The Lagoon Greenway

(Reminder:  for a larger, more detailed view, be sure to click the photos!)

The Lagoon Greenway is a newly opened conservation area connecting 8th Street, Vero Beach to the western bank of the Indian River  It consists of a three-mile trail system for walking and biking, and a quarter-mile wilderness loop reminiscent of Old Florida.

0814_Greenway___t607

The first half-mile travels through oak and palm hammocks,

Lagoon Greenway Trailhead, 1/17/13

with many interesting trees, like this one:

Gnarled oak, with ferns, Lagoon Greenway, 1/14/13

In deference to the aging population (29% of our residents are over age 65) there are many spots for rest or contemplation:

Lagoon Greenway Picnic Area 1, January 2013

I took advantage of a parkbench ;), sponsored by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs: thank you, ladies!

Park Benches abound at the Lagoon Greenway

The trail continues in elevated form, over the wetlands,

Wetlands Elevated Boardwalk, Lagoon Greenway, January 2013

 Clearly, this runner left us in her dust :)

Elevated Boardwalk, Lagoon Greenway, January 2013

On the far side of the bridge looms an army of hostile invaders:

Austalian Pines, Lagoon Greenway, January 2013

Few animals (or plants) survive the ecologically sterile interior of this little forest. Australian Pines are anathema!
aniplant

Thankfully, a nearby sign points to more pleasant surroundings:

Lagoon, this way, (with cassia bicapsularis)I love cassia shrubs, so zoomed in closer.

Cassia Bicapsularis, Lagoon Greenway, January, 2013

 Finally, a glimpse of mangrove swamp under cloudy skies:

Indian River Lagoon, January 2013

My knowledge of this viviparous species is recent, yet full of respect; mangroves are “builders” whose short, dense roots trap sediment and keep the shoreline intact.

Shoreline, Indian River Lagoon, January 2013

In addition to stabilizing the shore, mangroves provide food and shelter for dozens of estuarine creatures. Fish and crabs seek protection and nutrients among the plant’s root system; native waterbirds use the branches as rookeries; even migratory birds use mangroves as a reststop along the Atlantic Flyway.

Rhizophora mangle, (red mangroves) Lagoon Greenway, January 2013

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to one of Vero Beach’s best natural resources! If you’d like to read more information on our lagoon, click this excellent link.  If mangrove info is what you crave, this link from the Marine Discovery Center is a good place to start!

Until next time…….

:)

ps: watch out for this guy….he’s dangerous! aniplant

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23 thoughts on “The Lagoon Greenway

  1. that looks really cool! I dunno about running in there alone, but it is gorgeous! we should do it when i come back down….during the day.

    • We didn’t see any when we were there, but they definitely WERE around.
      One of the first cautions I received upon moving here was this: alligators turn up in lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, swamps, and even the man-made canals running behind many backyards!
      When it comes to ‘gators, humans are interlopers in Florida; you keep an eye out for them–esp. if you don’t want to lose a leg! ;)

  2. Just what I needed…a 3 mile walk !!! quite a pleasant walk at that. I am hibernating at present, like an old bear in his den, waiting for the spring. Love to see my daffodils glowing golden among the leafless trees.

    Be well my far away friend.
    Kenny :)

  3. It’s a great project and really nice to walk it with you!

    But I’ve got to put in a good word or two for the poor sheoak you call anathema! Without its native fauna – especially nectar seeking birds and bees, I suppose a Casuarina forest may appear to be sterile. But it’s another fantastic prehistoric plant, and produces good wood for turning, and for burning! No, seriously, what makes it so fascinating to me is that it hosts those nitrogen-fixing bacteria that allow it to thrive in soils where nothing else will grow – sand dunes or highly eroded areas, for instance, where the its’ extensive root system, and ‘needle’ carpet help to stabilise the soil. I was surprised to come across a glade of them here, even, where they’d been planted along the shoreline to prevent further erosion. Sadly the glade is much thinned since the tsunami, but that half of them, at least survived an event such as that is testament to their adaptability. :)

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