acres, located within the City of Coconut Creek and purchased as two parcels:
the 9.08-acre Site 18 (acquired in 2002) and the 2.64-acre Site 451 (acquired
parcel previously known as Site 18 is a small section of what was once a large
expanse of pine flatwoods typical of north central Broward County. Other
parcels of the same pine flatwoods community are preserved as nearby Helene
Klein Pineland Preserve, and Hillsboro Pineland and West Creek Pineland natural
areas. Saw Palmetto is an upland site with sandy soil and widely scattered
limestone outcroppings. The parcel previously known as Site 451 was a disturbed
area, cleared and filled from past development. This open area is expected to
serve as a hub for access to all the surrounding natural areas.
mesic flatwoods with slash pine and saw palmetto associations. Shrubs
documented here include beautyberry and saltbush, and understory plants include
snowberry, rabbit bells, cypress witchgrass, blackroot, and wild poinsettia.
The area around the parking lot (disturbed from previous development) has been
extensively planted with native flatwoods vegetation: slash pines, saw
palmetto, gallberry, shiny blueberry, gopher apple, and tickseed.
Wildlife: A total
of 59 species have been documented on the site, including one amphibian, four
reptiles (gopher tortoise and green anole among them), one mammal (Eastern gray
squirrel), and 33 species of birds, including chuck-will’s-widow, pileated
woodpecker, Blackburnian warbler, and indigo bunting. Among the 20 species of
butterfly are giant swallowtail, common buckeye, and fiery skipper.
circular concrete nature trail loops through the site, taking visitors into the
woods and to the center of the natural area, where an elevated walkway leads to
a covered observation platform. Other amenities include interpretive signage,
two covered picnic tables, a bike rack, benches, and a drinking fountain.
A Little History: Like nearby Helene Klein Pineland Preserve and Hillsboro
Pineland Natural Area, Saw Palmetto is located within a mile of the Hillsboro
Canal, which is part of South Florida’s intricate system of canals and ditches
that forever changed the landscape when they were introduced in the early 1900s.
Historical accounts of the region describe it as having primarily hydric
vegetation, with dry pinelands scattered throughout. These sites all lie in the
historic transition zone between the high-and-dry Atlantic Coastal Ridge of
eastern Broward County and the now-drained Everglades of urbanized western
Broward. Both parcels that make up Saw Palmetto were purchased with funds from
the 2000 Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond program; the purchase of Site 18 included additional funding from Florida Communities Trust, a state land acquisition program. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, through its Recreational
Trails Program, helped pay for certain amenities such as the boardwalk, signage, etc.
Saw Palmetto Natural Area
4856 N.W. 71st Place, Coconut Creek, FL 33073Phone: