July 5 Program: "Restoring Florida's Rare Plants - One Acre at a Time" presented by Ms. Jackie Rolly
This month's program will focus on the restoration history of Oakland Nature Preserve (ONP). In the early 1900s, the upland 50-acre portion of the site was planted with citrus trees. However, after the groves froze in 1989, the citrus trees were replaced with native pines. Ecologic restoration is a fairly new and evolving science and on the preserve, one can see ongoing changes in both the plant and animal communities, some naturally occurring and others introduced by volunteers. Exotic species are regularly removed and replaced with more appropriate native plant species, either by manual planting or natural seedling recruitment. The most important change, however, has been the re-introduction of fire in the pine upland system.
Ms. Jackie Rolly has been a member of the Tarflower Chapter of Florida Native Plant Society since 1997, serving in various positions at the state and local chapter levels. Her work over the past five years in ecosystem restoration at ONP continues to provide knowledge in the native plant communities and the wildlife that depends on those communities.