At Tuesday’s Wellington Tree Board meeting, Mayor Bob Margolis presented the Wellington Garden Club with a mayor’s recognition proclamation for protecting the native wildflowers and pollinators in the village.
The proclamation was passed, adopted and signed July 23, yet Margolis wanted to present the recognition at the tree board meeting, with Wellington Garden Club members present.
“We thank you very much for everything that you’re doing,” Margolis said on behalf of the council and village residents.
The recognition explains the importance of native wildflowers for native pollinator species and calls for reducing the frequency of roadside and canal bank mowing, and eliminating the use of herbicides where pollinators are present.
“It is an honor to recognize the Wellington Garden Club for preserving the beauty of our great hometown and our environment,” Margolis said. “Their efforts in encouraging the growth of native wildflowers and protecting our pollinators are truly commendable.”
Property owners are encouraged, through the proclamation, to “plan and implement practices that will increase the visibility and enjoyment of Florida native wildflowers.”
Wellington Garden Club President Kathy Siena was eager to share the importance of such a recognition.
“The mayor’s recognition is very special to us because [Wellington Garden Club member] Lisa Ferrano has a passion for protecting her Earth and her environment, especially in the Village of Wellington,” Siena said. “One of the ways she is doing this is by asking the Village of Wellington to initiate this recognition for protecting our pollinators.”
When discussing pollinators, the first creatures that come to mind are bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. However, the list is more extensive.
“Almost all of the insects that crawl on flowers are pollinators, even birds and bats. We’re particularly interested in insects,” Ferrano said.
Formally noting the importance of pollinators, and protecting them, is important to the garden club.
“Thank you very much, Mayor Margolis,” Siena said. “Thank you to the Village of Wellington, and especially thank you to Lisa Ferrano for getting this recognition that is very important to us.”
She stressed that the topic is very important, even if the proclamation might seem like a small step.
“It’s important to the Village of Wellington, because it’s the start, even in a small village, of helping to protect our pollinators,” Siena said. “If every little village would do this, then there would be an impact on our Earth.”
For Ferrano, the recognition means a change in how canal banks and community properties are kept pristine.
Her yard, certified by the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs as a butterfly sanctuary, is close to an area that was cleaned up with pesticides and herbicides, rather than mowed.
When Ferrano saw this, she thought, “I have to do something. I can’t just sit back and do nothing.”
There are other ways of clearing weeds, she explained.
“By the village making this recognition, it’s going to be easier for the people who maintain the canal banks, and maintain the community properties — the common properties — to come up with some alternative,” Ferrano said.
Flowering plants, such as those often mowed or killed with pesticides, are vital for pollinators, she said.
“If you allow the flowering plants to grow, then, of course, that’s what’s going to feed the nectar to the insects. There’s a lot of bees, native bees, that are very good pollinators, but all of the little insects need food,” she said. “They have to eat. That’s what that is.”
The next Wellington Garden Club meeting is set for Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 10:30 a.m. at Village Park, located at 11700 Pierson Road.
To learn more about the Wellington Garden Club, visit www.wellingtongardenclub.org.
ABOVE: (Front row) Kay Brown, Stormi Bivin, Twig Morris, Lisa Ferrano, Kathy Siena and Mayor Bob Margolis; (back row) Doreen Baxter, Jayne Kiesewetter and Kevin Foster.