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Chris & Beth Belloise

Your Real Estate Team Specializing in Gulf Harbors, Gulf Harbors Woodlands, and New Port Richey Waterfront Real Estate

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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!

The Woodlands

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 waterway system.

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 Resources.

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 days.

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.

The other way is to lend nature gentle help so she can be more natural.

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 one.

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 root system.

Marshy 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.

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1976 Summer Gulf Harbors Light - pages 1-5
1976 Summer Gulf Harbors Light - pages 6-9
1976 Summer Gulf Harbors Light - pages 10-16

 

 

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