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Forest Hecker is the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Community Educator for Sarasota County's UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability Department. A FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional, Forest previously worked as the Outreach Coordinator for Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens. A longtime resident of Florida, Forest loves the tropics and everything you can grow only in Florida. Personal interests include growing vanilla, cacao, coffee, and other tropical edibles. On a professional note, areas of interests include edible landscaping, landscaping for wildlife, and landscaping for pollinators. Highlighting the benefits of trees and working towards a greater urban biodiversity of specimen trees is another professional goal of Forest's. Fun fact, Forest was named after the rain forest not after the movie. Both of his parents work in horticulture and environmental protection!
- Plants at Their Peak: Valentine Blossoms, Red Kapok Trees!
- Plants at Their Peak: Valentine Blossoms, Pink Trumpet Trees!
- Flora-da Friendly Features: Imposter Pitch Apple?
- What Is That Lawn Ornament? Florida's Best Wildflower?! Butterfly Needles!
- A Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Tale of Survival and Resurgence (Part II): Atala Butterflies