The Garden Club of Jacksonville partnered with Duval Audubon Society, Northeast Florida Sierra Club, and the Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society for Horticulture Corner: Grow Your Own Park with Doug Tallamy of the Homegrown National Park project on March 3.
Tallamy started this effort to create 20 million acres of native plantings in yards and communities across the United States. These four organizations are joining together to encourage people in Northeast Florida to sign up their yards for the Homegrown National Park challenge.
The event featured informational tables from the partner organizations, the Florida Wildflower Foundation, butterfly expert Bill Berthet, author and artist Kathy Stark, and a native plant sale by Wacca Pilatka.
Dr. Tallamy founded Homegrown National Park along with Michelle Alfandari as a grass-roots call to action to regenerate biodiversity, catalyzing a collective effort of individual homeowners, property owners, land managers, farmers, and anyone with some soil to start a new habitat by planting native plants and removing most invasive plants. It is the largest cooperative conservation project ever conceived or attempted.“Our National Parks, no matter how grand in scale are too small and separated from one another to preserve species to the levels needed,” Tallamy says. “Thus, the concept for Homegrown National Park, a bottom-up call-to-action to restore habitat where we live and work, and to a lesser extent where we farm and graze, extending national parks to our yards and communities.”
The Homegrown National Park website features an interactive map that shows each person’s contribution to planting native by state, county, and zip code. You can add your yard to this map!
Dr. Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book “Bringing Nature Home” was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association. “Nature’s Best Hope,” a New York Times Best Seller, was released in February 2020, and his latest book “The Nature of Oaks” was released by Timber press in March 2021. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation, the Tom Dodd Jr. Award of Excellence, the 2018 AHS B.Y. Morrison Communication Award, and the 2019 Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.