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Showing posts from February, 2013

National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2013

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by Laurie Sheldon
History and DefinitionOn Feb 3, 1999, President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13112 - a critical piece of legislature on the environmental front. It established a multi-agency task force (the National Invasive Species Council) to deal with the management of "invasive species," which it defined as a species:that is both non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration andwhose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.These "invaders" present themselves in many forms, and include (but are not limited to) plants, animals, and pathogens.

Causing Harm
Invasives may feed on fish and wildlife and/or cause widespread illness. Invasive pathogens can kill forest trees. Invasive plants compete with natives for resources like light, food and space, often interfering with their growth, reproduction, and development, and increasing their risk of extinction. Invasives can cause humans harm as w…

It's Time for Nominations for the FNPS Landscape Awards

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Florida Native Plant Society
2013 Landscape Awards Program  Purpose:  The Florida Native Plant Society Landscape Awards Program aims to:
· Promote the use of Florida native plants in all types of landscapes, both new and existing.
· Increase public awareness of the benefits and savings provided by native plant landscaping.
· Recognize citizens who have taken action through use of native plant landscaping to improve and restore the environment.
· Reward skilled professionals who execute quality designs and installation.
· Encourage landscape designers, contractors and architects to use Florida native plants in their projects.
Application Process and Forms:  All interested designers, project managers, installers and homeowners must complete the FNPS Landscape Awards Application Form. Please read the application form completely as projects that do not meet the entry rules will not be judged! Click here for an Application and additional information.
Deadline for Submission:  Friday…

2013 FNPS Board Retreat

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by Ginny Stibolt

Last year Kellie Westervelt, FNPS executive director, obtained a grant to implement a Strategic Plan in order to help FNPS grow to the next level. Desiring an outside perspective, a consultant group was sought and the board chose Bristol Strategy Group from a number of applicants. They sent out a 28-page questionnaire to a newly formed Steering Committee consisting of a few key Society members, and then they talked to another, larger group of Society officers, board, and other influential members. I was in this second group--my conference call with the consultants lasted 55 minutes. The conversation covered a wide range of topics relating to FNPS, its problems from my perspective, and how it could be better. Later in the fall the whole membership received an email with a link to an online survey with more questions--almost 800 of us filled out the survey. Then in November, the consultants from Bristol attended a board meeting. With all this information, the consulta…

Winning: Travis and Karen MacClendon

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by Laurie Sheldon

It was a dairy farm for 20 years, and before that, a farm farm - you know, with plows and crops and the like. In early 2005 the MacClendons purchased the property hoping restore its native plant communities and create a more natural landscape for it to remain in indefinitely. I checked out an aerial of the site, but had a hard time wrapping my head around just how big it was. To put it in perspective, I decided to go to the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s website to see what the lot dimensions were at the address where I grew up. I remembered it as being large - we had a pool that ran long-ways into the yard with sizable patio surrounding it, and still had room for a shed, a play house, a jungle-gym type of structure to climb on, and enough lawn left over for our dogs to run around at full speed. “Oh,” I said aloud, reading the folio data on my computer screen, “only 20,159 sq. ft.” An acre is 43,560 sq. ft. Geez, I wonder how extensive the White House ground…

Challenges of a Native Plant Nursery

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 A guest post by Kari Ruder owner of Naturewise Nursery in Cocoa, FL. in response to Monday's post Supporting the Native Plant Industry. Be sure to respond to Kari and all the other native plant professionals who work so hard to bring you locally-grown natives.

Dear native plant customer,

As a native plant enthusiast, I had found it difficult to find nurseries specializing in native plants when I was ready to do some landscaping. While I had some experience in gardening and Environmental Science degrees, I didn't have Florida plant specific knowledge other that what I gained through my job working for my county's Natural Resources Office and through attending talks, field trips, and conferences as a member of FNPS. I started playing around with growing a few plants on the side from seed, and after time, the idea of starting my own native plant nursery popped into my hand. There seemed to be many other people like me wanting to use native plants but not able to find enough …