This past Saturday, almost 100 Miami-Dade College students, and Miami families volunteered at Virginia Key North Point to wipe the coast clean of non-native plant species. The day started with granola bars, fruit, Gatorade and a 9:00am meeting time to start tearing out the invasive plants.
Scaevola taccada, more commonly known as inkberry, is invasive in Southern Florida. It has waxy, broad leaves and white berries, which is different from the native Scaevola species, Scaevola plumerii, which has dark berries.
This removal event is one of three planned volunteer events this fall, where community members will come together to tackle the beach dunes and create room for native plants. Native plants are out competed by the non-native Scaevola species, thus taking over the area and not allowing for other native plants to grow.
Immediately, the volunteers saw progress, the shear amount of space the non-native plants take-up was staggering. A chorus of “die Scaevola die” was cried out by the younger helpers, which inspired all to push forward through the sweat and tears.
Our next removal is on October 12th in which University of Miami students will be participating. For November 9th, we are looking for volunteers to help rid the North Point of this invasive plant species.
If you are interested, please email Michelle Beumer at firstname.lastname@example.org.