Mother Nature's ally: Hammock Bay naturalist proves that development doesn't have to be destructive

Published: Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 03:57 PM.

"The Panhandle is one of the most diverse places in the country," he remarked.

It's certainly not common for developments to have an on-staff naturalist working to preserve the land instead of clearing it. Wyatt credits that vision to Hammock Bay 's developer Jay Odom.

"Developments always get a bad rap, but there are ways to do developments and be in tune with nature and its surroundings," Wyatt said.

That's where Wyatt comes in — from monitoring the eco-friendly pest control program, to creating shelter for the hundreds of bluebirds to protecting Oak trees.

"It's about making a difference for future generations," he said. "I hope every new development would do that same thing. It's a model worth emulating whether it's 10 acres or 100."

There are about 65 bird houses scattered throughout Hammock Bay , housing hundreds of birds such as bluebirds and purple martins every year.

As part of the eco-friendly pest control program, birds, bats and even the fish stocked in the pond ( Hammock Bay is a catch and release fishing site), feed on the insects instead of spraying harmful chemicals. Reclaimed water is used to water the grounds. Wyatt even surveys the land, marking trees and saving them from being cut down.

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