Conference Blast Off!

The Weeds at work
The 31st Annual Conference is definitely off with a bang! Plant enthusiasts from all over the state have been  arriving since yesterday, and excitement is in the air. Both the Florida Native Plant Society and the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council are holding events here at the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel this weekend. You wouldn't think a group like this would like weeds, would you? But in fact, The Weeds are rockin' and rollin' tonight with no control measures anywhere in sight!

Bruce Means, book author
 The music is providing a  backdrop for six authors who are signing books and talking with people about ideas near and dear to their hearts.

The brave and knowledgeable are attempting to win a new contest instituted this year - Invasive Plant ID.

Everywhere throughout the hotel friends are re-connecting, and new acquaintances are exchanging emails as new bonds are formed.

Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow's Keynote speaker, Rick Darke and all the other presentations - so hard to choose just one during each time slot, when three are offered!

Hand made sign holders!
The weather was beautiful for all the field trips that went out today. The photo here is to record the fantastic sign holders that were custom made by Brent MacAllister for this use by FNPS. They break down in two pieces for easy transport and storage, are high enough and sturdy enough to be perfect for the use. They just kind of personify the "extra mile' that so many people give to make these conferences possible.

  My husband and I went on a canoe trip in the Lake Harris chain, and we stopped to tour a NuRF (Nutrient Reduction Facility) site. This is a unique water treatment facility run by the Lake County Water Association and it was extremely interesting. We were treated to a tour of the facility and got to meet Helga, a centrifuge from Germany. Oh yes, a blog post is coming on that one! We also saw wonderful aquatic plants and I was brave enough to take the camera in the canoe. So if i had brought my card reader I could share them......hopefully fix that tomorrow. You'll hear from us then!

Blogging live from Maitland,
sue dingwell


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