This April, the UF GREBE (Gators Ready for Exceptional Birding Experiences) Audubon Campus Chapter will install a native plant demonstration garden. At the new site, members of the Gainesville community will learn how they can install a native plant garden at their home.
Funded by the Susan and Coleman Burke Center for Native Plants through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program, GREBE joins Audubon chapters across the nation to demonstrate how native plants can help birds in a changing climate.
“When Audubon released the climate report [Survival by Degrees] last year, we were shocked to learn that nearly two-thirds of North American birds were at risk of extinction due to climate change. We knew there was potential for our campus chapter to make a difference and we wanted to seize the opportunity. This was our chance to leave our mark at UF,” said Jacob Ewert, president of the UF GREBE Audubon Campus Chapter.
Located on the West side of Newins-Ziegler Hall in central campus, the GREBE Garden will provide a permanent home for birds and other wildlife at the University of Florida and will feature plant ID signs, an informational bulletin board, and educational materials for garden visitors. Over 20 native plant species ranging from small wildflowers to large trees will be planted to demonstrate the wide range of plants that can benefit birds.
“After flying hundreds of miles, migrating birds are exhausted and take refuge in native plant gardens before continuing their journey. Gardens with a wide variety of plants provide food and shelter for birds during all months of the year and will attract many species including warblers, sparrows, orioles, and hummingbirds. We hope our garden will not only help birds threatened by climate change, but that it will also inspire visitors to do the same,” said Ewert.