How Our Conservation Efforts Preserve the Natural Beauty of Money Hill

Nestled within 5,600 acres of natural splendor, Money Hill stands as a testament to our unwavering dedication to preserving the natural beauty and ecological wealth of our surroundings. Guided by principles of sustainability and conservation, we actively collaborate with local conservation groups and state agencies to ensure the enduring serenity of our community.

Money Hill is not just a luxury community; it’s also home to the St. Tammany Parish office of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy. Our intentional commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the land has earned the community numerous awards since 1996, recognizing our outstanding environmental commitment.

As a designated Louisiana nature preservation site, Money Hill takes its role as a guardian of the Northshore’s natural legacy seriously. Ongoing efforts ensure the perpetual protection of the area, and the community’s proactive stance sets it apart as a beacon of environmental responsibility.

Preservation of the Longleaf Pine Forests 

Money Hill has been identified by ecologists as having one of the top longleaf pine forests remaining in southeast Louisiana. This special habitat supports a large variety of wildlife species, many of which are rare, uncommon, or declining elsewhere.

Money Hill’s proactive stance in managing these forests spans generations, with partnerships with organizations like The Nature Conservancy, facilitating conservation programs. These active conservation programs and environmental activities include reforestation, invasive species control, installation of numerous bluebird and wood duck boxes, participation in the Safe Harbor Agreement with the start of Louisiana to promote the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and the establishment of a 600-foot riparian buffer, or protective area for the Louisiana Qullwort. 

The pine forests at Money Hill also support a great variety of native plant species. Wild sunflowers, blazing stars, mountain mint, and many other native grasses can be seen blooming in the fall. Special wetland habitats support the wild azalea, pinewoods lilt, and even the endangered Louisiana Quillwort.

conservation long leaf pines

Controlled Burning for Ecosystem Promotion

Under our cooperative management agreement with The Nature Conservancy, Money Hill employs controlled burns as a vital land management tool to promote the health of the longleaf pine ecosystem. This method, rooted in centuries-old practices, not only stimulates the growth of native grasses and wildflowers but also releases essential nutrients into the soil. Carried out with precision by skilled teams, these controlled burns play a dual role, benefiting wildlife and contributing to the preservation of Money Hill’s open, scenic, and park-like atmosphere, all while preventing the hazardous buildup of forest litter.

Our partnership with the conservancy emphasizes the judicious use of prescribed fire to promote the longleaf pine ecosystem. Throughout history, natural fires, ignited by lightning strikes and augmented by Native Americans, have played a vital role. Many native species, including the gopher tortoise and Henslow’s sparrow, have evolved in harmony with these fires, relying on them for essential food sources and habitat survival.

The advantages of controlled burns extend beyond ecosystem health, encompassing the release of nutrients into the soil and the stimulation of flowering and fruiting in native grasses and wildflowers. Executed by a trained team, these burns are carefully orchestrated to align with weather conditions, ensuring that smoke is kept away from the golf course and the community. The practice not only contributes to the overall aesthetic appeal of Money Hill but also serves as a proactive measure to mitigate the risk of dangerous forest litter and brush accumulation, reducing the potential fuel for devastating wildfires.

Surrounding Buffer and Conservation

Money Hill has strategically enveloped its community with over 3,500 acres of nature preserves, forming a crucial buffer against potential future developments. A notable instance of this commitment is the sale of 2,800 acres of wet pine savanna habitat to The Nature Conservancy in the early 2000s, emphasizing the community’s dedication to maintaining this protective buffer. These strategic conservation efforts position Money Hill as an oasis of beauty and ecological wealth.

conservation plants

Fostering Wildlife Habitats

The culmination of our conservation efforts at Money Hill is reflected in the vibrant biodiversity that thrives within our community. A diverse array of species, including bobwhite quail, wild turkey, Bachman’s fox squirrel, red-headed woodpecker, eastern kingbird, bluebirds, white-tailed deer, bobcat, and red fox, coexist harmoniously within our expansive grounds. Local birders have identified over 120 bird species, while the threatened gopher tortoise finds sanctuary alongside various turtle species.

In our commitment to nurturing the wildlife at Money Hill, strategically placed birding boxes dot the landscape, serving as vital havens for fledgling birds. These boxes not only contribute to the local ecosystem but also act as a valuable wildlife resource for the broader Northshore region. National groups have studied and celebrated species like bluebirds and wood ducks, which are lovingly maintained by our residents under the guidance of local environmentalists.

The unique Bachman’s fox squirrels, integral to Money Hill’s ecosystem, play a pivotal role in seed dispersal, insect population control, and providing sustenance for predators such as hawks and owls. Our dedicated team works diligently to safeguard their habitat, ensuring the continued flourishing of this distinctive species. Money Hill takes pride in being a “Conservation Community,” where wildlife corridors and protected areas are established to further enhance the coexistence of residents and local fauna. The design of Club Cottages is thoughtfully crafted to seamlessly blend with the environment, minimizing any impact on the wildlife. Open forests, preferred by the Bachman’s squirrel, are carefully maintained through prescribed fires, showcasing our commitment to employing vital land management tools that promote a balanced ecosystem.

The numerous lakes and ponds at Money Hill serve as rich habitats for wading birds such as the great blue heron and great egret, as well as waterfowl including double-crested cormorants, 

wood ducks, and geese. The abundance of aquatic life has even attracted nesting bald eagles to Money Hill for many years, where they find refuge in tall pines near the lakes and feast on the abundant fish and wildlife. This harmonious interplay of diverse ecosystems exemplifies Money Hill’s dedication to preserving nature’s delicate balance while creating a haven for both residents and wildlife alike.

conservation wildlife

Sustainable Future and Harmonious Coexistence

In conclusion, Money Hill’s core objective is to provide a sustainable future appreciated by forward-thinking residents. The community’s dedication to conservation ensures the survival of its natural wonders for future generations. As Money Hill evolves with future developments, the integration of natural and conservation efforts remains at the forefront, showcasing that humans can coexist harmoniously with nature on the Northshore.

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