2018 Conference Workshops

Workshops require advance registration and some have fees

Please check the individual workshop descriptions below for additional information

Fertilizer, Fertilization and your Planting Specifications

Workshop Leader Joe Samnik

This workshop, explains how to understand the recommendations and applications of fertilizers.  Recent experiments have demonstrated that trees and ornamentals can be successfully maintained and presented when fertilized once every 3 years(!).  With no pests. Far less runoff pollution.  This presentation explains the ANSI A300 standards by which all professionals, including HOA’s, are legally bound.  

The workshop will be helpful to a wide audience - from homeowners to professionals!

CEU credits available from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA):  2 hours of Optional Credits.   
Course # 0008325
Provider # 0004406

Joe Samnik is entering his 51st year of practice including arboriculture and horticultural consulting. He received the award for recognition of lifetime achievement in the excellence of arboriculture. He was the founding president of the Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).  He is past president of the Association of Eminent Domain Professionals. He has presented abstracts at 4 international tree conferences. Joe has presented at over 95 state, international, and national conferences. He has been involved as an expert witness in over 800 litigation assignments.  He authored Rule Chapter 1440 of the Florida Statutes for appraising trees and plants in the state of Florida. His portfolio includes over $200 million of tree appraisals in litigation matters. His method of valuing the tree providing forest benefits was copyrighted as intellectual property in 2016 and presented at the ISA annual conference in Washington, DC.

Identifying Fungi

Learn about the characteristics that are key to identifying Florida fungi.  Participants are encouraged to bring photos or samples for identification.

Alan Franck is the director of the University of South Florida herbarium, a large collection of preserved plant specimens from around the world. His research interests focus on understanding and exalting plant diversity in Florida and the West Indies. He has taught many biology courses at USF, especially Medical Botany, which takes a diverse look at how plants influence the health of humans.He also makes contributions towards furthering the knowledge of fungi in and around Florida. 

Step-by-Step to a Florida Native Yard

Transform your yard into an authentic Florida landscape


Participants In this workshop will learn:
  • Why native plants are important 
  • How to analyze a landscape to make better decisions on selecting and arranging plants and  other landscape features
  • How to sequester more rainwater for more resilient landscapes and to protect nearby waterways
  • Why and how to break out of the poison cycle, especially used in lawns
  • The pros and cons of transforming to a native landscape in stages vs. all at once
  •  Ways to work with neighbors and HOAs so a yard filled with natives is considered progress  in supporting birds and pollinators.
  • There will also be a 1/2 hour tour of the native plant sale!

The cost of the workshop is $50.  This inlcudes a complimentary FNPS membership, a free native plant, and you will be able to attend the presentation of our final Featured Speaker.

Workshop Leaders: Marjorie Shropshire (left) and Ginny Stibolt (right)

Marjorie Shropshire was born in Miami, Florida where her interest in the natural world was forged at an early age on Biscayne Bay. “I could look into the water and see all manner of fantastic creatures swimming and crawling - the clear water was a giant hand lens allowing a peek into another world.’
Marjorie spent a lot of time exploring, hunting fossils, diving, and bird watching in the Everglades and on Florida’s southwest coast. Her eccentric childhood also helped develop an early taste for adventure travel. Birds, orchids, seashells, skulls, fossils and stones are common elements in her work, and her drawings often explore the complex forms of mangrove roots and hammock plants from the Florida Keys and the Everglades. A trip to Antarctica led to an ongoing series of drawings that contain images of the frozen continent. 
Marjorie graduated from University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, and she has also studied at the University of Florida, Gage Academy of Art, The Armory Art Center, and Penland School of Crafts. She works in a variety of media, and drawing and painting are often combined with three dimensional constructions and hand made elements.
Marjorie is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and edits the Florida Native Plant Society’s magazine, PALMETTO.

Ginny Stibolt, a lifelong gardener, earned a MS degree in botany at the University of Maryland. She has been writing about her adventures in Florida gardening since 2004. Since she joined the Florida Native Plant Society in 2006, she has been including more native plants and more natural areas in her yard. She wrote or co-wrote "Sustainable Gardening for Florida" (2009), Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida" (2013), "The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape" (2015), "A Step-by-Step Guide to a Florida Native Yard" (2018), and "Climate-Wise Landscaping" (2018). In addition to writing books, she's written hundreds of articles,  manages a “Sustainable Gardening for Florida” Facebook page, and writes for her own blog at www.GreenGardeningMatters.com.

Florida's Edible Wild Plants

Learn how to identify, gather, and prepare to eat wild plants

The workshop will begin with a show and tell of the edible wild plants from the author's yard, followed by a photo presentation of edible wild plants that are available in different seasons throughout Florida.  You will learn how to find plants, how to gather, what parts are edible, how to prepare, whether they should be cooked or eaten raw, anecdotes, and recipes.  

Requirements for participants:  A notepad and pen for taking notes.  Also, copies of "Florida's Edible Wild Plants" will be available for purchase with cash or a check for $16 each.

Workshop Leader:  Peggy Lantz

Peggy Lantz, editor of the first 15 years of The Palmetto, is a Florida Master Naturalist and author of several books on Florida nature including Florida's Edible Wild Plants and The Young Naturalist's Guide to Florida, and has been gathering wild plants for the table for over 50 years, in spite of her teenager's groans.

Phytotelmata: Investigating Water Worlds in Bromeliads

Large and long-lived tank bromeliads grow naturally in forest canopies throughout Central and South America, the Caribbean, and in Florida. Often these plants dominate the canopy and are so abundant they create an arboreal landscape that provides habitat for plants, animals, and microbiota. Besides creating terrestrial-like habitat, the tank bromeliads also form phytotelmata, which are pools of water impounded in the leaf axils of the plants and in which complex aquatic ecosystems develop.  Collectively, populations of epiphytic tank bromeliads have been likened to swamps, ponds, and lakes in size, colonization patterns, and biological activity. Besides providing habitat for aquatic organisms, bromeliad phytotelmata provide water sources, hunting grounds, and refugia for canopy animals. In Florida, the most important tank bromeliad is the giant airplant (Tillandsia utriculata). This species ranges from central to south Florida and was once wide spread and abundant. Now, this species is threatened with extirpation due to an invasive bromeliad-eating weevil, the Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona). In this workshop, learn about bromeliad phytotelmata in general as well as specifically, for the giant airplant in Florida. Investigate under microscopes samples of phytotelmata collected from giant airplants and see for yourself the magical worlds that exist in bromeliad phytotelmata. Learn to identify the residents in the water and understand how these ecosystems function and why they are important. And learn how and why the giant airplant is threatened in Florida and the extent of the impact it will have on other species and on forest ecosystems.

Workshop Leader:  Teresa M. Cooper PhD

Dr. Teresa Cooper is an entomologist, conservationist, and artist. From 2001 to 2016 she was at the University of Florida, first as a graduate student (Gainesville, Florida) then as a Research Scientist (Ft. Pierce, Florida). During this time, she was fixated on one goal: saving Florida’s bromeliads from an invasive bromeliad-eating weevil, Metamasius callizona.  Until 2015, great efforts were made by Dr. Cooper and her colleagues to control the weevil using classical biological control; ultimately, it was not successful. Now, several of Florida’s bromeliads may be extirpated because of the weevil. In 2015, Dr. Cooper began the Save Florida’s Bromeliads Conservation Project to promote intensive conservation efforts to keep Florida’s bromeliads alive. In 2016, she left University of Florida and launched her own business, teresamariedreams. She creates and sells fine art, and she is still fixated on that one goal: saving Florida’s bromeliads.

The Hows and Whys of Plant Vouchering

Dr. Franck will demonstrate the vouchering process with participants in a field just outside the Resort.  Participants should be dressed and prepared for outdoor weather.  If you have plants to identify, you are welcome to bring photos or specimens for identification.

Alan Franck is the director of the University of South Florida herbarium, a large collection of preserved plant specimens from around the world. His research interests focus on understanding and exalting plant diversity in Florida and the West Indies. He has taught many biology courses at USF, especially Medical Botany, which takes a diverse look at how plants influence the health of humans.He also makes contributions towards furthering the knowledge of fungi in and around Florida. 

Wetland Butterfly Gardening in a Pot

"Training the Trainer"

Experience and Learn how to lead students through a hands-on lesson about wetlands, importance of pollinators and how to restore wetland habitat with native plants and just a pot! Workshop includes everything needed to facilitate the learning experience and create your garden.

Kristen Hoss, Executive Director of Youth Environmental Alliance, a non-profit education and environmental restoration organization and is an educator and ecological consultant who leads the Florida Master Naturalist program in Broward County, produces in-school environmental and science education programs, and provides expertise for ecological surveys and monitoring. She has a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, a Masters in Conservation Ecology and Wildlife Sciences, and more than 28 years in the field of ecology (marine, aquatic and terrestrial) and the management of natural areas and wildlife. Kristen’s passion is making a difference in peoples lives, to the environment and to wildlife through working and partnering with like–minded people and organizations that share her vision of promoting sustainability through self empowerment and education.
Her work has been featured on the National Geographic Channel and in multiple publications.