Florida Friendly Landscaping

ImageIn an effort to incorporate more native plants into Biscayne Bay Campus’ landscaping, a native garden project began in the Spring of 2009. This project has grown and established three large gardens on BBC that aim to attract butterflies and other wildlife using Florida native plants. The use of native plant species in landscaping has many benefits including reducing irrigation and regular maintenance expenses. These plants are adapted to South Florida’s climate and therefore flourish in our local environment.

Multiple organizations and departments have supported this project including the BBC Student Government Association, the Office of the Vice Provost and Undergraduate Education. Furthermore, this garden project has been incorporated in the First Year Experience course that all incoming freshmen are required to take. During this course the students learn about our local ecosystems, the importance of Florida Friendly Landscaping, conservation, and stewardship. The students also help prepare, plant and maintain a native garden on campus.

ImageThese gardens are great success and support many butterfly and moth species. The most sited butterfly species on campus include Monarchs and Sulphurs. The newest edition is the Atala butterfly. The Atala almost was extinct because of the removal of its food source, the coontie. The Atala is labeled as a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need”. The gardens at BBC now support the Atala caterpillars, chrysalis and adult butterflies.