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Welcome to the Suncoast Native Plant Society


FEBRUARY 22, 8:30 AM: Fieldtrip to Wolf Branch Nature Preserve.

Wolf Branch Preserve and E. G. Simmons Park encompass a three mile stretch of the shoreline of Tampa Bay, including mangrove islands, mangrove swamp shoreline, the mouth of Wolf Branch Creek, and extensive seagrass beds.

We will be meeting at the parking lot of the Publix Super Market in Apollo Beach. (3464 N. US Hwy 41) at 8:30 am. At 8:45 we'll caravan south on Hwy 41 to Villemaire Rd. and turn right. Parking near the gate to the preserve about a mile in.

Wolf Branch Preserve and E. G. Simmons Park encompass a three mile stretch of the shoreline of Tampa Bay, including mangrove islands, mangrove swamp shoreline, the mouth of Wolf Branch Creek, and extensive seagrass beds.

The preserve also includes intact coastal wetlands behind the mangrove shoreline consisting of salt barrens, high marsh and coastal hammock. The higher upland area of Wolf Branch Preserve was cleared many decades ago and used first for tomato farming, and later for cattle grazing and shell mining. More

MARCH 18, 7 PM: Dr. Reed Noss, Forgotten Grasslands of the South

Dr. Reed Noss, a highly acclaimed conservation scientist and author, will be discussing his book, Forgotten Grasslands of the South: Natural History and Conservation (Island Press, 2013). at our monthly meeting, 7 pm, Weds March 18.

Forgotten Grasslands of the South is a literary and scientific case study of some of the biologically richest and most endangered ecosystems in North America. Eminent ecologist Reed Noss tells the story of how southern grasslands arose and persisted over time and addresses questions that are fundamental for conserving these vital yet poorly understood ecosystems. With a unique blend of science and personal observation, Dr. Reed Noss will provide fascinating insights into these little known ecosystems. He will demonstrate the importance of natural history to the practice of conservation. He will also discuss fire ecology in Florida and disturbance ecology. More

MARCH 26,27 & 28, 2015: Suwannee River State Park

This spring the Suncoast chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society will be heading north to Suwannee River State Park for a weekend of camping on the river and exploring this historic park. Five trails, ranging from a quarter mile to 18 miles, loop through surrounding woodlands and provide panoramic views of the rivers.

We have rented a 6 person cabin for 3 nights. It is located right next to the river.  These spacious two bedroom cabins have centralized heating and cooling, an electric fireplace, screened porch and kitchenette.  Cabins are fully equipped with linens and kitchen utensils.  There is one bunk remaining.  All others have been reserved. 

The cost for the 3 nights is $66/person. Membership in the Florida Native Plant Society is required for participation in this event.  If you are a member of FNPS from another chapter, and would like to join us on some our day hikes, please contact Devon or Shirley for a detailed itinerary. More...

APRIL 15, 2015: Champion Trees with Corey Walk

The Champion Tree Program was created by the American Forests organization in 1940, to recognize the largest known tree of each species in the United States. American Forests publishes their National Register of Big Trees every two years. The 2012 edition of the Register includes 111 Florida species, many of which are only found in the tropical region of the state. Florida now has the most national champions of any state. The largest National Champion tree in Florida is a native Bald Cypress located in Hamilton County. This tree measures 557 inches in circumference, stands 84 feet tall, and carries a crown spread of 49 feet.

Florida began keeping a state register, the Florida Champion Tree Register, in 1975 to recognize the largest tree of each species within this state. It now contains hundreds of trees, including the national champions. All native and non-invasive naturalized tree species are eligible for nomination.
Although not a national champion, The Senator was the largest native tree of any kind in Florida until its demise in January, 2012. This gigantic baldcypress overlooked Big Tree Park in Seminole County from a height of 118 feet.  It measured 425 inches in circumference, and spread its crown over an average of 57 feet.

Corey Walk is the Cooperative Forestry Assistance (CFA) Forester for Hillsborough County and a native of central Florida.He will also discuss other programs that the Florida Forest Service offers to Florida residents.  More...
Banner Image:Florida Scrub Jay at Archbold. FNPS Retreat, Feb 2015
by Donna Bollenbach

Published on  19.02.2015