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[Policy] SB 1084 update + thank you

We also want to share an important success story resulting from FNPS engagement in the legislative process. A bill that would have allowed state-owned conservation lands located within the Florida Wildlife Corridor to be sold back into private ownership, while simply retaining a conservation easement designed to promote agricultural usage of the lands, was inserted into SB 1084 THE NIGHT BEFORE IT WAS TO BE DEBATED by the Senate Appropriations Committee and Agriculture, Environment and General Government. This last-minute move did not allow sufficient time for us to mobilize our members with an Action Alert, though we did send out an email and make social media posts with the letter we submitted explaining FNPS' objections to the so-called "Surplus Lands" provisions. Despite this tight turnaround, your Policy Committee members and several highly-motivated members (thank you Adam Arendell, Yvonne Beckman, Keith Spencer, and CeCe Friskey!) made phone calls to the members

Places to Visit: Angus K. Gholson, Jr. Nature Park

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Visit Angus K. Gholson, Jr. Nature Park in Chattahoochee to experience some of Florida's rarest plants in the unique ravine ecosystems along the Apalachicola River. This region of the Florida Panhandle is one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the nation, home to several species at their southernmost range, as well as several endemic to just this region. Many of these rare species can be viewed from the meandering trails that follow along the clear, spring-fed stream in the park, and up the ravine slope. The Nature Park was named after a renowned botanist from the region, Angus K. Gholson, who grew up nearby and played there as a child. Angus frequently botanized the area as an adult and built the park trails, which he stewarded until his death in 2014. A dedicated group of FNPS Magnolia Chapter members have since become the caretakers of the park, battling invasive species, and maintaining the trails. They have also worked hard to restore the park and trails after the region was

The 2024 Florida Legislative Session has begun. Advocates Assemble!

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Florida's 60-day legislative session begins today, and several environmentally-damaging bills have already been proposed. In even numbered years we get the “gift” of an early Florida Legislative Session. The 2024 Session commenced in Tallahassee today, Tuesday, January 9th and will conclude on Friday, March 8th. The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) has been active during the many weeks of Committee meetings held at the Capitol in preparation of the Session. We have identified a number of bills that would impact FNPS members and mission in either positive or negative ways and are in the midst of developing the necessary advocacy strategies to either advance them, modify them or keep them from being enacted altogether. Each FNPS member plays a vital role in those efforts by staying aware, being engaged, responding to Calls for Action and imparting your knowledge and expertise as a resource to policymakers. Here is a preview of What We Know So Far (powerpoint slides). Thank you fo

The Year Behind and the Year Ahead 2023-2024

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As we reflect on 2023, our thanks to our members, Chapters, Board, supporters, and staff. During times that can be challenging, FNPS continues to inspire, educate, and advocate for our native plants and their habitats. 2023 Spring Our Virtual Conference in April was attended by 356 people and we heard from 38 speakers. This was closely followed by our 3 amazing Field Days in May - Naples ( details | photo album ), Tallahassee ( details | photo album ), and Sanford ( details | photo album ). Hosted by Chapters, these events gave folks the opportunity to come together, socialize, explore new areas, and learn about new topics. Chelsea LeNoble presents at the 42nd Annual Conference Sanford Field Days to the group at Dees Brothers Brewing.   Tallahassee Field Days attendees admire the restored longleaf pine understory at the Coastal Plains Institute. Summer A quiet time for being outdoors, our teams made the most of this relative downtime to work on FNPS. Thanks to Melanie and the Counci

[Press Release] Sun City Center Receives Landscape Award

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Melbourne, FL – The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) has designated October as “Native Plant Month.” During October, local society chapters host talks and hikes to natural areas to promote native plant communities and the environmental benefits to wildlife. In that educational spirit, FNPS created a landscape award program open to homeowners, businesses, government agencies, HOA’s, and community groups. FNPS received 19 applications for the 2023 landscape award cycle. Applicants across Florida had the opportunity to showcase their landscaped project and to highlight their garden.   Among the 19 applicants, a local winner for the “Garden of Excellence” was selected. The vibrant retirement haven, Sun City Center was chosen for its continuing restoration of 37 acres of pine flatwoods connecting North Lake to Cypress Creek. In 2015, members of the local chapter of the Audubon Society stepped up to assume stewardship of the property, which is owned by the homeowner’s association. The ap

[Press Release] Camp Matecumbe Playground Receives Landscape Award

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Melbourne, FL – The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) has designated October as “Native Plant Month.” During October, local society chapters host talks and hikes to natural areas to promote native plant communities and the environmental benefits to wildlife. In that educational spirit, FNPS created a landscape award program open to homeowners, businesses, government agencies, HOA’s, and community groups. FNPS received 19 applications for the 2023 landscape award cycle. Applicants across Florida had the opportunity to showcase their landscaped project and to highlight their garden. Among the 19 applicants, a local winner for the “Garden of Excellence” was selected. The new Camp Matecumbe Playground, located within the 98-acre park in western Miami Dade County. Not only does the park have a historic connection for the many children refugees housed at Camp Matecumbe who escaped the Castro regime during the 1960’s, but the existing park includes a “significant pine rockland preserve.”

[Press Release] Winter Park’s Mead Botanical Gardens Receives Landscape Award

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Melbourne, FL – The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) has designated October as “Native Plant Month.” During October, local society chapters host talks and hikes to natural areas to promote native plant communities and the environmental benefits to wildlife. In that educational spirit, FNPS created a landscape award program open to homeowners, businesses, government agencies, HOA’s, and community groups. FNPS received 19 applications for the 2023 landscape award cycle. Applicants across Florida had the opportunity to showcase their landscaped project and to highlight their garden.   Among the 19 applicants, a local winner for the “Garden of Excellence” was selected. Mead Botanical Gardens in Winter Park was chosen for its native upland plant restoration work since 2013 in partnership with the local FNPS Chapter. The applicant described Mead Botanical Garden as a “natural oasis amid urban Winter Park and Orlando, almost a “last frontier” of natural land.” The presence of 100-year-ol