This month, we’ll tackle the environmental focus area of ecology by learning about wildlife corridors and restoring natural habitats. Then, we’ll consider how we can save special places amid the harsh environmental realities of urbanization. Lastly, we’ll learn from Fleet Farming about Bee Balm, an important Florida native pollinator that brings the bees around!
We welcome Noah’s Notes President, Don Kendzior, to discuss his comprehensive initiative to preserve and restore wildlife corridors and natural habitats in Orange County, FL.
Paul Owens, President of 1000 Friends of Florida, talks to us about his work through this organization to save special places in Florida nature and build better communities. Smarter and responsible urban growth is crucial to preserve Florida’s natural spaces as our population increases. The vision of 1000 Friends of Florida is a state with abundant natural lands, a verdant network of wildlife corridors and greenways, productive farms, and pristine springs and rivers.
Photo Credit: SRQ Daily
Oyster Boys: Restoring Florida’s Water Quality
Oysters are a delicacy enjoyed by many, but did you know they also play a crucial role in improving water quality? Enter the Oyster Boys, a nonprofit organization based in Florida that is working tirelessly to restore the state’s water quality through oyster cultivation.
The Oyster Boys’ mission is to use oysters as natural filters to purify Florida’s waterways. Oysters are filter feeders, meaning they extract nutrients and pollutants from the water as they feed. By cultivating oysters in areas with poor water quality, the Oyster Boys hope to improve the environment for marine life, as well as for humans who rely on these waters for recreation.
In recent years, Florida’s water quality has been in decline due to factors such as nutrient pollution, harmful algal blooms, and climate change. However, the Oyster Boys have had notable success in mitigating these issues. For example, in the St. Johns River, the Oyster Boys worked with the University of North Florida to monitor water quality, and the data showed that the oysters had removed a significant amount of nitrogen and phosphorus from the water. These nutrients are key culprits in causing harmful algal blooms, which can have devastating impacts on marine ecosystems and human health.
The Oyster Boys’ work has also shown how science and community can come together to tackle environmental issues. Their oyster cultivation projects involve volunteers and community members, who help to plant and maintain oyster beds. By engaging with the community and involving them in their work, the Oyster Boys have fostered a sense of environmental stewardship and responsibility.
In conclusion, the Oyster Boys are an inspiring example of how we can restore our waterways and protect our natural resources. Through their innovative approach, they are showing us how natural solutions can be used to address complex environmental challenges. The Oyster Boys’ work is a testament to the power of collaboration, community involvement, and a commitment to a sustainable future.
Bee balm, also known as Monarda, is a flowering plant native to North America that provides a valuable food source and habitat for pollinators. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators are vital to our ecosystem, but their populations have been declining due to factors such as habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. Bee balm can help to reverse this trend by providing a vital habitat and food source for these important creatures.
We’re sharing a recipe from one of our very own CSA subscribers 💛 Special thanks to CSA customer Heather Griffis for this delicious recipe! Peanut dipping sauce by The Spruce Eats.
In need of some produce? You can always come see us at our Monday night Farmer’s Market in Audubon Park from 5 – 8 PM.
Interested in starting to grow your own food at home, but want professional guidance? Schedule a FREE consultation with our Edible Landscapes team!
Our friends at University of Florida’s IFAS Extension program have a great guide for April planting throughout Florida including what to grow by transplant or by direct seed!