The Hilochee Mitigation Bank (HMB) consists of 879.30 acres of privately owned undeveloped land within the Withlacoochee River Basin in Polk County, Florida. The HMB site was an active sand mine throughout the 1980s and 90s. This was the Polk City Mine and was owned by Standard Sand & Silica Company. The past mining resulted in the creation of a 112.9 acre lake surrounded by a narrow shoreline and a berm of uplands surrounding the lake. In addition to the lake, the site also contains a 47 acre clay pit located in the southeast corner of the property.
Restoration and Enhancement Plan
The activities associated with HMB include the following:
- Create hydro-logic conditions necessary for wetland establishment by removing excess soil material from the uplands surrounding the lake, relic clay pit and re-grade portions of the site so as to establish ground elevations that are equal to or below the mean water elevation of the lake;
- Establish wetland communities in all created wetlands by planting the areas with native marsh vegetation;
- Filling sections of the lake to an elevation suitable for wetland communities;
- Enhance disturbed areas of existing uplands by planting appropriate upland vegetation that will enhance the existing scrub environment;
- Enhance wetland and upland forests by eradicating invasive species to ensure the establishment of healthy, native vegetative communities; and
- Remove fences from the interior of the property to promote the movement of wildlife throughout the bank as well as fending the boundary of the property in accessible areas.