Timucuan Parks Foundation (TPF) hosted students from the Foundation Academy for a community project at Castaway Island Preserve. Twenty-two students and their teachers recently joined TPF and its volunteers for a day of planting pollinator plants and herbs at the wilderness preserve. It was part of a community partnership between the school, TPF, the City of Jacksonville’s Parks, Recreation and Community Service department, and the Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society.
TPF volunteers, including some retirees, Master Gardeners, and student interns from the University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville spent several months weeding and preparing the garden for planting. Volunteers have also been regularly visiting the Foundation Academy 3rd and 4th grades where they have been planting seeds with the students and teaching about pollinator plants and butterflies.
The project is an opportunity to engage students in a fun outdoor activity while giving them hands-on education about natural resources and an understanding of the value of environmental stewardship. The students will be working with TPF and their partners to maintain the pollinator garden over the next year.
The community project was made possible by a ParkVentures grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF) and through a donation from the Jacksonville Beach Women’s Club, which helped to cover the costs of the plants and materials needed for the project.