Showing posts from February, 2024

Ponce de Leon Springs State Park Field Trip by Lizzy Jenny Dunn

Photo 1. Longleaf Pine and Sweet Bay Chapters joint field trip to Ponce de Leon Springs State Park. In November 2021, Longleaf Pine Chapter and Sweetbay Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society conducted their first-ever combined Chapter field trip in an attempt to reach out to more folks interested in experiencing native plants in the panhandle. Organized by Longleaf Pine Chapter Vice President, Kimberly Bremner, and Sweetbay Chapter President, Jody Wood-Putnam, and led by Jim Burkhalter, curator of the University of West Florida Michael I. Cousens Herbarium, the group convened on Ponce de Leon Springs State Park in Holmes County. Photo 2. On the group hike on the Ponce de Leon Springs State Park Field Trip. With 22 people in attendance, the group identified approximately 108 different species on the excursion. The park boasts nine distinct habitats across the 406 acres of land; and from the beautiful Sandy Creek amongst the mixed hardwood forest (Magnolia grandiflora, Vaccinium ar

[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

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