Resources:
According to the Florida Geologic
Survey Open File Report 21 (Macesich 1988), approximately 17% of the
Hartman-Mackey Project is located within the confined aquifer zone of
According to the St. Johns River
Water Management District’s Aquifer Recharge Map for
Of the 92 acres of land within the Hartman-Mackey Tracts project, approximately 25% of the total acreage is wetlands, contain hydric soils, or areas that fall within the FEMA 100 and 500 year floodplain.
Hartman-Mackey Project is located on the upper northeast arm of Hogtown Creek,
which flows through the southern portion of the site. Two tributaries of Hogtown Creek pass through
the site. These tributaries transport
water into Hogtown creek from two culverts that pass under 441. From here, the creek flows in a southwestern
direction through the City of
Protecting Natural Communities and Landscapes:
Disturbed Cleared Area
The ecological quality of the natural communities ranges from good for the upland mixed forest to fair for the old field successional pine forest.
The six-acre upland mixed forest on the southwest portion of the property, adjacent to Hogtown Creek, is the highest quality natural community on the site. It contains a high diversity of species that would typically be found in an undisturbed upland mixed forest. However, the site is impacted by extremely high levels of invasive, non-native plants particularly coral ardisia (Ardesia crenata) and glossy privet (Ligustrum lucidum). This portion of the Project site is zoned conservation. It was set aside after a previous rezoning review project.
The one acre isolated dome swamp is also of good quality. It contains a dense canopy of sweetgum, water oak, sweet bay magnolia, red maple and bald cypress (CPH 2003).
The moderate quality floodplain forest is associated with the creek tributaries, and includes an overstory of mostly maple and sweetgum.
The remainder of the HAR Project is old field successional pine forest. Historically, soils indicate that these uplands were most likely mesic pine flatwoods. Current vegetation includes a dense canopy of water oak, laurel oak, sweetgum and loblolly pines, with low groundcover diversity and abundance. There is an approximately 10 acre cleared area that was once a golf driving range. This area is now in an early successional state with a groundcover of grasses and blackberry. There is no overstory in this area, although the site has young loblolly pines and standing dead pines.
Several acres of loblolly pines were harvested during the 1994-1995 southern pine beetle infestation. An abundance of snags and downed trees occur in these areas.
None of the project site is within the Florida Ecological Greenways
Network (FEGN). The Florida Ecological
Greenways Network is a decision support model to help identify the best
opportunities to protect ecological connectivity statewide. It was developed by the
The HAR Project does not fall within a Strategic Habitat Conservation Area. Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas were developed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). They are private lands containing habitats critical to the continued survival of populations of inadequately protected plants and animals, Cox et al. 2000. These lands are essential to providing some of state’s rarest animals, plants, and natural communities with the land base necessary to sustain populations into the future (Cox ET al.1994).
The HAR Project is not considered a Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) Habitat Conservation Priority. FNAI’s Habitat Conservation Priorities prioritize places on the landscape that would protect both the greatest number of rare species and those species with the greatest conservation need (Florida Natural Areas Inventory, June 2001)
The HAR Project does not contain
any Under-represented Natural Communities. Under-represented Natural
Communities are those natural
community types that were inadequately represented on conservation lands in
Protecting Plant and Animal Species:
Common Name Endemic/ Large Fed/State FCREPA/FNAI Observed
Home-Range Status Designation
X= Endemic, L=species with large home ranges according to the Closing the Gaps in Florida’s Wildlife Habitat System, S= observed by Alachua Co. EPD staff and/or an LCB subcommittee member, SM= documented on the Species Models maps created by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, F= Focal species used for the most detailed analyses in the Closing the Gaps in Florida’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation System, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, 1994, N= Florida Natural Areas Inventory Element Occurrence, P= potential for species based on habitat types, K=documented in the Alachua County Ecological Inventory Project.
The above data lists the
The site contains the threatened rainlily (Zephyranthes atamasca) and milkvine (Matelea spp.).
The FWC 2001 data shows no bald eagle nests within four miles of the HAR Project.
A very small percentage (2%) of the HAR Project is considered a Regional Biodiversity Hotspot. The purpose of the Regional Biodiversity Hot Spots maps, developed by FWC, is to “convey more detailed information on the known locations of as many components of biological diversity as possible, regardless of whether or not they fall within proposed Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas, to help meet the need for conservation information at regional and local levels” (Cox et al. 1994).
Invasive, non-native plants are generally restricted to areas adjacent to the creeks. The dominant invasive plants include coral ardisia, glossy privet, Japanese honeysuckle, mimosa, and small amounts of Japanese climbing fern. In some areas coral ardisia is the dominant groundcover species and is very abundant.
Achieving Social and Human Values:
The HAR site is a not listed as a Natural Resource-based Recreation Area (Knight et al. 2000), nor is it within a Florida Ecological Greenway Network area. The Natural Resource-based Recreation map was developed by FNAI in collaboration with DEP, FWC and the Florida Division of Forestry. The recreation potential of a site depends on available road access, presence of a water body or beach, proximity to urban areas, and size of the site. “These criteria were applied to Potential Natural Areas delineated by FNAI using aerial photography and revised using the 1995 Water Management District land cover data. Sites were ranked by recreation potential” (Knight et al. 2000).
In addition, the HAR Project is not
included in the Emerald Necklace Land Conservation Initiative - “a publicly
accessible, connected, and protected network of trails, greenways, open space,
and waterfronts surrounding the
The HAR Project is an easily
accessible urban natural area located in a residential area. This site would
provide an opportunity for local residents to explore nature and may provide
some environmental interpretation opportunities for nearby schools. At a minimum, the site provides needed urban
greenspace within a developed area of
Vigilant management is necessary to control the spread of invasive, non-native plants which are already in high densities in portions of the site, particularly adjacent to creeks. In addition, much of the HAR Project has been significantly altered by land use activities including clearing natural areas for use as a golf driving range, and establishment of loblolly pines. The diversity of the habitats is poor to moderate at best and is in need of ecological enhancement and restoration. This would include harvesting of the loblolly pines and prevention of pine recruitment, and allowing for natural regeneration in much of the site. Prescribed fire would be necessary in restoring some of the upland areas that were historically mesic flatwoods, although the sparse groundcover in these areas may make carrying fire difficult. In addition, prescribed fire is difficult to implement in such a densely populated area. It may be necessary to revegetate the area.
It may be beneficial to restore portions of the creeks and its tributaries that have been channelized.
Restoration and management of this site would be costly and labor intensive.
Economic and Acquisition Issues:
The entire project site is
currently under review for a proposed land use change to PUD (planned unit
development) to allow mixed use (commercial and residential) development on the
site. The current plan calls for a
There are three parcels and two owners in the 92-acre Hartman Mackey Project. The Alachua County Property Appraiser (ACPA) shows three buildings on their parcel data. The ACPA’s 2002 Just Value or land value for the entire project is $899,300 or $9,775/ acre. The ACPA’s total value (Just, Miscellaneous and Building) for the project area is $1,233,300 or $13,405/ acre. These figures are for comparative purposes between nominated properties, and are not necessarily an accurate reflection of the true cost of the property if acquired by the Alachua County Forever Program.
The HAR Project is located within
There are two identified archaeological site on or directly adjacent to the HAR property. These sites designated 8AL3426 and 8AL3427 in the Florida Master Site File maintained by the Florida Division of Historical Resources contain, “thin lithic scatter…lacks cultural strata or features” (SouthArc 2002). In addition, the Hartman house is a historical building listed as 8AL4855 in the Master Site Files. This property is described by SouthArc (2002) as, “while old lacks integrity of materials, design, workmanship, association, and feeling…due to the loss of integrity in these aspects, the house has also lost integrity of feeling. As a result, we do not believe it is significant or eligible for the National Register.”
Aucott, W. 1988. Water Resources Investigation Report 88-4057. USGS.
Cox, J., R. Kautz, M. MacLaughlin, and T. Gilbert.
1994. Closing the Gaps in
Cox, J. and R. Kautz. 2000. Habitat Conservation Needs of
Rare and Imperiled Wildlife in
CPH. 2003. Proposed Rezoning to Planned Development (PUD),
PUD Report “North Creek PD.”
Hoctor, T.S., J. Teisinger, M.G. Carr., P.C, Zwick. 2002.
Identification of Critical Linkages Within the
Knight, G., A. Knight, and J. Oetting. 2000. Florida Forever
Conservation Needs Assessment Summary Report to the Florida Forever Advisory
Macesich, M. 1988.
Geologic Interpretation of the Aquifer Pollution Potential in
2002. Cultural Resources Survey
and Assessment, Hartman Tract,