Sandhill Habitat Restoration
Our members are working on numerous Sandhill habitat restoration projects with our partners throughout central Florida. Projects are located at Lake Louisa State Park, St. John’s River Water Management District, Oakland Nature Preserve, Mead Gardens, Lake County Parks and Trails, Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve, Lake County Water Authority, Oscar Shearer State Park, St. Geneva Wilderness, and Chinsegut Manor House. Scrub and Scrubby Flatwoods habitat restoration projects are located at Bill Frederick Park, Shadow Bay Park, and Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve.
FNPS members planting rescued plants at lake Louisa State Park.
More than 150 native plant species have been documented in floristic surveys and seeds are being collected from properties owned by our partners (private landowners) for restoration projects on public lands. A number of rare and critically endangered species are included in these restoration efforts, including Warea amplexifolia, Bonamia grandiflora, Eriogonum longifolium var. gnaphalifolium, Matelea pubiflora, Nolina brittoniana, and Polygala lewtonii.
Emergency Sandhill Rescue
Despite being identified more than 20 years ago by the state of Florida as a high priority for acquisition and protection, one of the last remaining intact-jewels of Sandhill on the Lake Wales Ridge, was scheduled to be converted to a strip mall beginning in November 2017. The FNPS Conservation Committee, members from 9 chapters, and 6 project partners organized a massive rescue of nearly 120 plant species, 22 of which are endemic to Florida and 10 of which are endangered.
Rescue permission was received from the landowner and permits were obtained from the state of Florida for collection of the rare plant species. We are extremely grateful to our partners for all of their support: Green Isle Gardens nursery, Oakland Nature Preserve, Lake Louisa State Park, St. John’s River Water Management District, Lake County Water Authority, and Lake County Parks and Trails.
Collecting seed for restoration.
Kara Driscoll (Naples Chapter) and Mark Katelli (Tarflower Chapter)
shown holding an endangered Bonamia Grandiflora plant rescued
from a Sandhill site. It took more than an hour to excavate and extract the plant.