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News: Make a New Year’s Resolution to Go Native!

 

January 02, 2020

Learn about the work of GCA club members promoting pollinators

Over the past century, urbanization has disrupted functioning ecosystems by replacing native plants with concrete, chemically treated lawns, and exotic ornamental plants and displacing essential wildlife. The Garden Club of America is leading the way back to beautiful and healthy gardens, that sustain birds, butterflies, and essential pollinators. The GCA is encouraging its 201 member clubs to “Go Native.” LEARN how the Garden Club of Palm Beach, along with the Town of Palm Beach, Florida, took action by assuming roles as advocates and educators.

The Garden Club of Palm Beach published “Going Native: Gardening for Birds, Butterflies, and Pollinators in Palm Beach.” This beautifully illustrated and information-packed tool was designed to educate the community on improving the health of its gardens and the importance of supporting pollinators and birds by adding native plants to the island’s landscape. The publication includes a native plants list, specifically curated for gardens on the barrier island of Palm Beach. 

And the work didn’t stop there. Two members of the Garden Club of Palm Beach decided to take action to an entirely new level by running for public office and winning seats on the The Town Council of Palm Beach. Councilwoman Bobbie Lindsay (member, Palm Beach Garden Club) reports that “the Council passed two ordinances that address the native plants issues: 25% of new plantings must be native plants and newly planted hedges cannot include Ficus benjamina, an exotic plant whose white fly pest infestations require regular applications of neonicotinoid pesticides. The long lasting pesticides create toxic plants, are deadly to bees and other pollinators, and the chemical can seep into the ground-water.” The Town Council is making great strides in moving the program forward in Palm Beach, Florida.

If “Going Native” is on your agenda this year, head to the National Audubon Society’s Native Plant Database. It provides a list of native plants according to zip code and identifies local nurseries selling natives.  

In 2020, make a resolution to Go Native!

Top photo: Blanket Flower (Gailardia pulchelia) by Kathy Martin

 

 

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