There’s no shortage of choices when picking out a license plate in Florida, but it's only human to never be satisfied.
Despite the state's Cheesecake Factory-sized menu of options
, a constant stream of newly proposed plates is always on offer. One newly proposed tag will allow long-time residents to be the best kind of Florida Man. The camouflage-toned plate will both brag about their ‘native’ status and helping the state’s native plant species.
Despite giving off vibes of a Daytona Beach truck rally
, the license plate is meant to raise funds for and awareness of the Florida Native Plant Society
“There's a lot of tags that have specific interests in mind, whether it's a baseball team or hunting or a university...We feel like this plate the Florida native plate fits right in,” explains Sue Mullins, a spokesperson and lobbyist for FNPS. “It is an opportunity for people to show their pride in Florida native plants and the Florida native scenery."
The camouflaged plate, which was designed to bring to mind a Florida hammock, includes the words ‘Florida’ on top and ‘Native’ on the bottom.
At the center of the plate is a leaf of the Saw Palmetto, a native palm species found throughout the state. The plant also serves as the symbol of the FNPS.
Nearly half a dozen other native plants can also be seen on the forest image that’s printed on the tag. The image is an original design by fourth-generation Floridian Peter Agardy
. The South Florida-based artist is known for large nature-inspired murals found throughout South Florida and his artwork on Saltwater Brewery’s Screamin’ Reels IPA
“What we were trying to capture was a picture of yourself looking into the woods," said Mullins. "We thought [Peter Agardy’s design] captured the essence of Florida that compels us to do our work.”
Before you see the plate on cars around the state, it must meet the minimum order criteria of 3,000 orders within 24 months. The Florida Native plate has, so far, seen just twelve pre-orders,
with thirty-three percent of them in Orange County. Polk, Pinellas, and Hernando counties each saw one pre-order.
The daunting number isn't concerning to the FNPS. Among the thirty-three chapters found throughout the state, the group boasts 5,000 members. Its thousands of members point to the native plants featured on the tag as one of the many ways the tag will bring awareness to the organization's efforts.
The majority of plate pre-sales have been within the I-4 corridor. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to Mullins, as she explains “so many activities and so many of our FNPS chapters are in the Central Florida area, in fact, our organization is headquartered in Central Florida. So I think you see a lot of local familiarity with our efforts.”
"The work of the FNPS is so broad and extensive that you will see us along a roadside removing rare Florida native plants before a road is paved, or out restoring native habitat, " said society president Bonnie Basham. “Florida native plants are critical for pollinators, wildlife and people, and the purchase of our tag will help us save the real Florida for future generations.”
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