OKEECHOBEE — A plan to use a former sod farm and tree nursery for a wetland restoration project is on the agenda for the Nov. 12 meeting of the Okeechobee County commissioners. Jessica Robbins and Roney Gutierrez, both of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will present a report on the Cody Sod Wetlands Mitigation Restoration Project.
The goal of the project is to restore the easement to its historic and ecological condition prior to agricultural manipulation, to the extent practical. Historical aerial imagery and topography and soil research indicate the site was historically freshwater marsh, wet prairie and cypress domes.
The 414 acre Cody Sod Farm property is at the end of Southeast 18th Way and is bordered on the south by Taylor Creek.
The existing infrastructure includes perimeter dikes. NRCS plans to replace the dikes, which are old and overgrown, replace the outfall pump with a gravity flow control structure and install a new pump on the northern boundary. The purpose of the pump will be to ensure the project does not create off-site impacts to the neighbors north of the property.
In order to build the new dikes, approximately 35,000 cubic yards of clean fill material will be hauled in, using Southeast 16th Avenue and Southeast Sixth Lane. The soils on site are 8 to 9 inches deep of muck, and clean fill material will have to be imported.
NRCS seeks the support of Okeechobee County on the project.