Chapter Gardening Activities

Dave Feagles

  • Serenoa Chapter Rep
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  • 37
Chapter Gardening Activities
« on: January 30, 2017, 01:08:14 PM »
This is the collection point for information regarding the creation, maintenance, public reaction to Native Gardens  and anything else that bears upon the FNPS Chapters Gardening initiatives as they reach out to the communities that they serve. We are interested in collecting information about successes and failures. Please include information about garden sizes and approximate costs involved, including volunteer hours (estimates are fine) for planning, installation, establishment, and maintenance. Please try to break out the hours into those performed by FNPS and if other organizations are involved approximate their time and costs. If any local awards have been received, please note them. How long have the gardens been in existence or how long before they failed.

As you can see there are an enormous number of issues, so don't limit your responses to the few issues noted above. We aren't certain where this effort will lead, so all comments are welcome. It may be that some of your Gardens will be on a list of places to see on the site, so feel free to praise your efforts and tell us why this garden is so special. 

Please include some contact information in your responses so we can contact you if we have further questions. 

Athena Philips

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  • 9
  • Citrus Chapter Rep.
Re: Chapter Gardening Activities
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 04:01:08 PM »
We are really lucky to live in a county that has been forward thinking in this area. The county has used native landscaping for the libraries and much of their other properties. I think you'll find that most chapters are unable to do more than one garden, maybe two. We have considered it, but the volunteers hands aren't numerous enough. Garden clubs are only now starting to pick up on the trend, and so far feature a lot of exotics.

I'll work on the number data you requested.

At the Goto meeting, I thought we would be compiling garden info on all native gardens, not just FNPS ones. Are you only interested in chapter efforts? Our county has a few non-FNPS installations, which is nice since we don't have to take care of them!
Athena Philips, Citrus Chapter Rep.

Re: Chapter Gardening Activities
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 07:42:36 PM »
I apologize for missing the meeting last night!
We have several successful gardens in Lake County, but they are not always maintained by FNPS.  Volunteers, Master Gardeners, county staff all pitch in.
I know that many have been installed at schools, libraries, etc and some are Wildflower Foundation grants, but most don't survive beyond the first couple of years.

Re: Chapter Gardening Activities
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 07:18:53 PM »
Eugenia Chapter might have a couple of gardens to report, but I don't have any confirmed right now. 

Re: Chapter Gardening Activities
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 02:04:12 AM »
Sea Oats Chapter partnered with the St. Johns County Council on Aging to install a native plant garden on their property downtown St Augustine, and we spent months getting approval from the city and the county because the location was on a historical site.  We were fortunate that the CoA provided us with a group of volunteers who helped clear the area and get it ready for planting.  While I had hoped to have more members involved, we did get quite a few, with some members working many hours.  Publicity seems to be key in getting donations and generating interest.  The local newspaper published an article at the beginning, and we had planned a garden opening celebration & plant sale that would have garnered more publicity....but our scheduled date coincided with Hurricane Matthew.  The storm did take a toll on the garden, and unfortunately it did dampen morale as well.  We are now planning to get the garden into tip top shape & reschedule the event for this spring....haven't really put out a serious call for volunteers yet, but I do remain hopeful.  And I am very interested in other chapters' experience & advice.  Plus, this will be our first plant sale, so any tips or advice on that will also be gratefully accepted! 

Re: Chapter Gardening Activities
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 02:22:35 AM »
Other information about the Sea Oats Chapter garden....officially name the Powder House Lot Native Plant Garden:

Our initial funding was from a grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation, and an initial donation of $500.  We also had a  bench donated.  I am only guessing at the size, but it is approx. 30 X 60 feet, plus or minus.  We are still seeking donations for pavers to make the main pathways handicap accessible.    We also now need to  replant after the hurricane this past fall....some plants are rebounding, others may or may not, but we did lose a few.

Partnering with another well known organization was key for our chapter, which is small.  The Council on Aging has been an active partner, and has also been a source of groups of volunteers when we have a big project, as well as providing support and resources.   We are really hoping this spring will put us "on the map" and help increase awareness of native plants and, or course, bring us new members.

Re: Chapter Gardening Activities
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 07:57:58 PM »
The Villages chapter is jointly funding a project along with our local extension office for UF in Gainesville to create zero-turf landscape designs for 3 typical lots in The Villages.  There will be 2 designs for each of the 3 lot types.  All designs will be 75% natives to meet our landscape award criteria. All designs will also meet Florida Water Star Criteria and will align with our developments deed restrictions.  Final product will be colorized CAD files available on-line for anyone to access.  Expect completion by the end of this semester.  We will announce when the files are available for viewing / download.

In 2016, we had 2 work days to weed and mulch the entrance to Lake Griffin St Park. Spring plan is to redesign and replant with more maintainable landscape design palette that is attractive in all seasons.  

Re: Chapter Gardening Activities
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 10:13:45 AM »
Suncoast helps maintain native plant gardens in

Lettuce Lake
Plant City Botanical Treasures/Community Gardens

The Flatwood gardens are small and near the county park entrance/visitors centers. Lettuce Lake is near the visitors center. We also do Native Plant Walks at Lettuce Lake. The Plant City Garden is quite large and we had an Earth Day event there this year. It has the much potential for being a showcase and event venue.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 10:18:16 AM by Donna Bollenbach »
Social Media Director
Board Representative for Council of Chapters