When it comes to supporting Florida’s pollinators, we’re more than research and education. Our scientists and volunteers were able to put our advice into action right here at the Museum. On a hot and sunny day in August—yes, the hottest time of year—over 50 volunteers came out to upgrade our wildflower meadow with thousands of native plants.

If you’ve visited our museum and meandered around to our Florida Wildflower Garden, you might recall a lovely swath of natural space that seems an ideal habitat for insects and small animals. In partnership with UF Facilities Services and the Natural Area Teaching Lab, we are working to reduce mowing and increase pollinator-friendly planting at the University of Florida, and where better to start than our own backyard?

Jaret Daniels has been working on habitat restoration and support of not just at-risk butterfly species, but all of our vital pollinating insects. Along with his Daniels Lab team of Kristin Rossetti and Matt Standridge, Jaret worked with partners and volunteers to replant the meadow with thousands of native grass and wildflower plugs grown by the UF Native Plant Nursery.

Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

Florida Wildflower Day

Why not make a day of it though? We invited friends and partners out to set up tables and talk to guests who were interested in reimagining their own yards or gardens to create a more natural habitat for insect pollinators and other wildlife.

It was a hot August day but so many visitors were drawn by curiosity over our volunteers’ hard work and the inspiration to rewild their own spaces with native plants that entice native pollinators. We all look forward to watching the new meadow flourish and the effect even small projects like this have in helping our local insects thrive.

Thank you to our many partners and friends who tabled and talked with visitors, including these organizations:

Florida Wildflower Day was held on August 20, 2022.