Little Red Wagon Native Nursery's 1st Birthday!
In April 2020, the week of Earth Day, I had the first pop up native plant sale as Little Red Wagon Native Nursery. A month into the Covid pandemic, I had no idea what to expect. The sale was so well received that two more pop up sales were held in May and June. With so many people expressing their enthusiasm for pollinator gardening and little access to native plants in Hillsborough County, the next logical step was to find a permanent home. On August 29, 2020, Little Red Wagon Native Nursery officially opened its doors at 4113 Henderson Boulevard in South Tampa. Through the support of our loyal customers, we have been able to contribute proceeds (and lots of plants) to the Tampa Bay Butterfly Foundation to support native gardens and habitats for butterflies, other pollinators, and wildlife throughout the Tampa Bay area.
I couldn’t be more proud of all that we have accomplished in the last year. My exceptional team of employees, fabulous volunteers, and generous partners made the dream a reality.
Since our opening, we have teamed up with the Tampa Housing Authority to install and maintain a butterfly garden at Encore’s Technology Park in downtown Tampa. Since the initial planting, butterfly species seen in the garden have increased from 4 to 18!
We partnered with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful on the NFL Green Week Initiative by providing plants and planting 2 pollinator gardens leading up to Superbowl LV. It was a big win for both our beloved Bucs, and our native pollinators.
The service road behind the nursery went from “hell strip to habitat”. In just 3 months since it was planted, we have seen 22 species of butterflies. To paraphrase an old movie quote, “If you plant it, they will come.”
Eight weeks of nature camps were held over the summer. Kids turned off their electronics, and learned about butterflies, pollinators, and reptiles. The campers planted gardens, created nature themed artwork, released butterflies, and held snakes, and skunks. Stay tuned for information on Thanksgiving and Winter break camps.
We continue to support and help maintain the butterfly garden at the Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach with The Florida Aquarium and Florida Fish and Wildlife. Plantings installed just before the COVID shutdown commenced have seen an increase in species from 6 to 26 over the past 18 months.
None of these things could have happened without the support of our wonderful customers. Your purchases of over 22,000 plants helps #NutureNature and create #ButterflyEffectTampa. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for shopping with us. Thank you for reducing or eliminating toxic chemicals in your landscapes. Thank you for creating critical corridors that make an impact in the Bay Area paradise that we all love.
Bring on year 2!