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Neighborhood Natural Area Network

Neighborhood Natural Area Network

Rotonda West Neighborhood

Rotonda West, a community in southwest Florida, west of Port Charlotte, has an 18-hole golf course that they are in the process of restoring to create wildlife habitat. In November of 2018, the Rotonda West manager and Stan Plizga, who is chair of the Rotonda West Aquatics committee, contacted Dr. Mark Hostetler (University of Florida) to help with the restoration effort. From a 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. 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. Some native plants will also be installed across the site. He continues to advise as the restoration process continues.

Restoration Activities: Several Rotonda West committees are leading the restoration efforts with advice from several environmental professionals for restoring the golf course. Now called Broadmoor Park, regeneration of previously mowed areas, particularly around the shorelines and in designated upland areas, is occurring and this will increase the amount of native plants and tree canopy coverage across the entire site. The increased amount of trees and other plants provides critical habitat for migrating birds and butterflies and other species, particularly for migrating birds (see this building for birds tool). It is a fantastic opportunity to restore habitat for wildlife and to provide a unique, natural heritage experience for Rotonda West residents. If interested in becoming involved or have questions about the restoration efforts, please contact Stan Plizga (, Jim Peterfeso ( ), and Dr. Mark Hostetler (

iNaturalist: Residents in Rotonda West and nearby areas are monitoring plants and animals in the area with the iNaturalist program. They are recording the distribution of organisms just within Broadmoor Park (see here) and across the entire Rotonda West neighborhood and nearby areas (see here). If interested in participating in the iNaturalist project, contact Dr. Mark Hostetler (