Spreading wildflowers

The State Wildflower license plate has provided wildflowers to more than 400 Florida schools and public places. Get your tag to keep the good work going.

Old state wildflower license plate State Wildflower license plate

Creating inspiration

Viva Florida grants help show the way by providing funds for demonstration gardens in public places.

Seedlings for Schools

Campus gardens for schools get children outside to discover the natural world.

Our Programs

Planting grants supply resources that give wildflowers a dynamic presence in public places, at schools and along roadways. They provide hands-on experiences for adults and children while beautifying communities and parks, and creating an awareness of Florida’s natural landscape.

“My students have learned so much and have been very excited with the process of growing our wildflowers.”
— JoAnne McCarty, Sebastian Elementary School

Viva Florida

Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration grants bring native beauty to parks, nature centers and other public spaces. These grants provide funds with which to purchase Florida native wildflowers and plants for public projects that showcase the beauty of Florida natives while demonstrating their uses. The goal of the program is to educate the general public about the role of native wildflowers and plants in supporting native pollinators, decreasing air and water pollution, providing wildlife habitat, and in general, creating a better environment for all Floridians.

Past Viva Florida recipients include:

  • Gillespie Museum, Stetson University, DeLand
  • Silver Springs State Park, Ocala
  • Orange County UF/IFAS Extension
  • Mounts Botanical Gardens, West Palm Beach
  • Rosebud Continuum, Land O’Lakes

Criteria

(Click each category for more information.)

Eligibility

  • This grant is open to parks, nature centers and other public spaces for the purpose of establishing or enhancing a native demonstration planting.
  • Projects should aim to increase the awareness and knowledge of native wildflowers, grasses, and flowering shrubs and vines among visitors by demonstrating the benefits and beauty of Florida native plants in cultivated landscapes.

Planting/site requirements

  • Projects must be in highly visible, publicly accessible areas that experience frequent pedestrian traffic.
  • The planting site must be properly prepared prior to installing plants. For assistance with site preparation, please email Stacey Matrazzo, program manager.
  • Plants and seeds must be native to Florida, in accordance with FWF’s definition of cultivars, appropriate for the region and site conditions of the planting, and purchased from the Florida Wildflower Growers Cooperative, Florida Association of Native Nurseries members and other retail outlets specializing in native plants.
  • The planting must remain in place and be maintained for a minimum of one year from the installation date.

Education/outreach requirements

  • Projects must have strong educational components. These may include but are not limited to:
    • interpretive signage explaining the purpose/benefits of planting.
    • guided walks/programs associated with the planting.
    • plant identification signs or lists (required).
    • informational handouts or brochures.
  • Educational programming should primarily target adult audiences.
  • Grantees must pursue at least one media outlet in which an article or video that describes the native wildflower planting will appear.

Matching requirements

  • This is a matching grant program; applicants must provide evidence of in-kind or monetary contributions of 50% or more of the amount requested.
  • In-kind contributions may include donations of materials, services and/or volunteer time, as well as staff time related to the project (including application preparation).

Funds dispersal and use

  • Up to $3,000 per project may be awarded.
  • Grant funds will be distributed based on the project timeline.
  • Funds are delivered in two payments: one-half after the project manager submits a signed agreement, and one-half after the Foundation receives and approves a final report.
  • A minimum of 80% of the grant funds must be used to purchase native wildflowers, grasses, and flowering shrubs and vines (plants or seeds).

Reporting

  • Progress reports and a final report will be submitted on dates to be determined by the Foundation based on the project timeline. Reporting format will be provided in advance of the due date by the Foundation’s program manager.
  • Reports will include:
    • a narrative describing the project and its results.
    • itemized expense report, design plan, plant list, construction methods and maintenance schedule plan for the next year.
    • photos of the planting site before and after installation, as well as during periods of peak bloom.
    • photos of staff and/or volunteers participating in installation and site maintenance.
    • photos of people visiting the planting and participating in related programming.
    • information about visitor impressions and the impact of the gardens and educational programming.

The Viva Florida grant program is currently closed. Applications for next year’s program will be accepted January 1 through March 15, 2021. Awards will be announced on May 15, 2021.

Thinking of applying? Join our email news list to receive notice of the application period opening. You may also download last year’s application for an idea of what you will need. This document will be updated prior to opening the 2021 application period.

Thinking of applying? Check out these examples of Viva Florida projects across Florida.

Seedlings for Schools

Wildflowers and classroom resources for Florida schools are provided through this program. Grants include $50 worth of plants, classroom resources and professional guidance on garden establishment. Grants are awarded in late June; plants are shipped in September in time for the new school year. Teachers who are awarded grants are eligible to receive more wildflowers in the spring if fall gardens are successfully established and cared for.

Criteria

  • Public, private and homeschool pre-K through grade 12 teachers may apply.
  • Wildflower garden must be planted on property accessible to the public.

The 2020 Seedlings for Schools application period is closed. Applications for the next grant round will be accepted beginning in March 2021. 

Learn how other teachers used their grants in the 2019 Seedlings for Schools report.

Thinking of applying? Check out these examples of Seedlings for Schools gardens across Florida.

“The garden is amazing! We are totally enjoying the wonderful flowers.” – Volusia Pines Elementary teacher, Lake Helen

Resources designed to help your wildflower gardens – and gardeners – grow.

Wild About Wildflowers! Activity Guide

Our comprehensive activity guide encourages students to learn about Florida’s native wildflowers and their purpose and place in Florida’s unique habitats. These fun, engaging activities will help students achieve a variety of Florida educational standards in math, science and language. When presented from start to finish, the guide gives students a comprehensive introduction to wildflowers, as well as to flowers in general. Activities are correlated to third- and fourth-grade standards but can be adapted to other grade levels. All activities are suitable for informal settings.