FNPS Promotes

the Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of the Native Plants and Native Plant Communities of Florida.

We provide scientifically sound information on native plants, their habitats, the wildlife that depends on them, and their management and culture

News


Vote for Money to Conserve Environmental Lands

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Posted August 04, 2014

    The Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) will appear on the ballot this November, giving voters throughout the state a direct opportunity to keep our drinking water clean, protect our rivers, lakes and springs, restore natural treasures like the Everglades and protect…

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Re-Use Water Planning

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Posted August 29, 2014

SB 536, which passed in the 2014 legislative session, requires “DEP, in coordination with stakeholders shall conduct a comprehensive study and submit a report on the expansion of use of reclaimed water, stormwater, and excess surface water in this state.” This bill has potential impacts of Florida native…

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2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium

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Posted August 25, 2014

The Florida Wildflower Foundation is proud to partner with Bok Tower Gardens to bring the 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium to the scenic Lake Wales attraction on Sept. 19 and 20. The event includes field trips to natural lands, workshops, walks in the Gardens, and presentations by experts on wildflowers,…

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Central Everglades Report Available for Review

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Posted August 11, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has released the revised final report for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) for public, state and agency review today.  View at: www.bit.ly/CentralEverglades_CEPP. The goal of CEPP is to capture water…

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Scarey -- Sea Level Rise State of Planning

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Posted August 04, 2014

Southwest Florida is in imminent danger if sea level rises 3 feet.  Coastal areas are most vulnerable, but even some low-lying more inland areas, like Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers, would be submerged. The Third National Climate Assessment, released earlier this year, predicts global sea…

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1000 Friends of Florida Scales Back

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Posted July 28, 2014

This is a loss to all who value Florida's natural lands and the plants and wildlife that they support.

1000 Friends of Florida is a statewide environmental group created more than 25 years ago to push for growth management planning.  It has had to close its Palm Beach County office and reduce operations in Tallahassee because it has not been able to raise money to pay for its work.  

The cutbacks come three years after lawmakers in Tallahassee gutted the state’s 1985 Growth Management Act — the set of regulations the non-profit was created to protect. The legislative changes approved in 2011 eliminated state oversight of most local planning.   

Read the full article by Jennifer Sorentrue in the Palm Beach County Post: 

Legislative changes, dwindling cash force enviro group to cut back

 

FNPS Chapters Support Eco-Voice.

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Posted July 23, 2014

Eco-Voice provides almost daily updates on environmental events and issues with a focus on Southwest Florida.  Every morning before 6 am a selection of news items, great photos, and announcements of environmental events relevant to South Florida, with links to sources and additional information, is…

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Notices of Rule Development -- Water Management Districts

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Posted July 23, 2014

The Florida Water Management Districts create rules that affect the management of Florida’s water.  These rules affect requirements for permits and management of key resources.  You can find out more and be prepared to participate in public workshops and submit comments on proposed rules.…

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FDEP Public Notice Calendar

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Posted July 23, 2014

FDEP provides a public notice, education and outreach calendar.  You can use this to find out about public meetings where FDEP is the lead agency at https://www.fldepnet.org/public-notices. SB 2188 requires state agencies to post all public meetings, hearings and workshops to their website,…

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ECOnomics

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Posted August 01, 2014

GROWTH IMPACTS AND IMPLICATIONS In Florida, our environment is our economy.  How well are we protecting our investment? From the Conservancy of Southwest Florida—and it applies to ALL of Florida! Our environment and our economy are not mutually exclusive. We cannot choose one or the other because…

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ACOE Public Announcements

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Posted July 25, 2014

What happens in federal permitting arenas affects the conservation of Florida native plants and native plant communities!  The announcements provide news on what is happening and how you can submit comments. 10 June 2014 - In response to numerous requests, the comment period for the Clean…

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Central Florida Water Initiative

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Posted July 23, 2014

Over the past 3 years, an extensive and intensive planning process has been taking place in central Florida.  This process is critical to the region for planning where water will come from.  This process is important to Florida’s native plants and native plant communities as decisions will…

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Latest from the Blog


Magnolia Chapter Gets College Students "Hooked" on FNPS


By Scott Davis

It is a wide known fact that the attention span of today's youth is short—and getting shorter. Twenty years ago, it would have taken hours (or days) of research to acquire the same amount of knowledge that can be obtained in just a few seconds of keyboard finger tapping today! Though the future of FNPS depends upon the successful recruitment of members from all age groups and cultures, it is obviously paramount to the society's future to adapt for the ever-changing interests of young people.

The Magnolia Chapter's outreach has included local
universities and the USFWS. If your chapter hasn't
forged partnerships with like-minded organizations,
now is a great time to start.
Recently, the Magnolia Chapter developed some ideas that have proven to be very effective in "hooking" local youth. Magnolia chapter officers voted recently to establish three chapter leadership positions for student board members. These three positions reflect Tallahassee's three large educational institutions: FAMU, FSU, and TCC. In establishing these positions, the chapter's primary goals were to achieve the creation of university student liaisons, receive feedback from individuals familiar with the wants and concerns of young adults, establish relationships with environmentally-oriented student organizations, and create activity/field trip leaders that potential youth membership are more likely to seek camaraderie with.

The first individual to be voted in as a student board member was Brent Williams. Brent is a talented chemical engineering student with an interest in exploring the vast number of plant species whose chemical properties have not yet been researched. Through chemical profiling, Brent seeks to find sustainable ways to balance nature and society through the development of sustainable native plant resources. Brent also manages the FSU organic garden and native plant permacultural guild, and he is a standing board member with the Tallahassee Sustainability Group.

Brent has three primary native plant interests: pollinator support systems, invasive plant species management, and native plant food sources. These interests have worked to facilitate the accelerated development of relationships not only with the university students in the Magnolia Chapter's region, but also to forge a strong relationship between FNPS and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Brent worked closely with fellow Magnolia board members Gail Fishman and Scott Davis to develop a volunteer program cooperative between FNPS and USFWS. This program aimed to further the mission of FNPS, help develop the Educational Field Trip Initiative of the Council of Chapters, and assist a primary land management agency with society-sourced expertise and leadership.

A liaison to local educational institutions can bring able
bodied volunteers and future members to chapter events.
Nicknamed the "Groundpounders" by USFSW staff, Brent acts as a "hook" to the universities, exciting the interests of not only mainstream environmentally concerned students, but also to students that are simply looking for an opportunity to get outside, do something new, and make a difference. A number of high school students have also begun to volunteer their time.  Brent has worked effectively with refuge managers to develop (and schedule) a growing list of opportunities.  To name a few, this list includes citizen science volunteer opportunities, invasive plant workdays, educational opportunities with refuge staff, pollinator garden development projects, and off-site rare plant rescues for relocation to protected lands.

Brent says, "There is a strong demand from young folks to see tangible results that are brought about with their own hands." He also lives by the philosophy that "if there is work to be done, and if there are individuals willing to engage in the workings, then there is no reason for the work to not be done when good communication and leadership are brought into the equation." Currently, there are numerous workdays led per month by Brent that focus on invasive plant identification and removal techniques, hiking trail management, plant rescue and relocation, pollinator garden design and maintenance, fire crew prep work, and more.

In the last month, Brent has overseen the removal of invasive plants from environmentally sensitive areas inside of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge; this includes over 600 invasive coral ardisias (Ardisia crenata) and three tons of invasive torpedo grass (Panicum repens). In addition to these achievements, in the last month he has also led the Groundpounders in projects that undergo pre-fire preparation work for USFWS fire crews, implemented a relocation program for various native plant species from refuge mow strips to designated recipient pollinator garden sites, managed the rescue team of 97 state-endangered moundlilly yuccas (Yucca gloriosa), and begun the process of installing pre-fabricated bridge piles across creeks in areas adjacent to the Florida Trail to give connectivity to through-hikers.

The "Groundpounders" in action...
Case in point, the assignment of Brent as a student board member is a fantastic example of one of the many ways in which FNPS can appeal to the next generation of environmentally aware citizens, strengthen its relationship with land managers, further its mission, and stratify its place as a power player in protection of Florida's native plant communities in the future.

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Posted by Laurie Sheldon

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