Bird Rookery Restoration
Created in the 1930s, Greynolds Park is located in North Miami Beach, Florida. Earlier inhabitants included Indians and original settlers of South Florida. Greynolds Park enjoys a rich history housing the County stockade, labor camps, farms, and a Grateful Dead “Love in” festival. The land is currently owned by Miami-Dade County and is used as a recreational park housing a variety of amenities, including a man-made lagoon and bird rookery. Today, Greynolds Park is frequented by the local community for golf, picnics, and concerts. The site is hydrologically connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the Oleta River. The intended hydrologic function of the park was based on historic tidal influences on the man-made lagoon and rookery. Greynolds Park was home to thousands of birds bred in a rookery. In the past, visitors could kayak/canoe from the Oleta River to the rookery for weekly birding tours. Hurricanes and heavy rain events have caused fallen vegetation and bank erosion. Anthropogenic activities have created oyster build-up and deadfalls between tree islands restrict water flow.
Regulations have prevented mangrove maintenance, causing uncontrolled vegetative growth and obstructions of water flow to the rookery. Introduction of exotic and invasive vegetation has created blankets of needles preventing understory growth and erosion. These occurrences have resulted in reduced water quality and aesthetics as well as degraded foraging and breeding habitat for birds which resulted in lowered recreational use of the park. Stagnant water and flooding are also hydrological impairments. Project manager Ms. Colbert was engaged by the client to identify issues which must be addressed to return the Greynolds Park ecosystem to a more naturally productive state, and improve the beneficial use by enhancing and restoring the diminished hydrologic and biological function of the rookery. Ms. Colbert conducted a historical aerial photograph review and a site visit in order to evaluate the current park conditions including hydrological and biological habitat conditions. Based on field observations, Ms. Colbert provided recommendations regarding restoration to improve the hydrological and biological conditions at the site including permitting requirements and regulatory coordination as well as construction activities. Additionally, Ms. Colbert developed an opinion of magnitude of cost for certain activities necessary for the restoration of the park.