Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Horticulturist Is a Resource Many Still Don't Know About

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Horticulturist Is a Resource Many Still Don't Know About

Article excerpt

Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Horticulturist Rebecca Jordi wants to be taken advantage of, but she's not sure people know that.

Jordi is Nassau County Extension Service's first full-time horticultural agent. She joined the extension's Callahan office in May.

Her primary duty is to help homeowners who have problems or questions about their lawns and gardens. Her services are free, but even after six months on the job, Jordi said she doesn't think most local homeowners are aware she's there to help.

"I don't think people know," she said. "We are available here, and we want to do this for you."

With more and more people moving to Nassau County, extension director Mary Williams said, it's important that the service have a horticulturist on staff to meet their needs.

From landscaping with native plants to using water wisely to controlling pests, Jordi is available to help homeowners with their problems and questions.

"They bring insects to me, they bring grass to me, they bring weeds to me," she said.

Jordi is a native of Jacksonville, but she comes to Nassau County from Pennsylvania, where she was teaching biology at Pennsylvania State University and environmental science at Harrisburg Area Community College.

She has a master's degree in secondary education-biology from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in education from Florida State University. She also has certification in advance placement biology from Jacksonville University.

Jordi had been looking to return to the Jacksonville area, where she taught at the high school level for a decade. She jumped at the extension horticultural agent opening in Nassau County, she said.

"I feel lucky that I got a chance to do something like this because it's doing something that directly affects the community," Jordi said.

In addition to working with homeowners, Jordi is coordinating the work of Nassau's more than 30 active master gardeners. …

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