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Welcome to the Suncoast Native Plant Society

Fieldtrip: Saturday, February 18, 2017, 9 am 

Perico Preserve: 11700 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34209

In our chapter meeting this month we learned about the transformation of Perico Preserve from an agricultural site to a site that was scheduled for housing developement, then was purchased to become a county preserve. The story, as told by Damon Moore, Environmental Program Manager for Manatee County, is fascinating, but not over. The restoration is an ongoing process.

Damon will take  SNPS members on a guided walk, where we will hear more of his "stories"about Manatee County's newest preserve. 

Perico Preserve’s 176 acres offers a high diversity of wildlife and plant species. Nearly 1.5 miles of winding trails take visitors through forested hammock, uplands scrub, and both fresh and saltwater marshes. Along the way, visitors will find benches, overlooks, bridges, and even swings to allow for relaxing opportunities to connect with nature. 

The County’s first site to offer a bird blind, the Preserve provides a unique opportunity for visitors to get close to wildlife without a negative impact on the animal’s behavior.SNPS members will be taken on a guided walk of the preserve to see results of the restoration first hand, and learn about the on-going projects to protect the animals and plants of this critical habitat. 

Note, there are no bathrooms at the Preserve. The nearest public bathrooms are located on the Palma Sola Bay Causeway, east of the preserve. GPS points of restroom: 27.496460,-82.656394. 

Easy to moderate, not paved, may be sandy in spots. You can adjust the length of the hike to be shorter or longer. As always, come prepared with water, sunscreen,  insect repellent, comfortable shoes, and a hat. 


Next Lettuce Lake Native Plant Walk: FEB 25th

Join us for our next Lettuce Lake Plant Workday and Walk on Saturday, February 25. We will meet in the garden at 8:30 am to install some new plants and do some weeding. The Native Plant walk is open to the public, and starts at 9:30 am. Come every month, as new native plants should be blooming along the boardwalk and in the uplands. 

Walks are FREE, but there is a $2.00 per veh entrance fee to get into the park. For additional informaiton and a map visit our Meet-up Page




Help Us Create A Masterpiece

Florida Native Plant HCC Garden Workday

Saturday March 4, 2017, 8:30 to 11:00 AM 

Plant City Community and Teaching Gardens  

2001 E Cherry St, Plant City, FL 33563

The Suncoast Native Plant Society has adopted two areas in the Plant City Commons Teaching Garden. The goal of SNPS to to make this garden a showcase for Native Plants in Hillsborough County.  

The Native Plant Garden and adjacent area need some weeding and invasive plant removal. We also will have some new natives to plant, and we need help identifying natives in other parts of the garden to map them for the public.  

Members and non-members are welcome. We will be there as early as 8:30 am, but late arrivals are welcome. Plan to spend at least 2-4 hours in the garden. We will have tools, wheelbarrow, and gloves if you do not have any. 

Children over the age of 12 are welcomed if accompanied by an adult. All participants will need to sign a waiver of liability. 


The Wagon Tours are FULL...but if you are one of the lucky ones to get a spot on either tour,, here are the details

On Saturday March 18th we will be touring Lower Green Swamp Preserve, 3536 E. Knights Griffin Road, Plant City, FL 33565, in Plant CityThis preserve is home to 12,800 acres of cypress domes, pine flatwood, pine plantations, riparian systems, and a cattle ranch. It is the largest in the  Jan K. Platt ELAP Program. The Lower Green Swamp Preserve provides linkages between various natural areas and maintains a wildlife corridor to the Green Swamp in central Florida. 

On Saturday April 15th we will be touring Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve, in Riverview. (Specific meeting point will be provided at a later date.) Balm Boyette is a spectacular example of land preservation featuring 5000 acres of endangered sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, creeks, grassy meadows, and freshwater marshes.   

Both tours start at the entrance to the preserve at 9 am and usually last 3-4 hours. The trailers are not covered, so you are exposed to the sun, or possibly,  rain. We also get out of the trailer and walk around fairly often. 

Because these are being led by county personnel and involve a county driven "wagon" ( a flat bed trailer with bench seats) there is a cost of $5.00 per person paid in advance. Also, since we have to pay the county in advance, we will not offer any refunds for "no-shows."

If you are a paid participant on a wagon tour, we will asend you an email reminder and any last minute details the week before the tour.


Come to our chapter meeting on March 15, 2017, 7 pm.... 

Roots exist largely sight unseen, yet they may be the most important plant organ in terms of maintaining plant growth and survival. Roots are far more complex than we might guess. They not only anchor a plant in place and draw water from the ground, they play a pivotal role in defending plants from danger, in finding and forming relationships with necessary microorganisms, and in communication.  Dr. Huegel will explore the largely hidden world of plant roots and provide insight into how they function.

Craig N. Huegel, PhD is an ecologist who has focused much of his professional career on educating the public about the interconnection between native plants and wildlife. He currently teaches in the biology program at St. Petersburg College. Classes include  plant biology, field botany, conservation biology, ornithology, vertebrate zoology and wildlife techniques. 

Craig was a founding member of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and is active with FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries. He has written five books on native plants, the last three published by the University Press of Florida (UPF), writes a popular blog on native Florida wildflowers, and grows wildflowers at his home in Seminole as Hawthorn Hill Native Wildflowers. 

Dr. Huegel's newest book, A Gardener's Guide to How Plants Work, is scheduled to be published by UPF in spring 2018. Dr. Huegel teaches botany and a variety of other ecological courses in the Baccalaureate Biology Program at St. Petersburg College, Clearwater.


Published on  17.02.2017