The Upsy Daisy Plant Rescue Society is a continuation of a local movement begun in the late 1970s by the late Chuck Salter, the late Tallahassee Democrat editor Malcolm Johnson, and retired city editor, Paul Wills. Alarmed by the beginnings of Tallahassee's rapid growth, the men decided to stage plant rescues.
There were 15 digs, which attracted an estimated 40,000 participants. More than 100,000 trees and shrubs were hauled away and thousands of native dogwood, sweetgum and crabapple trees, plus native azalea, rhododendron and chokeberry bushes.
Such plant rescues are much more difficult to organize now. Permissions from property owners and sometimes the Florida Department of Transportation must be obtained.
The Magnolia Chapter has held two events: rescuing around 100 velvet Leaf milkweeds (Asclepias tomentosa) from a vacant lot on south Monroe Street and removing about 1,000 state endangered night blooming petunias (Ruellia noctaflora) plus hundreds of other "wet ditch" plants such as blue-eyed grass, few flower milkweed, rattlesnake master, and hibiscus. The latter rescue was undertaken because a bike trail was being constructed straight through the location of the plants. Dozens of volunteers came out over four days to dig up the plants.
The Chapter will announce future rescue events as they come up on our Facebook page, the newsletter, our website, and our meetings.
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