Jones Pier Conservation Area Now Open

The Jones Pier Conservation Area opened to public access at the beginning of May 2023. Purchased by Indian River County in 2008, this 16.5 acre property on the Indian River Lagoon once was a farmstead property with boat docks and a long-beloved citrus stand.

The historic home, built in the 1920’s, has been elevated due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Its renovation is underway.

Parking and a restroom pavilion with covered picnic tables are adjacent to house, which sits at the western edge of the property just off Jungle Trail. The rest of the property includes a saltmarsh “restoration”, a hammock ” restoration, and an area slated to be a native plant nursery in the future.

The saltmarsh “restoration” is a 4-acre pond that helps to manage stormwater and re-circulates water from the Indian River Lagoon. The shoreline was planted with an extensive array of native plants. The saltmarsh succulents that were planted – saltwort (Batis maritima) and glasswort (Salicornia sp.) – have failed to thrive. Sea oxeye daisy, which often lines mosquito control impoundment dikes, is full of flowers at Jones Pier and elsewhere …

Sea oxeye daisy is a member of the daisy family, Asteraceae. The flowers are held in the center, the disc. In the left photo below, you can see the pollen-laden stamens.

Two years of drought have tested the survival of many native plants in the upland areas and along the pond banks. It will be interesting to see what plants flourish when rainfall returns.

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