Pelican Island Audubon distributes 10,000 native trees and plants

news release

Pelican Island Audubon announces that our Trees for Life/Plants for Birds program has today distributed over 10,000 native trees and plants!

Many folks are putting up Christmas trees for the holiday season. Some are using native trees, and others or are planting native Trees for Life/Plants for Birds that will last years.

Since 2018, PIAS has promoted planting native trees and growing native plants to benefit birds and all other wildlife, to help combat climate change, to help save our Indian River Lagoon, and restore local biodiversity. The initial goal was to purchase, provide and/or give away free, at least 1,000 native plants and trees for planting on private and public lands, with a long-term goal of 100,000 plantings over 10-15 years.

Grants have been essential for our success. Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program and National Audubon Society allowed purchase of two greenhouses to initiate the project. Other grants from FPL/Audubon Florida, Sebastian River Farms, Cherry Lake Farms, Estuarine, Coastal and Ocean Science, Inc., Dr. Grant Gilmore, Patti & Jack Hamerski and others gave us trees, seedlings, pots, and acorns.

Our native tree and plant nursey is maintained by dedicated volunteers: Steve Palmquist, Ricky Ray, Barbara Riebe, Ed McCool, Kathy Cunningham, Brenda Lee Fuller, Rondalyn Reeser, David Polge, Hadi Shalhoub, Sandy Perri, Bill Loftus, Melissa McPike, and Terry Greene. Please consider volunteering. These trees need nurturing!

Aiding our project’s progress, we have received positive recognition from the press, see list near end of link: https://pelicanislandaudubon.org/home-page/trees-for-life-plants-for-birds/ This website also shows where all trees and many plants are planted, which demonstrates our progress. These include Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellsmere City Halls, Gifford History Museum and Cultural Center, Sebastian’s Garden Club Park on Barber St., Sebastian Inlet State Park, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Indian River County Parks and Conservation Lands, homeowner associations, and many private homes. Even Vero Beach City Hall has replaced all their turf with plants! Our Audubon Advocates, 5th grade after-school program, planted a native garden at the USFWS office in Vero.

However, it is more than just getting native plants in the ground. In addition to citizens, our goal is to provide the environmental and health benefits of an outdoor exploratory experience to students by enhancing the schoolyard environments with native trees and plants. These students will help maintain and improve the gardens. They will educate their friends and parents to appreciate nature and expand their understanding of earth manners and science. We are also planting an Education and Demonstration Native Garden at the entrance to the Indian River County Commission Building A. Please come and help on Jan 15 and 16, 2021.

Working together we can make our World a better place and save our manatees, fishes, birds, and ourselves!

Our Mission: To preserve and protect the animals, plants, and natural communities, and the land and water on which they depend in Indian River County through advocacy, education, and public awareness.

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