Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Citizens to the Rescue!


Members of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) have sure been busy this hurricane season – rescuing Florida native plant communities – some from the hurricanes but mostly from the bulldozers! From the Panhandle to south Florida, FNPS and our partners have been racing to rescue native plants, and plant communities.

As of October 23rd, we have rescued 1,000s of plants in the Panhandle, countless rare Tillandsias in south Florida, and in central Florida more than 3,200 plants from a rare Sandhill parcel with many more collection days still ahead of us. 

Words cannot adequately express how grateful we are for the outpouring of financial and volunteer support from our members, concerned citizens, and our conservation partners. 

There are so many to thank and not enough room for here for everyone’s name, but let’s start: our 81 generous financial donors, our 100+ volunteers, and our partners from Oakland Nature Preserve, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Koreshan State Historic Site, Green Isle Gardens Nursery, Florida State Parks, Lake County Water Authority, St. Johns River Water Management District, and Lake County Parks and Trails.

Thank you all for supporting our mission in action and helping to conserve our native plant communities for future generations! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


1,000’s of endangered plants were rescued in the Panhandle from a roadside trail development.  

Among the species rescued were Ruellia noctiflora (Nightflowering Wild Petunia), and Asclepias lanceolata (Fewflower Milkweed).


The Koreshan State Historic Site, located just north of Hurricane Irma’s peninsular Florida landfall, took quite a hit. Many trees, covered in endangered Tillandsias (Air Plants) were toppled.  

As soon as they could, volunteers from the Coccoloba Chapter joined park staff to rescue endangered Tillandsias from the downed trees.


Before being rescued from their Sandhill home, seeds were collected from the endangered Bonamia grandiflora (Florida Bonamia) plants.  

Other endangered plants seen in this photo are Polygala lewtonii (Lewton’s Polygala), 
and Stylisma abdita (Showy Dawnflower)

All plants and seeds will be used for nearby restoration projects on public lands.


Chris Matson, a biologist with District 3 of Florida State Parks, is shown driving a UTV to move the rescued plants to the trailers for transport off property.


From left to right: Mark Kateli, Will Kluzowski, Jackie Rolly, and Cecie Catron, 
removing plants from the Sandhill rescue site in Lake County.


Green Isle Gardens owner Marc Godts is shown moving plants into shaded enclosures at Green Isle Gardens to offer them protection from intense summer sun, and heat.  

After recovering for a few months from the stress of removal, all plants will be planted at nearby public lands as part of their Sandhill restoration projects.



Author/photos: FNPS Conservation Committee

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