Brown Bag Lunch: Ocean Friendly Gardens

20160301-brownbag-oceanfriendlygardensThe March Brown Bag Lecture (Tuesday, March 1) features Bill DeLuccia, Ocean Friendly Garden Program Coordinator and Native Plant Expert.

Title: What You Can Do to Help: Ocean Friendly Gardening

Speaker: Bill DeLuccia, Ocean Friendly Garden Program Coordinator and Native Plant Expert

Protect Our Water Resources (IRL) and Assist Wildlife with Habitat

20160301-brownbag-bill delucciaIn 1999 when my wife and I bought our nearly half-acre property on Melbourne Ave. in Indialantic the yard was a thick mat of over-watered and over-fertilized St. Augustine grass, beds of invasive split leaf philodendron, Chinese fan palms and Washingtonian palms, and many 40-foot-plus Melaleuca trees. The first six months plus were spent simply clearing our property of all the invasive non-natives. In 2000 I got to work on the Coastal Hammock style native plant landscape that would eventually grow into what is present today. The plants all started small six feet or in most cases less, but they grew fast. Our new yard quickly proved to be drought tolerant, in need of no additional fertilizer or pesticides, and last but not least it started to provide wildlife with a home again. Over the past ten years the 175-plus native plants in our yard have accounted for well over 100 bird species spotted from the property. Many other types of wildlife (butterflies, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians) that rely on specific native plants for their individual habitats and or food sources have also decided to reward our family with their presence here.

East Central Florida urban sprawl is everywhere as are the negative effects of the stormwater runoff problems it creates. Habitat restoration for wildlife and clean water resource protection are the two main reasons that I firmly believe Florida native landscaping is the most impactful environmental step each homeowner can take to simply give back. And in giving back I think that most will agree they are rewarded with a more beautiful and low-maintenance yard.

pdfClick here to view Surfrider Foundation's Ocean Friendly Garden presentation (PDF document).

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