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"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."
- John Muir
By 1985, the Miami-Dade County had identified the 39-acre rockridge pineland on bustling US-1 as a place worth saving. County staff convinced the State to place the site on the list of conservation lands eligible for acquisitions, but there was so much land on the list and so little money.
Every time a development proposal for the site was presented to the County for review, staff negotiated for the protection of 4 or 5 acres of pineland in conjunction with the development.
The final development proposal for the site was part of a plan to add express bus lanes to US-1. The bus lanes would sweep through the middle of the site, and frontage on US-1 would be developed for businesses. An innocuous little plant changed those plans.
The deltoid spurge (see photo) grows only in the lime rock of Rockridge pinelands. Its status as an endangered species precluded the use of the land for road construction. This busway was relocated to the edge of the property and pineland. The Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program was able to purchase the property with 50% matching funds from the State's Preservation 2000 program.
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