Mary Collins, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, raises the issue that we can help rebuild our ecosystems with proper gardening (click the headline link above to read). Mary, many of us have, or so we think, but what are the measurable standards? Both as a life-long South Florida resident who enjoys the outdoors and a member of Palmetto Bay’s Garden Club I can state than many of us want to support maintaining local flora and fauna.
We know that residents are not going to pack up and move away and there will be no reverting of developed land back to its natural state. But yes, Ms. Collins, many people are concerned about what happens when a native wooded area is cleared for a building site; after the trees and undergrowth have been removed, and what happens to the creatures that were living in or visiting this area. The issue is how do we best work withe the current realities. I look forward to many of your columns and forward them on when I can, such as your great resource article of 11/10/12 "Great bird and butterfly plants for a small yard" that I posted on Nov 14, 2012.
I posted local wildlife found in my Palmetto Bay yard that perhaps most people fail to notice when living in South Florida: “A must read: Miami Herald’s "The wildlife is in the backyard". I would suggest a friendly competition / coordination between the sister cities to surpass Broward County in creating more backyard retreats” back on April 2, 2012. I added a photo of a hawk my daughter photographed in our year on Sunday, January 13, 2013. The hawk was hanging very close to the squirrel feeder posted in our yard. Obviously our squirrel feeder is attracting more than just squirrels (and Blue Jays) (see: May 12, 2012, One of the best customer product reviews of all time! Sometime things do come if you provide for it. More backyard fun for the family)
Maybe if we work together and set goals that encourage plantings and development that supports sustainable growth that protects local habitats, we can set the stage to arrest any further local extinction and try to sustain those local plant varieties and animal species that were here long before any of us were.