Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Did you know that West Campus’ Lake Pamela is part of the Shingle Creek watershed and that Shingle Creek is the headwaters for the Everglades? Lake Pamela isn’t just a central part of our West Campus, it’s also a critical component to our regional and state hydrology.
Over the last academic year, recognizing the importance of Lake Pamela, we wanted to determine the current state of the lake and any necessary next steps to improve or maintain its health.
Fortunately, from monitoring data collected by the City of Orlando, the lake’s water quality, based on the overall Trophic State Index (TSI), is good, the best possible category. TSI is the primary indicator used to evaluate a lake’s health or biological activity by evaluating phosphorous, nitrogen and chlorophyll levels.
In order to help maintain Lake Pamela’s healthy state, we were able to take advantage of the spring planting season, which runs mainly from March through April and plant several types of Florida natives in the littoral zone (shallow water area). The natives included were Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), Duck Potato (Sagittaria lancifolia) and Spikerush (Eleocharis cellulose).
Left to right: West Campus’ Pickerelweed and Duck Potato
These plants will not only help filter any runoff from the campus, but will add oxygen to the water, create habitat for wildlife, as well as further enhance the beauty of our campus. The Pickerelweed, for example, produces a bright purple flower.
To learn more about our efforts to maintain Lake Pamela’s ecology, watch this video.
Valencia’s Own Nature Photographers
While we’re on the topic of the beautiful natural spaces on our campuses, did you know that we have some in-house wildlife photographers?
Professor of Geology Jack Rogers sends daily emails to members of the Valencia community who sign up to receive his breathtaking photos of nature and local wildlife. Read about Jack and his photos here. If you would like to begin receiving Jack’s latest images via email each week, you may contact him at email@example.com. You can also find him on Instagram at @PaleoJack2.
Are you a nature or wildlife photographer? Let us know by leaving a comment below.