Flowers are some of the most beautiful gifts nature has to offer, and their stunning appearance is enough to make Al Higginbotham, a Hillsborough County Commission member in Hillsborough, Fla., fight to keep wild blooms alive. According to The Tampa Bay Times, Higginbotham is aiming to gain support from local residents to implement a plan to plant native wildflowers along the county's roads and highways.
Higginbotham has already earned backing from fellow board members and is hoping to see his plan set in motion in the near future.
What boosting flower population matters
One of the main reasons Higginbotham is so passionate about this proposal is the fact that many local wildflowers are going extinct due to a growth in business and home developments in Florida. The board member is looking to work with the Florida Wildlife Foundation to promote the need for keeping floral populations alive and to encourage residents to consider how nice fresh and colorful blooms would look while they drive on highways and local roadways.
Higginbotham first announced his idea at a May 15 county commission meeting and, luckily, he was met with plenty of support, perhaps the biggest from Mark Sharpe, a fellow board member.
"I'm a lover of wildflowers," Sharpe told the news source. "I think this is kind of a cool item."
Bringing a need to light
Higginbotham isn't the only Florida native to encourage wildflower growth. The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast held an event in early March called, "Go Native! Wildflowers for Every Garden," to educate residents about wildflowers as well as teach them why keeping such blooms alive is crucial to the environment and ecosystem of the state.
Flowers aren't just beautiful to look at, they're also a key component in helping the bee populations thrive. Supporting bees and their habitats has grown increasingly important over the years as strong pesticides and flower extinction have wreaked havoc on the honey and bumble bee population.
According to the Florida Wildflower Foundation, other insects and animals including butterflies, deer, rabbits, mice and birds, all need wildflowers to thrive. For example, native butterflies munch on wildflowers for food and as nectar sources, while other bugs use such plants as shelter or safe havens to lay their eggs.