Address / Location: 2021 Rivers Road, Naples. the preserve is located south of Immokalee Road between Rivers Road and Moulder Drive, south of the Twin Eagles Development.
Manager Contact Information: Christal Segura
Phone: (239) 252-2495
Preserve Size: 77 acres
Date Acquired: Between 9/23/08 and 6/22/10
Cost of Acquisition: $5,128,300
Public Access Status: This preserve is accessible by foot from 8:00 a.m. to dusk daily.
Printed materials Available: Rivers Road Final Management Plan
Public Access Facilities: Public parking is available at the entrance to the Preserve. Look for the parking sign and wheel stops for the grassed parking area. The preserve is accessible by foot and bike from the south side of Immokalee Road, where visitors will find and approximately 1.3 miles long single track unpaved trail. The trail loops through the upland portions of the preserve and alongside the pond. Benches are provided along the trail and a picnic area is located near the parking area. A photo below shows typical conditions along the trail. There are no rest room facilities or water sources at this preserve.
Plants and Wildlife: The 76.74 acre preserve is a combination of Cabbage Palm, Inland Ponds and Sloughs, Mixed Wetland Hardwoods, Cypress, Pine Flatwoods, Mixed Wetland Forests and Freshwater Marsh. The preserve also contains an outstanding example of pop ash swamps and several wetlands. One hundred sixty-two vascular plant species were recorded on the preserve and 36 (22%) of these plants are indicated as not native to our area (Appendix 2). All invasive exotic plants will require removal and maintenance. The canopy is dominated by slash pine trees (Pinus elliottii), cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto), scattered cypress (Taxodium ascendens) in the upland areas. Willow (Saliz caroliniana), pop ash (Fraximus caroliniana) and red maple (Acer rubrum) can be found in the wetland areas. The midstory contains areas of ragweed (Ambrosia sp.), dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and myrsine (Rapanea punctata). The groundcover is a combination of ferns such as bracken fern (Pteridnum aquilimum), swamp fern (Blechmaum serrulatum), chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), alligator flag (Thalia geniculata) and sagittaria (Sagittaria lancifolia), amongst other groundcovers common in Pine/Cabbage Palm communities and freshwater marsh communities. Ephiphytes and vines have been observed throughout the preserve. Listed plant species include common wild pine (Tillandsia fasciulata), hand fern (Ophioglossum palmatum) and reflexed (inflated) wild pine (Tillandsia balbisiana).
Mammal species known to occur or individuals and/or evidence of activity directly observed within the preserve include the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus), and wild feral hogs (Sus scrofa). Numerous Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) telemetry points and photo accounts have been recorded in the area and one point was recorded approximately 1/3 mile from the preserve. There are anecdotal reports of panthers on the southern portion of the preserve. There is a wildlife underpass under Immokalee Road north of the preserve that provides access through the Twin Eagles subdivision to over 60,000 acres of conservation lands, including state-owned lands, Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp and the Corkscrew Ecosystem Lands. Numerous Florida black Bears (Ursus americanus floridanus), state listed threatened species, have been detected and documented on the Paganes property by the previous owner.
Reason for Acquisition: These parcels were acquired because they met 5 out of 6 criteria for acquisition including having native habitat, having human social values (can you get there? yes), water resource values, biodiversity, and connectivity. The sixth criteria is whether the parcel is within another agency's project boundary, and no, it is not. Surrounding land uses are rural lands, single family homes, golf course, churches, and a future elementary school.
Uplands and wetlands on this preserve provide important forested habitat for a number of species and essential habitat for the breeding life cycle of aquatic and wetland-dependent animals. This preserve also connects on the south side to the 82-acre Old Florida Golf Club Conservation Easement. A wildlife corridor just east of this preserve connects via an underpass under Immoklaee Road with 60,000 acres of CREW and Audubon lands to the north.