Bird-Friendly Communities

Member Profile: Coastal Native Plant Champion Barbara Stoia Meister

Native dune plants bring coastal birds and insects.

Barbara Stoia Meister had a vision for her dunes in Palm Beach County. Born and raised in Florida, she has always been fascinated with native plants, learning to appreciate nature during time spent in the Keys and Everglades. Her dunes would be thriving ecosystems, home to numerous plants and animals. But first, with help from coastal dunes expert Robert Barron and Richard Moyroud, contracted Sanctuary Manager for the Bingham Islands, she needed native plants. 

To make room for native species, Barbara and her team removed two truckloads of invasive species from the dunes. “I have a long list of salt tolerant natives that I have planted and am delighted to see many endangered plant species thrive in their intended environment,” she explains. 

“I am passionate about pollinators and observe daily how they are attracted to specific plants for survival,” she continues. “It gives me such joy when I finally see that longed-for butterfly find its beautiful host plant or that beloved bird land to feed on berries in their native habitat.”

By using her dunes as an example, Barbara hopes that surrounding property owners, designers, and landscapers will use native plants whenever possible, both restoring and sustaining Florida’s flora and fauna.

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