World Golf Village – A Real Tree For All

Posted by: Rick Pariani in Uncategorized

World Golf Village is a Community and collection of Neighborhoods recognized by its preserved, naturally forested, Conservation Lands and knit together with a shady canopy of planted trees. In fact, it is the treescape design, both existing and planted, that characterizes the environment of World Golf Village. Questionnaires and surveys have been conducted throughout the years to help define the qualities of World Golf Village that most appeal to potential buyers and residents. The aspect that is revealed at the top of everyone’s’ list usually references the natural and built environment of the place. World Golf Village is truly a Place for Trees.

In that regard, trees are really trees at World Golf Village. The tree palette for the WGV Communities is one that showcases the naturally occurring Southern Live Oak and favors “real” trees over exotic and introduced palm trees. The perimeter framework for the Neighborhoods is the background of preserved forests. The internal environment of the Neighborhoods is defined by the extensive use of treescaping. Ornamental variety in the landscape comes through the design groupings of the planted trees, the seasonal and flowering characteristics of the trees and the lower level groundscaping. A limited and judicious use of palms adds punctuation. Unlike many other Florida developments, here at World Golf Village, trees rule – palms don’t.

The tree character of World Golf Village was very much a specific and conscious part of the overall community design. It started with the preservation of over 2,700 acres of forested lands which include over 800 acres of forested uplands constituting prime wildlife habitat. The very first infrastructure at WGV was the building of the #323 Interchange at I-95 and International Golf Parkway (IGP). Working with the State of Florida Department of Transportation, we secured the permit rights to plant about 600 Live Oak Trees on the interchange ramps. We followed that with an extensive planting of street tree Live Oaks on the initial four lane construction of IGP. Today, some of those Live Oaks, have been maturing impressively. That is all the more impressive considering that it may be one of the most successful all-tree, true xeric planting programs of its kind, since $500,000 worth of Live Oaks were planted, and have been maintained, without irrigation systems.

Once we commenced the infrastructure for the Slammer & Squire and Hall of Fame properties, we continued a commitment to street tree Live Oak planting. The Live Oak allee along WGV Boulevard is well on its way to extending a shady canopy over the roadway in a classic landscape design. The Boulevard is destined to be a remarkably beautiful and photogenic passageway – a postcard shot to cherish. There are sections of the Walk of Champions that are already draped with the shade of the Laurel Oaks lining the ceremonial circle. Numerous neighborhood streets are framed and lined with a street tree planting that will mature gracefully over time to create a timeless landscape of repose.

The scale and structure of the interchange property tree planting was extended to the King & Bear Neighborhoods to link it to the overall theme of World Golf Village. Registry Boulevard is dramatically framed with a continuous colonnade of Live Oaks that connects to Oakgrove Avenue. Once on Oakgrove Avenue, residents, visitors and golfers are enveloped in an extensive area of old meadows that were accentuated by massive groves of century old Live Oaks, the majority of which have been preserved on estate lots, common open spaces and golf corridors.

The entranceway to The Meadows weaves in a serpentine alignment through a bosque of towering Live Oaks and Water Oaks, creating a unique, pastoral welcome to that Neighborhood. In the Heritage Landing Community, the entrance Parkway features an extensive tree planting that connects the four quadrants of the Community and provides an example to the residents to follow for their own home landscaping designs.

The basis for establishing individual lot landscape criteria is built around a “minimum tree per lot” requirement. For instance, individual lots, based on average width and size, must have a minimum of five (5) to sixteen (16) trees planted per lot. The majority of the trees per lot requirement must be satisfied with “hardwood canopy trees”, more specifically, Live Oaks. The Live Oaks must be about fourteen (14′) tall at time of planting. Other trees, to qualify against the requirement, must be a minimum of ten (10′) tall at time of planting. Palm trees, since restricted to accent use, do not qualify against the minimum tree per lot requirements. The intent is to repopulate all areas of the World Golf Village with trees that will provide lasting values that will grow and increase commensurate with the home and business values.

To celebrate the trees of World Golf Village, we commissioned the official artist of the National Register of Famous and Historic Trees, Mr. Stephen Malkoff, to draw The Heritage Oak, World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Florida. The tree is located in the Heritage Park at the intersection of Oakgrove Avenue and Canopy Way, across from the entrance to the Heritage Cove Neighborhood. The commission took the artist over four months to complete. The drawing is pencil on cotton board and the original art is displayed at the Davidson Realty Building. The artist printed a limited edition of 1,500 prints that are each numbered and signed by the artist and available though the Malkoff Gallery in Enterprise, Alabama. The artist’s portfolio includes other significant local trees, including The Treaty Oak, The Great (Episcopal) Oak, and The Cummer Oak all on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville and The Old Senator Oak in St. Augustine.

To date, we have planted over 9,000 trees in the common areas and along the roadways throughout World Golf Village. Additionally, when you account for the planted trees at every home, each multi-family neighborhood, all business establishments and both golf courses, there have been well over 35,000 trees planted on properties at World Golf Village. If you add the countless number of trees in the preserved forests of WGV, an astonishing “tree for all” results. Actually, many, many trees for all.

The original design theme during the conceptualizing of the Hall of Fame was to “Celebrate the History, Heritage and Tradition of Golf”. The extensive Tree Program at World Golf Village delivers, now and over time, landscape traditions and a heritage that will distinguish this place for centuries to come.


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