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Wildflowers and Wetlands featured in May at the Wildlife Park

By Susan Strawbridge Posted on April 26, 2018

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will highlight Wildflowers and Wetlands during the month of May when wildflowers are springing up along our roadsides and in our fields. Exhibits will be on display in the Park’s Visitor Center and in the Discovery Center.

You may ask yourself, “What is a wildflower?” The Florida Wildflower Foundation defines a Florida native wildflower as “any flowering herbaceous species that grew wild within the state’s natural ecosystems in the 1560s when Florida’s first botanical records were created.”

The foundation serves as an advocate for flowering native shrubs, vines, trees, grasses and grass like plants. A display of a variety of Florida’s wildflowers photographed by Ralph Bischoff will be featured in the Visitor Center and in the Discovery Center.

Wetlands and Wildflowers Program & Native Plant Sale

On Friday, May 25, park volunteer Jodi Lanier, a member of the Citrus County Native Plant Society, will present a program on the native wildflowers of Florida. The program will start at 1:00 pm in the Florida Room of the Visitor Center located on US 19.

Dotted Horsemint courtesy of Ralph Biscoff, who will have an extensive display of Nature Coast wildflowers in the Visitor Center during the month of May.

Lanier will introduce you to the many varieties of wildflowers throughout the state. She will advise you as to which of these plants can be successfully incorporated into your landscaping, and which can only survive in a specialized habitat. She will also explain how important our wetlands are. The program will be followed by a native plant sale by Citrus Native Plant Society. There is no charge to attend the wetlands and wildflowers program.

Jodi Lanier is currently the leader of the Homosassa 4H Club with a focus on environmental science and loves teaching children and adults how to kayak and be active outdoors. As a volunteer for Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, she drives the park’s pontoon boats and gives a narrated tour of Pepper Creek. Jodi is also a member of the Citrus Chapter of Florida Native Plant Society and describes herself as an environmentalist. Her favorite subject is ecology and she is working toward becoming a Florida Master Naturalist, so she can utilize her knowledge through nature interpretation and teach people the importance of conservation.

Wetlands Display at the Visitor Center

Athena Phillips of the Homosassa River Garden Club will have month-long wetlands display in the Visitor Center. She says “Be sure to visit the wetlands display in the main lobby. Explore what makes wetlands unique and what we can do to help ourselves by helping protect these special places. Take a peek at the demonstration wetlands terrarium created by the Homosassa River Garden Club. Free handouts will be available for the kids and adults to take home.”

Wyland Restoring Whaling Wall #86 on May 6

Guy Harvey, artist, and Wyland, artist, in front of the 55 x 8 foot mural, entitled, “Marine Sanctuary.” Image courtesy of the Wyland Foundation

The Wildlife Park is also excited to be welcoming the international marine artist Wyland back to Homosassa Springs on Sunday, May 6, 2018. Wyland will be restoring the Whaling Wall #86, entitled “Manatee Sanctuary,” a marine-themed mural featuring life-size manatees and fresh and saltwater fish. The mural is on the South side of the Visitor Center and wraps around the West side of the building. He originally painted the mural with fellow artist Guy Harvey in October 2000. The mural is one of a series of 100 Whaling Walls that Wyland has created around the world to bring attention to the need for marine conservation.

Below you can view the 100 Whaling Walls intro and learn a little about this worldwide project to encourage marine conservation.



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