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Natural Resources

Alachua County is home to many freshwater bodies.  Both the rural and urban areas are littered with small ponds, natural springs and some large lakes.  These bodies of water are both privately and publicly owned and are used for recreation, fish production, water reclamation and aesthetics.  The ecosystems of each body of water are constantly changing because of changing weather patterns, seasonality, daily temperature changes and nutrient accumulation.  These changing water parameters make fish and aquatic weed management a constant challenge.

With the use of the portable Hoch Kit (which allows for water quality testing in field), water quality data can be derived on site and a management plan can be developed quite rapidly, tailored for each specific body of water.  Pond problems are among the most frequent site visit requests I have.  I used these visits to advertise the Fall Pond Workshop Series.  Many in attendance of the workshops were clients whose ponds I had already visited. 

Another threat to Alachua County ecosystems are invasive plant species such as cogangrass (Imperata cylindrical), Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), coral ardisia (Ardisia crenata), Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), and others.  These species displace native plants and alter the habitat’s fire and water ecology.

Natural resources extension programing like the Fall Pond Workshop Series and the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) will be used to educate both citizens and visitors about the importance of environmental stewardship with regards to controlling invasive weeds.

UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County 22712 W Newberry Road Newberry, FL 32669 352-955-2402

Hours Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.