Over 500 visitors turned out for presentations, exhibitors, vendors, tours, and food at the Lake County Wildflower Festival on Oct. 2, held at Green Isle Gardens in Groveland. 

According to Melanie Simon, president of the Passionflower Chapter of Florida Native Plant Society, “The family-friendly event was planned to increase awareness of Florida native plants and native plant communities that shelter and feed wildlife, protect our watersheds and filter our drinking water, and provide wonderful recreational opportunities.” 

Co-hosted by Passionflower Chapter, based in Clermont, and Lake Beautyberry Chapter, located in the Eustis area, the festival raised over $4,000 to support the volunteer-based chapters’ work.

Getting native plants into people’s yards and helping the shoppers understand the plants’ value in creating healthy habitats was a big part of the festival’s purpose. 

“As natural communities are converted to other uses, individual homeowners hold the key to preserving and protecting the natural beauty and ecosystem function of Florida through conservation, increasing native plant use in home and community landscapes, and sustainable landscaping practices,” Simon said.

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