Date Posted: Jun 06, 2012
Seven Florida counties and a North Florida city recently adopted resolutions to conserve and preserve Florida’s native wildflowers. The resolutions passed by Alachua, Broward, Franklin, Martin, Polk, Sumter and Walton counties and the city of Live Oak increase awareness and protection of Florida roadside wildflowers while emphasizing their environmental, historical and cultural significance.
Live Oak became the first city in the state to pass a resolution. Similar pledges already are in place in Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Putnam, Lake, Volusia, Brevard, Marion, Lee, Leon, Wakulla, Taylor and Gadsden counties. The resolutions identify roadsides as candidates for reduced-mowing programs, which allow naturally occurring wildflowers to thrive while saving public resources. Some communities choose Florida-grown wildflower seed to reintroduce native species along local roadsides.
Besides being beautiful, wildflowers support crop pollinators vital to the state’s multi-billion-dollar agricultural industry while contributing to the sense of place that is uniquely La Florida, “land of flowers.” “Wildflowers nourish pollinators that put food on our tables, including blueberries and many other fruits and vegetables,” said Foundation Board Chairman Terry L. Zinn, Alachua. “They also can help conserve water in landscapes, improve water and air quality, and beautify communities.”
With the 500th anniversary of La Florida approaching in 2013, many of these counties will be ready with gorgeous displays of flowers similar to what Juan Ponce de Leon must have seen, said Lisa Roberts, Florida Wildflower Foundation executive director. “In many cases, the flowers are already on our roadsides. All we have to do is mow less and at the right times.”
To learn more about the resolutions being adopted across the state, visit www.flawildflowers.org/resolution.php.