CITIZENS’ Habitat Restoration & Ecosystem Stewardship program provides service-learning opportunities for volunteers of all ages. This program focuses on the removal of exotic and invasive plants in order to restore natural areas and native habitats in areas such as Virginia Key. CITIZENS plans to expand its habitat restoration program to sites monitored by the Nature Conservancy in the near future.
Volunteers remove exotic species from coastal dunes, hardwood hammocks, and mangrove ecosystems and reintroduce native and endangered plants propagated in the area (e.g. CITIZENS’ GO NATIVE! nurseries).
Through the beach and coastal cleanups provided in this program, participants learn the connection between littering in the city and water pollution. They learn how waste reduction, reusing, and recycling can help to produce cleaner oceans, rivers and land and the importance of integrating native plants into home and workplace landscape designs.