Updated: May 8, 2018
By Jean Sarmiento, Sunkeeper Environmental Solutions
Why planting Native Plant species is so important
"Florida Native plants are those that have grown naturally in Florida for thousands of years.”
Remember the frenzy and enthusiasm we all have when a hurricane approaches South Florida?
If people knew the shit storm that is brewing when we continue to deplete bio diversity in our Planet, in Miami you would see hundreds of folks rushing to plant Native trees, shrubs, vines and wildflowers.
Haha! Wouldn’t that be a sight to see! Indeed, if that were the case, we would see a significant bounce back in plant and animal species as a result.
My intention here is to educate and inspire people to understand and contribute in this way: simply re-introducing Native flora back into the environment. This is how we make the world beautiful again and contribute to life and wellbeing. A beautiful battlefront in the Great War Against the Destruction of Nature, and one of the best ways to help the Everglades.
Planting Native species is important because Native plants provide the food, nutrition and shelter for hundreds of Animal species that we in turn rely on for our own survival, 75% of all crop species depend on pollinators like bees, butterflies and birds. Healthy eco-systems have the ability to nourish our mind and spirit also contribute to overall well being and joy. Not only is it our Responsibility as Humans to care for the elements that give us life but the lack of Native plants continues to affect our economy in a major way as well.
Pollinator species are rapidly in decline due to:
Overuse of chemicals like fertilizers and insecticides
Our apathy towards nature
If the animals die, people will soon die after, we cant let that happen.
We have a great opportunity to remediate the issues we have caused. For example, did you know Invasive species cost US taxpayers over $120 BILLION per year!
When we continue to perpetuate practices that will not provide benefits for wildlife, and when we continue landscaping in our yards with foreign plants that have no beneficial impact to our pollinators, we put our multi-billion dollar Agriculture industry at risk.
Look at China and how they have been forced to pollinate by hand.
The Dangers are vast, serious, and very real, but the benefits of re-introducing Native plants are Wide and the effects Far reaching and tangible, and its something we as private citizens can take it upon ourselves to make happen, without relying or expecting any Authority to do it for us. I don’t believe we can get out of the Environmental pickle we’re in without a massive re - introduction of Native specie initiatives happening in the near future.
So the best way to make a difference is:
obviously go plant Native species in your yard and wherever else you can.
Do not plant Invasives plants "refer to non-natives tab"
You can work with a professional to help you.
Create the demand for Native Plants at more nurseries.
Others things you can do is talk about it know that its Important and a very tangible profound way to help pollinator species.
Spreading the word and shining influence where one can, to bring about more areas that can be transformed into productive green space will have profound effects.
We must look to turn problems into solutions. This predicament sets the context for many opportunities: for a whole industry of Native plant production, Green Infrastructure and Restoration to emerge. Creating jobs and strengthening bonds between man, community and the plant-animal kingdoms.
We find it counter-productive that we have hundreds of Nurseries in South Florida and yet we only have a handful of places to get Native Plants, as a community we can be doing a better job. The availability just isn't there. So a big part of the work is to create the Demand and educate Floridians on the great Importance and beauty of Native Species.
Re-introducing Native species is a Truth that is applicable across the Globe.
Thats why we at Sunkeeper are dedicated to creating gardens and landscapes that will bring beauty to your life, and contribute to the bounce back of native species, contact us if you have any questions or you are interested in our services.
"Learn more about Floridas Wildflowers & Butterflies by downloading the files below"
If we in South Florida honestly expect to continue living here then we must spearhead a wave of Native Plant awareness but more so practice and the sooner we do this the better!
Let us employ the right trees for Remediation and flood control,
Let us combat run away pest by bringing back Bio-Diversity,
Let us bring back Traditional Ecological Knowledge amongst our societies,
Let us explore undiscovered scientific uses our Native plants may contain,
Let us feed the birds and pollinators and employ them to spread the Native seed and revive habitat once more!
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