2017 Meetings

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November 24, 2017 Florida's Native Plant Movement

 Cammie Donaldson, the Executive director of FANN (Florida Association of Native Nurseries) spoke on Florida’s Fabulous Native Plant Movement.  She discussed the history of the native plant movement.  A book was written in 1901 called, The Flora of Southeast U.S.: it was a list plants, and included tropical plants in Miami/Dade and the Keys’ areas.  In the 1920’s, there was a population boom.  In 1929, a book was written by John Kunkel Small called from Eden to Sahara: Florida’s Tragedy;  it began the conservation movement.   In the 1930’s, the Cross Florida Barge Canal was being developed to provide jobs during the depression.  (The area is now the Marjorie Harris Carr Greenway.)  In the 1940’s, a map was made and promoted by UF; it showed the complex native plant communities in the state.  Everglades National Park was formed in 1947. 
In the 1960’s, phosphate mining was begun in central Florida.  1n 1963, a causeway was built to Sanibel Island, and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation was formed by Dick Workman to plan for the use native plants in that area. In the 70’s, the Florida population was soaring, and the peat bogs in the Everglades were burning due to drainage projects.  In 1975, the Florida legislature enacted the Florida Growth Management Plan, and the Mine Reclamation Act to restore the mined land with native plants.  

 Bill Partington of Winter Park met with and Dick Workman in 1980, and the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) was formed.   The first conference was in 1981 at Rollins College in Winter Park.   In 1984, the Institute for Regional Conservation was formed for southeast Florida, and the Warren S. Henderson Wetlands Protection Act made a market place for native plants.  In 1986 Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN) was started.  In the 1990’s, land ordinances were being made in Florida’s counties that included the use of native plants.  In 2001, the Florida Wildflower Foundation was started.  (License plates for the Foundation are the major source of funding.)  In 2003, the Florida Wildflower Cooperative was started for seed growers.  In 2015, the Native Plant Horticulture Foundation was started by FANN to help make native plant communities sustainable.   
So since the last 40 years, there is more awareness of native plants, more support for their preservation, and more plants available and used.  Landscape aesthetics are changing, and the leading organizations are slowly growing.  The challenges include preserving the plant biodiversity with urban expansion and availability of plants.  Challenges also include enough professionals to design, install and maintain native landscapes.  The number one priority is education and outreach.  

After questions were answered, Steve presented a check to Tammie for $250 for the Native Plant Horticultural Foundation to find and start developing local talent for yard maintenance.

Cammie Donaldson, Executive Director Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN) www.FloridaNativeNurseries.org FANN office: 321-271-4885 Direct to Cammie: 321-917-1960

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October 27, 2017  Impact of Sea Level Rise on Florida’s Coastal Vegetation

Guest speaker Tonya Clayton, PhD, is a contributing author of "Sea Level Rise in Florida", published in 2016 by the University Press of Florida. She is also an instructor for the USF Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a graduate of the Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute, and a member of the FNPS Pinellas chapter. "Sea Level Rise in Florida: News From Our Natural Areas" is by Tonya Clayton. The sea is rising, and the signs are all around us. Today’s headlines come from our flooded city streets, but Florida’s native plants were among the first to tell this tale — quietly, many decades ago. In this illustrated armchair stroll across the state, we’ll look at some of those early hints and we'll explore what's happening today. How do we know the sea is rising, what’s the big deal, and how can we help? Along the way, we’ll visit some of Florida’s most iconic natural communities.High Tide on Main Street

Books by Tonya Clayton

Sea Level Rise in Florida, by University Press of Florida, 2016   Discount price = $30
How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach by University of North Carolina Press, 2012   Discount price = $15

Internet Resources from Tonya Clayton

Sea Level Rising: Blog by John Englander, Oceanographer and author of High Tide on Main Street.

DrawDown: Touted as the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.

Topic: Biophilic Cities Green Infrastructure
The biophilia hypothesis suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.

Download Minutes PDF 51kb or Word 15kb

September 22, 2017  Susan Carr, president elect, FNPS; Juliet Rynear Conservation Chair
Florida Native Plant Society

Our special guest presenter, Susan Carr, PhD, is a native of Gainesville Florida. Susan is an advocate for pineland conservation and the Conservation Coordinator for the North Florida Land Trust. Susan joined the Board of the Florida Native Plant Society in 2017 and is currently FNPS State President elect. 

Susan reported that the southeast coastal plain is the new biodiversity hot spot.
Florida has many native species due to history and geology, tropical and sub-tropical climate and soil
diversity. There are many native plant community differences: sandhill, scrub, uplands, lowlands,
flatwoods, pinelands, dry prairies, ridges, wetlands, and marshes.

The threat to this area is loss of habitat, change in environment, poor public land management, lack of
public awareness, and invasive species. The public land in the state comprises 25 %. We have an urgent need to save plant species and plant communities.

Juliet Rynear described the mission, aspirational goals, operational goals, and organizational structure of the Florida Native Plant Society. Some of the purposes are to preserve, conserve and restore. The FNPS Committees include Land Management Partners, Policy, Education, Landscaping, Conservation, and Citizen Science. They also collect seeds, propagate plants, restore protected lands, monitor sites, maintain a milkweed map and a rare species map, and are pushing nurseries and big box stores to stock native plants.

Download a PDF of their presentation.

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Aug 25, 2017 Lisa Roberts , Executive Director, Florida Wildflower Foundation will spoke on Roadside Plantings.

Lisa RobertsLisa Roberts became the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s executive director in 2008. Under her direction, the Foundation established its annual Florida Wildflower Symposium and the popular Seeds for Schools, Viva Florida and La Florida Community Plantings grant programs; launched a new website and wildflower research literature database; developed multiple publications, including a Panhandle brochure that outlines wildflower viewing routes, and much more. Before joining the Foundation, Lisa worked at the Orlando Sentinel for many years as an editor and writer, during which she often wrote about Florida's outdoors. She serves on VISIT FLORIDA's Culture, Heritage and Nature Tourism committee, and is a certified Florida Master Naturalist and a member of the Florida Wildflower Foundation and Florida Native Plant Society.

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July 28: Carol Spears

Carol Spears“From Invasive to Native: Creating a Home for Florida’s Plants and Animals” by Carol J. Spears, M.S., retired National Park Service Ranger and Wildlife Biologist

Carol shares her story of the how and, perhaps more importantly, the why of changing her entire yard to native plants, and the lessons learned along the way. Photographs support the discussion of each step of the process and richly illustrate the diversity of plants and animals that now call her yard their home.

Carol worked for 28 years for the National Park Service (NPS) as a Park Ranger Interpreter (educator) and Manager in parks across the US. She also taught other NPS Interpreters throughout the country the skill and art of Interpretation, served for 12 years as Chief of Interpretation and Public Information Officer for the NPS, and won the National Freeman Tilden award in 1987 (which honors one NPS Interpreter each year for the highest and best achievements in interpreting park resources to the public). Her academic degrees are: BS in biology and MS in Zoology and 3 years Ph.D. work in Wildlife Ecology. Carol continues in retirement her passion for educating others about the wonders, beauty, intricacies, and importance of the workings of the natural world.

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June 23, 2017 Dr. Gail Hansen, a professor at UF in science based and art centered landscape design.

She began her talk by reporting on research that showed neighbors tend to mimic other neighbors
regarding plant choices. She reported on a town called Freemantle in Australia. Everyone in that town
converted their yards to native plants; the town government got all the local nurseries to sell natives and provided free mulch to their citizens and gave rebates for native plants.

She suggested a book for homeowners: Principles of Ecological Landscape Design and Urban Ecology. (This link is to the publisher. It is cheaper on Amazon and there is a "Look Inside" feature.)

She then discussed "The Villages Native Plant Landscape Plan". She and her students in her advanced class of residential landscape design toured 3 typical landscapes in The Villages: a courtyard villa, a corner home and a rectangular lot. The Pattern Book includes the students’ 2 plans for each typical landscape: one plan using a low number of species and one using a higher number of species. The species used are ones that are typically found in native nurseries. They placed natives that would be appropriate together. They made height variations for attracting wildlife, used trees to block some views, and used the principle of repetition. They also used color, although Dr. Hansen explained that natives are more pastel than non-natives. They used our HOA documents for compliancy, and did not change any hardscape In the villa, they reduced the stone and gravel, but did not eliminate it, drew in a pergola for shade, and also added trellises. On the corner lot, they made sure the vision triangle was clear for vehicles. On both the corner and rectangular lots, they made pathways of mulch and of stepping stones and used groundcovers.

Dr. Hansen has placed the plans in a pattern book that can be used by homeowners. Even though a
homeowner’s whole yard might not look like the ones on the plans, parts of their yard might. The book
includes each plan in color and in black and white. There is a list of plants with their biological name
and common name, their needs for sun and water and their size when mature. There are directions on
how to read the plans, and an explanation of why plants are next to one another. There are blank forms in the back for homeowners to draw their own landscapes. The book does not include an estimated cost of each landscape, and did not include irrigation. 

Download Minutes PDF 42kb or Word 16kb

May 26, 2017  Peggy Sias Lantz

Peggy Sias LantzA native Floridian, Peggy Lantz is a Florida Master Naturalist, musician, horseman, leathercrafter, outdoors woman, and editor and author. Her publications reflect her many interests. She served as editor of the Florida Native Plant Society’s publications and its magazine, The Palmetto, for 15 years, and as editor of Florida Audubon Society’s magazine, The Florida Naturalist. Ms. Lantz lives in Woodsmere in west Orange County, Florida, in the community settled by her grandfather in 1914.

Peggy brought several buckets of ‘weeds’. She showed these plants, offered samples, described
locations for collection and mentioned how to cook and serve them. She considers this a hobby and
does it for fun.

Peggy stressed three things to keep one safe when foraging: know what you’re gathering--don’t
guess, don’t gather where plants may be contaminated with poisons and leave some of the plant
behind to feed wildlife and for plant reproduction.

Cattail blossom spikes, pollen, sprouts, rhizomes & roots can be eaten. Spanish needle leaves and
flowers can be cooked or placed in a salad. Smilax can be eaten off its vine, placed in a salad or stir
fried. Pepper Grass has a tiny bud like fruit which is spicy like arugula, and is good in salads. Don’t 
eat coontie—the whole plant is toxic. Beauty berry makes great jam. The red berries of sumac
make a drink tasting like lemonade. The leaves and flowers of spiderwort can be placed in salads.
Most of the elderberry plant is good to eat; the berries can be made into syrup, jam or even wine.
Peggy’s book is an absolute delight; it is a field guide as well as a cookbook. She also covers plants
that are to be avoided and leaves mushroom gathering to the experts.

Download Minutes PDF  58kb or Word 16kb

April 28, 2017  John Moran, Co-director, Springs Eternal Project

As our waters go, so goes Florida.

Although vital to the ecological and economic health of Florida, our waters are imperiled—by pollution, neglect and the groundwater demands of a thirsty state. 

Join us for a frank and engaging discussion with nature photographer John Moran, whose career as an artist and journalist spans more than 30 years. 

Moran’s evolving programs focus on Florida’s iconic springs as a case study for exploring the larger topic of water, democracy and Florida’s future. Combining superb photography with stirring commentary, Moran argues there can be no longterm wellbeing in Florida unless we embrace a new way of thinking about water—mindful that tomorrow’s Florida is being shaped by the choices we make today.

Seeking to show and tell the truth more fully as he sees it, Moran partnered with artist and art historian Dr. Lesley Gamble in 2012 to create the Springs Eternal Project. Their collaboration fills museum walls, educates decision makers and develops creative outreach inspiring Floridians to value, conserve and restore our precious waters.

Moran’s speaking programs, detailing a photographer’s search for the soul of Florida, have been presented to hundreds of civic, professional and educational gatherings from Pensacola to Key West. His programs have been called “exquisite,” “lyrical,” “eye-opening” and “like nothing I’ve ever seen.” 

Learn more at JohnMoranPhoto.com.

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March 24, 2017 Roger Hammer

Author, Naturalist, Photographer, Castellow Hammock Nature Center

Be sure you scroll down and look at the whole picture on Roger Hammer's home page.

Roger HammerRoger L. Hammer is an award-winning professional naturalist, author, botanist and photographer. Hammer is known for his entertaining and informative programs. Hammer has served as the director of Castellow Hammock Nature Center for the Miami-Dade Parks Department and part-time instructor and fieldtrip leader for Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami.

He has half a dozen published books – two this year – featuring his nature photography and knowledge of Florida's natural treasures including wildflowers, the Everglades National Park and various state icons. He also has compiled four photo identification guides for Florida wildflowers and trees.

Hammer resides in Homestead, Florida.

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February 24, 2017: Scott A. Davis "Monarch Migration and Florida Milkweeds"

Scott Davis is a busy biologist, with Ethnobotany among his passions. He is a state board member for the Florida Native Plant Society, and president-elect for the Magnolia (Tallahassee) Chapter. In addition to his day job as ranger at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, he serves as Coordinator for the new Milkweed-Monarch Conservation Initiative, VP for Friends of Wakulla Springs, and as a committee member for the FWC Great Florida Birding Trail and Black Bear Stakeholders. He also owns a native plant nursery and is an officer of a non-profit agency on urban forest conservation.

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January 27, 2017 Renee Stambaugh: Native Plants in the Landscape

Native Plant Consulting

(904) 692-3927
Renee StambaughA lifelong resident of northeast Florida, Renee Stambaugh has extensive knowledge in the field of native plants, birds and butterflies.
Completing the University of Florida Master Gardener Program in 1999, she was honored in 2009 with the prestigious Northeast Region Recognition Award by the University of Florida Master Naturalist Program.
Founding member and past president of the Sea Oats chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, Stambaugh recently co-authored the informative brochure Invasive Plants You Should Know.
Stambaugh enjoys teaching about the beauty and benefits of northeast Florida’s diverse flora and is a dynamic public speaker.
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Published on  03.12.2017