Attend Sebastian’s Natural Resources Board meeting on the city’s landscape ordinance Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Please come to the City of Sebastian’s Natural Resource Board, which will be discussing revisions to the City’s Landscape Ordinance on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, at 6:00pm in the Council chambers at City Hall, 1225 Main St. in Sebastian. Pelican Island Audubon Society has prepared and has presented a draft document that compares the current City landscaping code with the Florida Native Plant Society model ordinance.

One of Pelican Island Audubon Society’s goals is to update our cities’ and county’s tree protection and landscaping codes and ordinances to improve the health of the Indian River Lagoon, St. Sebastian River, Blue Cypress Lake and our canals. Healthy waters will protect our many citizens who depend on eating fish, crabs, and shellfish from these waters that used to be crystal-clear and teaming with seagrass and aquatic life. We must also share our surroundings with wildlife by creating corridors connecting natural areas. We must reduce areas devoted to lawns, and begin to transition our landscaping from alien plants to native ornamentals. Innovative solutions are needed to plan for ecologically based landscape designs, to protect, enhance, and restore habitats, and use alternative energy, such as wind and solar.

Our landscapes must:

  1. Support Nature: Human & Wildlife
  2. Reduce Pollution (Fertilizers, Pesticides, Chemicals
  3. Sequester carbon (More Trees, Plants
  4. Clean and manage water
  5. Support pollinators

We need to revise our city landscape ordinance to call for less lawn and more native plants and trees:

  • 10% in Grass only- rest in Natives
  • 5 Diverse Trees/10,000 ft. lot- 4 Native
  • 75-90% Diverse Native Plants- Martin County
  • No Invasive Plants
  • 10 Ft. Buffer (no grass) along water bodies (ponds, IRL, rivers)
  • Sprinklers not required
  • Permeable Paving Surfaces
  • Enforced Fertilizer Ordinances

We must demand strong actions by our elected officials in making these things a reality! Acting in concert will get their attention, so I hope you can make it to the meeting,


Richard H. Baker, Ph.D.
President, Pelican Island Audubon Society

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