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path through garden in downtown Orlando

Downtown Orlando garden receives a Florida-Friendly makeover

On Wednesday, the downtown garden at the Orange County Administration building received a makeover. The new installment includes more than 17 species of native plants that will boost pollinator visits to the site and increase biodiversity.

“The garden receives more than 500,000 visitors each year and this makeover will not only improve the curb appeal of the garden, but it will also help educate visitors on the importance of planting native plants,” said Tia Silvasy, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County agent and makeover project’s leader. “Installing Florida-Friendly plants reduces water and fertilizer use and provides a habitat for butterflies and other pollinators, which are all things we look forward to improving in this garden.”

UF/IFAS Extension Orange County gives this downtown garden a makeover

This new installment includes more than 17 species of native plants that will boost pollinator visits to the site and increase biodiversity.

“The garden receives more than 500,000 visitors each year and this makeover will not only improve the curb appeal of the garden, it will help educate visitors on the importance of planting native plants,” said Tia Silvasy, project leader. “Installing Florida-Friendly plants reduces water and fertilizer use and provides a habitat for butterflies and other pollinators which are all things we look forward to improving in this garden.”

Thanks to Florida Wildflower Foundation for making this garden makeover possible.

Florida Master Gardener Program Garden Florida! UF IFAS Orange County Extension

Posted by UF IFAS Solutions on Wednesday, July 28, 2021

 

The improved garden includes butterfly host plants and other native species that can be planted in a home garden.

“This garden serves as a demonstration garden for the public,” Silvasy said. “We hope people from the community come to visit and are inspired to plant some of these native plants in their landscape at home.”

The project was funded by a Florida Wildflower Foundation grant and includes partners from UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, Florida Master Gardener Volunteers, Orange County Government, the Florida Native Plant Society and Grounded Solutions, LLC.

If community gardening projects like this interest you, consider becoming a Florida Master Gardener Volunteer. To get started, contact the coordinator nearest you.

More UF/IFAS resources on planting for insects: