John Knox Stormwater Facility
The John Knox Road Stormwater Facility is located on a tributary of Meginnis Arm to Lake Jackson. It is positioned north of John Knox Road and East of Tallahassee Mall, behind the Trousdell Gymnastics Center. It is actually a two-pond system draining a large, mostly residential drainage basin in the Meridian Rd-Thomasville Rd.-I-10 triangle, and including the John Knox Road area. Yearly maintenance of the facility is performed by the COT Streets and Drainage Division.
The two ponds include, a sand filter pond on the south side, and a central, very scenic marsh pond which is classified as Waters of the State.
Plantings around stormwater facilities have the dual important benefits of helping to clean the stormwater and protecting nearby property values. Appropriate aquatic plants remove nutrients and pollutants from stormwater directly, and provide food for microorganisms which break down pollutants.
The John Knox Road marsh pond is the result of a DEP permit project whose emphasis was a dense planting with vegetation that (a) help to remove pollutants from the stormwater before discharging it to Lake Jackson, (b) provide food for wildlife in the area, and (c) add scenic beauty. During the course of the project, COT Stormwater Division staff removed most nuisance and exotic weeds by herbicides and mechanical harvesting, and replanted the pond with plants to meet all three of the planting goals. The marsh pond is the most visible and pleasurable feature of the system. From 1997 to 1999 it was planted with arrowhead, blue flag iris, pink Sabatia, bullrush, soft rush, cypress and black gum tupelo.
The pond area hosts many resident birds including Canadian geese, an abundant redwing blackbird population, and many migratory and occasional birds. A bat house was privately funded and built in June 1999 by the Twilight Group, a non-profit organization providing educational programs and promoting the conservation of bats. As of the winter of 2003, it serves as home to approximately 400 indigenous, Brazilian Free-Tailed bats that use the home seasonally, October through March.