March 14, 2018
Citrus County Florida
Barbara McCormick, a native Floridian, veteran and former Army officer, joined the
Citrus Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society in 2003. She brought with her many
years of experience as a Master Gardener and horticulturalist at Walt Disney World’s
University of Disney Garden program while attending Valencia College.
In 2002 Barbara started her own nursery named Nature by Design which specialized in
native plants as well as Florida friendly plants. Unfortunately the nursery was
destroyed by the back to back storms of 2004. Since then, while working as a private
consultant for the landscape planning and maintenance of a small number of very
exclusive Citrus County estates, she has dedicated herself to the expansion of knowledge
and appreciation of Native Plants in Citrus County.
She volunteers at the Extension Service educating both adults and youth about Florida-
friendly landscapes. In 2016 she was awarded a grant from Keep Citrus County
Beautiful (KCCB) to put in a native plant demonstration landscape at the Extension
office in Lecanto, FL. It is one of the small jewels in Citrus County and would not have
happened without Barbara’s dedication to the planning, layout, planting and
continuing maintenance to have this showplace for others to enjoy. She also volunteers
at a monthly plant clinic at one of the big box stores and is active in the Chazzahowitzka
River Keepers dedicated to the restoration and care of the River. She also co-founded a
4-H youth group with a focus on environmental education through experimental
learning and she created a Native Plant Spotlight program where she shares
information at the monthly Master Gardener meetings.
One of her biggest contributions to the world of Native Plants is her monthly program
called “Barbara’s Bits” prior to each Citrus Chapter meeting. She packs over an hour’s
worth of information into her thirty minute interactive program each month to the
thrill of the twenty-five to thirty Native Plant enthusiasts, both members and guests,
who come early to the Chapter meeting for Barbara’s informative program. This is a
major draw for the Citrus Chapter and she continually receives rave reviews for her
Her knowledge about plants in general is spectacular and her willingness to share her
knowledge is immeasurable.
The Citrus Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society proudly and enthusiastically
nominates Barbara McCormick for the annual Green Palmetto Award for Education.
Gail Taylor, President - Citrus Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society