The Plowden Field Station (PFS) is a 56.7 ha (139.9 acre), elongate parcel of flatwoods habitat located on the eastern edge of the City of Valdosta, GA.  Approximately 66% of the property is wetlands with the rest being a mix of secondary succession forest and open space for the right-of-way for a major sewer line and a high power utility line.  The western edge of the property is bordered by a residential area that serves as the demarcation line between the City of Valdosta and Lowndes County. The eastern edge is bordered by Knights Creek, wetlands, forest and agricultural lands.  The northern edge of the property is bordered by GA Highway 122 (Park Street) and commercial property.  The southern edge is bordered by a small unnamed creek, wetlands and industrial property.

Within the confines of the property there exists the following:

  • A small pond less than 0.4 ha. that may be overlying a sinkhole lies in the wetlands on the eastern edge of the property.  This pond is used by alligators for breeding and young have been observed near the nesting sites.  The pond is covered by extensive mats of emergent vegetation.

  • Vegetation consists of the following: 

    • Large stands of blueberry bushes comprising at least two species lie between the wetlands and the succession areas. 

    • Extensive stands of palmettos lie on the borders of the wetland on the southern end of the property. 

    • On the western edge of the property abutting a housing development to the west is an area of low mostly open area of shrubs and young pines.

  • Within in the wetlands lie small hammocks with large old growth pines some measuring up to 0.9-1.0 meters in diameter and extensive stands of sweet bay trees.

  • Knight’s creek runs the entire length of the PFS and forms its eastern boundary.  The western bank of the creek and inside of the boundaries of the field station lays a 1.8-2.0 meter high berm of soil that was dredged from the creek when it was channeled.  Based on the size of the trees on the berm, channeling probably occurred 40-45 years ago.

  • The sewage line right-of-way runs the entire long axis of the property and the high power line right of way runs parallel and to the west of the aforementioned right-of-way though the southwestern edge of the property.  Each right-of-way has a road running along it, but the road on the sewage right-of-way is not suitable for heavy vehicles.  Both roads are connected by a third road though the wooded area.

  • West of the high-tension power lines lays the largest and highest ground on the field station.  This area is covered by the largest stand of secondary secessional growth on the field station with stands of oak and magnolia being some of the dominant tree species along with open areas of vines and blackberries.  This area extends westward to the edge of the property where it borders a railroad track.