Showing posts from February, 2022

Rick McDonnell, 1947-2021

On December 8 2021 Hernando Chapter lost a big part of the heart of its native plant community. Our friend Rick McDonnell died from complications of pneumonia after a lengthy hospitalization. He was 74 years old. Many of Rick’s FNPS friends know him first as a nurseryman. In the early 1980s Rick started a small commercial nursery in Brooksville Florida which became Hickory Hill Native Nursery, Inc.. He was a longtime member of both the Florida Association of Native Nurseries and the Florida Native Plant Society. Hickory Hill Native Nursery has always been a participant in the Hernando Chapter’s plant sales and a key source of native plants in our area. “We always looked forward to Rick’s arrival on plant sale day – the van loaded to the top with all our favorites – his famous wild coffee, coral honeysuckle and coralbean, sunshine mimosa with some wild garlic thrown in for fun. He had the most interesting wetland plants – native hibiscus, swamp mallows and string lilies.” – Cindy Libe

Kathleen 'Kay' Brennan, 1944-2021

Kay at one of PBC ERM's staff Halloween parties Dedicated, detail-oriented, determined – these descriptive words and phrases probably spring quickly to the minds of all who knew Kay. She was a person who lived a life of service to her church and community; all of us who love the natural world were part of the community that benefited from her service. One of the first hires of the newly created Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management in January 1988, Kay spent the early portion of her 24 year career with the County diligently identifying and acquiring environmentally sensitive lands for the County’s Natural Areas Program. She spent the later portion of her career working on related ordinances, and management plans to keep acquired environmentally sensitive lands in their natural state. In January 1988, the County did not own any environmentally sensitive lands. Today it owns and/or manages over 31,600 acres of environmentally sensitive lands. We often si

Research, Conservation, Ethnobotany, and McNamara Grants are now open!

The Florida Native Plant Society maintains an Endowment Research Grant program for the purpose of funding research on native plants. These are small grants ($2500 or less), awarded for a 1-year period, and intended to support research that forwards the mission of the Florida Native Plant Society which is "to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida." FNPS Conservation Grants support applied native plant conservation projects in Florida. These grants ($5000 or less) are awarded for a 1-year period. These projects promote the preservation, conservation, or restoration of rare or imperiled native plant taxa and rare or imperiled native plant communities. To qualify for a Conservation Grant, the proposed project must be sponsored by an FNPS Chapter. The Dan Austin Award for Ethnobotany will provide up to $1500 to graduate or undergraduate students who are studying Florida ethnobotany – i.e., the study o

Edgar 'Gar' Reed, 1945-2021

Photo by Eileen Reed The Suncoast Chapter lost a beloved former member in November - Gar Reed. Gar and his wife Eileen joined FNPS in 2012, and almost immediately, Gar raised his hand at a business meeting and volunteered to run for a board position. He then became our Treasurer, and he was a very good one. Gar and Eileen became active members. They took on managing an abandoned native garden at the University of Florida building on the Hillsborough Community College campus in Plant City. Gar also came on many field trips. We will remember Gar and Eileen joining some of our earliest chapter camping trips. Several years ago, Gar and Eileen moved to Bradenton, but until recently they maintained membership in our Suncoast Chapter. Gar also served as the coordinator for our plant sales at the USF Botanical Gardens. He always ensured this important fundraiser was a success. We will miss his friendship, quick wit, dry humor, and his love of natural Florida. Photo by Joel Jackson by Virginia

John Sibley, 1950-2021

John Sibley was a long-time member of the Coccoloba Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and served the Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN) as president & co-president for eight years. He served as the Coccoloba Chapter President for ten years! He was introduced to FANN long ago at one of our Annual Conferences and John had moved from Connecticut to Florida to start a landscaping business and readily embraced native plants. He has been a force for nature in Lee County ever since, working with WGCU on a native plant landscaping documentary series, serving on county advisory boards for extension and roadways, being personally involved in hundreds of native plant sales and award-winning landscape and garden projects throughout Southwest Florida. He was awarded the 2020 Mike Kenton Award by FANN at their Annual Members Meeting in December 2020. John was not only a great advocate for native plants, he was also a good friend to many of us. John had many great qualities