2017 Meetings

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.

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

OUR WATER, OUR FUTURE
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.

Download Minutes PDF 39kb or Word 17kb

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

Native Plant Consulting
(904) 692-3927
www.nativeplantconsulting.com
facebook.com/nativeplantconsulting
 
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.
Download Minutes PDF 49kb or Word 17kb

 

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Published on  15.07.2017