Meeting Speakers

Don Kendzior: October 2015

Don started with a Parable About Lawns, St. Peter talks with God about us Suburanites living here below.

Don is executive director of Noah’s Notes, a nonprofit environmental organization whose mission is to save nature in your backyard. His informative and entertaining nature programs have inspired many to make a difference in their homes and gardens. Whether you have a backyard or balcony, Don will show how you can garden with nature and create an eco-friendly naturescape that welcomes wildlife from bees and butterflies to hummingbirds!

Ginny Stibolt: September 2105

Ginny Stibolt’s spoke on "The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape". She is a botanist by training and an author of three books pertinent to landscapting with Florida native plants. She has writen about Florida gardening for the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union, Vero Beach Magazine, and on the web at http://www.greengardeningmatters.blogspot.com/

She gave landscaping and planting suggestions and warned not to promise that native plants don't use water or chemicals. Her books include:

  • Sustainable Gardening for Florida Paperback – September 13, 2009 "Tells us how to manage our gardens, yards, landscapes, and water with the least possible adverse impacts on the environment. It explains why sustainability is important in a crowded world, and how we can use basic ecological principles to live with, not against, nature."--Steven P. Christman, editor, Floridata.com 
  • Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida Paperback – March 12, 2013 
  • The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape Paperback – September 8, 2015

Dr. Dr. Stanley-Stahr: August 2105

Our guest speaker is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory.  Her key points:

There are 316 native bees in Florida, of which 29 are endemic to the state (found nowhere else).

About 75% are solitary, 10% social and 15 cleptoparacitic

About 75% of the bees are ground dwelling and 25% cavity / tunnel dwelling.

In some areas of the country and for some crops, native bees do all of the pollination (no honey bee colonies are brought in). Some farmers plant wildflowers on the edges of their fields to attract the native bees.

 We need alternative pollinators for our crops:

  1. Maximize pollination
  2. Wild bees pollinate many crops more effectively than honey bees (specialist vs. generalist).
  3. Many wild bees forage earlier or later in the day.
  4. Wild bees often forage in wet or cold conditions.
  5. Wild bees are likely to move between rows (cross-pollination) and they prompt honey bees to do the same.
  6. Honey bee health issues

It is important to provide an area for the ground dwelling bees to make nests, bare earth or with low density mulch.  A sunny site it best in sandy or loosely packed soil. 

Reduce the use of pesticides.

Bees like native plants!  Use a diversity of plants so that something is blooming all year.  Hybrid plants are often less useful to pollinators. 

For tunnel nesting bees, drill various size holes in wood or bundle 4” to 6” lengths of bamboo (one end must be plugged).  Provide an overhang to protect from rain.  East facing is best.  Put next to food source.  Need to clean every few (3) years; either change out the bamboo or soak the drilled wood block in 5% bleach.  Ensure that the tunnels are vacant.

Robert Stamp: July 2105

Dr.Robert Stamp was our distinguished guest speaker for the July 24, 2015 meeting.  Dr. Stamp is a professor emeritus of environmental horticulture with the University of Florida. He currently serves as conservation chair for Orange Audubon Society and on the board of Audubon Florida. His topic is Attracting Birds to your Gardens.

Robert H. Stamps, Ph.D., ASHS Fellow, Honorary FSHS member
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Horticulture
University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Department of Environmental Horticulture
Mid-Florida Research and Education Center

Books recommended by Robert Stamp

Download Robert Stamp's Reading List for Florida Native Landscaping for Wildlife (PDF Format)

Dr. Walter Kingsley Taylor: June 2105

Dr. Walter Kingsley Taylor was our guest speaker for the Friday June 26, 2015 meeting. Dr. Taylor is Professor Emeritus of the University of Central Florida where he taught for 35 years. He is also a distinguished author.

Craig N. Huegel: May 2105, October 2016

Craig N HuegelThe speaker for our May 2015 meeting was Craig Huegel, an environmental consultant and educator, who genuinely loves plants.  He is especially interested in wildlife and native plant interactions, the concept of creating wildlife habitat in developed landscapes, and the conservation of Florida's truly unique places and species.  Craig is the author of numerous books.

Hawthorne Hills Native Wildflower and Rare Plant Nursery

Books by Craig N. Huegel

Gail Hansen: April 2105

Gail Hansen, assistant professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, University of Florida, was our speaker at the April 24th meeting. She talked about the “The 3P's of Landscape Design, People, Plants and Plans.” She made suggestions for landscaping references.


All of Gail Hansen's Publications


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