Cesar Peralta of UF/IFAS addresses Calusa Garden Club

Sara Wolf
Special to the Eagle
Calusa Garden Club members with Cesar Peralta.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island met on Monday, Oct. 11 for its first meeting of the 2021-2022 club year.

The members enjoyed getting together in person after a summer of informal meetings. The featured speaker for the meeting was Cesar Peralta, the GI-Best Management Practices regional coordinator of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Peralta spoke about best management practices for protection of water resources, highlighting the work done by a consortium of providers known as the “Green Industries.”

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The Green Industries are the companies who employ people working every day to mow, prune, plant, weed, fertilize, and take care of pest problems in our Florida landscapes. Peralta’s goal in educating the landscape company employees in best practices of their industry is to protect Florida’s water resources. He gave the club members an overview of the classes he presents to landscape company employees.

Peralta also discussed the resources available to Florida residents on the UF/IFAS website, many of which Calusa Garden Club members use almost daily in their gardening pursuits.  The basic link to the UF/IFAS website is ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/apps, and some of the pages that are of interest and use to our Marco Island homeowners and gardeners are “Florida-Friendly Landscaping Plant Guide,” “Florida Fertilizer Ordinances,” “Toxic Plants,” and “Florida-Friendly Landscaping Butterfly Gardens.”

In their business meeting, the Garden Club members welcomed visitors and reviewed the Club’s activity-filled calendar for the 2021-2022 club year. The Nov. 23 Plant and Thanksgiving Arrangement Sale at Marco Lutheran Church parking lot received quite a bit of attention, and plans for the Club’s holiday get- together, a Feb. 1 field trip open to the community to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, as well as a spring Marco Island Home Garden Tour were presented.

Members enthusiastically participated in discussion of these activities.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island is a member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs.  Membership is open to persons interested in horticulture, floral design and environmental matters residing 5 months or more in Collier County. 

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island meets the second Monday of each month, October through April at Wesley United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. If you are interested in membership, contact the Garden Club at calusagardenclub@yahoo.com. For updates and information, please visit the Garden Club’s website, calusa.org, or visit the Club’s Facebook page Calusa Garden Club.

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