Conservation Grants

FNPS annually provides grants for conservation projects leading to the conservation of Florida native plants and preservation or enhancement of their habitats. These grants are funded through our general membership fees, and from targeted donations from individuals and chapters.

The list below lists the projects that we have funded.

Controlled Burn of One Acre of Sandhill Community., Oakland Nature Preserve
Jacqueline Rolly, sponsored by the Tarflower Chapter (2015)

To conduct a prescribed burn at a sandhill community recipient-site for three plant species that are federally and state listed as endangered or threatened.

Since the award, the recipient has provided an update on the status of the restoration.  .The burn was conducted on May 20, and since then the site has begun to regenerate.

The burn in progress

After the burn -- a tortoise comes out of its burrow and grass is regrowing

Pine Rockland Post-Burn Restoration and Community Education, Florida International University (FIU) Nature Preserve
Ryan Vogel, sponsored by the Dade Chapter (2015)

This project will help fund the purchasing, installation, and monitoring of rare and imperiled plant taxa in the FIU Nature Preserve’s G1/S1 pine rockland after a prescribed fire. It will heighten community awareness and provide long-term benefits for Florida native plant taxa through burn workshops and a comprehensive seed collection plan.

Sand Scrub Conservation Project, Pinellas County
The Friends of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, sponsored by the Pinellas Chapter (2014)

The project will evaluate the current health and diversity of the Scrub Habitat through a species inventory, analysis of the inventory, and recommendations for future management in an effort to preserve this imperilled plant community.

Project Update

Mapping Wet Prairies and Rare Species of Point Washington State Forest - 2nd year,
Thomas Greene, sponsored by the Sweetbay Chapter (2014)

The 2nd year of this project will complete the mapping of larger wet prairies, complete the updating of historic Element Occurrences (EOs) of most rare or imperiled plant species, and continue mapping of new EOs of rare and imperiled plants, on the 15,000 acre Point Washington State Forest in south Walton County.

Point Washington State Forest, at 15,179 acres, is the largest tract of conservation land in south Walton County. This State Forest together with the adjacent Topsail Hill Preserve, Grayton Beach and Deer Lake State Parks forms a conservation area over 20,000 acres in size.

Point Washington contains numerous wetland and upland habitats of good to excellent quality including numerous wet prairies, an imperiled community. It also has populations of at least 16 rare or imperiled plant species.

Most rare or imperiled plant species locations known prior to this project, were last visited in the 1990s when the tract was acquired by the state. When natural communities on this tract were mapped by FNAI, wet prairies were omitted. Wet prairies are a primary habitat for at least 11 of the rare or imperiled plant species.

Project objectives for the 2nd year of funding include completing the mapping of all larger wet prairies, completing the re-visiting and updating of Element Occurrences (EOs) of most rare or imperiled plant species known from before this project, and continuing the mapping of new EOs of rare or imperiled plants on Point Washington State Forest. Mapping will be done with the assistance of Mike Jenkins of the Florida Forest Service and FNPS volunteers, and with the cooperation of State Forest and FNAI staff.

The project goal is to provide an accurate map of wet prairies and rare and imperiled plants to improve habitat management of those areas, including more frequent burning. This is an ongoing project that was initiated in 2010. A 2nd year of funding is needed in order to substantially complete major objectives of the project. So far, we have located over 20 wet prairies up to 50 acres in size; revisited over 30 historic EOs; located about 40 additional populations of rare or imperiled species, including five rare or imperiled plant species not previously reported on Pt. Washington; and found a major population of Sarracenia leucophylla.


Genetically-Informed Prioritization of Populations for Conservation in Two Imperiled Endemic Florida Sunflowers (Helianthus carnosus and Phoebanthus tenuifolius), Florida Panhandle
Chase Mason, sponsored by the (2013)

Mason’s preliminary research indicates the likely local extirpation of several of the known populations for both species, and historical herbarium records indicate somewhat broader ranges and more numerous populations relative to what is currently extant. Both of these species appear to be exhibiting declines, most  drastically for H. carnosus.” Mason will provide genetic information about existing populations to land managers so that they may prioritize conservation of the most genetically diverse and distinct populations of both these species.

Management Recommendations for Roadside Populations

Update - 2015 Journal Article in Conservation Genetics

Update - 2015 Lay Summary for article

Update - Supplemental figures and tables for article


Mapping Wet Prairies and Rare Species of Point Washington State Forest, Walton County
Thomas Greene, sponsored by the (2013)
According to Greene, "Point Washington State Forest, at 15,179 acres, is the largest tract of conservation land in south Walton County. [It] contains numerous wetland and upland habitats of good toexcellent quality including numerous wet prairies, an imperiled community. It also has populations of at least nine rare or imperiled plant species, including Asclepias viridula, Calamovilfa curtissii, Drosera intermedia, Hymenocallis henryae, Lupinus westianus, Polygonella macrohylla, Sarracenia leucophyllaVerbesina chapmanii and Xyris scabrifolia. Most known rare or imperiled plant species locations were last visited in the 1990s when the tract was acquired by prairies were omitted. Wet prairies are the primary habitat for at least 3 of the rare or imperiled plant species."
Reintroduction of the Fragrant Prickly Apple-Cactus, St. Lucie County
Dr. Jon A. Moore of Florida Atlantic University, sponsored by the (2011)

Harrisia fragrans, an endangered endemic cactus, has disappeared as development covered the Atlantic Ridge where it formerly made its home. Fruits from a mature cactus, harvested and carefully grown out for four years, were ready to be planted. Two protected sites in the cactus’s former range were selected and planting was set for spring of 2011.

The new populations will be the subject of further investigation, including studies by students in a science-magnet high school. One of the sites is located in a xeriscape garden near the Marine and Oceanographic Academy in St. Lucie County where the public can be introduced to this rare species, which many have never seen before.

Extension and funding increase for the 2010 Conservation Grant Winner Reintroduction of the Harrisia fragrans cactus, Indian River County & northern St. Lucie County
Dr. Jon A. Moore of Florida Atlantic University, sponsored by the (2011)

The endangered endemic cactus (Harrisia fragrans) is found on well-drained shell mounds and sandy scrub habitat on the Atlantic Coastal Ridge in eastern Florida. Along much of its range the species was extirpated due to development on the coastal ridge itself. Dr. Jon A. Moore of Florida Atlantic University Wilkes Honor College seeks to re-establish populations of this endangered cactus at two protected sites in the middle of the species' former range. These populations will  be used for long-term studies of growth, age of first flowering, and other biological parameters. The specimens at one site will be used for educational purposes and to increase public awareness of this species. Dr. Moore formally requested an increase in funding for his current grant to reintroduce Harrisia fragrans cacti and  an extension in the grant project period. The extra money and time were requested because of a substantial, but unanticipated, increase in the scale of this project

Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area (EMCA) Hardwood Restoration Project, Lake County
Jo Anna Emanuel, Land Resource Planner, Division of Land Management, St. Johns River Water Management District, sponsored by the Lake Beautyberry Chapter (2011)

The project area includes approximately 11 acres of historic floodplain/hardwood swamp that through historic agricultural land uses is void of hardwood/wetland trees.  The project goals are to reestablish a mixed palette of wetland hardwood trees bare root seedlings.  Site preparation techniques have/will include mowing and herbicide applications to gain control of offsite and invasive species.

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Watershed Invasive Plant Eradication Task Force Tool Shed, Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, sponsored by the (2010)
The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GRMNERR) is a 73,336-acre sanctuary with diverse natural habitats under threat by invasion of numerous exotic plants. A new Invasive Plant Eradication Task Force was able to use FNPS funding to establish of a tool shed of equipment and supplies to carry out work at areas of special need.
Little Salt Spring Invasive Species Removal, Sarasota County
unknown, sponsored by the Serenoa Chapter (2010)
First discovered as an archaeological site in 1959, and ranked as one of the major archaeological sites in the western hemisphere, Little Salt Springs is also an extremely important botanical site. FNPS funded work to remove invasive species, a critical factor in preserving this unique hydric hammock and spring-fed stream run, which allowed the conservation of endangered plants such as Tampa mock verbena (Glandularia tampensis) and leafy beaked ladies tresses (Sacoila lanceolata var. paludicola).

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Big Sweetwater Creek Botanical Survey, Big Sweetwater Creek basin in Torreya State Park, Liberty County
Gil Nelson Associates, sponsored by the Magnolia Chapter (2009)

The survey area encompasses approximately 2,000 acres of the unique, botanically rich ravine and slope forest habitat characteristic of Torreya State Park. It is a recent addition to the Park and has never been subjected to a comprehensive survey. The list of rare plants  is extensive.

The occurrences of all plant species of conservation interest, and all sightings of invasive plant species (EPPC Category 1 and 2 species), were documented and located using GPS. The data on native species were submitted to the Florida Natural Areas Inventory for inclusion in their database. The Florida Park Service endorsed the project, provided in-kind services to the extent they were able.  The Park Service south the information to guide future protection and management of the Sweetwater Creek section of Torreya State Park.

Population Monitoring and Ex Situ Conservation of Linum arenicola in the Florida Keys, Florida Keys, Monroe County
Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden (KWBG), sponsored by the Dade Chapter (2009)

This rare endemic is a candidate for listing and is known from only from 5 sites in Miami-Dade and the 4 sites in the Keys. It was last surveyed in 2005 just before the Keys were subjected to the storm surge generated by Hurricane Wilma.

This follow-up survey was conducted to gauge the impacts of the storm on the 4 island populations and identify locations where seed can be collected to establish an ex situ conservation site at KWBG.

Funding to create the ex situ site was to be provided through a separate grant awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation “Nature of Learning” program. The project complies with the guidelines established by the Center for Plant Conservation.

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Mariposa Key Restoration  within the Terra Ceia Preserve State Park and Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve, Manatee County
Wilson Miller, sponsored by the Serenoa Chapter (2009)

Removal of litter and invasive exotic species, which include Brazilian pepper, carrotwood, Australian pine and others on 1.5 acres of coastal berm habitat on Marioposa Key. Native plant species that will benefit are those typical of coastal berm, including sea grape, buttonwood, white stopper, and many others. Rare plant species that may be present include mock vervain (Glandularia spp.) and wild cotton (Gossypium hirsutum).

WilsonMiller matched the grant funds by providing labor and the Florida Park Service provided equipment, a boat, herbicide, and other support.  The Florida Park Service acknowledged that budget constraints would preclude their implementation of this project without the support of FNPS. WilsonMiller identified other potential sources of funding to complete the project.

Restoration of a Maritime Hammock, Ormond Beach, FL
Unitarian Universalist Society of Daytona Beach (UUSDB), sponsored by the Pawpaw Chapter (2008)

The site is just under one acre in size and is located on the grounds of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Daytona Beach. The significance of the hammock site is increased by the presence of a small wetland. It is one of few such sites remaining in Volusia County and is located in the flyway for neotropical migratory birds that move through the area seasonally. The project will remove invasive plant species (a lengthy list, including Brazilian pepper and camphor tree) and then restore native species to the site.

The applicant and volunteers from the Paw Paw Chapter have removed exotics from the site over the past several years and the applicant has received a quote from a private contractor with experience in this type of work to remove the remainder of the exotics, including large trees, and to treat stumps.

The list of species to be planted on the site following removal of the exotics was assembled by local experts and includes wild olive, red cedar, marlberry and rouge plant. Paw Paw members will work cooperatively with the UUSCB to install interpretive signs and conduct guided tours of the restored site, which adjoins a site where a native plant National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat is currently being created, using funds from another source.

Establishing an Experimental Tropical Hammock Community in South Florida, Adjacent to Kendall Indian Hammmocks Park. Dade County
Wes Brooks, sponsored by the Dade Chapter (2008)

This project is sponsored by the Dade Chapter and would be conducted by Wes Brooks as part of research he is conducting to receive a Ph.D. in Ecology from Rutgers University. A 4-acre rockland hammock that is owned by the county and is adjacent to the county's 110-acre Kendall Indian Hammmocks Park has been heavily invaded by exotic species. Exotic species were removed, native rockland hammock species  installed, and permanent study plots established and monitored monthly to assess the results of various treatment methods to determine if such factors as species richness and plant density affect recruitment and growth of invasive exotic species.

The project included a floristic survey, removal of non-natives from the permanent study plots, planting of native shrubs and trees according to the experimental protocols, continuing control of exotics, and the erection of a display board at the adjoining park. The county assisted in the eradication and control of exotic species.

To read the latest news on this project, see the Fall 2013 article in The Palmetto. 

A Strap Fern Reintroduction, Miami-Dade County
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Institute for Regional Conservation, sponsored by the Serenoa Chapter (2007)

A reintroduction of two species of endangered strap fern, narrow strap fern (Campyloneurum angustifolium) and tailed strap fern (Campyloneurum costatum), in Miami-Dade County.

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