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Neighborhood Natural Area Network

Neighborhood Natural Area Network

Palm Beach Polo & Country Club Neighborhood

Palm Beach Polo & Country Club Neighborhood is in the process of restoring the 18-hole golf course to make more wildlife habitat and to provide wildlife-viewing opportunities. In June of 2020, the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club manager Jim Taccone and local resident Andrew Carduner contacted Dr. Mark Hostetler (University of Florida) to help with the restoration effort. From a virtual field visit and discussions, Dr. Hostetler developed a management plan that concentrates on letting natural plant succession to occur around the ponds and in upland areas throughout the golf course. Some native plants will also be installed across the site. He continues to advise as the restoration process continues.

Restoration Activities: The golf course is now called the Dunes Preserve. For the most part, natural succession will be the primary mode for restoring the golf course. Natural succession is an ecological process where, in this case, grasses are gradually replaced with shrubs and trees over time. By removing mowing and spraying of targeted areas, vegetative structural diversity and species diversity will return to the area. One goal of the restoration plan is to create an interspersion of trees, forest fragments, shrubs, meadows, and wetland areas with diverse shorelines. Such a mixture of various ecosystem types promotes wildlife habitat diversity.

One strategy is to increase the amount of areas that have vertical height diversity. In other words, the objective is to increase structures (i.e., different species of plants) that occur from the ground to the tops of the trees. Currently, the mixture of existing upland forest fragments, cypress domes, and individual trees across the preserve provides good habitat for a variety of species. Increasing areas that have vertical height diversity and more tree canopy cover will increase the amount of wildlife habitat, particularly for migrating birds (see this building for birds tool). If interested in becoming involved or have questions, please contact Jim Taccone (, Andrew Carduner (, and Dr. Mark Hostetler (

iNaturalist: Residents in Palm Beach Polo & Country Club are monitoring plants and animals in the Dunes Preserve and surrounding neighborhoods with the iNaturalist program. (see here). If interested in participating in the iNaturalist project, contact Dr. Mark Hostetler (