Wonder how it
all began? Below is a reprinted 1976 article from
Lindrick's own newsletter, Gulf Harbors Light, the precursor
to Gulf Harbors' Sights & Sounds, which talks
about the soon-to-be developed Woodlands community!
A wilderness is being
transformed into woods and waterways. Into Gulf Harbors
Woodlands. But carefully and with infinite pains.
The Woodlands are not an
isolated outpost. They are near a bustling shopping center,
a private beach and golf course. In fact, within a radius of
three miles from the sophisticated life.
Some channels have been
dredged - more than two miles of them. The project is
planned and being developed by Lindrick Corporation, creator
of adjacent Gulf Harbors with its waterway homes for more
than 1200 families.
Across the broad channel from
Gulf Harbors is the waterway entrance to the Woodlands, at
Harbor Village, site of a commercial area including a Bath
and Racquet Club with tennis courts, swimming pool and
dressing rooms scheduled for completion by December, 1977,
and a proposed private yacht club. The channel is protected
from the Gulf by 347 acres of wilderness, permanently
dedicated by Lindrick as the Robert Crown Wildlife Refuge
under the Federal Wilderness Area Act.
Waterways wind through wooded
land, following the meanders of estuarian creeks. Islands
along the waterways add to the natural setting. Lindrick’s
theme is to bring dreams of living - in comfortable company
with nature - to beautiful reality.
Entering by car, the visitor
finds himself at the Woodlands reception center next to a
sparkling lagoon, part of the area’s inter-connected
Twenty-nine homesites - many
on waterways - have just been released for sale, to be
followed by other releases as required. Eventually more than
300 beautiful wooded lots, both waterfront and off-water,
will be made available by Lindrick for home construction by
skilled custom builders in the area.
Lindrick does not plan to
sell lots “en bloc” to mass-production tract builders. As a
result, the Woodlands will achieve a pleasing aura of custom
homes crafted to individual tastes. Highly creative design
services are available here, or, if you prefer, bring your
own plan for review by our Environmental Control Committee.
The Woodlands may be among
the last coastal waterway developments offered the public
in Florida because of legislation severely restricting
dredging of coastal waterways. Fortunately for prospective
residents, Lindrick won conceptual approval for the
Woodlands because of the exceptional precautions proposed to
preserve the balance of nature in the area.
Lindrick believes the
Woodlands will have the ideal combination of wooded sites
and waterways - so unlike typical artificial settings
elsewhere - that only a visit can “tell it like it is.”
The Woodlands not only are a
channel-separated neighbor of the Robert Crown Wilderness
Area but include 80 acres of conservation preserves which
will be donated to the Florida Department of Natural
Preparing a wilderness for
living is a monumental task. The work calls for a grand
design, huge machines and the touch of experts to ensure
that homesites, waterways and utilities mesh into nature’s
plan with a minimum of disruption.
During this transformation,
the native flora and fauna continue their burgeoning lives
almost undisturbed. A Woodlands walk is a trip through a
Florida coastal land little changed from pre-settlement
For the active sports-minded
person, the Woodlands will offer recreation unlimited, from
dawn, with its promise of pleasant boating and a harvest of
fish, to dusk with the fulfillment of twilight over
silhouetted trees and the vesper flights of herons overhead.
…a MONUMENTAL task
There are two ways to develop a wooded area for homesites.
One way, unfortunately too common, is to bulldoze every
tree, level the ground, and leave to the new resident the
worrisome and expensive job of creating a natural setting.
other way is to lend nature gentle help so she can be more
Lindrick Corporation, developer of Gulf Harbors Woodlands,
chose the second way.
The task of adapting a native environment to gracious living
reaching an accommodation with nature has been a monumental
The area, known locally as the Devil’s Woodyard, had never
been settled. A two-mile-long stretch of land along the Gulf
of Mexico, it was buttressed by storm-taming mangroves,
Further on shore were tall stands of pine, rising above
palms, magnolias, live oaks, cedars, cypress, laurel and
pepper trees. Inlets and tidal creeks formed a thriving
habitat for abundant fish and shell-fish. The uplands were
primarily used for cattle grazing. The nearest the Devil’s
Woodyard came to a road was a trail here and there through
palmetto thickets. The area was a wilderness;
To begin its task, Lindrick experts made a definitive survey
from which a plan for development emerged. Using the old
trails that skirted the wooded areas or wound through them,
Lindrick moved in its equipment.
Trees were marked for preservation — for distinction, not
extinction. Some trees were welled in to protect them from
suffocation. Others, unavoidably in the path of a projected
roadway, were trenched around roots to allow the roots to
adapt, and planted elsewhere in the Woodlands.
According to Bill Long, landscape contractor at the
Woodlands and member of the International Society of
Arboriculture, it takes up to a full season for a tree to
re-invigorate its root pruning so it can be transplanted
successfully. At publication date, over fifty trees have
been transplanted, including several slash pines — a variety
most horticulturists would say cannot be transplanted.
When it came time for installing underground utility
systems, trees were kept in mind. Abandoned was the easy way
of power-digging a trench straight through spreading tree
roots which can damage or kill the trees. Instead, root
structures were exposed by hand and pipe placed within the
areas were left in their natural state. All, sea marsh areas
receive nutrients in the ebb and flow of tidal waters
connecting them to channels.
Channels which lead through Gulf Harbors Woodlands were
created with care. Rejected was the traditional “finger
fill” operation in which a monster crane claws its way,
spewing rock, marl and, mud indiscriminately along its
straight-line path. Instead, the channel-makers worked a bit
at a time, mostly on dry land, keeping the waters at bay by
a series of earth dams or “plugs”. Topsoil was reserved in
huge mounds. The underlayer could be used for fill where
needed. And the exposed solid stratum of limestone was dug
or blasted to serve as riprap — material to line channel
banks. When the channels were contoured to government
specifications, the “plugs” were removed and waters of the
Gulf claimed their new home.
Figures usually are boring unless it means money in the
bank. But an idea of the task which is nearing completion is
that more than 600,000 cubic yards of earth will have been
excavated in creating the channels. Millions of dollars have
been spent, and more is allocated, and, all is being
accomplished in intimate partnership with nature.
We have scanned the entire 1976 Summer issue of Lindrick's
Gulf Harbors Light in all its color glory and have placed it
online for your enjoyment. Due to the size of the file
it is broken up into three smaller files below. You
will need the free Adobe Acrobat reader, you probably have
it installed already, but, if not, you can obtain the free
reader by clicking on the button below.
1976 Summer Gulf Harbors Light - pages 1-5
1976 Summer Gulf Harbors Light - pages 6-9
1976 Summer Gulf Harbors Light - pages 10-16