On July 21, the Space Coast Audubon Society (SCAS) celebrated their “Audubon in Action” (AiA) native plant garden, located in Hundred Acre Hollows (HAH), with a ribbon cutting. Members of the Master Naturalists, Sierra Club, Space Coast Science Education Alliance, and FPL participated. People from the Springs of Suntree, Capron Ridge, Devon’s Glen, Viera, Rockledge, Melbourne, Palm Bay and all over Brevard County attended the event. Approximately 60 people of all ages enjoyed the festivities.
The afternoon began at the Springs of Suntree clubhouse with a social time. There was a Kids’ craft table where they made owls. Tom Unrath, president of HAH, welcomed people and thanked the Audubon group for their work on the beautiful garden. The iNaturalist training, a nature app, was led by Bert Alm and Dee Simpson. There is a HAH group on iNaturalist, so people who photograph an animal, bird, or plant in HAH can add it to the group’s observations.
Rochelle Hood, President of the SCAS and the one who wrote the grant, explained the steps to plan the garden which was planted in November 2018. The construction of the pavilion and rain barrels was completed in the spring. The beautiful educational signs originated in Master Naturalist classes. They were designed by Jessica Larned and donated by FPL. There was a team of “Weed Warriors” led by Pat Touchberry. That team included many children, and some of the older teens were able to earn Florida Bright Future volunteer hours. Rochelle thanked many people and organizations who helped to complete the garden. Afterwards, the 10 raffle basket winners were announced.
Around 6:00 p.m., people walked from the clubhouse to HAH. Inside the entrance gate, they saw the Keep Brevard Beautiful native plant butterfly garden that was planted in March. They walked about 10 minutes south to the AiA garden. Members of the SCAS who worked on the garden and the FPL representatives, Bart and Meredith, cut the ribbon to officially open the garden. Then people walked around the garden. One photographer, Laura Zurro of Florida Native Bees, took pictures of a wasp going to sleep for the night on a branch of one of the native plants! There were two final grand prize raffles at the garden. Then people enjoyed a nice nature hike around HAH. One group saw a very large gopher tortoise. There was a Red-tailed Hawk perched on a bat house. Unfortunately, there was no sunset seen in the Hollows because it was a cloudy night.
The Board of HAH would like to thank the SCAS for this lovely garden which is a fantastic addition to HAH. The birds, bees, and gopher tortoises love the native plants! Thanks also go to the Springs of Suntree Board for allowing us to use the clubhouse. We thank the other individuals and organizations which supported this project.
Here are some photos from our event.
The video below was compiled by Dee Fairbanks Simpson and shows some information about the garden’s creation.