Showing posts from June, 2011

Do Florida's State Parks Need Private Campgrounds?

Passions are quickly rising to high levels over this issue. The public will have a chance to hear the facts as related by the DEP, and to give voice to their own opinions at meetings next week. FNPS member Jan Allyn has this to say:  "Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin is on FDEP's list of parks that may get campgrounds. The goal, of course, is to generate revenue. Campgrounds require infrastructure--roads, parking, restrooms, trash disposal, etc. Those things will be installed at the expense of the natural environment, inevitably, and will fundamentally change visitors' experience of the park.
Is the addition of a campground at Honeymoon inevitable? Possibly. But even if it cannot be prevented, the public's input is invaluable in determining what type of camping will be allowed, and the size of the footprint that results. It could make the difference between what the state allows: low-impact tent camping or 30-foot-long RVs with noisy generators, electrical hooku…

Gil Nelson's "Trees of Florida 2nd Edition": a review

Gil Nelson, botantist and author, is a tremendous friend of FNPS. He leads field trips, he's been active in the southeastern native plant societies' conferences, he speaks at our conventions, and he's written fanatastic field guides so those of us who are new to Florida can find our way around our gardens and parks. Now he's re-written his classic "Trees of Florida" originally published in 1994 by Pineapple Press.

The new edition is greatly expanded and includes the origin of trees and whether they are listed as invasive. This information makes this field guide much more useful, because now readers will know what to do with a tree once they identify it.

Here's the product description:

"The Trees of Florida is the most comprehensive guide to Florida’s amazing variety of tree species, both temperate and tropical, both natives and exotics. The first edition was very popular with both professionals and laypeople since it was accurate, comprehensive, an…

A Lesson in Outreach by FNPS Ixia Chapter in Jacksonville

A guest post by Ixia Chapter President, Barbara Jackson

The keys to a successful event are long-range planning, organization, and lining up enough volunteer help. I began planning a chapter dinner, plant sale, and presentation about 16 months out. This allowed me to secure the location, in this case two venues, the guest speaker, and the one other person that helped me plan the food. Our objective was to raise funds for our Chapter’s projects. We are restoring a 1923 “Native Park” in Jacksonville, assisting another Jacksonville park with the removal of many invasive species, and planning a two acre wildflower garden on the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville.

We asked Dr. Craig Huegel, of the Pinellas Chapter, to be our guest speaker. His new book, “Native Plant Landscaping for Florida Wildlife,” was the subject of his PowerPoint presentation at our event. I began looking for a venue and was told of a beautiful home and piece of private property on the banks of the St. Johns Riv…

Green Roofs and Native Plants

One of the first interesting observations on a newly installed green roof is the plant preference of insects and pollinators.

"Biodiversity: Higher Taxa Variations, Green Roofs and Native Plants"
A guest post by KEVIN SONGER

We always use many native Florida species on our green roof plantings.  We also use non-native ‘Florida Friendly’ plants, non-invasive landscape plants, and food plants.  Our green roof designs are centered around four or five main native plant families, Asteraceae,Poaceae, Fabaceae,Lamiaceae, and Solanaceae, if the green roof has a food garden orethnobotanicalcomponent (though I love our native Solanaceae weeds too).

Of course invasive and exotic species with aggressive growth tendencies need be avoided as plants growing on a roof are situated high in the air, their seeds and plant DNA subject to being carried by the wind, picked up and redeposited elsewhere by birds, collected and transported downstream by stormwater.  A green roof serves as a platform f…

Florida Museum of Natural History Needs FNPS Help

Yes! What a conversation starter - "I helped create that app!" The Florida Museum of Natural History,  developing a cool new app right now, has asked FNPS for help. What they need is some specific photographs of Florida flowers, listed below. The app will be a plant ID tool that entry-level folks can use in the field.  However, since the program will eventually include more than 250 plants, there will definitely be something for all of us to learn from it!
The project manager, Shari Ellis, explained that this new app will be focused around plants that occur along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, a network of approximately 500 sites covering 2,000 miles. The purpose of the app is to get people outside and help them understand and experience Florida's natural areas. "We want to help people identify flowering plants, butterflies, and birds without having to read long paragraphs of text."
The program will help educate both Florida residents and visitors…

The Inside Story

A personal interview in which clues to Steve Woodmansee's indisputable prowess in Plant ID and indefatigable energy for FNPS are revealed!

Sue: Steve, when you became Vice President of Finance for the Florida Native Plant Society in 2008,  your bio came out in theSabalMinor, so we know about your formal achievements, but I am thinking that today you could give us a bit more of a insider's view of our new FNPS President?      
Steve: Sure, Sue, what would you like to know?

Sue: Well, let's go back a ways: how long have you lived in Florida? Can you tell us how you came to be interested on native plants in the first place?

Steve: I've lived all my life in the Miami area. I did spend a long summer near Hood River, Oregon. That was enough cold and elevation for me!

Sue: I hear you, Steve. We were out there last year in July hiking in the snow!

Steve: I give my parents, FNPS members since 2002, Jo and Woody Woodmansee, credit for sparking my first interest in native plants. Th…

A Brief Pause

The Conference is over for this year, and as the photo suggests, we are taking a little time for reflection. The blog has taken up a lot of our collective time over the past 18 months, and we have come to some decisions we want to share with you, our readers.  For starters, we have decided to post a little less frequently: once a week instead of twice.

We, in this case, being the two "survivors," me, Sue Dingwell, and Ginny Stibolt, co-blogger from the beginning, and now, friend as well.

As many of you heard in the extract from the Annual Report at the Conference, during May of last year the blog, barely three months old, was getting 51 visits a week. In its busiest week since then, it had visits from nearly 700 people. Our readers are from Florida, but also from Georgia, Texas, California, and Arizona; and those are just the states we know about because of comments received. The message about the importance of native plants is being carried forward by interesting groups all…