Environmental Sustainability

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Many of our park sites border or include sensitive eco-systems, wildlife corridors, migratory bird habitat, or endangered floral and faunal species.

The Collier County Comprehensive Plan outlines conservation elements that our department must adhere to when managing such properties for recreation. Elements include:

  • removal of exotic vegetation
  • replacing native vegetation
  • limiting activities to those that are compatible with public use while preserving the natural function of the system.

Our department must also adhere to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Best Management Practices in respect to turf management, use of pesticides and herbicides, using native & drought tolerant vegetation in park landscaping plans, storm-water runoff controls, and others.

All plants and animals, per Collier County Parks and Recreation ordinances, within our park sites are protected and fines can be levied for infractions.

Several land management plans for the protection and preservation of its most sensitive natural areas have also been written. These include Barefoot Beach Preserve, the Barefoot Beach Outparcel, and Sugden Regional Park.

Examples of environmental sustainability:

  • Collier County is involved in several multi departmental and agency projects which address water management issues. Eagle Lakes Park, Freedom Park, and the newly acquired Gordon River Greenway Park are such projects.
  • Vineyards, Veterans, East Naples, Pelican Bay, Eagle Lakes, North Collier and Freedom Parks all have the ability to use non-potable water sources for irrigation as do Osceola and Sabal Palm school fields.
  • Musco ballfield lighting systems which reduce energy consumption up to 50% and is less obtrusive to the environment is used in many Collier County Parks. The Parks and Recreation Department has recently received an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to fund the replacement of ball field lighting to Green Generation Lighting by Musco at three additional parks. Lights at Immokalee Community Park, Gulf Coast Community Park and Eagle Lakes Community Park are approved to be retrofit through this grant.
  • In 2009, the department installed two Clivus Multrum M54 Trailhead Composting Toilets at Barefoot Beach Preserve. These ADA compliant restrooms are waterless and employ solar powered vent fans to keep the facilities odorless.  The waste is ultimately converted into fertilizer.
  • Solar powered master parking meters have been installed at beach access parking lots and boat ramps.
  • Geothermal energy is being used by the department for the heating of public pools.
  • Most facilities have been retrofitted with automatic faucets, toilets and some facilities have waterless urinals.
  • All our parks contain recycling bins for the public and are instaff offices. We recycle plastic, paper, and cardboard. One of our sites, Freedom Park, is a “pack it in pack it out” facility with no trash cans. Visitors are encouraged to take out what they bring in.
  • The department monitors all parks annually for exotic plant growth. Staff and contractual agencies are involved in the removal of the exotic species and re-treatment of the species if re-growth occurs.
  • Collier County employs Park Rangers which patrol County beaches and parks in an effort to promote education of natural resources and safety.

Overall the Collier County Parks and Recreation Department is taking many steps to become more conscience in energy reduction, water conservation and becoming positive environmental stewards of public spaces.

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Collier County Parks & Recreation • 15000 Livingston Road • Naples FL 34109 • 239-252-4000
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