Sunday, January 16, 2022

“Marco in Bloom” Helps Marco be Florida Friendly

Last year’s residential category winner was Sue Oldershaw.

Last year’s residential category winner was Sue Oldershaw.

By Steve Gimmestad


Marco in Bloom is not about winning,” says Donna Kay, Chairperson for this year’s event sponsored by the Beautification Advisory Committee (BAC). “It’s about recognizing Marco Island residents and businesses that create a Florida friendly yard and landscape. And that’s important to all of us.” Just what is a Florida friendly yard? Glad you asked. A Florida friendly yard is a simple, common sense system that includes the wise use plants, pesticides, water and fertilizer. It is NOT a beauty competition. But there is nothing wrong if it looks pretty. The criteria for Marco in Bloom follows some basic concepts: • Use of native or waterwise plant material • Use of color and contrast • Visibility from public streets • Creativity Donna Kay is Master Gardener for Collier County, accredited through the University of Florida. The University has put together some guidelines that will help anyone create a great Florida Friendly yard. They are called the 9 principles:

  1. Right Plant, Right Place
  2. Water Efficiently
  3. Fertilize Efficiently
  4. Mulch
  5. Attract Wildlife
  6. Manage yard pests responsibly
  7. Recycle
  8. Reduce water runoff
  9. Protect the waterfront

There are six categories which include Residential, Commercial, Condominium, Cul-desac and Institutions. People can nominate themselves and they can nominate someone else in any of the aforementioned categories. Details are on the nomination form (mentioned later). Just take a photo of the property. This photo is NOT for judging purposes. It is for identification of the property only. Judging is done by the members of the BAC live and in person. Members of the BAC are appointed by the city



council. This is a fun event that is meant to involve property owners in keeping Marco Island a beautiful place for many years to come. Winners in each category will be presented with a sign at the May 4th council meeting. This sign can be placed on the winning property. Everyone who qualifies will receive a certificate of recognition suitable for framing. Donna practices her principles on her own yard. “It is like a 3D canvas. You can pull things out, put things in, just like creating a painting. Texture, colors, light all come alive. It is so fun and makes a big difference to the environment here on the island.” To nominate someone (or yourself), you need a nomination form. They are available at Mackle Park and by going on-line. Just go to Then click on the left tab for ‘Boards and Committees’ then select ‘Beautification Committee’. The pdf is near the bottom of the page. Or cut out and use the one below. Simply fill out the information on the form, take a quick picture of the property (or properties) you are nominating and mail it, or bring it to the City of Marco Island, 50 Bald Eagle Drive. You can also call 239389-5035. Time to get moving! The deadline for nomintions is April 22. “Now, more than ever, it is time to make choices that protect the health and beauty of Marco,” says Donna. Those choices start right in your own backyard.” You can find Donna Kay at Lowe’s (corner of Collier/Tamiami) every Saturday from 1-3 conducting plant clinics.

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