Major assistance by the Sarracenia Chapter has attended each step as the small City of Sopchoppy (Wakulla County’s largest) has gone the native way in the 2018-19 landscaping of its new Depot Park. On two planting Saturdays in November 2018, after the City’s large expenditure for native-plant nursery stock, Chapter members and many other citizens turned out. They installed some 575 individual native plants, ranging from trees like longleaf pine and southern magnolia to herbs like Coreopsis and milkweeds, following a professional landscape design.
Above: By August 2019, starry rosinweed (Silphium asteriscus), tall ironweed (Vernonia angustifolia), butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), and southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) reward all the effort
Mayor Lara Edwards provided the impetus for the native motif and reached out to Sarracenia. The Chapter’s Lynn Artz, former Wakulla County Commissioner and champion of native landscaping at several County-owned sites previously, took up the challenge to marshal various forces for the Sopchoppy project. Chapter leaders, with use of their experience and the plant-finder tool on the FNPS website, provided a list of nearly 50 candidate species of native trees, shrubs, vines, and herbs appropriate to the site. Ms. Edwards, Ms. Artz, and Sarracenia leaders held a series of meetings with local landscape designer Betsy Smith to vet species and envision the layout.
Among noteworthy features of the gardens is the use of several Florida-endemic species whose extremely small global ranges happen to include the Sopchoppy vicinity, and the use of six milkweed species.
Below: L-R, Sarracenia's Pam Pafford, chapter president Bonnie Basham, Wakulla County Comm. Dr. Chuck Hess, David Roddenberry, and Jeannie Brodhead, joined by FNPS president Dr. Susan Carr (2nd from R) and Sopchoppy mayor Lara Edwards (R) pose for the camera of Sarracenia's Sandy Tedder soon after the planting