This scrub area is just south of the Bethesda Hospital and the Seacrest/Woolbright intersection in Boynton Beach. It spans the area between Seacrest and Dixie across from St. Joseph's private school. This Palm Beach County controlled area has NO restrooms but ample parking. Be sure to bring plenty of drinking water as there are no water fountains at this site. Bike racks are available. The train tracks are nearby and occaisionally a passing train can be heard in the background.
Many of the species of plants recorded for this natural area are endemic to the Florida scrub ecosystem. Endangered or threatened plant species on the site include large-flowered rosemary, nodding pinweed, pine pinweed, Curtiss' milkweed, twisted and banded air plant and giant wild pine. The site also contains other unusual plant species including: scrub palmetto, sand spike moss and silk grass. Many species of animals inhabit the Seacrest Natural Area Scrub including the gopher tortoise, a species of special concern in Florida. Other species known to reside on the site include the painted lady butterfly, golden silk spider, prairie warbler, great horned owl, red-bellied woodpecker, ring neck snake and the common gray fox.
The scrub contains Florida scrub and scrubby pine flatwoods communities and is one of the largest remaining scrub sites in southern Palm Beach County. Florida scrub occurs on sandy ridges along ancient shorelines, and exists on well-drained sandy coastal ridge soils. They act as recharge areas for underground drinking water aquifers and may limit saltwater intrusion into these aquifers. Scrub is a dry ecosystem regulated by fire and composed primarily of sand pines, saw palmettos, dwarf oaks, lichens and barren patches of sand. Many of these plants have developed water-conserving strategies such as thick, wax-coated leaves to survive in the harsh conditions of this environment. Except for a few small areas in neighboring states, Florida scrub is a plant community unique to Florida. It is an important part of Palm Beach County's natural heritage. This location was established by Palm Beach County and is maintained by the Palm Beach County Recreation and Parks Department. For information about the scrub, call 561-963-6737.