Showing posts from June, 2014

Study: Roadside Vegetation Can Provide $1.5 BILLION in Ecosystem Services

A recently released Florida Department of Transportation study conservatively estimates that roadside vegetation along the state highway system performs nearly a half-billion dollars worth of ecosystem services. The study found that value would increase to $1 billion if sustainable vegetation management practices such as reduced mowing were adopted. The value would triple to $1.5 billion if wildflower areas were incorporated into roadside landscapes. Ecosystem services include carbon sequestration, runoff prevention, and support of crop pollinators and other insects, as well as contributions to air quality, invasive species resistance and roadside aesthetics.

The Florida Wildflower Foundation requested the Florida Department of Transportation study on behalf of the Florida Native Plant Partnership, which includes the foundation, Florida Association of Native Nurseries, Florida Native Plant Society, and Florida Wildflower Plant and Seed Growers Association.

"These findings are a …

Two Florida scrub endemics

I visited Hickory Lake Scrub, a 57-acre preserve,  in May and I loved that I found quite a number of plants that I'd never seen before. A scrub habitat is not to be rushed through.  To begin to appreciate it, you need to slow down —way down.

Here are two endemic plants that I found:Scrub morning glory (Bonamia grandiflora)
The scrub morning glory or lady's nightcap is obviously a member of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), but it belongs to a different genus than the majority of  the morning glories—Bonamia not Ipomoea. This is the only species in this genus native to the US.

It is threatened and endangered and various sources state that there are only 100 populations remaining. Most of them have been lost due to development and fire suppression. This plant is not only adapted to fire with its deep roots, but it requires the fire to clear out overhead vegetation

Isn't it gorgeous? 

For more information read the profile at The Center for Plant Conservation. It…

Grieving the loss of a small bit of nature in my neighborhood

By Alex Farr (Sea Oats Chapter member)

I first saw the sign on a walk around the block, on my way to the corner swamp.  "Oh, no.  This can't be good!"....flashed through my mind, and all of the horrors of the bulldozer followed that thought.  But that was in October, still not much building happening, and anyway, with all this talk of global warming, water rising, huge hurricanes, impossible insurance rates (if any insurance at all), would  make these lots a hard sell.

Late February---I heard that all too familiar sound of beep, beep, beep, diesel engines, swoosh, the sickening sound of trees falling.  But I was off to work, not time to investigate.  Turning down my little lane that afternoon, I was horrified to be able to see the next street over, and the condo's on the next street.  The trees and entangled growth that blocked that view were gone.  It was the site of that For Sale sign back in October!

I realized how complacency had also settled in over the 25 year…