Davie Wetlands Park (formerly Van Kirk)
The Town cleared the property of exotic vegetation in 2020 and preserved the existing wetlands and native vegetation. In 2022, the Town received a proposal to develop a wetlands mitigation bank at this location. Town staff is currently negotiating an agreement for Town Council consideration.
Davie Wetlands Park (formerly Van Kirk) Quarterly Summary and Expenditure Report
About the Davie Wetlands Park (formerly Van Kirk) Project
Davie Wetlands Park (formerly Van Kirk) is located on the northeast corner of S.W. 136th Avenue and S.W. 26th Street. This 115-acre property was purchased in 2002 with a combination of funding from the Town of Davie ($2.5 million), Florida Communities Trust ($4 million) and Broward County ($2.4 million). The purchase and grant commitments were to avoid a large development project and preserve the open space by creating a wetland and an upland with an education center and passive amenities. The project is currently planned to be developed with 50 acres of stormwater retention, 30 acres of wetlands, and 35 acres of uplands, including recreation amenities
In December 2019, the Town of Davie held a community meeting whereby residents were updated on the next steps regarding the development of the Davie Wetlands Park. Although the project timeline has been pushed back due to COVID-19, we are now prepared to start the clearing of the invasive vegetation from the entire 115-acre property.
In preparation for this phase, the Town conducted an animal survey and took all the necessary precautions, including hiring a contractor to trap and relocate animals before the commencement of the operation. In May 2020, the Town of Davie mobilized our contractor to clear the property of invasive plant species, including trees. All Australian Pine trees along the property's perimeter were removed. Most of the trees were cut and then stump grinded. Debris was chipped on site and removed through the gates at SW 136 Avenue and SW 26 Street. The swale area north of SW 26th Street will have the entire root system removed and this area will be regraded and sodded.
During this removal process, the Town protected approximately eight acres of existing wetland area delineated by Broward County and preserved the native trees, including the oak cluster on the north side of the property.
As part of this park's Florida Communities Trust (FTC) requirements, the Town must provide a community center and educational programming. The Wetlandsbank Company (TWC) approached the Town to provide these requirements, including designing, permitting, developing, operating and selling mitigation credits in a mitigation bank agreement. TWC would at its sole cost and expense:
- Design the Davie Wetlands Park/Mitigation Bank in close consultation with Town staff and following the FCT Grant obligations.
- Prepare and process all required mitigation banking permit applications with Broward County, Central Broward Drainage District, South Florida Water Management District and the Army Corps of Engineers.
- Construct the wetland, upland and perimeter berms, and provide an upland area to accommodate the town park equipment, parking area and multi-use trails.
- Ensure drainage from the Oak Hill community will be properly treated before entering the Central Broward drainage facilities and provide stormwater retention in all wetland areas.
- Perform all monitoring and maintenance required to maintain compliance with all regulatory permits.
- Shall market and sell all mitigation credits generated from the project and provide the Town an amount equal to twenty-five (25) percent of the gross credit sale revenue from the project as credit sales are completed.
The South Florida Audubon Society (SFAS) is also interested in partnering with the Town to have an office, display area and storage area in the modular office that will be placed at the Davie Wetlands Park. SFAS will lead / present at least one program or event per month to provide outreach and education for the residents of Davie.
If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact Osdel Larrea, Public Works and Capital Projects Director, at 954-552-3798 or [email protected].
Updated September 28, 2023