Halpatiokee Buffer Preserve February, 2017
I went to the Halpatiokee Buffer Preserve Park in Port St. Lucie today. I am not happy to say this was my first visit there, and this likely, my last. The City of Port St. Lucie is about to run a six lane bridge (The Crosstown Parkway) right through the middle of this preserve. 85% of this 50 acre preserve will be wiped out in order to construct this bridge which could have been built in any one of five other locations, none of which are even close to as environmentally sensitive as this piece of gorgeous preservation land.
This is pretty much a done deal. All appeals to change the route of this bridge have been denied. One by one permits for the destruction of the Halpatiokee Buffer Preserve are being issued. I am very glad I walked this Preserve today, and I am deeply sad too. It is absolutely gorgeous in there. Its destruction will have a huge impact on a pristine environmental gem in the heart of Port St. Lucie. It is a gift to walk among the trees in such a place, but it is heart wrenching to know its fate.
This isn’t just about destroying beauty, as though that isn’t enough of a crime. There is so much more to this land than that. I am not the writer to tell you about all of the important ecosystems at work on this amazing piece of land, though I suggest you read about them for yourself. The telling requires the expertise of a River Keeper, a Native Plant enthusiast, an Audubon Naturalist, a Florida Park Ranger, a Botanist, a Zoologist, and an expert in the Science of Whole Systems Relationships.
I am in a rush to post the pictures I took today. I am anxious to try and sink myself into forgetfulness about the imminent destruction of this beautiful thing that is beyond my ability to save, but I would urge you to read about this Halpatiokee Buffer Preserve, and I would recommend you see this place for yourself. Take your children or your grandchildren, and take a walk in it before it is destroyed.
Today we were invited to a final event at the Halpatiokee Buffer Preserve. A plant walk, a kayak trip, a river talk, and a mock memorial service for the park, a peaceful protest at the end. I am grateful to the people who arranged and advertised this final event. I ripped myself off my own tiny bit of paradise to see this gorgeous place. I will always be glad that I did.
I walked a quarter mile in high winds on a sidewalk along US 1, to get from where I parked to the Preserve. As I walked into the preserve the trees caught the wind, and it was still and cool, quite suddenly I had entered a whole other world. I took just ten pictures. 100 pictures will not impress you the way your own walk along the trails in this park will. Do hurry.