Historic Markers Across Florida

Sanford's local Ecosystem (Wildlife and Vegetation)

Marker ID:  
Location: W Seminole Blvd. (US 92), Sanford, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 48.932    W 081° 16.228
  28.81553333    -81.27046666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMNNW9


The entire “Riverwalk" area was once part of Lake Monroe. Up until early twentieth century the lake edge extended into the area of Commercial Street and beyond. During the 1920's the Lake Monroe bulkhead (also known as the seawall) was constructed and the City was extended into the Lake. This activity, along with continuing urbanization, has had an impact on the local ecology.

The St. Johns River and Lake Monroe aquatic ecosystem is unique. The lower basin is an extensive estuary receiving drainage from the upper basin. This results in a mixture of freshwater and saltwater plants and animals living in the river. Blue crab and mullet common saltwater animals, can be found well into the headwaters of the river. Plant species in this area of the river include white water lily, cattail, alligator weed, floating bladderwort, and the exotic and undesirable water hyacinth.

Mesic flatwoods usually contain open-canopy forests with widely spaced apart pine trees, little understory, but dense herb and shrub groundcover. Plants common to mesic flatwoods include longleaf and slash pines, wiregrass, oaks, and saw palmetto. Animals include pinewoods treefrog, little grass frog, black racer, red rat snake, southeastern kestrel, pine warbler, cotton rat, raccoon and white-tailed deer.

Hydric hammock, also known as wetland hardwood hammock, is characterized by a hardwood and cabbage palm forest having an understory filled with palms and ferns. Common plants in the hammock include cabbage palm, water and laurel oak, red maple, swamp bay, sweetbay magnolia, wax myrtle, royal fern, and yellow jasmine. Animals include barred owl, flycatcher, warblers, and the grey squirrel.

Additionally, there are many other birds that have made Sanford their home. Take a walk through the downtown streets, and along the Riverwalk, to discover osprey nesting on rooftops and anhingas near the old dock pilings.

Midge flies are also common around Lake Monroe. Most lakes in Florida are normally nutrient poor. The presence of large numbers of midges indicates that there is undesirable organic enrichment of the lake usually from urban and agricultural runoff.
City of Sanford