The Audubon Park Garden (eco) District

simpson stopper Since 2009, the APGD Main Street program has been promoting the local economy and in 2013 made a commitment to introduce native and Florida friendly plants to the area, with the long term goal of becoming a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat. Our first completed project in this area was the Corrine Drive Planter Project.

Now in 2015 the Audubon Park Garden District has several groups working on individual projects, designed to make this area environmentally sustainable. Next month, however, marks the first formal meeting of the APGD Eco District Advisory Team, which will expand these efforts.

Photo by Steven Miller Photography.
Photo by Steven Miller Photography.

Bioswale with crosswalkThis umbrella project – the APGD Eco District Advisory Team – is coordinating with our area partners and marshaling resources to do more. Our Project Leads are Katie Shannon (Compost Orlando, VHB) and Alex Stringfellow (Compost Orlando, Sustainability Specialist with Orange County government). With Katie and Alex’s leadership and sustainability expertise, APGD looks to create one, five and ten year goals to make this community Orlando’s first Eco District.

national-wildlife-federation-logoEvery second Tuesday of the month we’ll be meeting at Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux Cafe, at 7 p.m., to move this project along. Some of the ideas I expect we’ll be pursuing initially will be increasing the community’s tree canopy; working through the National Wildlife Federation’s process of becoming a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat; urban farming; composting; and more. Areas of long range concern are habitat and ecosystem function; health and wellbeing; community identity; water; access and mobility; materials management; and energy.

In addition to pursuing environmental sustainability projects of our own, we are also partnering with some great local programs already working in similar areas: Fleet Farming, IDEAS for Us and Compost Orlando.

FF ippel farmletteFleet Farming, established by IDEAS for Us in 2014, is busy creating farmlettes throughout the community. These front and side yard farmlettes produce organic greens which are harvested by hand then transported to the Audubon Park Community Market and East End Market by bicycle each week.

IDEAS for Us, the headquarters of which are based in APGD, is a United Nations accredited nonprofit dedicated to advancing sustainability and environmental awareness through campus and community action. IDEAS helps identify how global issues relate to energy, water, food, waste and ecology and affect communities. They then develop local solutions to address these challenges through grassroots action.

CO bike and tub with flowers

Compost Orlando, founded by urban planners Katie Shannon and Alex Stringfellow in 2014, is a bicycle driven compost service. Compost Orlando’s mission is to reduce the food waste that would normally go to a local landfill by converting food scraps and yard waste into useful, nutrient-rich soil. Like Fleet Farming, their pick up and delivery vehicles are bicycles. They service residential, restaurant and business accounts.

Look for more updates or feel free to join us and be a change maker in your community.

For further reading:

Sustainable Communities

Eco Districts

Placemaking with Project for Public Spaces

Green Streets Program

Friends of Trees

Complete Streets


OUC Environment and Community

Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program

Honey Bee Suite