What quote am I vibing? "Make the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it." Edward Bok
What species am I working with? Dicerandra immaculata var. savannarum, Savannas Mint
The Savannas Mint, or Scrub Mint, was in dire straits, with just a few plants left in the world, but Cheryl Peterson, the Conservation Program Manager at Bok Tower Gardens, worked to clone the plants, and find a home for them to thrive and multiply.
It was my great honor to work beside Cheryl, and other dedicated conservation-minded people to survey the spring seedlings of the scrub mint in their new home, which is fairly near to me. Since I was new to identifying the plant, and the surveying process, I was the data-keeper alongside my knowledgeable partner, Jerry. We got into a nice groove -accounted for some plants that thrived since last year, some that died since last year, and lots of little seedlings that have yet to decide what path they will take.
The mint is lovely - the leaf tastes and smells like peppermint - I confirmed with my own senses. (How many people have chomped on a highly protected plant!? One of the little rule-breaking allowances of volunteering -- I also duck under "private property" ropes on the beach to retrieve garbage.)
The volunteer opportunities that I have had through the coordinator, Dallas, at Florida State Parks have been so fulfilling. For the second time in as many months, I have had the rare pleasure of doing valuable work for a declining or protected species. I hope that I can continue to be offered such opportunities to make a real difference.