Habitat Rx: Five Steps to a Healthy Watershed workshop in Santa Rosa Beach April 21

April 10, 2014

chinesetallowCitizens unite to combat invasive species in our community

The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) in collaboration with UF/IFAS Extension & Florida Sea Grant will host a public workshop at Padgett Park, 810 JD Miller Rd, Santa Rosa Beach on Monday, April 21 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Attendees will learn how to identify invasive plants found in our community,  and how to use this knowledge to improve their neighborhoods.

Habitat Rx is designed to facilitate stewardship among neighbors and encourage property-owners throughout South Walton to join in the fight against invasive species. By signing up for the Habitat Rx program, citizens will be eligible to receive treatment and removal of invasive plant species, and a replacement native species will be provided at no cost. April workshop attendees can become community leaders by spearheading these efforts in their neighborhoods.

Invasive plants are a major threat to our landscape. They take over large areas, out-competing native plants for water, sunlight, nutrients, and space. They eliminate food and habitat for native wildlife and insects. And they require very expensive control measures—Floridians spend over $500 million each year to combat invasive species!

Keen Polakoff has become a local champion for the removal of the invasive Chinese tallow, or popcorn tree, from our landscape. Says Polakoff, “It seems so harmless as it can be so pleasant, growing quickly without issue and providing shade and structure to a garden. It’s anything but that and threatens our Dune Lake environment immensely.”

Together we can protect and improve our environment. Habitat Rx suggests five simple steps to a healthy watershed: 1) Listen 2) Learn 3) Make Changes 4) Tell A Friend 5) Take Action.  Take the first two steps by attending the upcoming workshop! Please RSVP by contacting the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance: 850-200-4171 or schindes@nwfsc.edu.