SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. - Gardening is a popular pastime for a lot of people in the Bay Area. Good Day Tampa Bay's Charley Belcher takes us to Safety Harbor to show us a garden club that is doing the city a favor by doing what they love.
"I am a master gardener in Florida, and I wanted a Garden Club to join and they were perfect," explained Safety Harbor Garden Club president Gary Sawtelle.
How does one become a master gardener? Sawtelle says the University of Florida, through the county extension, offers an eight-week certification course.
"When you come out of the program, the first year you owe 75 hours in community volunteerism and then every year you do that, so they build this base of gardeners to go out in the community," he explained.
It's all about community, so you can imagine how pleased the Safety Harbor Garden Club was when the city of Safety Harbor asked them to be partners at Folly Farm Nature Preserve, the newest city park in Safety Harbor.
"There's a lot of space, we have full sun, we've got filtered sun, we've got shade, so we're developing different gardens, so when you come out, you walk through here, you'll see the native garden and you'll see plants that will work in your yard that are natives. And we're encouraging the planting of natives," Sawtelle said.
City officials love partnering with the garden club because they don't have to pay anyone to do the maintenance, and the garden club members just love to be there.
At the end of the day, it’s all about planting seeds.
"You invite a couple of people out, not to volunteer, but to come out and garden, right? So, they come out and the next week they are back, and then there's another garden club member and it's like, without really advertising or asking for volunteers, it just organically is growing because they like it out here," Sawtelle said.