Michael Ball, expert naturalist and self-taught botanist, became one again with the bountiful earth that he loved so greatly on May 20th of this year. He leaves behind his Bok Tower Gardens and ELC families, both organizations for which he served as a plant identification specialist, educator, and strong proponent of conservation.
Mike grew up in Vero Beach and spent his life exploring the unique plants found in and around the surrounding areas of Florida, with special focus on preservation of rare and endangered species. At the ELC, Mike offered one-of-a-kind guided walks on plant identification and uses, along with hands-on lectures creating natural and plant-based healing agents. His deep passion for plants and his eagerness and enthusiasm to share his knowledge of their applications with everyone he encountered were some of the things that made Michael so memorable and special to our ELC family and the surrounding community. He truly had a special talent for helping others immerse themselves in nature and connect to the earth.
The passing of Michael Ball is a tremendous loss not only for those who knew him, but also for the world of environmental educators. Those closest to Michael Ball have requested that a permanent plaque be created and displayed at the ELC in his honor.