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New Tampa Bay butterfly garden brings area some much needed green space

"Any corridor we can create for these pollinators really makes a huge difference."

TAMPA, Fla. — There's a new butterfly garden in a downtown Tampa park and it's bringing a little bit of green back into the concrete jungle.  

It's a place where anyone can enjoy the peace, serenity and beauty of native Florida anytime they want. 

The Encore community in Downtown Tampa is just a few blocks away from the big high rises that make up our beautiful skyline. This week, that community got a little greener with some colorful new visitors. 

"We planted over 300 plants and we had 15 volunteers,"  said Anita Camacho of the Tampa Bay Butterfly Foundation

The group took on the project and said it took a year of planning, but just one day to build. 

"It was a really fun morning for conservation in Tampa."  

When it was done, Camacho was thrilled with the result. 

"We had butterflies visiting today, we had a couple of other pollinators visiting today already so it was pretty much instant gratification because they found us right away so it was kind of neat."

Encore Tampa is a growing apartment community based on green initiatives and is environmentally friendly.  So, a butterfly garden was the perfect fit. David Hollis, with the Tampa Housing Authority, was thrilled to see the garden take shape. 

"When our citizens young and old, seniors and juniors and kids, when they go out there they can sit and relax and they can also see butterflies floating by and bird and those kinds of things," Hollis said.

Camacho said it's a great way to provide a home for the pollinators crucial to our food chain. 

"All these mid-rises around, high rises around and having all that cement versus a lot of green space. Any green space we can put in makes such a huge difference. Any corridor we can create for these pollinators really makes a huge difference."

Camacho encourages everyone to learn about native Florida plants and pollinators.  She owns Little Red Wagon Native Nursery in South Tampa. She said even if you're only outdoor space is a balcony, you can create a butterfly garden in a pot. If you want to learn more about butterfly gardens you can check out her website. 

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