FNPS Promotes

the Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of the Native Plants and Native Plant Communities of Florida.

We provide scientifically sound information on native plants, their habitats, the wildlife that depends on them, and their management and culture


Every Dollar You Spend Online Can Help Conserve Native Plants!

Posted November 08, 2014

Every Dollar You Spend Online Can Help Conserve Native Plants!   Your next online purchase can help protect the future of Florida’s native plants and natural communities.   All you have to do is find your favorite store through www.GoodShop.com, and a percentage of your purchase will…

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Thanks from Land and Water Legacy

Posted November 09, 2014

Dear Anne, In 2012, when we first began crafting the language for Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, the road seemed long and steep. First there was qualification—nearly one million signatures needed to place Amendment 1 on the ballot. Then there was reaching out to millions of…

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FNPS 2015 Call for Papers

Posted September 29, 2014

The Florida Native Plant Society Annual Conference will be held in Tallahassee, Florida, May 28-31, 2015. The Research Track of the Conference will include presented papers and a poster session on Friday May 29 and Saturday May 30. Researchers are invited to submit abstracts on research related…

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FNPS 2015 Endowment Grant Research Awards and Conservation Grant Awards

Posted September 29, 2014

The Florida Native Plant Society maintains an Endowment Research Grant program for the purpose of funding research on native plants. These are small grants ($1500 or less), awarded for a 1-year period, and intended to support research that forwards the mission of the Florida Native Plant Society…

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CPR Policy -- Conserve, Preserve, Restore

Posted October 14, 2014

FNPS has published updated policies on its Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration.  Download from our Resources Page or directly from  http://fnps.org/assets/pdf/pubs/cpr_policy_final_9_25_2014.pdf.

Speak Out for Headwaters

Posted September 09, 2014

 Tell Congress to Leave the Clean Water Rule Alone The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on a bill that would prevent the proposed Clean Water Rule from taking effect. The Clean Water Rule returns the protections of the Clean Water Act to our headwaters. Headwaters are…

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FNPS Chapters Support Eco-Voice.

Posted July 23, 2014

Eco-Voice provides almost daily updates on environmental events and issues with a focus on Southwest Florida.  Every morning before 6 am a selection of news items, great photos, and announcements of environmental events relevant to South Florida, with links to sources and additional information, is…

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Latest from the Blog

Prairie Wildflower Walk: So Many Thanks to Give!

Thanksgiving always makes me feel, well, thankful. With the first official Wildflower Walk at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve over, and a great success, I am especially thankful. It was the first park event sponsored by the Friends of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve. Our goal was to bring new people to the preserve, show them the beauty of the dry prairie and educate them on the importance of its preservation and protection. We also wanted to recruit new members to the group, and send people home with wonderful memories that they will share with others. I believe we achieved all of our goals, and we owe that success to many. Here are my thanks:

Mother Nature: Some might say she was a bit too generous with the wind that day, but she kept us cool, and provided a beautiful blue sky and the perfect light to view the prairie. Thank you, Mother Nature.

Roger Hammer and Craig Huegel each know a lot about plants. Together they are walking encyclopedia of Florida wildflowers. With each question asked, they not only provide an answer, but add a bit of trivia or a personal anecdote to their replies.  Oh, and did I mention they are really funny too? When asked what the most bizarre thing that he encountered in the Everglades was, Roger said it was probably him after emerging from a five day trek into the swamp. Thank you, Roger and Craig, for your knowledge, your passion, and your good humor

KPP Management and Staff: KPP Biologist Paul Miller likes to say "A dry Prairie is a wet prairie when it is not wet."  It is the simplest way to acknowledge that a dry prairie isn't always dry. Paul gave an introduction to the prairie before each walk. He stood by Caroline, the pet name for the statue of the now extinct Carolina Parakeet whose last known nest was on the preserve. It is his segue into the preserve's present day quest to save the nearly extinct Grasshopper Sparrow. Thank you Paul, Park Manager Evan Hall,  Natalie, Joy, and all of the preserve staff for your support, but especially for your role in the preservation and protection of this critical Florida habitat and the wildlife that depend upon it.

FNPS and all Attendees: We had a great attendance on the wildflower walk. For most it was their first time visiting the preserve. Many were members of the Florida Native Plant Society, others were members of the Friends of KPP, and several were members of both. A few were inspired to join the Friends of KPP group before they left.  They came from all over the state. One couple, from Canada, registered for the walk while looking for something interesting to do while driving to their winter home in south Florida. The FNPS educational committee hired a wonderful videographer, Jennifer Brown, to film the event. I am sure that once others see the film, they will want to visit KPP too. Thank you to FNPS, Friends of KPP and others for their attendance and support.
Swamp Buggy Rides: All attendees were treated to  a swamp buggy ride to and from the walk site. If they wished, they also got a 45-minute buggy ride, complete with historic and educational narrative along the Kilpatrick Hammock Trail. This was an abbreviated version of the 2-3 hour buggy rides the preserve provides (for a fee) every weekend from November through March. People return year after year to take the swamp buggy through the prairie, so if you want to go, make your reservations now. Thank you to AmeriCorps volunteer Katie Ferguson and Preserve Specialist Frank Verello for taking us out on these buggy rides and sharing your knowledge and love of the prairie.

Mother Nature, again (she deserves most of the credit): From high atop the buggy one gets a beautiful view of a vast expanse of saw palmetto and sweeping grasses. It is a nearly treeless mosaic of dry prairie, wet prairie marshes and sloughs. But to really experience the dry prairie one must climb down from the buggy and walk into it.  Wispy strands of tall purple liatris stand tall against the warm grasses, bunches of bright yellow sunflowers mingle with the saw palmetto, while sprays of white to lavender asters add a delicate mix to the bouquet of autumn wildflowers. Look under the grasses and see bushes of false pennyroyal, bright yellow bladderworts and red sundews.

As Mother Nature would advise:
To really see the prairie, one should look into it, not at it. 
Thank you, Mother Nature, for your wise words

Submitted by Donna Bollenbach on behalf of the Friends of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve

To see more images from the Prairie Walk visit the Friends of KPP FB Page.

Posted by Laurie Sheldon 

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