Suncoast Logo

Welcome to the Suncoast Native Plant Society

Wednesday, February 17,2016, 7 PM: CHAPTER MEETING 

Janet Dougherty  

Director of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission (EPC)

When appointed the third executive director of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Agency (EPC) in May of 2015, Dougherty stated that her number one mandate is to protect natural resources in Hillsborough County, and vowed to make the board proud for selecting her.

The EPC was created in 1967 by special act of the Florida Legislature to control and regulate activities, which are or may reasonably be expected to cause pollution or contamination of air, water, soil and property, or cause excessive and unnecessary noise. Ms. Dougherty is charged with promoting their mission of protecting the natural resources, environment, and quality of life in Hillsborough County.

Janet Dougherty grew up on a large cattle ranch in Hillsborough County raising and showing Aberdeen Angus as a member of 4H.   She is a progressive leader who has served on many state and local environmental boards with prior gubernatorial appointments to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Tampa Bay National Estuary Program and the Southwest Florida Water Management Governing Board. She helped craft the local and state guidelines for the handling and disposal of yard waste and is a certified composter from the University of Maine.  As an agriculturist and environmentalist, Janet utilizes her extensive network of professional and personal contacts to promote the EPC’s mission of environmental protection while driving sustainability initiatives in the areas of environmental regulation, recycling and green building practices.  

Come to this meeting to discuss with Ms Doughtery's the environmental issues facing our county and state and how the EPC plans to address those issues. 

Our meetings are held at the Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner, FL 33584. They include light refreshments and a native plant auction after the speaker. Please  join us.


Saturday, February 20, 2016, 9 am


Florida College Preserve in Temple Terrace

Originally known as the Bolding Tract, this portion of the Florida College Preserve was purchased through the County’s ELAPP in 1989 permanently protecting the property from residential/commercial development.

The 118-acre preserve’s protected habitats include riverine shoreline, cypress swamp, hardwood swamp, hardwood forest, pine/hardwood upland mix and a small area of sandhill.

Our meeting time is 9 AM at Shamrock’s Ale House (7805 Temple Terrace Hwy, Temple Terrace 33637) parking lot at the SE corner of Temple Terrace Hwy & 78th St.  We will organize a car-pool and drive about 1-mile north to the preserve parking area located at 9514 Woodland Ridge Drive. 

The trail, which is located ~ 1500 feet north of where we park, is in upland areas and is a “one way” trail, not a loop.  If the site does receive more rain, we would still be able to keep our feet dry.  But it’s always a good idea to be prepared for wet situations…

Plan for 2 to 3 hours.




March 19, 2016


Lake Blue Scrub

Lake Blue Scrub is part of the Lakes Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge, which is managed by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC). While relatively small in size, it houses a number of  rare or endangered plants and animals, including Lupinus aridorum,  or Scrub Lupine, which was introduced to the site in  2009. The experimental introduction was a partnership of the FWC and Bok Tower’s Rare Plant Conservation Program.

Other threatened or endangered plant species found at Lake Blue Scrub include Asclepias curtissii, Curtiss’ Mikweed,Bonamia grandiflora, Florida Bonamia, Clitoria fragrans,Sweetscented Pigeonwings,Lechea cernua, Scrub Pinweed,Liatris Ohlingerae, Scrub Blazingstar,Paronychia chartacea,Papery Whitlow-wort, Polygonella basiramia,Florida Jointweed, Polygonella myriophylla,Sandlace, and Nolina brittonia,Britton’s Bear-grass.

More details to come soon. 


Wednesday,April 20, 2016, 7 PM: CHAPTER MEETING


Presented by Robert Northrop, IFAS Extension Forester

In many areas of our region there is little to no place left for native plants and wildlife except in our gardens, backyards and open space. Garden and backyard habitat restoration projects are now vital to the conservation of the diversity of the Tampa Bay region’s plants and animals. Robert Northrop will provide information and techniques for sustaining native plant and wildlife habitat in our backyards, gardens and open spaces. Specific examples will be used to illustrate how to organize and implement native habitat restoration and conservation within the region’s urban/suburban yards and open spaces.

I was one of several members of SNPS that took a two-day Conservation Landscaping workshop led by Rob. He looks realistically at our future growth and lays out ideas for integrating natives into our backyards to benefit wildlife that should be adopted by individuals and communities. He will highlight the most important and helpful elements of the workshop in this presentation. 

Robert Northrop (BS-Forestry/Wildlife and MS-Wildlife Ecology) is the extension forester for the University of Florida IFAS Extension in Hillsborough County. Rob previously taught wildlife management at the University of Delaware for 14 years.

Our meetings are held at the Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner, FL 33584. They include light refreshments and a native plant auction after the speaker. Please  join us.


Additional information and events may be found on our Calendar Page

Banner Image: Great White Egret at Lettuce Lake Park by Donna Bollenbach

Published on  03.02.2016