Plant America Project
Members of Wellington Garden Club in Wellington, Fla., inspired by Plant America, NGC’s new national initiative, recently spearheaded a project in recognition of National Public Lands Day. The project entailed the planting of 750 native Florida slash pine seedlings and 100 native cardinal shrubs in Wellington Environmental Preserve.
More than 65 volunteers from the garden club, local scout groups, students from local high schools and city representatives participated in the project. It marks the fourth annual tree planting community event organized by Wellington Garden Club. Members of the city’s landscape and forestry operations provided the seedlings, as well as led preparations for planting.
Situated on 365 acres, Wellington Environmental Preserve was built through a partnership between South Florida Water Management District and the Village of Wellington. Environmental features in the preserve naturally cleanse rainwater runoff prior to it entering the Florida Everglades in conjunction with the 1994 Everglades Forever Act. The preserve also features nature trails, learning centers, a six-story observation tower and an equestrian trail. It was named “Project of the Year” by Palm Beach County Chapter of the American Society of Engineers in 2010.
Wellington is located west of Palm Beach, Fla.
Wildfires decimate several million acres annually across the United States, resulting in the destruction of homes, businesses and sometimes, loss of life. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods require first response efforts to restore the immediate needs of power, housing, food and clean water to impacted areas. Gardeners may wish to spearhead efforts to restore public garden-related spaces damaged by natural disasters.
The NGC Natural Disasters USA Fund, established in 1997, assists local and state garden clubs to replant parks, municipal gardens and other garden-related sites due to natural disasters caused by floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, ice storms and wildfires.
The NGC Natural Disasters Grants Committee provides grants to garden clubs that wish to assist their communities after major natural disasters. Applications are on the NGC website www.gardenclub.org. Grants of up to $5,000 per project, per fiscal year, may be awarded. The application must include the location of the area and nature and severity of the disaster. If possible, please send a photo to help in the determination of a monetary grant to be awarded. Participation of local garden clubs and community organizations to restore public garden spaces is needed since NGC Natural Disasters Grant funds are used directly for restoration efforts and not toward professional fees. NGC looks forward to continuing to extend a “helping hand” to garden clubs across the nation in their natural disaster restoration efforts.
Patricia Smith, Chairman,
Natural Disasters Grants
Photos courtesy of Wellington Garden Club
Article and photos reprinted with permission by The National Gardener, Winter 2018