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

Thursday, 9:00 am - 11:00 am. 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 Florida Board of Landscape Architecture:  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

Thursday, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm.  Participants will learn about the characteristics used to identify macrofungi.  Participants are encouraged to bring photos or samples for identification. As one of the most floristically diverse states in the USA, in parallel Florida has an immense diversity of fungi. Macrofungi are those that form visible reproductive structures. Numerous qualities can be assessed to identify mushrooms, including shape, color, bruising, latex, taste, smell, chemical reactions, microscopy, habitat, and ultimately DNA! We will cover some common genera and species and some of their identifying features.
Course outline:
Give an overview of fungi diversity (10 minutes)
Define the term macrofungi (5 minutes)
Define the general groups of macrofungi (15 minutes)
Introduce common macrofungi genera and species and their identifying characters (60 minutes)
Discuss edibility, toxicity, etc. (10 minutes)
Explain how to collect and preserve fungi for study or herbarium vouchers (10 minutes)

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

Saturday, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm (to register for this workshop only click here)

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 workshop is free to conference attendees.

However, you can just attend the workshop only for $50.  The $50 fee includes a complimentary FNPS membership, a free native plant, and you will be able to attend the presentation of our final Featured Speaker Craig Heugel who will be speaking about Sex in The Garden.

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
Thursday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm.  The workshop will start with a show and tell of the edible wild plants from the author’s yard, followed by a photo presentation of edible wild plants available in other seasons and other parts of the state.  Information will includes how to find, how to gather, what parts are edible, how to prepare, whether cooked or eaten raw, anecdotes, and recipes.  
Course outline:
Show and Tell of edible plants (20 minutes)
Identifying edibles throughout the year (30 minutes)
Where to look for Florida’s edible native plants (habitats found, regions of the state) (20 minutes)
Methods for gathering plants and plant parts (20 minutes)
Preparation – plants that can be eaten raw, plants and plant parts that must be cooked (20 minutes)
Review of recipes (10 minutes)

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

Thursday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.   Students of this course will learn about long-lived tank bromeliads, their biology, and their function in forest ecology.  Students will investigate phytotelmata, the water worlds created by bromeliads and the organisms that live in and benefit from these worlds.  Florida’s Giant Airplant, Tillandsia utriculata, and the current threats to its existence will be examined.
Course outline:
Biology of long-lived tank bromeliads (1 hour)  – 
Introduction to the family Bromeliaceae
Adaptations of long-lived tank bromeliad leaves allow for the capture and storage of water.
Capture of forest litter and absorption of nutrients through leaf pores.
The plants grow naturally in forest canopies throughout Central and South America, the Caribbean, and in Florida.  
Ecosystems, habitats and resources provided by tank bromeliads  (1 hour) – 
Bromeliads often dominate the forest canopy and are so abundant that 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.
Students will learn to identify the residents in the water world and understand how these ecosystems function and why they are important.
Threats to tank bromeliads  (1 hour) – 
Introduction to the Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona), an invasive, bromeliad-eating weevil.  How and why the giant airplant, Tillandsia utriculata, is threatened in Florida, the extent of the impact, and the effect 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

Thursday, 10:00 am - Noon.   Dr. Franck will demonstrate the entire vouchering process, beginning with field collection of specimens just outside the Resort. Participants will learn how to collect, arrange, press, store, and properly label specimens for submission to a herbarium.  All 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.
Course outline:
Explain why documentation of wild plants is a valuable endeavor (10 minutes)
Summarize herbarium collections around the world and in Florida (10 minutes)
Emphasize steps for collecting, such as obtaining permission (5 minutes)
Define what makes a good voucher specimen (10 minutes)
Demonstrate collection of a voucher specimen and pressing it (30 minutes)
Explain notes needed to make a label for voucher (10 minutes)
Explain how to dry and store vouchers (10 minutes)
Explain how to determine the value of your voucher and how to share it with herbaria (20 minutes)

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.