Wildflower garden at Sea Park Elementary

Florida’s wildflowers ‘go to school’ in 23 counties

Students at schools all over Florida won’t have to go far this fall to experience the state’s flora – hundreds of wildflowers are coming to them!

Forty-three schoolteachers received grants in late June as part of the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Seedlings for Schools (SFS) program. Each teacher will receive up to 20 Florida native wildflower plants with which to establish school gardens in the fall.

The grants provide “wildflower classrooms” that get children outdoors to discover Florida’s native flora and fauna. When planted on campus, they can help students achieve Sunshine State Standards while they learn about such things as pollination and how to take measurements and record scientific observations.

Grants include plants, guidance, curriculum

Teachers who won grants receive expert guidance to make sure the gardens get as good a start as possible. They also have access to Florida Wildflower Foundation resources, including the robust Wild About Wildflowers! Activity Guide. The downloadable curriculum features dozens of lessons and activities that meet third- and fourth-grade Sunshine State standards. Lessons can be adapted to different grade levels and also can be used by nature centers, Boy and Girl Scout troops, after-school programs and more.

“We are so excited about this year’s awards,” says Florida Wildflower Foundation Executive Director Lisa Roberts. “Teachers were tremendously creative in how they plan to use the garden to educate students. We’re expecting some beautiful gardens and exciting results!”

Awards went to teachers at 29 elementary, eight middle, three high and two K-12 schools, as well as at an adult education center that helps students earn high school equivalency certificates.

“There will be a lot of schools with grow boxes, since that seems easier for them,” says SFS administrator Claudia Larsen. “All schools had assistance coming from parents, Master Gardeners, Florida Native Plant Society chapters, garden clubs, 4-H groups and other organizations.”

Five of the schools are previous SFS grant winners who wanted to continue building their wildflower gardens.

Grants are provided with funds from the State Wildflower license plate.

2019 FWF Seedlings for Schools Grant Winners

AlachuaLittlewood ElementaryGainesville
BayArnold High SchoolPanama City Beach
BrevardSouthwest Middle SchoolPalm Bay
BrevardOcean BreezeIndian Harbour Beach
BrevardStone Magnet Middle SchoolPalm  Bay
BrevardPinewood ElementaryMims
BrowardSt. Bernadette Catholic SchoolHollywood
CharlotteMurdock Middle SchoolPort Charlotte
CharlotteVineland ElementaryRotonda
DadeLindsey Hopkins Technical CollegeSouthwest Ranches
FlaglerBuddy Taylor Middle SchoolPalm Coast
HernandoSprings Coast Environmental Education CenterWeeki Wachee
HillsboroughSheehy ElementaryTampa
HillsboroughSeminole Heights ElementaryTampa
HillsboroughChiles ElementaryTampa
LakeImagine South Lake CharterClermont
LakeRound Lake ElementaryLeesburg
LakeWindy Hill Middle SchoolClermont
LeeJoseph H. Messina Childrens CenterFort Myers
ManateeRowlette Middle AcademyBradenton
MartinRiverside MontessoriStuart
MartinThe Early Childhood Learning CenterStuart
Miami-DadeNorth Hialeah ElementaryHialeah
Miami-DadeDowntown Doral Charter ElementaryDoral
Miami-DadeDoctors Charter SchoolMiami Shores
MonroeOcean Studies CharterTavernier
MonroeSt. James the Fisherman Children’s CenterIslamorada
OrangeDaVinci Learning AcademyApopka
OrangeCornerstone Charter AcademyBelle Isle
Palm BeachA.D. Henderson University SchoolBoca Raton
Palm BeachGreenacres ElementaryGreenacres
Palm BeachTemple Torat Emet B-Yachad Religious SchoolBoynton Beach
PascoQuail Hollow ElementaryWesley Chapel
PascoWesley Chapel ElementaryWesley Chapel
PinellasBroach SchoolSt. Petersburg
PinellasPaul B. Stephens ESECClearwater
PolkLawton Chiles Middle SchoolLakeland
SarasotaCranberry ElementaryNorth Port
SarasotaAshton ElementarySarasota
SarasotaNewGate SchoolSarasota
SeminoleGoldsboro Elementary MagnetSanford
VolusiaR.J. Longstreet ElementaryDaytona Beach
VolusiaCreekside Middle SchoolPort Orange