Native Plant Society and Environmental Studies Council cooperate on Earth Day event

Chapter members will be available to help select the appropriate plants for your yard.

The plant sale will complement the many activities planned for the local Earth Day event, organized by Gretchen Hurchalla of the council’s Outreach Committee.

Displays and information will be available  to integrate the best earth-friendly practices into your yard and garden.

Michael Yustin, both a council trustee and a director-at-large for the native plant chapter, will give a talk on native plants at 10:30 a.m.

Tours of the 40-year-old coastal hammock and the newer butterfly garden are planned, as are tours of the recently installed landscape at the front of the building (a gift of the council.)

History of the Florida Native Plant chapter:  Seeking to protect, conserve and restore Florida native plants and plant communities, the Florida Native Plant Society was founded in 1980. The local Martin County chapter (Cocoplum) was founded in 1983, one of the earliest. The chapter was invited by Mike Clark, center co-founder, to make the Environmental Studies Center its monthly meeting place, which continues to this day.

History of the Environmental Studies Center & Council:  The center, celebrating its 40th anniversary later this year, got its start when middle school science teacher, Ella “Mike” Clark saw the need to get her students outside to have hands-on experiences to better learn the subject. The former Jensen Beach Elementary School would soon be sitting empty. School district administration, under superintendent Jim Navitsky, applied for a federal Title III marine education grant, and Clark and co-founder Olive Ashby moved forward. The grant was approved in 1973. A community advisory committee, required under the grant, morphed into the Environmental Studies Council with the active encouragement of Dr. Walter Stokes and Louise Carnevale to support the science-based, hands-on program of the center. A $1 million trust fund to help support the well-regarded K-7 program was established.

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