After moving to South Florida from Chicago in the late 90s, CJ McCartney underwent a shift in interests. Unfettered from her consulting company, and now living in a subtropical climate, she began cycling and hiking in natural habitats where she noticed the native plants and all the wildlife that depended upon them for survival.
Seeing the need to protect and preserve this vital habitat, she went from thinking “Somebody ought to do something about that” to realizing she was that someone. She began learning how to be a knowledgeable and effective environmental steward, trained to become a Master Gardener, and has taken a variety of botanical and horticulture classes and seminars to supplement her formal training in public policy and urban management.
CJ is now a botanizer, birder and nature photographer who speaks to community groups on the importance of native plants and pollinators, and designs and installs pollinator and wildflower gardens. She approaches her community service with an underlying belief that together we can mitigate the loss of natural habitats by creating a patch or a plot of native plant landscapes to provide a safe and welcoming haven for our pollinators and other wildlife.