A Tribute to Richard Turk Poole

Richard Poole was one of the original members of the Florida Native Plant Society’s Cuplet Fern Chapter, established in 2010. His longtime experience in plant and bird biology led to his love for propagating native plants, making bird boxes, and sharing his knowledge of plants and bird life in Florida.

At our monthly meetings, Richard would bring a variety of plants for members to take home. He would explain how the plants would grow and support Florida birds, insects, and butterflies, which would encourage more backyard birdlife.

At every plant sale, he would display his posters featuring bird migration patterns and local bird nesting. Children and adults alike enjoyed the wonderful photos of young nesting birds.

Richard always had several homemade bird boxes to take home. He would explain how certain native plants were food sources for birds and encourage people to add them to their butterfly gardens.

Richard was passionate in promoting how the relationship between bird biology and native plants enables successful bird populations. He was a kind and generous person willing to give his time to advocate for native plants. I am forever appreciative for the many discussions we had on plant names and propagation. Richard, all the specially grown native plants you shared with members and the public are in backyards throughout Central Florida, providing shelter and food to wildlife.

The Poole family is known for their extensive volunteerism. Richard's widow, Christine Brown, as well as daughter, Kathleen Poole, are FNPS Green Palmetto Award recipients from Cuplet Fern.

Richard Poole was credited by the UF IFAS Central Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka as a contributor to the report, “Programs for the Ornamentals Industry.” Read it here.

You can read another obituary for Richard on Legacy.com.

by Barbara Whittier


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