Hole in the Donut

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National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)

The Hole-in-the-Donut (HID) Restoration Collection is a central archive for information relating to this model landscape restoration project taking place in Everglades National Park. The materials included in this Collection were provided by HID project managers and scientists from the Park's South Florida Natural Resources Center (SFNRC), with additional material reproduced from holdings at the Florida International University Libraries. Materials include reports, contractual documents, scientific articles, maps, and photographs.

The Hole-in-the-Donut is a 9,900-acre tract located in the eastern half of Everglades National Park. Its long history of agricultural use from the early to mid-1900's justified its exclusion from the original boundaries of the Park. However, when the U.S. Government finally acquired the "Donut" for the national park in 1975, all farming operations were suspended and the tract was abandoned, leaving the area susceptible to intensive invasion by exotic pest plants. In particular, the noxious and highly invasive Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) quickly formed forests of non-native growth in the Hole-in-the-Donut, creating a canopy so thick that native vegetation could not grow in its understory.

Eradication of the exotic plants and restoration of the Hole-in-the-Donut began in the 1990's, using Miami-Dade County wetland mitigation bank funds. The goal of the proect is to restore the area to a marl prairie wetland vegetative community with its associated wildlife. Total estimated project costs are more than $100 million. To date, more than 4,000 acres have been treated; about 65% of the total of 6,250 acres. Environmental monitoring activities, also supported through cooperative funds, are documenting recovery stages and success rates, as well as wildlife re-uses of the area.


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