It’s our county, let’s walk it
By Gary Pinnell
July 18, 2016
Four years ago, while curating the South Florida State College Museum of Florida Art and Culture, Mollie Doctrow had an idea to honor plants. “I wanted to create an outdoor artwork installation out there where people would find them, where they would be a surprise.”
She heard about a scrub site across College Drive from South Florida State and called Eric Menges, senior research biologist at Archbold Biological Station. “He documented the site. There were over 60 native plants – seven endangered or threatened species.”
So Doctrow secured a $25,000 state grant and $25,000 from Art Museum of the Americas to establish six Wayside Shrine Trail boxes where the pygmy fringe trees grow.
“It’s a small shrub, highly endangered, and it only grows in Highlands and Polk counties. The site on campus is loaded with them. When you see them in bloom, it’s an incredibly beautiful flower. How did they find that spot and why did they thrive? And it’s right off College Drive, you would never know to explore.”
The first box is where animals had established their own walking trail. “I thought, ‘My gosh, what a great place,’” said Doctrow, who retired a few months ago.
Uniquely, Doctrow carved woodcuts of plants that could be found along the trail. “You can bring paper and a crayon and make a rubbing of the carved box covers.” She also created a website to explain the trail: waysideshrinetrail.com.
For the complete article go to Highlands Today.