January may be coming to a close, but the new year is just getting started at the Florida Wildflower Foundation. We’ve got an exciting year ahead of us and we’re thrilled to give you a look at what’s to come. In addition to our ongoing research, planting and education efforts, we’re launching several new programs and projects in 2024. Here’s what you can look forward to this year:
Library Pilot Program
As community hubs and centers of learning and activity, libraries attract and serve a diverse population and present a unique opportunity to showcase native plants and the pollinators they attract to a large and potentially unfamiliar audience. That’s why we’re piloting a grant program for the purpose of installing native plant demonstration gardens and seed libraries on library campuses. The program will create opportunities for education on the importance of native plants and their role in providing food and other resources for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. We look forward to sharing more information with you as this program progresses.
Florida Native Seed Strategy
Native seed is a critical resource for conservation and restoration efforts and for Florida’s growing native plant industry. Yet the supply of native seed and access to collection opportunities are greatly limited. To address this issue, we’re working with a variety of organizations and agencies to explore the establishment of a native seed strategy for the state of Florida. The strategy aims to promote and develop native seed farming efforts, develop best management practices for wild seed collection, manage supply and demand for native seed, and more. This strategic approach will play a vital role in preserving and restoring native plant populations, contributing to the ecological balance of our beloved Sunshine State.
People and Plants Garden at Ellis Acres Reserve
Have you ever wondered how Florida’s first settlers and indigenous peoples interacted with the plants in their landscape? Soon you’ll be able to find out. We’re partnering with Lake County to plant Florida’s first ethnobotanical garden at Ellis Acres Reserve in Paisley. This unique space will not only showcase the beauty of Florida’s native plants, but also highlight their cultural significance. Once completed, you’ll be able to explore the rich tapestry of our state’s botanical heritage and deepen your connection to the natural wonders that surround us.
Revamped Membership Program
Get ready for a fresh and improved membership experience! We are revamping our membership program to offer new benefits including exclusive content, additional opportunities to connect with fellow wildflower enthusiasts and more. Your membership will not only support our cause; it will also provide you with enriching experiences throughout the year. Stay tuned, as we’ll be rolling out the new membership program this spring.
As we dive into these endeavors, we invite you to join us on this exciting new chapter by becoming a member, making a donation, or purchasing the State Wildflower license plate. Your continued support fuels our mission, and together, we can ensure a vibrant future for Florida’s wildflowers. Thank you for being an integral part of the Florida Wildflower Foundation family. Here’s to a flower-filled 2024.