Ecology & Nature

Our Ecology and Nature Commitment

Ecology is a priority within The Meadows Community. The Meadows has an abundance of waterscapes—85
ponds and other water features with nearly 25 miles of shoreline! These aquatic habitats are not only attractive
and environmentally friendly, but they also enhance property values within the community.

Water and Wildlife Committee (WWC)

In 2017, marine biologist and Meadows resident, Dr. Robert Hueter came to the MCA Board with a desire to preserve our beautiful surroundings, and, in January 2018 the WWC was formed with Dr. Hueter as its chair. WWC has contributed greatly to the vitality of The Meadows. It has raised awareness about the importance of maintaining our natural assets and has launched a number of important projects to ensure the success of these goals. Examples are monitoring the health of our ponds and lakes, planting along the banks, and protecting our wildlife.

In 2018, The Meadows received the Keep Sarasota County Beautiful Volunteer Award for our community commitment to our ecology. In 2019, The Meadows was awarded a grant from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program to help facilitate environmental improvements of waterways and wildlife habitats.

Maintaining these water and wildlife features is a major priority of the MCA Board of Directors, the WWC and our residents. On February 6, 2019, the MCA Board approved a policy statement committing the community to implement No Mow Zones to:

  • Control pond erosion
  • Trap stormwater runoff nutrients and chemicals
  • Improve water quality
  • Preserve and create habitats for fish, birds and other wildlife

MCA’s Vision for Water Bodies and Wildlife Management in The Meadows

Each of us has the ability to make a change. Here are the results of The Meadows’ volunteers supporting our ecology.

  • Planted aquatic vegetation such as canna lilies, pickleweed and soft stem bulrush to keep our ponds clean and provide wildlife habitat.
  • The community volunteers planted over 1300 aquatic plants as of March 2020. 
  • Sarasota City Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) coordinator and Sarasota County Management Division Water Quality Scientists are working with The Meadows WWC to create eco-beautification.
  • Grants have been secured from Sarasota Bay Estuary Program to finance the plantings

Today, The Meadows is home to a variety of bird species and is a source of enjoyment for Meadows birdwatchers.. The Meadows has partnered with the Sarasota Audubon Society to continue to broaden our residents’ knowledge and love for birds through bird walks and presentations.

The MCA and its WWC, have adopted a pro-environmental approach to improving the health and look of our community. This includes coexisting with our alligators because gators are important in maintaining ecological balance in Florida freshwater systems.

In The Meadows we live in harmony with the wildlife. Respecting their space and health includes:

  • Don’t feed the alligators or any other wildlife.
  • If you are fishing and see an alligator, relocate to a different spot.
  • Keep children and pets away from waterways and banks.
  • Never approach or attempt to capture or relocate an alligator and always keep at least a 50-ft. distance. Florida state law prohibits the general public from killing, harassing or possessing alligators.
  • Never swim in a Meadows pond-it’s prohibited and the alligators that live there don’t appreciate it.
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