University of Florida Conservation Areas Land Management Plan
Creeks and Ponds
The purpose of this management plan is to document existing conditions and to plan for future
improvements to the University's creeks and ponds that are not part of larger existing Conservation
Areas. These systems have been grouped together due to their similar management strategies and
with and eye to reducing redundancy. The following systems are included in this management plan,
Gator Pond, Ocala Pond, Dairy Pond, Graham Pond, Diamond Creek, Jennings Creek, Tumbin
Creek, and Hume Creek.
The main campus at the University has many creeks and ponds that are both of natural and un-
natural origin. However, as campus has developed almost all of them have been integrated into the
stormwater management system. Many of the ponds appear to have originated as sinkholes that were
altered to retain water to a certain elevation and then were outfitted with structures that release water
into the stormwater system. Also, a few sinks have been altered with stormwater conveyance
incorporated, usually at the base taking advantage of the lower elevation in the overall systems
gravity flow system. On campus all of these systems feed into the University's creeks. As in pre-
development conditions, these creek are the primary conveyance system for stormwater, however
while most would have only flowed on an intermittent basis, they now flow most of the time. This
flow is maintained by both rainfall and irrigation.
Natural Area Inventory
Jennings and Diamond Creeks These two tributaries flow into health Center Park which in turn
flows into towards Lake Alice. Upstream areas that drain into the Jennings Creek include Broward,
Mallory, Reid, Jennings and Beaty Towers residence halls. Diamond Creek is the receiving body for
water draining from Sorority Row, a portion of the intersection of SW 13th Street and Archer Road,
and from the parking garages on the east side of the Shands Hospital complex. Like most other creek
systems on campus, this creek's flow is derived from a mix of both stormwater runoff and natural
surfical aquifer seepage (which is at least partially the result of the University's irrigation system).
The banks of the creeks are deeply incised by years of down-cutting from stormwater coming off of
impervious surfaces. Of particular concern are areas along the Diamond Creek, adjacent to the
intersection of SW13th Street and Archer Road. This area is eroding rapidly and is already a safety
hazard. University staff have had discussion with Department of Transportation officials about
placing railings along the sidewalks at this intersection to reduce the likelihood of an accident. As
with most creeks within campus, these creeks would benefit greatly from upstream stormwater
improvements. The Yulee Pit area, headwater area of the northern creek, appears to be an ideal
location for a stormwater enhancement project like the SEEP (Stormwater Ecological Enhancement
Project) to help reduce velocities entering the north creek. Additionally, the south creek begins just
east of Sorority Row (this is same creek that runs at the base of Sorority Row), where some instream
enhancements should be studied to see if water velocities could be slowed before they exacerbate the
erosion mentioned previously.
Erosion in Diamond Creek, adjacent to SW 13th
Tumblin Creek In places, the banks of Tumbin Creek are deeply incised by years of down-cutting
from stormwater which primarily originates in downtown Gainesville. The City of Gainesville has
begun studying ways to reduce volumes and has in fact built some upstream retention areas that
should help reduce velocities in the long term. In the short term, some measures need to be taken to
reduce side-bank erosion that threatens buildings at P.K. Yonge. Recently, the University re-built the
PK Yonge Auditorium after years of settling had led to major cracks that could no longer be patched.
Other buildings on this campus also are showing signs of slippage. While side-bank erosion is not
the primary cause of these foundation issues, it does play a role and will in the long-term cause
additional problems. Thus, some in-stream measures should be identified to help ameliorate the
problem, such as native chert stone (rip-rap) placed along areas of side-bank erosion.
lumblin Creek at P.K. Yonge
Bridge Jennings Creek
Hume Creek This creek is a small creek that enters into Hume Pond and is formed by the outfall of
three primary conveyance systems that enter under Museum Road and from Graham Pond, Reitz
Ravine Creek and Green Pond- Newins-Zielger Sink.
Gator, Ocala, Graham and Dairy Ponds are located on the older-more developed portions of campus.
They are largely ringed by development and have been integrated into the university's stormwater
system, providing functions similar to a wet retention pond. Additional background research needs
to be completed in order to determine their respective origins as either natural sinkhole formations
that were artificially or naturally plugged or as created retention ponds that were aesthetically
improved to look natural. Each pond is surrounded by a small buffer of vegetation.
Diamond and Jennings Creek are comprised of an upland-mixed hardwood forest that grades into a
bottomland hardwood / floodplain forest along the creeks that run through the property. Due to the
topographic grades and limited porosity of underlying clays, some seepage likely occurs coming
from neighboring upland areas. Thus, some small areas may be better described as seepage slope
rather than as bottomland forest. An inventory of flora and fauna is not contemplated for this site.
Tumblin Creek through P.K. Yonge is comprised of bottomland hardwoods, but the natural community
is fairly disturbed.
The upland hardwood canopy in these areas is comprised of pignut hickory, winged elm, sweet gum,
loblolly pine, laurel oak, chestnut oak, water oak, cabbage palm, slash pine and maple. The lowland
stream valley wetland areas include red maple, sweetgum, loblolly pine, cabbage palm, southern
magnolia, swamp tupelo, dahoon holly, wax myrtle, swamp dogwood, Florida elm, stiffcomel
dogwood, and American hombeam.
Invasive non-native plant species
Future management of these sites will need to address invasive plant management. The following
invasive non-native plants have been documented on site: air potato vine, cat's claw vine,
scratchthroat, glossy privet, and loquat tree.
These creeks are small in size with relatively small forested riparian corridors. This limits the
amount of habitat for terrestrial species. Common mammals like raccoons, gray squirrels and
armadillos have been documented on site. Other animals typically found in these hardwood
dominated systems, but which have not been documented on the property, include: slimy
salamander, Cope's gray treefrog, bronze frog, box turtle, eastern glass lizard, green anole,
broadhead skink, ground skink, red-bellied snake, gray rat snake, rough green snake, coral snake,
woodcock, barred owl, pileated woodpecker, shrews, eastern mole, wood rat, cotton mouse, gray
fox, red-tailed hawk, turkey, yellow-billed cuckoo, screech-owl, great-homed owl, ruby-throated
hummingbird, cadian flycatcher, pileated woodpecker, hermit thrush, cedar waxwing, yellow-
throated warbler, opossum, gray squirrel, flying squirrel and white-tailed deer.
The following soil information for on-site soils was gathered from the Soil Survey of Alachua
Arredondo Fine Sand (5-8% slope)
This sloping, well-drained soil is in small areas on sharp breaking slopes and in relatively large areas
on long slopes of the uplands. Typically, the surface layer is dark grayish brown fine sand about 5
inches thick. The subsurface layer is yellowish brown fine sand to a depth of 65 inches. The
available water capacity is low in the surface and subsurface layers and medium in the subsoil.
Blichton Urban Land Complex (0-5% slope)
This complex consists of poorly drained, nearly level to gently sloping Blichton soils and Urban
land. It is irregularly shaped with relatively small areas. About 50 to 85 percent of each delineation
is open areas of Blichton soils. These open areas are gardens, vacant lots, lawns and playgrounds.
About 15 to 50 percent of each delineation is Urban land. Urban land consists of areas covered with
houses, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, industrial buildings and other structures.
Millhopper Sand (5-8% slope)
This sloping moderately well drained soil is in small areas on narrow breaks and on long slopes of
rolling uplands. Typically the surface layer is dark grayish brown sand about 7 inches thick. The
subsurface layer is sand about 47 inches thick. This Millhopper soil has a water table that is at a
depth of 40 to 60 inches for 1 to 2 months and at a depth of 60 to 72 inches for 2 to 3 months during
Urban Land Millhopper Complex
This complex consists of Urban land intermixed with nearly level areas of Millhopper soils. The
areas are irregular in shape and range from 15 to 200 acres. About 50 to 85 percent of each
delineation is Urban land. This Urban land consists of areas covered with buildings, streets, parking
lots, sidewalks, and other structures. About 15 to 50 percent of each delineation is open areas of
Millhopper soils. These open areas are vacant lots, lawns, parks, or playgrounds.
Cultural and Passive Recreational Resources
Creeks Diamond and Jennings Creeks are riparian corridors with steep slopes and a small
vegetative buffer; as such, passive recreational opportunities are limited. Thus, the only amenities
offered on site are associated with the pedestrian bridge that cross over the north creek between
Jennings and Diamond Village residence halls and two benches. Tumbin Creek has benches and
other sitting areas adjacent to it as it flow through the center of P.K. Yonge. Since Hume Creek only
flows for a small distance, no amenities have been provided. There are no known archeological or
historic sites at these sites.
Ponds The primary physical improvement that is available around all of the campus ponds is
sitting areas that are located on or immediately adjacent to the pond. There are no known
archeological or historic sites at these sites.
Diamond Creek and Jennings Creek The riparian corridors of these creeks are steep, which limits
public use in these areas outside of the existing footpaths. Some consideration should be paid to
mowing less of the edge in order to create a less accessible buffer for safety reasons, along Jennings
Creek. Additionally, some creek stabilization counter-measures to prevent erosion as well as some
stormwater outfall piping will be studied and potential implemented in the next year for both of these
creeks. Habitat enhancements like bird and bat boxes and wildlife friendly plantings should be
considered for these sites.
Tumblin Creek Some side bank erosion has been identified and may need to be stabilized with hardscape
material such as chert riprap.
Hume Creek No improvements have been identified for Hume Creek.
Graham Pond The ad-hoc working group recommended that a no-mow / infrequent mow buffer be
established around the eastern side of Graham Pond. Within this no-mow area and in the littoral zone
of the pond efforts should be made to establish native aquatic plants that will help beautify the pond
and potentially improve water quality.
Gator Pond, Ocala Pond, and Dairy Pond No improvements have been identified for these ponds.
Maps on the following pages:
1. Aerial Photo
2. Water Resources
3. Natural Communities
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