(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.
The first half-mile travels through oak and palm hammocks,
with many interesting trees, like this one:
In deference to the aging population (29% of our residents are over age 65) there are many spots for rest or contemplation:
I took advantage of a parkbench ;), sponsored by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs: thank you, ladies!
The trail continues in elevated form, over the wetlands,
Clearly, this runner left us in her dust :)
On the far side of the bridge looms an army of hostile invaders:
Thankfully, a nearby sign points to more pleasant surroundings:
I love cassia shrubs, so zoomed in closer.
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.
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.
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…….