An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Bioswale is latest addition to Bayfront Park

The recently renovated restrooms at Bayfront Park are looking great, but did you know there was another new addition to the park? The City of Sarasota Parks & Recreation District’s Landscape Department is always encouraging residents to plant native trees, shrubs and flowers. So there is no surprise that they wanted to reach out to the community and continue to educate patrons at the park. The newest addition at Bayfront Park is an interactive and educational Bioswale installment.

What is a Bioswale? A bio-Swale is a form of bioretention designed to capture and treat stormwater runoff from hard surfaces like sidewalks, driveways, roadways and rooftops. A shallow basin is excavated and lined with rocks to collect debris and pollution while conveying stormwater away for critical infrastructure. The swale component provides pre-treatment of stormwater to remove coarse to medium sediments while the plants help remove finer particulates and associated contaminates.

So, why should we all plant native trees, shrubs and flowers? In addition to helping to prevent erosion and improving water quality inside a bioswale, native plants provide essential food and habitat for local wildlife. Their seeds and nectar provide a valuable food source for birds, butterflies and other insects as well as a place to lay their eggs. Natives are well adapted to local conditions, require very little care once they are established, and add beauty to the landscape.

The next time you visit Bayfront Park stop by the Bioswale and see if you can spot these native plants:

  • Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
  • Railroad Vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae)
  • Mangrove Spider Lily (Hymenocallis latifolia)
  • Trailing Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis)
  • Sea Purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum)

Learn more about bioswales »