Society Awards

FNPS is proud to honor the many volunteers who make the society function.

  • Mentor Awards -- These awards are given for outstanding lifetime contributions that forward the mission of the Society.
  • Green Palmetto Awards - These awards are given to members who make major contributions to the Society through Service, Education, or Conservation. Those awarded are nominated by chapters or members, and the Board of Directors makes the final choice. FNPS Board members are not eligible.
  • Silver Palmetto Awards - The awards are given to FNPS members, usually Board members, chosen by the FNPS President. They typically go to those who make major contribution to the functioning of the Society.
  • Chapter Green Palmetto Awards - The awards are given to FNPS Chapter Green Palmetto Awards. These are given to chapters with outstanding efforts during the preceding year(s).
  • Other Awards - Occasionally, the Society gives recognition to non-members who make major contributions to Florida botany.

Mentor Awards

Taylor Alexander (Dade Chapter, 2002)

Dr. Taylor Alexander

Nancy Bissett (Heartland Chapter, 2013)

Awarded for over 30 years of promoting the use of native plants in landscaping supporting land protection and acquisition, pioneering and supporting the restoration of native landscapes after mining, developing innovative techniques to facilitate restoration,  being a strong and capabile botanist, and sharing her knowledge with her fellow FNPS members.

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Nomination of Nancy Bissett for the FNPS Mentor Award

Ah, with Nancy, where to begin! She has been involved in so many aspects of native plant propagation, restoration, and research, as well as natural area protection and acquisition. Nancy has been an active member, including a board member of the Florida Native Plant Society, is a founder of the Polk County Heartland chapter of the FNPS, is a founder and has been a board member of the Florida Association of Native Nurseries, is a very active board member of the Florida Wildflower Foundation, and is on the board of Green Horizons Land Trust.

Nancy and Bill Bissett own and operate The Natives, Inc. where they, along with son Paul Abel and daughter Sarah Kiefer, grow native plants, collect bulk seed, and are involved in all aspects of urban and natural area restoration, including pioneering large-scale direct seeding, removal of exotic plants, and restoring severely disturbed lands to healthy natural landscapes ranging from wetlands to scrub communities.

  • Promoting natives in landscaping: Nancy and Bill have actively promoted the use of native plants in landscaping for over 30 years. They have developed propagation techniques for many native species and shared what they learned with not just the native plant industry throughout Florida, but with innumerable researchers and land managers as well. Archbold Biological Station’s new Learning Center and Lodge are stunning examples of what they have done with native plants and how to put the right plants in the right places. Nancy is always willing to share what she has learned with others, greatly furthering the growth of native plant nurseries and landscaping with native plants in Florida.
  • Land protection and acquisition: Nancy’s work with the Green Horizons Land Trust is one example of her many efforts to identify and acquire quality natural lands before they are gone. The Trust has acquired over 5000 acres in Polk, Osceola, and Citrus counties including 172 acres at 3 sites in the Green Swamp, the Flying Eagle Ranch Preserve of 504 acres, and a 160-acre Reedy Creek Swamp property. She has also been active in the Polk County Environmental Lands Program on the team that evaluated sites nominated for protection.
  • Restoration: Nancy is one of the most important people we know in natural area restoration. She has pioneered techniques for collecting and direct seeding large areas, including equipment design, site selection and design, removal of difficult exotic plant species like natalgrass and torpedograss, site preparation, and seed planting. She has pulled together and trained one of the best crews for spot treating exotics in planted restoration sites and has shown us all how important this step is to restoration. She has used her vast knowledge of natural systems and where plants live in these systems to combine direct seeding with plantings of native species with great success. The sites she has restored are too numerous to even begin to list here. And along the way, she has nurtured a generation of natural area restoration biologists, including many of us sponsoring her for this award. Nancy has advised many, many NGO’s and government agencies on how to manage and restore land, including projects with the Nature Conservancy, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, South and Southwest Florida Water Management Districts, and Florida Forest Service. An example of her recent work is a project with Highlands County and Archbold Biological Station at the Tony Circle site; her restoration plan was a win-win for the county and a far superior alternative to the original plan that called for clearing the uplands to restore the wetlands. She created a plan to restore both the existing wetlands and uplands, achieving all the county’s mitigation goals plus earning them extra credits for future projects, all for no additional cost to the project.
  • Botanist: Nancy is an incredible botanist. Her ability to identify plants in all stages of growth, including seedlings, and her knowledge of their edaphic requirements and how they function in natural ecosystems is invaluable. Nancy and fellow botanists have described new native species, including Carphephorus subtropicanus. She has taught many of us how to identify and understand the ecology of native plants, including a whole line of staff and monitoring interns at The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve, where she also did the initial rare plant surveys, and worked on pasture restoration and wetland restoration monitoring. Research and Monitoring: Nancy has been involved in rare plant and site restoration research in many areas, including work with the phosphate industry, Bok Tower Gardens, The Nature Conservancy, and the Plant Ecology Program at Archbold Biological Station . She is currently working with the Florida Wildflower Foundation on funding research projects on native plants. Nancy was an integral part of Bok Tower’s first-ever successful introduction of a Lupinus aridorum population at the Lake Blue Scrub site in 2008, which is producing hundreds of seedlings this year. Nancy has been a strong proponent of monitoring restoration sites to further our knowledge of what works and why, often participating in the monitoring herself and spending endless hours interpreting and disseminating the results.
  • Teaching us all: Nancy has led so many tours, given I’ll bet hundreds of talks, written articles and papers, done countless numbers of site visits, and provided advice and encouragement to so many of us that I expect most of us can recall our own examples. The extraordinary list of her activities and accomplishments only touches the surface of what makes Nancy such a great person and mentor to us all. The heart of it is that she so willingly shares what she knows with others, us. And she knows so much, is so creative and practical at the same time. Her cheerfulness always makes her a pleasure to work with. Her gentle, but persistent style creates bridges between diverse interests and accomplishes great things. Her encouragement and support, her positive can-do attitude means so much to so many of us. She has given her all to the many projects she has done and it has paid off handsomely, providing wonderful examples for us all. She has mentored, prodded, and encouraged us and has made an incredible difference.

We owe her so much and think she is very deserving of the Mentor Award.

Nominated by JeanMcCollum

Catherine Bowman (Tarflower Chapter, 2014)

Awarded for mentorship of an intern.  Beyond this, she has a long history of service to her chapter and to the Society including  including the mentoring of many of her chapter members, tirelessly serving in the leadership of her chapter including a long stint as Tarflower President, implementing an award winning landscape project of her urban home, and many other things. 

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Dear Award Review Committee,
I am writing with my highest regard to request your consideration of Ms. Catherine Bowman (Tarflower Chapter) for the FNPS Mentor Award. I met Ms. Bowman in fall of 2012 as a Professional Science Master’s student in Conservation Biology (UCF). I was searching for the perfect organization in which to intern to complete my degree. Ms. Bowman arranged for me to meet with her and the Tarflower Chapter Board and they gladly accepted me as their intern.
The purpose of the internship was not to organize fieldtrips or to table at events (though I happily participated in those activities), but was to make a lasting contribution to the botanical and scientific community here in Florida. Catherine had an idea for a project that she had wanted to pursue for some time, but never quite had the time; that’s where I came in! The project entailed organizing chapter fieldtrips around collecting specimens for the USF herbarium and the correlating online database (ATLAS), and the UCF herbarium. This did entail a large amount of work including soliciting permits, teaching members how to collect proper specimens, preparing the specimens, and submitting them to the herbaria. This was an amazing project to be a part of and Catherine was such a great teacher the entire time! She met with me regarding the project outside of her busy schedule, promptly responded to questions I had about the project, attended fieldtrips to mentor me on keying out species, and supported me by writing letters when I applied for scholarships. Catherine is not only a wealth of knowledge for the native plant community, but is a great person to be around, and has a passion to share her skills. I highly encourage you to elected Ms. Catherine Bowman for the FNPS Mentor Award.
Thank you so much for your consideration.
Tina Richards (intern with Tarflower Chapter)
Note:  While this intern likely did not understand the intent of the FNPS mentor award, Catherine Bowman has done much more for her chapter and for FNPS including the mentoring of many of her chapter members, tirelessly serving in the leadership of her chapter including a long stint as Tarflower President, implementing an award winning landscape project of her urban home, and many other things.

Majorie Carr (1997)

Anne Cox (2010)

Awarded for her longterm leadership in FNPS including establishment of the Land Management Partners Committee, coordination with land management agencies and FNAI, and mentoring of FNPS leaders at all levels.

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Nominee: Anne Cox – FNPS Mentor Award

Anne Cox is nominated for the FNPS Mentor award for her long term leadership role in FNPS with regard to the Land Management Plan Reviews. First, the Florida Land Management Reviews are important process established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to review the land management plans for all conservation lands held in state title once every five years. The land management review panels consists of five state employees form various organizations, such as the Division of Forestry and Florida Natural Area Inventory, plus a private land manager (often The Nature Conservancy) and a representative of an environmental organization. Anne has provided the leadership to establish the FNPS as the best organization to provide representatives to fill the environmental organization positions.

Numerous benefits result from FNPS participation in these reviews. The state representatives on these panels become increasingly familiar with FNPS and respect our ability to contribute to the reviews. Our members have opportunities to make meaningful suggestions regarding the land management that get included in the review documents. As one example, my suggestions for increased monitoring of a listed plant species (hand fern) was included in the final report for one Central Florida property. Our members have opportunities to get acquainted with land managers and biologists and to learn more about conservation land management, while also providing useful suggestions during the plan reviews. The field trip opportunities to see the conservation lands on trips led by the biologists and land managers is a great experience. I also feel that Florida DEP benefits
from having FNPS members who understand this review process and are willing to share their positive views about state conservation land management.

This is an extremely important activity for FNPS, and we commend Anne’s leadership to build the FNPS involvement in these reviews.

Anne has also been a long time leader in both the state level Board of Directors and her chapter. She has been responsible for many of the chapters achievements and successes over the years. Anne has mentored many individuals and leaders within the organization, always with zest and a smile. She has been at the forefront of decision making and always lends her professional opinion. She is very deserving of this award.

Shirley Denton (Suncoast Chapter, 2018)

Awarded for her service and dedication to FNPS, her infinite patience and generosity in sharing her expertise, time, and talents with the Society and our members.

Dick Deuerling (1998)

 For sharing his knowledge for FNPS resources for many years.

Don Gann (Dade Chapter, 2000)

Joyce Gann (Dade Chapter, 2000)

Sonya Guidry (Pawpaw Chapter, 2017)

Few people have more selflessly devoted themselves to the Florida Native Plant Society than Sonya Guidry, who contributes thousands of hours of volunteer work on the society’s behalf every year. A long-standing member of the Pawpaw Chapter, she served as one of its first presidents, from 1994-1995. More than twenty years later, her hand still is frequently the first to go up when a volunteer is needed and she is just as frequently the last person to go home.

Margaret Hames (1996)

Former Legislative/Conservation Committee Chairperson for FNPS, and foremost conservationist in FL, voted
Person of the Year by Florida Environments magazine for her environmental activism

Roger Hammer (Dade Chapter, 2019)

Mike Kenton (Serenoa Chapter, 2007)

Mike Kenton served the society and the Association of Florida Native Nurseries for many years, inspiring the public to use natives in landscaping, inspiring landscapers to use natives, being a nurseryman, and supporting FNPS and its members.

Dan Miller (Magnolia Chapter, 2014)

Awarded for over 30 years of service including tireless promotion of native plants and native plant conservation and service to his chapter that includes outreach and education.

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Dear President Woodmansee,
The Magnolia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) is pleased to nominate Dan Miller for the FNPS Mentor Award for 2014. Dan has generously given his time and energy to the Magnolia Chapter for the full life of the Chapter, from its beginning as the Upsy Daisy Plant Uplift Society in Tallahassee. He served on the Chapter Board of Directors for many years, was the primary caretaker of a Chapter-sponsored native plant garden within Maclay Gardens State Park, and, most importantly, has contributed countless native plants to yards in the Tallahassee region through his native plant nursery.
Growing Natives
Gardening with native plants was a hobby for Dan for many years, and when he retired from his “day job,” he made it his second career. Since 1990, Dan has tended Trillium Gardens, his wholesale native plant nursery in Tallahassee. During that time, he has learned to propagate native plants from seeds or cuttings collected in a manner that has little or no impact on the natural communities of these plants. His early mentor was Chuck Salter, and Dan went on to develop propagation protocols for a number of north Florida specialties, focusing on species unique to the Red Hills and Marianna karst regions. He has shared his knowledge of native plant propagation with Magnolia Chapter members through presentations at our program meetings through the years. He also has welcomed members and interested folks who visit his nursery, where they learn how to propagate and care for native plants and purchase plants at veryreasonable prices. Many of his plants may be purchased at Native Nurseries, a retail native nursery in Tallahassee, where they reach the general public and find their way into yards throughout north Florida. More recently Dan has contract grown large quantities of native azaleas (Rhododendron sp.) and mountain laurels (Kalmia latifolia) for special projects to restore spring and stream banks in the Econfina Creek Water Management Area. As Dan nears retirement from this second career, he is grooming a young native plant grower to take his place and ensure that these native plant contributions to the community continue.
Plant of the Month
For the past several years, Dan has brought a plant-of-the-month to Magnolia Chapter program meetings, usually a species in seasonal bloom. A prime specimen is donated to the Chapter and raffle tickets sold during our pre-meeting social. Before the guest speaker begins, Dan educates the audience on the plant’s identity, flowering time, and care, then the winning ticket is drawn and the plant given to its joyful new owner. Dan also offers the plant for sale at meetings, a nice convenience for members and visitors.
Public Outreach and Chapter Support
Dan regularly participates in the Chapter’s educational displays at regional nature festivals, where he sells native plants to festival visitors and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Magnolia Chapter. Dan has a friendly and patient manner with everyone, and teaches those who purchase plants where to plant and how to care for them in order to be successful in their native gardening. He is generous with his time and will talk with people about what spaces they have in their yard, which plants will flourish in those spaces, and which plants will attract pollinators or serve as good ground cover.
Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve
Dan was instrumental in preserving a 140-acre tract of land near Cairo, Georgia, which contains the most concentrated population of Dimpled trout lily (Erythronium umbilicatum) known anywhere in the world. The site also contains populations of Spotted wakerobin (Trillium maculatum), Green-fly orchid (Epidendrum conopseum), Cranefly orchid (Tipularia discolor), and Twayblade (Listera australis). When it became known that this property was slated for development, Dan spearheaded the effort to raise funds so that this property could be purchased for preservation. Working with others in the Magnolia Chapter, private donors, and the Georgia Land Conservation Program, Dan’s efforts were successful and the property was purchased and donated to Grady County, Georgia, in 2009. Dan continues to be involved in the management activities at Wolf Creek Preserve, leading wildflower tours during the blooming season and assisting in an ongoing project to remove invasive species at the preserve. For more information about the history of the acquisition see:!history/cjg9.
In summary, Dan has worked in a quiet, steadfast manner for more than 30 years to raise awareness of the importance of native plants, and doing all he can to see them established in Tallahassee and statewide. He is beloved by fellow Magnolians.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Magnolia Chapter Board of Directors,
Leigh Brooks

Bill Partington (Tarflower Chapter, 2000)

One of the founders of FNPS, its first president, and first executive director.  He was a tireless supporter of a native plant society that would forward the conservation of native plants in Florida and educate the public about those plants.

Carmel VanHoek (Suncoast Chapter, 2015)

Camel is always willing and eager to impart her knowledge to others on field trips and at membership meetings.  Her energy and enthusiasm is inspiring to beginning botanists and more advanced ones alike.  She has mentored many people including most recently, Bunny Worth and Janet Bowers.  

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Carmel has been involved in plant collections of many different areas over the course of many years including Werner Boyce Salt Springs State Park with Ranger Gorgon O’Connor and Avon Park Bombing Range- Betty Wargo took pictures/ Carmel keyed plants and made collections.  I believe that Carmel is passing on some of the mentoring that she received from other experts.  She was a volunteer at the USF Herbarium in the late '70s early '80s, mounting plant specimens that others had collected. She worked with Dr. Wunderlin and Dr. Hansen at the herbarium.

She discovered the rare Bellflower growing in Hillsborough County at Model Dairy. She still participates in the annual count of the Bellflower in Hillsborough County each year.  She is a long time member of FNPS (1984) and is an excellent role model of how to stay involved as a citizen scientist. Carmel’s decades of devotion to plant collecting has significantly added to our knowledge of where native plants grow in the wild and inspires others to help her.

Carmel has led SNPS fieldtrip hikes in the past and led the Hillsborough River State Park fieldtrip for the 2012 FNPS Conference.  She is a volunteer botanist for Hillsborough River State Park and Little Manatee River State Park.   She searches for plants that have not yet been collected in the park and presses 2 viable specimens for each plant. One specimen goes to the USF herbarium and one goes to the Park Service herbarium, then she adds it to that park's plant list.  She is always checking with park rangers to find out what is going on there and if they have seen anything interesting.  She carries her press and current plant list with her on walks around the park.  She is not a gardener but is tireless in her pursuit of uncollected plants.  She often brings Bunny or me with her so that we can learn about the plants in those parks.  She points out the parts of plants and shows us the distinguishing characteristics with a loupe.  Her down to earth, friendly and interested nature helps her connect with many people on our trips.  Lately, she has contributed a series of articles for the Grapevine (Suncoast Chapter Newsletter) about plant identification. They have been well thought out and entertaining articles that share her knowledge with the chapter. 

Carmel is truly a mentor in every sense of the word and the SNPS Board of Directors strongly endorses her for the Mentor Award.



Janet Bowers

SNPS president

Henry Whittie (Tarflower Chapter, 2002)

Richard (Dick) Wunderlin (Suncoast Chapter, 2005)

Green Palmetto Awards

Ken Alvarez (1993)

Awareded for Service arising from his role as environmental specialist supervisor with FDEP, for encouraging prescribed burns in FL parks, for authoring a native tree numbering system, for starting native nurseries in state parks & his land acquisition efforts

Loren Anderson (Magnolia Chapter, 2011)

Dan Austin (Palm Beach Chapter, 1995)

For his work on the Exotic Plant Pest Council

Dan Austin (Palm Beach Chapter, 1993)

Science/education, professor of botany at FAU, for two decades as an effective educator, and his service on the Florida Exotic Pes Plant Council (FLEPPC),  the Society for Economic Botany, and as a writer, particularly of his guides to coastal dune plants and parks and for his work with FLEPPC & FCREPA.

Sydney Bacchus (1992)

Technical, for her work with wetland mitigation and sharing her knowledge with readers of The Palmetto

Grigg Barbara (Lake Beautyberry Chapter, 2012)

Given for Education  and to her efforts in support of the restoration at Pear Park (a chapter project)

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Via Email

Hi Steve,

Not having seen the nomination of fellow Beautyberry member, Barbara Grigg, that was submitted by Peg Lindsay, this may be redundant but here goes.

 Barbara Grigg has not only taught so many of us about native plants and how to key-out plants over the years, she has almost single-handedly kept our treasury viable. She does this by bringing plants that she grows at her very modest home to our chapter meetings where we always have a plant "exchange". It isn't really that because few exchange plants but they gobble up her plants as fast as they can get them. We ask only for a donation but many donate more than the plant would cost at a nursery. That's because Barbara's plants, which she starts from seeds or cuttings, are always of great quality.

The Beautyberry Chapter was finally given a small corner area of the Discovery Garden at the Lake County Extension Service a few years ago. Barbara is our responsible leader for that project. She not only has donated many plants but she is there for the work day once every month. There are usually 3 or 4 other members who help with the weeding, watering, pruning and planting. We have a mailbox in the area where we distribute FNPS literature. Based on the number of times that box needs refilling, it seems many people get to learn the names of the natives when they visit.

Over the last ten or twelve years, Barbara has also donated many plants to the restoration work at PEAR Park, a Lake County run 300 plus acre reserve. Since the original Butterfly Garden person at PEAR moved from the area two years ago, Barbara has shown up there to help the rest of us keep up the natives and plant more. Barbara doesn't drive so her husband, Tony, is usually willing to help some after driving the twenty-some miles to get there. He also uses the time and space to practice his bagpipe which is entertaining to the workers and the birds.

I just can't say enough about what an asset Barbara has been to our chapter and to native Florida plants. She is a quiet and unassuming person who is not fond of public speaking but she will speak her mind when needed. She is active in their church in Sorrento and also helps out the local Historical Society. She did receive an award at last year's conference but not the BIG ONE which we were hoping for. I hope this helps.


Mary Remer, Presdent, Lake Beautyberry Chapter


From email by Peg Lindsay dated:  February 28th, 2012

This is the same article I wrote and submitted last year.

Our entire chapter wholeheartedly supports this nomination.

Barbara's continuing role as leader and teacher in our chapter have helped raise the plant-knowledge-levels of all of the rest of us, especially those of us with non-botany backgrounds.  We think she is very deserving of this award.

I met Barbara Grigg at one of our first planting days at PEAR Park.  My friend, Peg Urban, pointed her and her husband, Tony, out to me.  Peg used reverent tones to describe Barbara’s academic qualifications and knowledge of all things related to native plants.  To me, they looked like another retirement-age couple in work clothes who had shown up, like the rest of us, to plant trees at the PEAR restoration project.  I have learned a lot from my friend Peg over the years.

That was 2002.  I was a recently-retired transplant to Florida, still trying to get zinnias to grow in my garden.  I went to the Lake Beautyberry Chapter meetings because my friends went.  Barbara was always there early, always with a table full of native plants she had grown from seeds or cuttings, always with advice on the habitat requirements of every plant she brought.  Every one of us in Lake Beautyberry Chapter has plants in our gardens because of Barbara.  Public gardens all over Lake County have plants in their gardens because Barbara donated them, and showed up to help plant them, showed up to maintain them, and taught the rest of us how to care for them also.

The plant table has contributed to the Chapter’s financial resources, but I think that’s incidental to her knowledge contribution, her sharing of her time and expertise with the rest of us to make us all better stewards of public and private gardens around Lake County.

Barbara has made a commitment to attend all chapter functions.  She’s there for meetings, field trips, planting days, weeding days and public outreach events.  When requested, she lends her expertise to other public agencies, providing an inventory of all plant species found on a specific site.

  • Some of Barbara’s contributions to our chapter include:
  • Propagating native plants and donating them to the Chapter.
  •  Propagating native plants and donating them to PEAR Park, Discovery Gardens, LCWA restoration projects, Trout Lake Nature Center and other public gardens in Lake County.  This is especially important as she grows rare and unusual plants for us.  We take her a bag of seeds, and sometime later, she gives us back the plants.
  • Providing “care instructions” with every plant she donates.  As a result, she teaches us, in simple ways, about habitat types, soil conditions, soil fungi, plant interrelationships, pollinators, butterfly host plants, and more.
  • Setting up a “donations” table at the Farmer’s Market, where she gives information about our Chapter and gives away native plants in exchange for a donation to the Chapter.  Every plant goes to a recipient with advice on growing conditions.
  • We love to play “stump the chump” with her.  When we bring in photographs and snips of plants we cannot identify, she usually can.  Only a few times has she had to take the material home and key it out.  


Steve Bass (1997)

For outstanding work as an environmental educator

Joan Bausch (Cocoplum Chapter, 2015)

Joan Bausch was awarded the Green Palmetto because she has not only been the backbone of the Cocoplum, Martin County Chapter of FNPS but she has also served almost continuously on the State Board since from at least the time that I have been a member which was in 2001/2002.  At that time, she was on the nominating committee of Cocoplum and engaged me to join the Board as well as become vice-president in 2003 under the presidency of Dick Landrum.  She was president prior to Dick Landrum’s turn.  As far as I know, she was the sole writer of the Leaf Letter, our chapter’s printed news happenings.  When she stepped down from that no one took her place.  She was chapter representative for several years and then again engaged me to take her place in 2012.  Then she became our Chapter Conservation Chair.  She keeps us dutifully informed of all of the policy/legislation matters that have been arising unrelentingly.  

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Joan was voted to be on the State Policy/Legislation Committee by that Committee’s Chair, Gene Kelly, because of her fastidious devotion to the subject matter.  She represents the State at the Everglades Coalition, keeping an ever watchful eye on the reform/restoration of CERP and related projects.  She participates in all plant sales and including this year, in spite of the sale of her home closing on April 15, she will be present for the plant sale April 11.  Our chapter meets at the Environmental Studies Center in Jensen Beach which is close to her home and she has always volunteered to come weed and care for the native plant garden on the premises.  She also participates in most events like at the Martin County Fair that happens every February, handing out brochures and educating interested people about native plants and the Society.  She was extremely diligent in promoting Amendment One leading up to its very successful approval last November election.  She is an excellent photographer and has put together slide shows of beautiful native plants.  She also put together a very interesting slide show of all of the native areas of Martin County from East to West.  Joan’s yard is an excellent example of a Maritime Hammock habitat as was made known when our chapter visited her yard on a tour November 2013.

Respectfully submitted,

Debra L. Klein



John Beriault (1989)

Technical, Wrote Planning & Planting a Native Plant Yard 

Teddy Bierly (Citrus Chapter, 2006)


Nancy Bissett (Heartland Chapter, 1991)

Sally Black (Palm Beach Chapter, 2001)

Sally Black -- Service, for her long-term service to the environment and environmental community of S. FL

Jody Bonet (Lakela's Mint Chapter, 2002)


Kathy Boon (2003)


John Bradford (Martin County Chapter, 2019)

Christine Brown (Cuplet Fern Chapter, 2019)

Jim Buckner (Marion Big Scrub Chapter, 2019)

Kathy Burks (Magnolia Chapter, 2010)

Awarded for Service including scientific research on native plants and on invasive species coupled with strong support for conservation in Florida.

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Nominee: Kathy Burks – FNPS Green Palmetto Service Award
Nominated by Fritz Wettstein, Gil Nelson, Gary Knight and Greg Jubinsky

Kathy Burks gave much to Florida’s conservation efforts in years of scientific research and public service, much of which was focused on the management of invasive plants. Florida lost a great native plant person when she died in 2006 after a brief illness. Everyone remembers Kathy for her joyful personality, her passion for botany, her personal integrity, her dedication to excellence, and her many contributions to botany and conservation in Florida and the Florida Native Plant Society.

Kathy Burks received a Master of Science degree in Biological Science from Florida State University in 1992 under the direction of Dr. Loran Anderson. Her master’s project was a critical floristic study of Lake Miccosukee and environs in the Florida panhandle, where she developed an early expertise and interest in aquatic species, and endangered species such as the federally listed Miccosukee gooseberry (Ribes echinellum).

Kathy’s first major project after graduating from FSU was a four-year study of plant diversity in wet savannas in the Apalachicola National Forest, which involved botanical inventory and monitoring of groundcover diversity in response to prescribed fire. She worked as a botanist for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Invasive Species Management for ten years and then the Florida Natural Areas Inventory. Kathy researched and wrote for numerous publications, including Florida Wetland Plants: An Identification Manual (UF, 1998), and Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas (UF, 1998). Her characteristic wit and humor wink from many of her writings.

Kathy served the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) as Chair of the Invasive Species List Committee for many years, and was active in FLEPPC outreach activities. During her career, she also served as Chair of the Science Committee for the Florida Wildflower Advisory Council, and as a member of the Florida Endangered Plants Advisory Council. Kathy had also been appointed to be Plants Editor for the Florida Committee on Rare and Endangered Plants and Animals (FCREPA). She was known as one of the state’s foremost experts on invasive plant species and provided expert plant identification services for biologists and public land managers throughout the state. She was a keynote speaker at the 2004 Florida Native Plant Society conference. Whether it was invasive plants, rare plants, or roadside wildflowers, Kathy brought good science and a human touch to all of these important conservation issues.

Kathy Burks devoted herself as an advocate for the R. K. Godfrey Herbarium at FSU. She brought positive attention and critically needed financial resources to this important educational and research resource. On Friday, June 13, 2008, a memorial to Kathy Craddock Burks was placed on the campus of Florida State University, close to the herbarium. FLEPPC’s Kathy Craddock Burks Education Grant was named for her, commemorating her achievements in non-native invasive plant education and outreach projects in Florida.

Gwen Burzycki (Dade Chapter Chapter, 2011)

Debbie Butts (Suncoast Chapter, 2002)


Ted Center (1990)

Technical, Work on the biological control of pest plants, especially spearheading the Melaleuca Biological Control Project

Steve Christman (1988)

Technical, Research on the scrub plants of the Lake Wales Ridge.

Nancy Coile (Magnolia Chapter, 2003)

Nancy Coile, PhD -- Technical

Jean Daubenmire (Lake Beautyberry Chapter, 2001)

Jean Daubenmire -- Science,  botanist, for her research contributions in the area of natural plant communities of FL

Scott Davis (Magnolia Chapter, 2017)

If it weren’t for dedicated members and volunteers like Scott Davis, the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) would cease to function.  Scott is one of our critically important members/volunteers.  He is active at his local Magnolia Chapter and at the state level where he has served on numerous state committees including Conservation, Policy, and Finance, in addition to serving on the Council of Chapters. 

Dick Deuerling (1992)

Service, for his service to FNPS beyond the scope of his own chapter, sharing his knowledge of edible wild foods with chapters throughout the state, with Scouts, and in each issue of The Palmetto.

Eleanor Dietrich (Magnolia Chapter, 2014)

Given for Service including promotion of roadside wildflowers especially in the Florida panhandle, and providing community education and encouragement for the use of native plants in landscaping.

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Dear President Woodmansee ,

The Magnolia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) is pleased to  nominate Eleanor Dietrich for the Green Palmetto Award for 2014. Eleanor served on  the  Magnolia Chapter Board from approximately 2002 until 2011, as Secretary, President , and a Board Member at Large. Eleanor continues to be an active and supportive member of our chapter and has worked to support the service and education goals recognized by the Green Palmetto Award.

Roadside Wildflowers

Beginning in 2006, Eleanor became involved in promoting roadside wildflowers and has become their main champion in the Tallahassee region. The state wildflower license tag has  been available since 2000 to help fund the Florida Wildflower Foundation (FWF), whose early program focused on plantings of nonlocal annual wildflowers along roadsides. Eleanor was one of the visionaries who saw that this program could encompass so much more. Part of the right­ of-way on State Highway 65 in Liberty County within the Apalachicola National Forest had long been designated for reduced mowing due to the presence of a rare plant, Harper 's beauty (Harperocallis flava ). The success of limited mowing along this roadway became the inspiration to similarly reduce or alter mowing practices along other roadways in north Florida to benefit pollinators, natural wildflower regeneration, public enjoyment, and wildflower tourism. Beginning with only a handful of volunteers, Eleanor worked tirelessly contacting county commissioners, meeting with numerous state and local policymakers , and working with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Due in large part to Eleanor 's effo1is, in 2014 FDOT began implementing a statewide Wildflower and Natural Areas Program so that now, throughout the state, managing the naturally occurring roadside wildflowers rather than artificial planting is the preferred means used by the department to increase the abundance of wildflowers.

Eleanor was instrumental in organizing and publicizing a recent meeting in Tallahassee to promote FDOT's newly established program. This meeting, which was sponsored by the FWF and co-hosted by the Magnolia Chapter, brought together more than 80 state and community leaders and policymakers and members of the public and provided a forum for sharing information about FDOT's wildflower program and the resources that are available so that this imp01iant statewide initiative may be expanded and improved. ( )

Eleanor developed a relationship with FDOT District 3 during road widening for Highway 65 several  years  ago.  She led  an FNPS  effort  to  become  involved  with  review  of construction planning, and worked collaboratively with FDOT and U.S. Forest Service staff to designate staging areas for construction equipment and parking areas for the public on established forest roads to protect roadside ditches and wildflowers . FDOT subsequently hosted a public meeting for FNPS and others at District 3 headquarters in Midway to share information. FDOT and its contractors did a good job with signage and plan implementation, and under Eleanor 's guidance, FDOT District 3 received letters of appreciation from the Magnolia Chapter.

Eleanor co-developed a model wildflower resolution for the FWF and is working to get it adopted by all county governments in the panhandle for improved roadside wildflower conservation and management. So far Wakulla, Gadsden, Leon, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties have adopted wildflower resolutions 

Eleanor puts a great deal of energy into personally publicizing roadside wildflowers, particularl y on State Highway 65. She designs and ( ). Under Eleanor 's leadership, the Magnolia Chapter is the community support group for Leon County' s roadside wildflower program. Two sites have been selected for reduced mowing. The chapter has identified wildflowers at each site. Eleanor monitors the county' s activity .

In collaboration with FWF, Eleanor facilitated the establishment in 2012 of the Florida Panhandle Wildflower Alliance (www ) as a way for north Florida wildflower enthusiasts to communicate and share information to promote the conservation of roadside wildflowers . Eleanor recently hosted a fundraiser at her home to benefit FWF. She secured donations of a great variety of wildflower-themed artwork, including photograph y, notecards, t-shirts, and very original pieces of garden art and birdfeeders , many of which she and like-minded cohorts designed and created.prints brochures in cooperation with FDOT for the spring and fall blooming seasons, which she distributes to the public and to local business owners. She creates and distributes calling cards so that wildflower enthusiasts who drive Highway 65 and enjoy the wildflowers can give the cards to local businesses, thereby letting the local community know how valued this roadside is to visitors from outside the area. She donated framed wildflower photographs to a local restaurant that has put them up in one of their dining rooms. She has worked with a local merchant and an artist to develop wildflower souvenirs for sale. This past fall, Eleanor led several field trips along Highway 65 in a very successful effort to generate awareness and enthusiasm for the many wildflowers that bloom along that route. She works with the Liberty County Journal newspaper editor to get positive coverage of wildflowers, such as a certificate that Eleanor recently presented to an FDOT employee for his effo1t to save a rare plant population from road widening. Eleanor has worked so hard at these promotional activities in pait because of disinterest by county leaders.


Eleanor is a talented photographer and is known for generously making her photographs available for any and all to use for the purpose of promoting wildflowers or just to simply enjoy. Many of the photographs used by the Florida Wildflower Foundation on its website and on the website of the Florida Panhandle Wildflower Alliance are Eleanor 's photographs. She maintain s and promotes an online photo gallery of roadside blooming at . In addition, Eleanor has been and continues to be instrumental in creating and promotin g the Magnolia Chapter's annual wildflower wall calendar, the chapter's main fundraiser.

Wildflower Gardens and Yards

Eleanor generously shares her knowledge of and enthusiasm for native plants and wildflowers with the members of many other organizations in addition to those within the Florida Native Plant Society. She has long been actively involved with Birdsong Nature  Center, a nonprofit educational center located near Tallahassee, which describes itself as a living museum and outdoor classroom . Eleanor is a regular contributor to Birdsong's bimonthly newsletter, writing articles about native garden plants that are appropriate for the season. For many years Eleanor has been instrumental in Birdsong's primary fundraising event, the annual Old Timey Plant Sale. In addition, Eleanor also shares her talents with the local Audubon chapter, Apalachee Audubon, and frequently contributes articles for their newsletter  describing bird and butterfly friendly wildflowers and plants for the yard and garden.

Community Resource

Eleanor 's  love  for  the  natural  world  shines  through  all  that  she  does  and  perhaps  is  best illustrated   by  the  well-respected  website   that   she  maintains   entitled   "Wild   Gardens  - Tallahassee, Florida" at Through the various website portals, Eleanor provides information about regional areas of special interest to wildflower enthusiasts and posts beautiful photographs along with information about the particular wildflowers and plants that ai·e in bloom during each season. Inspired after hearing an interview with Doug Tallamy on NPR and after reading his book, "Bringing Nature Home," in 2009 Eleanor began a project to clear invasive plants  from  her  own  backyard  and  return  a  section  of  the  woods  to  its  native  state.  She documents this still-ongoing process on her website, and her photographs and links to numerous resources are an inspiration and valuable tool for others in the community who wish to follow her example. Every year she hosts garden pa1ties to inspire others with the progress of her yard renovation , which now includes neighborin g yards.

In summary, Eleanor Dietrich exemplifies to the highest degree the attributes of service and education recognized by the Green Palmetto Award. The entire Magnolia Board wholeheartedly endorses this nomination.


Respectfully submitted

Magnolia Chapter Board

Sharon Dolan (Conradina Chapter, 2017)

Sharon and her husband Brent are the owners of Maple Street Natives, the only native plant nursery in south Brevard County. As such, they have been promoting the use of native plants for more than a quarter of a century. Sharon has guided many members and other native plant enthusiasts in converting their lawns to native yards and helped them in their battles with HOAs. 

Cammie Donaldson (Conradina Chapter, 2002)

Service.  Years of effort above and beyond expectations.

Joe Durando (Paynes Prairie Chapter, 2000)


Rosa Durando (1990)

Service, The environmental watchdog on the Treasure Coast, attending governmental meetings and speaking out for conservation

Gayle Edwards (Coccoloba Chapter, 2009)

Awarded for Education and Outreach. For a decade, she indefatigably created research and demonstration landscapes for butterfly gardening at schools and parks throughout the region, educatee new residents about  pest plant species and native landscape alternatives, and recruited many new members to the FNPS. 

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The Coccoloba Chapter nominated Gayle Edwards for the Green Palmetto award for Education and Outreach. Gayle, a member of the Coccoloba Chapter for the last decade, has indefatigably conducted research and demonstration landscapes for butterfly gardening at schools and parks throughout the region. Her crusade to educate Southwest Florida new residents about EPPC pest plant species and native landscape alternatives has recruited many new members to the FNPS. As an IFAS-extension-service volunteer she has kept the FNPS message in their face and influenced their programs to be more natural systems friendly. The Coccoloba Chapter nominates Gayle Edwards for the Green Palmetto award for Education and Outreach. 10 years ago Gayle joined Coccoloba and simultaneously took the Master Gardener training in Lee County. She then set about creating what has become the beautiful and renowned butterfly garden at the main entrance to the Extension Service. Gayle soon learned that the public was being duped by unscrupulous nurseries willing to sell invasive exotics claiming they were native. As she would say "that brought me off the floor." She joined FLEPPC and began to do talks to groups about invasive exotics. She began the now popular annual Butterfly Conference held at Extension and the Butterfly Patrol where volunteers reported the quantity and species they observed in their butterfly gardens. Gayle has inspired hundreds of people through her determined efforts, from teachers to home owner associations to garden clubs. Most importantly, Gayle has motivated an enthusiasm for natives and sustainable landscaping among the staff of the Extension Service that was minimal at best prior to her arrival.

Nadine Foley (Lake Beautyberry Chapter, 2011)

Karen Frahley (Serenoa Chapter, 2006)


Don Gann (Dade Chapter, 1989)

Service, Many years of service to FNPS & in the promotion of native plants

Joyce Gann (Dade Chapter, 1989)

Service, Many years of service to FNPS & in the promotion of native plants.

Denny Girard (Mangrove Chapter, 2006)


Marc Godts (Tarflower Chapter, 2009)

Awarded for Service.  He has a lifelong history of educating his fellow members and the public about natives, developing new means of propagating natives, and providing natives through his family nursery.

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The Tarflower Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society nominated Marc Godts for the Green Palmetto Award. Marc has supported every aspect of the Tarflower Chapter by sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm. From an early age he was exposed to disparate Florida environments. His family spent most weekends camping throughout the state. His father delighted in sharing his knowledge of wildlife. His mother, a gardener who enlisted Marc’s help, also shared her love of plants. Marc received a degree in Horticulture from the University of South Florida. Upon graduating he worked at a local golf course in their horticulture section. Over 20 years ago he joined a friend who owned a large landscape construction company, Dobson’s Woods and Water. Marc now manages the company and their two large nurseries. A little over 10 years ago, Marc and his wife Terry began their own nursery, Green Isle Gardens, to grow native plants exclusively. Their nursery is located on Hwy 33 south of Groveland and is open to the public. Among the species they grow are scrub plants, Marc’s favorites. Approximately 15 years ago Marc and Terry created the first educational slide show for the chapter. It has remained the back bone for subsequent editions. For the past 18 years Marc has planned and coordinated the plant sale portion of our education and plant sale booth at the giant H. P. Leu Gardens annual plant sale that is held each March in Orlando. He selects the plants, collects them from several nurseries, and arranges them and prices them for the sale. Marc then heads up our team of volunteers and shares his encyclopedic knowledge with us and those seeking to buy these native plants for their home landscapes. During the history of our participation in the Leu Gardens plant sale, we estimate that he has generated close to $45,000 for our chapter - though no price tag can be placed on the generous way he shares his love for native plants.

Trish Gramajo (2010)

Awarded for service including creation of the chapter's alternatives poster, support for native plant conservtion, and invasive species awareness.

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Nominee: Trish Gramajo – FNPS Green Palmetto Service Award
Nominated by the Ixia Chapter

The Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society is pleased to nominate Trish Gramajo-St.John for the 2010 Green Palmetto Award for her service and education efforts in the three county regions served by the Ixia Chapter.

Trish has been an active FNPS and Ixia Chapter member since 2005. As the Ixia Board’s Conservation Chair, she helps build support for Florida’s land buying program, Florida Forever, by encouraging advocacy by Ixia members and other large grassroots groups and working with the FNPS Executive Director to secure legislative support from Florida Representatives and Senators for continued funding of the program.

Also as Conservation Chair, she led the efforts to secure a FNPS Conservation Grant which enable the Chapter to create and publish an AlterNatives poster featuring 15 Florida exotic Plant Council Class I and II invasive species recommended for removal and more than 35 Florida friendly natives recommended to use in their place. The $1000 grant was augmented by a donation of $1500 of graphic design services, enabling the Chapter to print 2,000 copies of the poster. The poster has been widely distributed to gardeners, nursery and garden centers and is available through the FNPS website.

Trish founded the First Coast Invasive Working Group in 2006 and chaired it since 2006. The Group was established to work across federal, state, local and private lands for invasive species prevention and management efforts. The Group represents partnerships with over 40 formal partners, including all the large public land managers, extension programs, universities, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon, Florida Native Plant Society, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Student Conservation Association, many private landowners and others.

The Group has developed a 5-Year Strategic Plan which includes the goal of establishing the Green Thumb Nursery Plan by 2011 and has submitted a proposal for funding. The Plan would certify nurseries in five Northeast Florida counties that adhere to practices that prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants and help raise awareness of the environmental and financial advantages of using native plants.

In 2006, Trish launched the first local National Invasive Species Awareness Week and the inaugural Great Air Potato Roundup. The Great Air Potato Roundup in Northeast Florida has been followed by three succeeding events to date. An estimated 10 tons of tubers have been removed from the region’s natural areas with almost 1,000 volunteers participating over the three year period.

Trish is also a Board member of the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, whose mission is to educate Northeast Florida and its regional communities about native and cultivated plants, improve its beauty and atmosphere, engage in and promote the conservation and preservation of our natural resources, and provide public service.

Trish has nine years of conservation experience with The Nature Conservancy and is responsible for implementing The Conservancy’s freshwater and land management projects in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia and has assisted with statewide and local conservation campaigns to fund land management and willing seller acquisition programs in Florida. Trish’s academic credentials include a political science and public administration degree from the University of North Florida.

Peggy Gretchen (Nature Coast Chapter, 2007)

Sonya Guidry (Pawpaw Chapter, 2010)

Awarded for service to her chapter including enthusiatic participation and leadership.

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Nominee: Sonya Guidry – FNPS Green Palmetto Service Award
Nominated by Elizabeth Flynn and the Pawpaw Chapter

Sometimes it is all rolled into one: immense knowledge, inexhaustible energy, selfless spirit, and a wholehearted desire to share with others. Sonya Guidry embodies it all! When she joined the then-newly formed Pawpaw Chapter in 1991, Sonya embraced the mission of FNPS. She soon served as the Chapter’s president from 1993 – 1995, before finding her calling as Field Trip Chair, where she is the native plant ambassador for participants new to exploring central Florida’s plant communities. 

Sonya leads field trippers to meet native plants in their natural habitats - whether by foot, Eco-Buggy, canoe or pontoon. Ever-equipped with her native plant books and a child’s sense of wonder, every outing is lovingly planned as a great adventure. One such trip was to Silver Glen State Park, when beforehand Sonya had compiled a list of native plants she hoped to see based on Marjorie Kinan Rawlings mention of them in her book The Yearling. Under Sonya’s direction, participants found the little stream that was the site of Jody’s handmade water-wheel and they attempted to construct their own! Her regard for native plants shines through as she speaks of them as old friends, complete with quirky personalities and idiosyncrasies. 

Participants agree Sonya makes outings thoroughly enjoyable, as well as educational, remarking that “She brings native plants alive for me on the many field trips.” or “I've also been able to visit areas of Florida that I probably would have overlooked.” And Sonya shows as much regard for her participants by always supplying them ahead of time with details about their destination, transportation, trip leader, needed funds and sometimes even overnight lodging options. 

The past presidents and the board members she has served with through the years agree that when volunteerism is at its lowest, you can always count on Sonya to lend a hand - or hat! (Donning an ostentatious flowery garden hat, Sonya passed out fliers at an unrelated festival of 7,000 people to advertise a Chapter plant sale the following week!) 

As a constant fixture at all Pawpaw events - plant sales, book sales, demonstration garden cleanups, festivals, meetings and email campaigns – she goes above and beyond to reach the public and educate them on native plants and environmental issues. 

One member recounts how Sonya was instrumental in her joining the Society. At a festival where FNPS had a table, she met Sonya who sold her an iris and they talked at great length. “I found her to be a fountain of knowledge. I went to the next Pawpaw meeting, and joined.” This member went one to be the Chapter’s 7th president and is still active with Pawpaw today. The iris Sonya sold her is still in her yard. 

It is the unanimous consensus that no one in our Chapter works harder on our activities than Sonya Guidry. And without question it was Sonya who was the indisputable single source when the Pawpaw Chapter was asked to compile its 20-year history for this 30th anniversary celebration. For all these reasons – and so many more! – Sonya Guidry is our nomination for the 2010 Green Palmetto award.

David Hall (Paynes Prairie Chapter, 1987)

David Hall -- Developed a native plant slide show

Margaret Hames (Brevard Chapter, 1988)

Service, Many activities promoting FNPS and native plants: slide shows and lectures; plant inventories for Brevard County, developers, and homeowners; analysis of ecosystems and laying out of a nature trail for Brevard County park; and native plant rescue operations

Roger Hammer (Dade Chapter, 2003)


Bill Hammond (Coccoloba Chapter, 1987)

Bill Hammond -- Published a school campus improvement guide for Lee County

Bruce Hanson (Suncoast Chapter, 2002)

Education.  Tereless service to the Florida botanical community through his work on the Florida Plant Atlas website and the USF Herbarium

Tom Heitzman (Serenova Chapter, 2014)

Given for service including serving and president of the Serenoa Chapter, promotion of the use of native plants in landscaping, and generously educating the publice.  He also runs a successful native plant nursery (Sweet Bay).

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Dear Committee,

The Serenoa Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society would like to nominate Tom Heitzman to receive the Green Palmetto Award for his service to the Society, the local chapter and to the community as a whole.

Tom first joined the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) in 1986. As his knowledge of Florida native plants and their ecosystems grew, so did his understanding of how important it is to not just preserve natural areas, but to augment them with the use of native plants in the urban landscape. Luckily for Florida, Tom has worked tirelessly to help others to understand this concept and make it a reality.

Tom first became active in the leadership of the Serenoa Chapter when he accepted the position of vice-president in 1996. After serving for two years, he took on the role of president for five years. Since then he has served as program chair, vice-president again in 2003 and then served as an At-large board member until accepting the presidency again in 2013. During his time serving on the board, he has always led with a steady, levelheaded commitment to the FNPS mission. He has promoted education through organizing informative speakers and field trips, speaking at meetings of the society, to homeowners associations, at public events and to other conservation groups as well as outreach at public events. He has led countless field trips on public conservation lands and is always a knowledgeable, patient and informative leader. He is always willing to share what he knows and to learn what he doesn’t, fostering a culture of information sharing. Tom is always warm and welcoming to visitors and members alike at Serenoa chapter meeting and events.

Tom expanded his love and knowledge of Florida native plants from volunteerism to a business with the opening of Sweet Bay Nursery in Parrish in 1995. Sweet Bay Nursery provides landscape planning, installation and maintenance for homes and businesses as well as retail sales. The really good part, is that all that planting is with native Florida plants! Through his business, Tom has elevated the use of native plants in the urban landscape to the level of attractive and practical. He educates clients and visitors, who come to the nursery, about the importance of native plants in the urban landscape, not only to benefit wildlife but also, maintain the sense of place that Florida is rapidly losing. He also works with schools to add butterfly gardens and teaching areas on school campuses. Tom has won several awards for his work. In 2006 and again in 2013 he was awarded First Place Residential Landscape Design Award for the Breyer residence and Richard Beaupre landscape. He has also won two Commercial Landscape Awards for the Ugarte & Associates Office Building and the Felts Audubon Preserve.

In addition to his tireless work with FNPS and Sweet Bay Nursery Tom has found time to serve as President of Manatee Audubon (2005-2007) and coordinate and assist with plantings and habitat improvements on Manatee County’s Felt’s Audubon Society Preserve. He has served as a member of the City of Bradenton Tree Board, and the Manatee County Environmental Lands Management and Acquisition Committee; both government-appointed boards. He has served for over ten years in various board positions with the Florida Association of Native Nurseries. Tom is kind and humble yet energetic and enthusiastic in his advocacy of Florida native plants. His love and commitment are palpable to those who know him. He truly loves natural Florida and has committed his full energy to spreading that knowledge and sense of caring to everyone he meets.


Serenoa Chapter


Note:  Additional supporting materials were provided by the Florida Association of Native Nurseries and Manatee Audubon.

Jane Higgins (Conradina Chapter, 2019)

Amy Hines (Longleaf Pine Chapter, 2012)

For Service to the Society including being a founder of the Longleaf Pine and Solidago Chapters.

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Nomination for Amy Hines

I have known Amy Hines all my life, so it didn’t surprise me that she shared my interest in the outdoors and Florida native plants.  Although her home is in Pensacola, she was always supportive of my adventures in the Paynes Prairie Chapter. She decided that there needed to be a chapter in the panhandle; so she initiated the Longleaf Pine Chapter serving western panhandle counties with her gardening friends.  Amy served as officer and program director for several years, building up the membership with her vibrant personality. And she gathered plant lovers from local gardeners, University of Florida Milton campus, DEP and other environmental groups to keep the chapter rolling.  It was the first chapter of FNPS in that section of Florida and even though it was a distant one, she also helped tie it together by becoming Chapter Rep and working closely with Executive Director Kariena Veaudry.

As years passed other plant enthusiasts in nearby Santa Rosa County were interested in native plants, so she helped start another chapter in nearby Gulf Breeze, the Solidago Chapter, the newest FNPS group. Her experience helped guide that group and introduce even more people to Florida native plants!

My sister also contributes financially to our society. Amy’s love of native plants inspires her work in metal flower garden sculptures she designs and creates. You may have met Amy at one of the last few annual conferences where she was a vendor, contributing 20% of her sales to the conference funding. She also generously contributed a week’s stay at her Tennessee cabin as an FNPS silent auction item for the last 2 conferences which generated additional money for FNPS.

Amy is a wonderful ambassador for FNPS and I hope you agree she deserves to be recognized with a Palmetto Award for her past and continuing service.

Claudia Larsen

President, Paynes Prairie Chapter

Charles Holmes (2007)

Charles Holmes (Coccoloba Chapter, 2007)

Marjorie Holt (Tarflower Chapter, 2017)

Marjorie Holt has been very active in growth management issues around Central Florida.  She has worked diligently to preserve our remaining natural lands from development, helped to conserve countless plant species and plant communities, and has helped organize numerous plant rescue and restoration projects.  In her “spare time” she has created a spectacular native landscape at her home, which is often featured on native garden tours.

Craig Huegel (Pinessas Chapter, 2001)

 Education, for his many contributions over the years, including authoring two popular FNPS books that teach and promote the native plant - animal connection

Craig Huegel (Pinellas Chapter, 1991)

Joel Jackson (Suncoast Chapter, 2016)

Joel Jackson is a founding member of the Suncoast Native Plant Society, and attended the very first meeting in 1980.  He also attended FNPS’s first conference, and served as Vice President of the Suncoast Chapter for two years.  

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Joel has also been promoting and protecting native plants throughout his career.  Between 1977 and 1983 he managed a 10 million dollar bond to build Hillsborough County’s Lettuce Lake, Alderman’s Ford, Upper Tampa Bay, Edward Medard, and Eureka Springs natural resource based parks.  He was a manager for the City of Tampa Parks Department from 1983 to 1993. 

From 1993 to 2006, Joel went back to the County to manage a 20 million dollar bond to build more parks, and during that time he managed a staff of engineers, architects, and project managers to plan, design, and build the new county park facilities.  Joel adopted a policy to use native plants early on while working in the parks department, and adhered to that policy throughout his profession, then into retirement. One of his first projects after retiring in 2006 was as a building chairman for his church, where he landscaped the 17 acre site using native plants. 

He continued his advocacy for native plants and wildlife as a member of the Suncoast Native Plant Society and the Tampa Bay Audubon Society. Recognizing the necessity of healthy native plant habitats to birds and wildlife, he solicited grants from SNPS and Tampa Audubon Society to build a native plant garden at the Visitor’s Center at Lettuce Lake Park.  After receiving the grants, Joel designed, purchased plants and coordinated volunteers from both organizations to complete the native garden. One illustration of Joel’s commitment to these projects are the colorful and informative signage he created for the native plant garden. To save money, Joel researched, called sign-makers, and, after trial and error, created attractive, durable signs that would withstand the heat and rain.

With the garden complete, Joel uses it as a tool to teach others about the importance of native plants to birds and wildlife. He also offers presentations on “Landscaping with Native Plants” to Audubon members, and students in the USF Senior Learning Program. He also works with a team of USF students to remove exotics from the park, all the while educating them on the importance of native plants.

 As a skilled photographer Joel’s plant and wildlife photos appear in newsletters, magazines, and on-line resources. His photos have made their way in FNPS’s monthly magazine “The Palmetto”, and he was a photo contributor to the book Florida Native Plants authored by Wunderlin and Kish.

Joel recently moved to Pasco County and is active in Suncoast Chapter of the Native Plant Society. He regularly attends both Suncoast and Nature Coast Chapter meetings. His continuous involvement with the Suncoast Chapter is much appreciated, especially his role as the lead auctioneer for our native plant auction at the end of each meeting. His knowledge and enthusiasm has made it a great money maker for the chapter.

Because Joel has been involved with so many different environmental advocacy projects as both professional and volunteer, his long list of native plant accomplishments are remarkable, all of which are not possible to list.  And even though Joel has been a very active member of FNPS for over 30 years, to this day he tirelessly and urgently continues to work hard promoting the use of native plants at every opportunity. For these reasons we nominated him for the FNPS Green Palmetto Service Award.

Submitted by Donna Bollenbach, Troy Springer, Janet Bowers, Shirley Denton, Gar Reed and Devon Higginbotham on behalf of the Suncoast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society

Trebatoski JoAnne (Coccoloba Chapter, 2007)

Greg Jubinski (2010)

Awarded for Service, especially for his work in invasive species awarness.

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Nominee: Greg Jubinski – FNPS Green Palmetto Service Award

Nominated by Kristina Serbesoff-King, Kathy O’Reilly-Doyle and Drew Leslie

Greg is very motivated; he is passionate about conservation –from his home life to his work life. He is the Program Leader, Upland Invasive Plant Management Program Division of Habitat and Species Conservation Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to wildlife and plant habitat in the State of Florida. Greg is at the helm of one of the most effective programs in the State, working to combat that problem. He not only thinks out of the box, he creates new and innovative approaches. Greg has no tolerance for wasting time or resources; as a result he is keenly focused on improving efficiency and effectiveness of his program. He has made a huge difference in the state of Florida planning and implementing the eradication of invasives which makes FL native ecosystems healthier. Greg is the “go to” person state wide and his professionalism and reputation are well known. He has been a speaker at the FNPS conference on several occasions and is a long time member and provides the society with resources. He is a dedicated FNPS member who’s life and career embody and forward the mission of the Florida Native Plant Society. “What drives a man like Greg to invest his professional and personal time and energy to restore and protect native habitat in the State of Florida? My guess is that he has a personal connection to the nature around him.” He has a stewardship ethic that fuels his leadership role in designing programs and leading the charge to make a measurable difference on the ground, and stay focused on the actions that truly matter.

Greg Jubinsky, is an enigma –he’s a conservationist extraordinaire.

George Kish (Suncoast Chapter, 2009)

Awarded for Service.  He has been an active member of his chapter and has been its President and Newletter editor.  He has written many native plant profiles, and has become one of Florida's best known experts on phenology and the potential effects of climatic change on phenology of Florida natives.

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George R Kish has been a member since 1999 and active in the Society from the very beginning. He was the newsletter editor from 2000 to 2002, and still provides plant profiles for the newsletter today. He joined the chapter board in 2000 as Secretary, and was president of the Suncoast Chapter from 2002 to 2005. George is currently a member of Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Green Industry Advisory Committee, representing the Florida Native Plant Society since 2000. George Kish earned his M.S. degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University, and a B.S degree in Biological Sciences from Drexel University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida and his doctoral dissertation will emphasize the relation between plant phenology and climate. George also taught an introductory coarse in environmental science at the University of South Florida, and is often a guest lecturer for courses in the department of geology. George Kish regularly gives talks to FNPS chapters, non-profit groups, and community development organizations about native landscaping, native grasses, butterfly gardening, and Florida’s ecosystems. He was instrumental in “Life in our Landscapes”, a grant from FNPS. This grant was an outreach program to big box stores on using natives in landscaping. Lastly, he is listed as one of the authors in The Right Plants for Dry Places, second edition, and is one of the authors of The Right Plants for Dry Coastal Places (in preparation). George Kish has inspired others to become active in native plant issues, and is one of the reasons our chapter has become so successful. We are proud of the leadership that George has bestowed on the Suncoast Chapter, and very proud of the work he has done in furthering the cause of the Florida Native Plant Society.

Ken Langeland (1998)

Technical, Manual on invasive alien pest plants.

Peggy Lantz (Tarflower Chapter, 1988)

Publications Committee Head, Editor of The Palmetto

Claudia Larsen (Paynes Prairie Chapter, 1999)

Service, A founding member of the Paynes Prairie Chapter formed in 1986, and has served in leading role ever since.  She organizes plant rescues, has helped FDOT create a reasonable policy for native wildflowers on roadsides, and has worked with others to create native plant demonstration sites.

AnnMarie Loveridge (Lakela's Mint Chapter, 2014)

Presented for service including lectures, nature walks through preserves & parks, garden tours & booths at many chapter and community events which  educate the public on the importance of using native plants in landscaping and on local environmental issues.

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Nomination Letter

Received by Martha Steuart at the February 2014 BOD meeting

I would like to nominate AnnMarie Loveridge from the Lakela's Mint Chapter of the FNPS in St. Lucie County for the service award for the Green Palmetto & Mentor Awards. AnnMarie arranges & heads two to three events monthly.

These events include lectures, nature walks through preserves & parks, garden tours & booths at many events for eco-systems & plant sales. She has free plant & seed give-aways at most of the events. All these events are to educate the public on the importance of using native plants & on local environmental issues. She is tireless & we wouldn't have a chapter without her. She also represents us at the Conservation Alliance, which is a very important environmental group.

Diane Goldberg

Lakela's Mint Treasurer

Paul and Winn Lowry (Conradina Chapter, 2012)

The award was given for service to their chapter.

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Conradina Chapter, FNPS, Inc. would like to nominate long-time members Paul and Winn Lowry for a Green Palmetto award for service to the chapter. Paul and Winn both served for many years as both board members and treasurer of the chapter and Paul spent a year getting the chapter incorporated pro bono. Paul has until recently used most of his yard as a nursery for native plants. He is a meticulous record-keeper on what methods worked best for propagating everything from coonties to Conradina grandiflora, and has given presentations to the chapter on propagating natives. He has donated hundreds of plants for chapter plant sales and hosted plant walks through his no-lawn yard over the years. He and Winn worked with Travis MacClendon on expanding and updating the Brevard County herbarium and both led and attended many plant walks. They have volunteered at many outreach events and at meetings. While they both have had to take it easy now (serious health reasons), they have contributed hundreds of hours to the chapter and to promoting Florida native plants. I don’t know exactly how many years they have been members, but I think it is close to 20 if not more.



Martha Steuart

Conradina Chapter President

Chuck McCartney (Broward Chapter Chapter, 2002)


Barbara McCormick (Citrus Chapter, 2018)

Awarded for her work in educational programming.

Eric Menges (South Ridge Chapter, 1999)

Science, a research scientist in the area of plant ecology & conservation at Archibold Biological Station. He has established long-term studies on most Of the Lake Wales Ridge endemic plants and regularly reports his findings in peer-reviewed journals.

Dan Miller (Magnolia Chapter, 2010)

Nominated for Service to his chapter, restoration of the native plant garden and MacClay Gardens State Park, and support for regional conservation

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Nominee: Dan Miller – FNPS Green Palmetto Service Award
Nominated by members of the Magnolia Chapter

The Magnolia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society is pleased and honored to nominate Dan Miller for the Green Palmetto Service Award. Dan’s commitment to native plants is broad, covering many different aspects of service. He has served on the Magnolia Chapter Board for over six years. He brings native plants that he has propagated to Chapter meetings and to many different festivals and events in the area. He has helped countless individuals learn about growing native plants in their gardens. He contributes extensively to the annual Birdsong Nature Center plant sale. He has made numerous presentations for Chapter programs, and programs requested by gardening and nature groups throughout the region. 

One of Dan's most demanding achievements has been providing the leadership and hundreds of volunteer hours to the restoration of the native plant garden at MacClay Gardens state park. He is unfailingly generous with his time, and unfailingly kind and patient with his assistance and support.

Dan’s service commitment extends far beyond our local area; he has been a strong advocate for regional conservation. By training and trade, Dan Miller is a quiet chemist. But a small yellow flower (actually millions of small yellow flowers gathered together) turned him into a tireless and fearless crusader. Under his leadership, with solid support from key people like Gil Nelson and Wilson Baker, along with many other supporters, Dan spent three years of continuous hard work that resulted in saving a precious piece of land to be the home of countless trout lilies in perpetuity.

In 2006, Dan and Wilson discovered a treasure, a threatened treasure, and were inspired to ensure its safety. On a 140 acre tract in South Georgia, land scheduled to be sold for residential dwellings, they were awed to find the largest population of trout lilies (Erythronium umbilicatum) they had ever seen or heard of. Thus began a long and tough effort to secure this land as a public sanctuary. Dan was key in speaking to local officials, state and national conservancy organizations, and many individual donors for the purpose of finding over half a million dollars to buy this land from a friendly and cooperative owner. By June of 2009, the deadline for a major source of funding was fast approaching. At the last moment, a private donor pledged the amount necessary to seal the deal, and Dan was actually reported to be seen dancing with joy.

We all owe Dan our heartfelt gratitude for his ceaseless efforts in territory entirely new to him, because of a cause that he cared for so deeply.

Ray Miller (2004)


Kristi Moyer (Palm Beach Chapter, 2013)

Awarded for Service and Education especially on the use of natives in everyday landscapes and for the development of native plant demonstration gardens.  She also educates through seminars and has practical knowledge about native plants in the landscape through her work as  facilities manager at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. 

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Kristi Moyer has been instrumental in both small and large native plant installations throughout Palm Beach County. Her infectious optimism is only matched by her incredible ability to organize and inspire – a talent that has successfully resulted in many native plants having new happy homes in Palm Beach County.

I have personally worked with her on two of many projects. It has been a true pleasure - and quite amazing - to see her unique abilities to make good things happen despite challenges.

The first project involved a habitat restoration project at the Morikami Elementary School. The goal was to restore a remnant wetland that had been overlooked after the school was completed. Since Morakami is a green school, motivated parents and teachers thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to restore essential habitat while providing a living laboratory for the young students. It was not easy. There were many group procedural meetings, concerns about potential future school expansions, fund raising activities, temporary irrigation and weeding issues to be addressed, and site inventories to be done. But she prevailed through all these trials – and successfully organized (on time!) plant delivery and volunteer installation of truckloads of native plants from various local nurseries. This event was so successful with staff and young students, a second event was later scheduled by the group to install additional overstory plants for the regenerating site.

In addition, Kristi has taken the lead in designing and installing one of Habit for Humanities first all-native home landscapes in Palm Beach County. Habitat for Humanity International, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of sub-standard housing by building simple, safe, and affordable homes for low-income, hardworking families who cannot qualify for a conventional mortgage. Again, the process was complex but Kristi remained undaunted. Many site meetings, phone calls, budget requests, coordination efforts, and of course last minute design changes were involved. But Kristi rolled with the punches – often with a toddler strapped to her back. She managed to get significant amounts of funds and plant material donated for free from local nurseries and organizations. She even donated three cabbage palm trees from Pine Jog Nature Center to complete the landscape design. She and her staff were right there digging and planting with the volunteers and even offered to water the landscape after it was installed. But perhaps most importantly, she spent time with the new home owners to carefully explain the benefits of native plants and gently walk them through the responsibilities of taking care of their very first garden. This has been a wonderful collaboration between the Native Plant Society and a number of local volunteer groups that hopefully will gain even more momentum in the future.

This was all done in addition to her ongoing work as facilities manager at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. Needless to say, as part of her job she has developed native plant seminars, several native plant demonstration gardens, a wetland creation area,listed plant preservation areas, and pine flatwood restoration sites within the campus. And she just keeps going – be on the lookout for more great native plant projects in the future!

Nominated by Rob Hopper

Richard Moyroud (Dade Chapter, 2003)

 Service.  For his work as the FNPS representative on the FDACS Endangered Plant Advisory Council.

Gil Nelson (Magnolia Chapter, 2005)

David Niemi (Palm Beach Chapter, 2013)

Awarded for his inspiration and leadership in the restoration of the Snook Islands Maritime Hardwood Hammock.

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Planting Coordinator

This is the story of how one person can make a difference through perseverance and lots of emails. It takes place in Palm Beach County at a site adjacent to the Lake Worth Lagoon, where the County had planted mangroves to create underwater habitat. The outcome is creation of the Snook Islands Maritime Hardwood Hammock through a public-private volunteer partnership inspired and implemented by the Snook Islands Volunteers on Lake Worth Lagoon (SIV-LWL) led by David Niemi.

The public use facilities at the Snook Islands Natural Area were under construction for a year. During that time, David Niemi and fellow volunteers decided that the “weedy”, overgrown construction site had potential as an upland restoration project. He contacted local native plant growers and asked if they had any “cast-away” native plants that they could donate for such a project.

One local grower, FNPS member Jane Thompson of Indian Trails Native Nursery, responded with an offer of approximately 200 native plants from her January overstock. Jane met on site with a few local volunteers. She measured and mapped the potential planting area, then designed a maritime hardwood hammock restoration plan for the upland area at the edge of the lagoon. Her design included over 400 native plants, which she donated. However, the plants needed to be transported from the nursery, located west of U.S. 441, to the edge of the lagoon.

A few more emails and telephone calls by Dave and Buck Thornton, a resident of Lake Worth and owner of J.D. Thornton Nursery in Clewiston, volunteered to transport the plants with two truck/trailers and two crews of men. Buck also donated and delivered approximately 32 cubic yards of melaleuca mulch to the site. Now all the SIV-LWL needed was volunteers. Dave once again sat at his computer and contacted numerous organization and found six environmental and native plant groups, including the Palm Beach Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS), who responded by placing requests in
their newsletters for volunteers to help install the plants on March 3, 2012. Approximately 100 volunteers responded. By the end of that day, all of the plants were in the ground, mulched and watered in. The total cost of the project was $220 for fertilizer, which was donated by the Palm Beach Chapter of FNPS.

Once again through Dave’s contacts, the City of Lake Worth Grounds Maintenance Department, under the supervision of Dave McGrew, was an active partner in the project. The Maintenance Department, Indian Trails Native Nursery, J. D. Thornton Nursery, Palm Beach Chapter FNPS and the SIV-LWL teamed together to create the maritime hardwood hammock. The hammock is a living museum of native vegetation, giving visitors a glimpse into the pre-development past.

Nomination by Lynn Sweetay of the Palm Beach Chapter

Eliane Norman (1996)

Technical, retired Stetson University professor, For her work on native plants (notably the rare pawpaw)and native plant communities

Shirley Petty (Hernando Chapter, 2002)


Patty Phares (Dade Chapter Chapter, 2000)


Ron Plakke (Lake Beautyberry Chapter, 2008)

Awarded for his vision, leadership and guidance in the restoration of approximately 50 acres of land in Lake County’s PEAR Park into scrub habitat. 


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Ron Plakke has provided the vision, leadership and guidance in the restoration of approximately 50 acres of land in Lake County’s PEAR Park into scrub habitat. He conceived the project, developed the time-line, applied for and received grants, recruited and trained volunteers and generally motivated us all with his dedication, kindness and teaching skills. He also put in many hours as a field laborer: planting, weeding, watering and doing whatever needed to be done. Without his leadership and guidance, this project would have fizzled. Another of his concepts, a demonstration garden, has also become a reality. One of each type of plant in the 50 acres of scrub plantings is on display in the demonstration garden.

Most of us involved in these projects are transplants to Florida. As such, we all have had to learn the flora and fauna, habitat types and ecosystems in our adopted land. Ron has taught us about the plants which are found here, where they thrive, and how to make them grow and survive in a field. He has done this as a friend and co-worker, not as a lofty academician. Hundreds of us have learned our Florida-scrub-habitat lessons in the fields at PEAR Park. A few of us have become seed collectors, venturing into scrub sites around the area to provide seeds for our project at PEAR Park. We have learned about so many of the scrub plants, just to be able to collect seeds, nuts and berries for PEAR. His vision has touched us in unexpected ways.

Dr. Ronald Plakke’s achievements at PEAR Park should be recognized:

  • A knowledgeable and active volunteer base
  • Mentoring and motivating of a few volunteers to “expert” status
  • A 50 acre scrub site created from fields of hairy indigo
  • A scrub demonstration garden
  • A xeric butterfly garden


Ron also shares his time on the local lecture circuit, as a speaker at various community, garden and environmental clubs. His talks are humorous and informative and do not put his audiences to sleep.

Cynthia Plockelman (Palm Beach Chapter, 2008)

Awarded for her service to her chapter including donations of native plants.  She was Policy Committee Chair for FNPS for many years, and continuously advocated for smart management of Florida's natural resources.

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Cynthia Plockelman is 4th generation Floridian with ancestors who settled in the Shingle Creek area of Osceola County after the Civil War. Other ancestors came from a young Miami to settle at Figulus (also known as the Potter Homestead in Palm Beach).

While growing up in West Palm Beach, only two families, (hers and one other) lived on an isolated road off the Intracoastal Waterway. She has loving memories as a youth of running through the sand pine scrub community that surrounded her home. She also remembers the large gumbo limbo trees that dotted her yard. She cherished family trips to Miami, passing by extensive marshes and undisturbed natural communities.

She credits the Native Plant Workshops in Miami (held earlier in Brickell Hammock) during the mid to late 1970's as nurturing her appreciation of native plants and was instrumental in helping promote the protection of special areas in south Florida, similar to what FNPS is doing statewide currently.

Cynthia is a Florida Native Plant Society and Palm Beach Chapter charter member and has been intimately involved in thee local and state level since their inceptions. She has held various chapter offices, including President and Vice-President and she is a tireless member who brings positive energy to each FNPS meeting – she is always sure to make new members and visitors feel welcome.

Cynthia regularly provides plantings from her yard for the monthly native plant teachings and continually volunteers at local outreach events, such as Naturescape in which she recently received an award for her efforts. She distributes FNPS literature and shares personal experiences with native plants and cultivates stewards of FNPS..

On the FNPS Board of Directors, Cynthia has held the position of Governmental Policy Chair and for many years she was the Chapter Representative for the Palm Beach Chapter. She was instrumental in the creation of the environmental action alert system in which members are notified by email when environmental issues arise that need a response.

Cynthia recently retired after 40 years of employment with the South Florida Water Management District. She held the position of Technical Reference Librarian. Since her retirement, Cynthia has become a regular participant at the monthly Board meetings of the South Florida Water Management District, Palm Beach County Commission meetings and other environmental and land use meetings too numerous to mention. Her love of the environment and advocacy efforts have been felt and appreciated by all.

Bobbi Rogers (Mangrove Chapter, 2010)

Award for Service to her chapter.

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Nominated by John Holyland, Al Squires and the Mangrove Chapter
When Bobbi Rodgers joined the Mangrove Chapter in 1997 she began a career of service that continues to this day. Her service has helped to transform this one time stagnant Chapter into the vibrant, growing Chapter it is today.
Bobbi was a new member when she accepted the position of President and served two terms (1998-2002). She followed this with service as Immediate Past President and Chapter Representative (2003-04). She then assumed responsibility for arranging our busy program of speakers as Program Chair (2003-06). When both the Publicity Chair and Conservation/Education Chair asked to be relieved of their duties, Bobbi relinquished her program duties and assumed these roles (2007-present) She has also authored an invasive plant booklet and produced a DVD on “Lemon Bay, Past, Present and Future”, both encouraging the use of native plants. Bobbi makes sure Mangrove Chapter activities are announced and reported in the press and maintains the Chapter web presence. Bobbi is the Resource Manager of Cedar Point Environmental Park and has offered this facility as the site of the Chapter’s Annual Plant Native Day and the planned Chapter Garden.
Whether serving as an officer or board member, manning a booth at an environmental event, producing informational materials or setting up chairs for a meeting, Bobbi has served as an example of a service orientated person for over a decade in the Mangrove Chapter. Please help us honor her record by presenting her with the Florida Native Plant Society Green Palmetto

George Rogers (Martin County Chapter, 2019)

Chuck Salter (1995)

For his work on native plant propagation and promotion of natives

Paul Schmalzer (Sea Rocket Chapter, 2005)

Laurie Sheldon (Ixia Chapter, 2014)

Award given for service including prooting FNPS, service to the Ixia Chapter, and years of writing and promoting the FNPS blog, Facebook page, and Twitter.

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Dear Steve,

After consulting with F.N.P.S. Executive Director Kellie Westervelt to find out if it was kosher to do so, I have decided to nominate myself (Laurie Sheldon) for the Green Palmetto Award for Service. Here is my supporting rationale for this nomination: With your encouragement, I decided to join the Ixia chapter around October of 2011 and quickly became a very active member. I volunteered to promote F.N.P.S. on literally dozens of occasions at environmentally-focused events throughout the Jacksonville area, and helped with local chapter projects, including completely revamping the chapter newsletter (and assuming the role of editor), and participating in a seed-sowing event (our chapter had obtained a grant to pay for native wildflower seeds) just before Thanksgiving of 2011. It was during that event that Linda Schneider (Ixia Chapter Representative) approached me and asked if I would be willing to tackle the statewide Social Media front, as Sue Dingwell (who had been writing the blog, etc.) was moving to Virginia, and Ginny Stibolt (her Blog/Facebook partner) was going on a cruise around the world and would not be available for quite some time. With absolutely no background in blogging, but a fairly strong hold on writing and most things horticulturally-related, I agreed to do it. I met with Ginny for a couple of hours one afternoon, got the fast and furious tutorial about Blogger and general do’s and don’ts for Facebook, and Shirley Denton’s email address (as a sort of emergency contact). Sue Took off. Ginny took off. I took off running, and have never looked back. For over two years now, I have written thoughtful, engaging blogs for F.N.P.S., and helped to grow the organization’s social media following from less than 1,500 to over 6,000. It is an everyday thing. Social media is like New York City - there’s no down time. And I’ve done all of it without any reimbursement. So that’s why I feel I deserve this award. Forget the numerous meetings at which I’ve been the guest speaker. Forget the thousands of dollars I helped raise at the 2013 Conference as a byproduct of the workshop I helped put on. Those are nothing compared to the THOUSANDS of hours I’ve given to advancing the mission of this organization as Social Media Chair - in a matter of a couple years. In short, I want something to hang on my wall that says, “Hey, Laurie - you rock! We totally appreciate you and what you’ve done for this organization, and believe that you deserve to be acknowledged” (if not worshipped - just kidding). It is my hope that the B.O.D. will recognize my dedication to F.N.P.S. by awarding me the Green Palmetto for Service. Thank you for considering me for this honor.


Laurie E. Sheldon, F.N.P.S. Social Media

Jerry Shrewsbury (2004)


Lavone Silvernell (Tarflower Chapter, 2011)

Elizabeth Smith (1989)

Technical, Artwork for Planning & Planting a Native Plant Yard

Erick Smith (Paynes Prairie Chapter, 2008)

Awarded for service to his chapter including acting as its chapter representative, being a field trip leader, educating the public on the importance of native area conservation, educating on  native tree biology, planting and landscape care. 

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Erick served for several years as Paynes Prairie Chapter representative. Erick is almost always on every field trip and has been trip leader not only for the chapter but also for other events like Rally for the River. He is an advocate of introducing native habitat and special areas to a wide variety of Florida residents. As an urban forester he shares a wealth of knowledge about native tree biology, planting and landscape care. He began the popular plant identification workshop that is open before chapter meetings to anyone who wishes to learn ID techniques with plant keys and ID books. Even though there are not regularly scheduled summer programs, he held monthly workshops to keep members interested in plant identification. Erick is quick to volunteer to take FNPS information to Gainesville events and he had a great rapport with members of many of Gainesville’s Environmental groups. Erick also supports native plant mission in public places – he promotes and defends the use of native plants to the city commission and public parks division and donates time and advice on proper landscape design.

Troy Springer (Suncoast Chapter, 2014)

Given for Service including his leadership of the 2012 Society Conference in Plant City, service to the chapter including promoting and developing chapter's spring and fall plant sales, participation in chapter leadership including being chapter president (2011-2012), and tireless support of the use of natives in landscaping. 

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Nomination to the Green Palmetto Award

On behalf of the Board of Directors for the Suncoast Chapter of FNPS, I am pleased to nominate Troy Springer for the Green Palmetto Award for 2014.

A Chapter member for the past 10 years, Troy assumed the additional responsibilities of the Suncoast Board of Directors for 2006 – 2011 and, again this year, in 2014.  He was Suncoast’s president in 2009 and 2010.  He broadened the concept of participating in local education events, sometimes representing the chapter singlehandedly.

As FNPS Conference Chair for 2012, Troy’s leadership was instrumental in the evolution and execution of this very successful conference in Plant City.  He led a two-chapter team during a time of transition between two FNPS executive directors when the team had to supply most of its own knowledge base to plan the conference.

Each spring and fall for the past 5 years, Troy has also been the Chair of our main fundraiser, the native plant sale at USF, a weekend long event that tests the stamina of any native plant enthusiast.  He arranges for plants, picks them up from the nurseries, and returns any that did not sell.  In many years, he also organized the volunteers.  His tireless work has led to financially successful and well attended sales.

He is also a vocal advocate for native plants through his business, Springer Environmental, using his landscaping skills to promote native plants and wildflowers.  He readily speaks to both novices and experts, garden clubs, civic organizations, and FNPS chapters about his experiences in growing natives and creating landscapes that are locally appropriate and which change dynamically through the seasons.  His personal garden brings many people into native plant landscaping.  Troy also enjoys being in nature and is willing to delve into some of the densest and remotest thickets to find hidden botanical treasures.

The Suncoast Chapter wholeheartedly nominates Troy Springer for the Green Palmetto Award for 2014.

Al Squires (Mangrove Chapter, 2006)


Ginnie Stibolt (Ixia Chapter, 2013)

Awarded for Service including major contribution to the development of the FNPS blog and Facebook sites and was a major editor of the FNPS website,especially the Native Plants for Your Area resource.  She is also a native plant author, gardener, and speaker.

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It is with great enthusiasm and the support of the Ixia chapter Board of Directors that I am writing to nominate Ginny Stibolt for the Palmetto Award for Service. Here is my supporting rationale for this nomination:

Ginny moved to Florida from Maryland in 2004, and joined the Ixia chapter in 2006 after it had reorganized. A seasoned northern gardener, she began writing about the trials and tribulations that she encountered as a new Florida gardener in a blog entitled the Transplanted Gardener. That got her headed down the garden writing path; she currently writes for the F.N.P.S. blog in addition to staying on top of her own blog called Green Gardening Matters. She has also been a featured writer for the Lawn Reform Coalition, Floridata, and the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog, and has used those venues to promote F.N.P.S. when appropriate.

Ginny has been working on the F.N.P.S. social media front (Facebook/Blog/Twitter) for at least two years now - a job which deserves an award itself, as it is incredibly time-consuming - TRUST ME.

She was also instrumental in helping Shirley Denton expand and update the new website. She proofread every page, verified every link, and edited EVERY plant in the database (added plant families, checked/amended/cleaned up descriptions, and inserted photos where needed). As Publicity Chair for this year’s conference in Jacksonville, Ginny has taken it upon herself to make life much easier on whoever fills her shoes next year by writing up detailed instructions for working with the conference pages on the website.

After authoring two books about gardening in Florida (Sustainable Gardening for Florida and Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida, both published by the University Press of Florida), Ginny secured a contract for a third book: The Art of Maintaining a Native Landscape. She has already negotiated for half of her royalties to be donated to F.N.P.S.

When she’s not behind the screen of a computer or experimenting in her own garden, Ginny can be found giving presentations to gardening groups and representing F.N.P.S. at events attended by a demographic of potential members.

Ginny Stibolt has contributed countless hours to F.N.P.S. and to advancing its mission. Her dedication warrants recognition, and the well-deserved honor of being nominated for and receiving the Palmetto Award for Service. I can only help with the first part of that equation. It is my hope that the B.O.D. will see it through. Thank you for your consideration.

Nominated by Laurie Sheldon

Martha Stuart (2007)

Martha Stuart (Conradina Chapter, 2007)

Georgia Tasker (Dade Chapter, 1986)

Georgia Tasker -- "...has written many articles about native plants in the Miami Herald, many of which were published by FNPS as Wild Things as well as authored the only book published by FNPS."

Cynthia (Sid) Taylor (Hernando Chapter, 2006)


Walter Taylor (Tarflower Chapter, 2000)

Education, Tarflower Chapter

Loret Thatcher (Pine Lily Chapter, 2018)

Award for Service to the Society.

JoAnne Trebatoski (2007)

Chris Trost (Coccoloba Chapter, 2009)

Awarded for Administration and Service to her chapter.  . 

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Chris Trost has been a stalwart member of the FNPS Coccoloba Chapter serving on the BOD in a variety of offices requiring a functional left brain. The Coccoloba Chapter nominates her for the Green Palmetto award for Administration and Service. After many years of service on the executive committee she remains active in administrative roles assisting the new Chapter officers. She has always been one to see that see that the checklist of needed services required for plant sales, planting projects and outreach meetings was covered by members. Additionally, she has been politically active attending meetings and organizing letter writing efforts to remind administrative agencies responsible for protecting native plants and their habitats that the FNPS is monitoring their activities. Chris Trost is one of the “unsung heroes” of the FNPS who for more than fifteen years has helped keep us organized and accomplishing many successful project to further the FNPS mission. The Coccoloba Chapter nominates Chris Trost for the Green Palmetto award for Administration and Service. Chris has been a member of the Coccoloba Chapter for nearly 15 years and during that time has served several years on the board and various committees. She has been the "go to" person for a myriad of questions and problems. She has devoted countless hours organizing the chapter's finances and secretarial records. Chris invariably will join field trips because of her love of native plants, their communities and her enthusiasm for sharing her vast knowledge in the subject. She has been a fixture at our semiannual plant sales as cashier, record keeper AND creator of the now famous, delicious sandwich wraps she makes for the volunteer's lunch. Additionally, Chris devotes several Saturdays by taking the FNPS message to countless festivals, galas and other public events throughout the county in an effort to educate the public about the superior attributes of native plants and encourage new memberships. Chris will never let an issue go un addressed and writes politicians and government officials on a nearly daily basis, defending our environment, sustainability and of course demanding and encouraging the use of native plants.

Carmel VanHoek (Suncoast Chapter, 2008)

Awarded for Service, especially for sharing her plant identification skills and her contributions to the plant lists of public parks and other public lands.

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Carmel vanHoek, a long-time member of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS), has volunteered for many tireless years of work at Avon Park Air Force Range (Avon Park AFR). Carmel took on a project to collect voucher specimens as part of an effort to catalogue the diverse flora of Avon Park AFR. She spent many weekends searching for plants that needed voucher specimens and documenting plants not previously known to occur at Avon Park AFR. Over a period of 7 years she collected at least 1,500 sheets of voucher specimens and documented several hundred plants new to the flora of the military installation. Without her assistance and dedication, the flora of Avon Park AFR would not be one of the largest in peninsular Florida, with some 1,155 vascular plant taxa.

Of particular note is Carmel’s ability to recognize interesting plants and her self-taught knowledge on the identification and documentation of the local flora. Her tireless efforts produced some of the finest contributions to the “Flora of Florida” project at the USF herbarium. There are several hundred identified, labeled, and mounted specimens now deposited at USF as a permanent record of Carmel’s dedication while volunteering at Avon Park AFR. These specimens are not only an important contribution towards documenting the flora of Avon Park AFR, but are of value in documenting the flora of Florida. They are available for all researchers to study, and a significant contribution to the Flora of Florida project at USF.

This is even more remarkable since Carmel is a self-taught expert in the field of plant taxonomy. Furthermore, she has challenged herself to become an expert on many of the plant groups that even many professional botanists steer clear of…namely grasses and sedges. She realized that these often forgotten and overlooked plants are not only a challenge to learn but are important components of the natural biodiversity of Florida.

Carmel not only spent many hours at Avon Park AFR collecting plants under harsh conditions (heat and humidity), she also ventured into areas that are home to venomous snakes and feral hogs to search for unusual plants. She donated her own supplies and time in understanding the flora and making a long-lasting contribution to the science of plant taxonomy. This requires a major investment of personal time, since once she left the field she still had the daunting job of identification of her collections and preparation of herbarium labels. These are very time-consuming tasks which she undertook willingly. While there are many citizens working to protect the native flora of Florida, there are few that have taken this commitment to such a high scientific standard. Carmel has succeeded in making many scientific contributions. In my opinion, it is remarkable enough for someone to be a self-taught plant taxonomist, but to achieve contributions of scientific merit is a major accomplishment.

Her tenure at Avon Park AFR was only the beginning. In her post- Avon Park AFR years she has continued to collect high-quality herbarium specimens and has been instrumental in contributing towards the development of plant lists for several state-owned preserves. She has even made several plant finds that were worthy of scientific publication.

Karina Veaudry (Tarflower Chapter, 2005)

Barbara Waddell (1996)

For her Brazilian pepper control efforts & producing a color brochure about the control of Brazilian pepper

Hester Wagner (2003)


Dan Ward (1996)

Dan Ward -- professor of botany at UF for his work on the book 'Big Trees of Florida'

Betty Wargo (Suncoast Chapter, 1998)

Awarded for many years of service as a photographer and educator.  She was also a very strong supporter of FNPS and often used her buying power at FNPS conference auctions to ensure that items would sell strongly and bring in substantial funds to support FNPS project.

Barbara Whittier (Cuplet Fern Chapter, 2019)

Ann Williams (Dade Chapter, 1997)

Technical, For her plant recovery efforts in the Keys

David Wilson (Charlotte Harbor Chapter, 1986)

David Wilson -- "organized a new chapter (Charlotte Harbor), and has been an excellent speaker at various conferences throughout Florida on the virtues of native plants."

Linda Wilson (Manatee Chapter, 2014)

Awarded for service including chapter leadership (a past chapter treasurer and board member) and assisting with chapter outread programs.

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Green Palmetto Award for Service

The Mangrove Chapter, FNPS would like to nominate Linda J. Wilson for the Green Palmetto Award for Service for 2014. She has been a member of our Chapter for 20 years (as of March) and has served on our Board of Directors in various capacities over those years. Previously, she has held positions as Vice President, Treasurer, By-laws Committee Chair, Conservation Chair, and Education Chair. As past Treasurer, she led us through our 501c3 status implementation and sales tax applications. Currently, Linda wears many hats, including Secretary, Historian, and Membership Chair. She is also our representative to the ECOSWF environmental group and serves as their Treasurer. She is also active with the Coastal Wildlife Club and has been on the Gopher Tortoise Council (and gave a presentation about the GTC at one of our past speaker programs).

In addition to those more formal activities, Linda has donated countless hours to our Chapter,   volunteering as Book Sales Manager, recording our Plant Lists on monthly Field Trips, helping with our Annual Outreach Program, and conducting Plant Surveys at the Englewood CHEC facility (Cedar Point Environmental Park). She is also a regular attendee at the Annual FNPS State Conferences. Besides that, Linda “lives native”, residing on a couple of acres of land that is totally native—no turf grass and full of native trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers, vines and groundcovers that fills up a three-page plant list. Linda does all of this while holding down a full-time job as a medical professional.

We sincerely believe that this kind of service and dedication to the mission of the Florida Native Plant Society should be recognized and rewarded, and the Green Palmetto Award (for Service) is the best way for us to show her our appreciation.

Lois Cantwell, President

Alan H. Squires, Chapter Representative

Roy Woodbury (1995)

For his plant survey of DuPuis Reserve

Danny Young (Pawpaw Chapter, 2013)

Awarded for for Service. His services include outreach projects for his chapter, participating on the FNPS land management review committee, and initiating the Pawpaw Chapter's Rugel's Roundup" in 2012.  He has supported several citizen science projects intended to increase awareness of rare plants.

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The FNPS Pawpaw Chapter wishes to submit the name of Daniel J. Young for the 2013 Green Palmetto Award for Service. Danny Young, a UCF Graduate, is currently a biological consultant with Zev Cohen and Associates in Ormond Beach. He is a specialist in gopher tortoise protection and relocation. He was a key consultant in the preparation of the Doris Leeper Preserve Management Plan for Volusia County to submit to DEP for state owned lands within the preserve. He garnered Pawpaw Chapter volunteers to assist in plant and scrub jay surveys on Doris Leeper as well as other properties.

Despite an active family life and full time consulting career with Zev Cohen, Danny has found time to volunteer on various Pawpaw Chapter educational out-reach projects. My first exposure to Danny was in 1996. He and his wife (before children) volunteered with the Pawpaw Chapter on a Lyonia Preserve restoration project. When planting native scrub plants on a sandy hill exposed by a major road project, he was the only one who thought to bring along a product he called “water-grabber”. Since then he has served  the Pawpaw Chapter as an interpretive trail guide at the Gamble Place and the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Over the years he has presented informative programs, which always reveal his passion for anything related to Florida?s natural habitats. His knowledge and enthusiasm have had a lasting positive effect on his audiences. Since FNPS partnered with land management agencies on Land Management Reviews,Danny has been a strong proponent for securing volunteers from several FNPS chapters to serve on mandatory reviews of public lands bought with C.A.R. L. and Florida Forever funds. This involvement helped to build stronger community support for those approved Land Management Plans, even when they were contested in public.

Danny Young is also to be credited for initiating the Pawpaw Chapter?s first “Rugel?s Roundup” in May of 2012. He worked with Pawpaw Chapter to set up a “citizen science” project to do a systematic survey of Volusia County?s rare endemic pawpaw species (Deeringothamnus rugelii). Danny worked closely with Volusia County Land Management, and other known field specialists, as Dr. Eliane Norman, and Michael Jenkins, to set up a strategic survey plan. Logistics of the survey involved training of the volunteers for positive identification of D. rugelii, use of GPS devices to document its location on prepared maps. The intent was to make this an annual event, which will expand to other Volusia County areas suspected to be suitable for this rare endemic species. Positive results can already be see by this collaborative citizen science project. It has stimulated local public interest in a rare endemic plant, and has encouraged Volusia County Land Management to keep it as a species of interest, knowing that disturbance is key to its survival.

Over the years, Danny?s work and FNPS activity has had a positive impact on Florida?s land management, preservation, and habitat restoration. In the process he continues to inspire those around him. He is truly one of Florida?s sons worthy of the FNPS Green Palmetto Award.

Respectfully submitted by FNPS Pawpaw Chapter Representative, Sonya Guidry

Silver Palmetto Awards

Blaine Blaine (1990)

Treasurer, For his services as treasurer & his efforts toward improving the financial management of the society

Janice Broda (1992)

For her personal support to the president (Debbie Butts) when her house burned down, and fulfilling her responsibilities as secretary despite medical problems (surgery on her elbow)

Richard Brownscombe (Broward County Chapter, 2018)

Awarded for his years of service to FNPS from his local chapter to the Council of Chapters and the Board of Directors.

Robin Caple (Marion Big Scrub Chapter, 2009)

Awarded for her role as a founder of the Marion County (noe Big Scrub) Chaper and coordination with the FNPS Board.

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Robin Caple was the Marion County Chapter Representative on the Board of Directors. As a founding member of the chapter which started in 2007, Robin's energy, effervescent personality and hard work assisted the chapter in being successful right away. This year, when leadership in the chapter waned, she almost single handedly brought the chapter back to life and recruited more individuals to officer positions. She also is instrumental in running the chapter in terms of programming and education and outreach events. Recently, she participated in the Levy, Alachua and Marion County Florida Forever Listening session representing the chapter. This is a joint project between the FNPS and TNC and Robin assisted in the local organization and publicity to produce this event. As a Chapter Representative, Robin has readily participated in discussions and provided helpful comments and recommendations on a wide variety of issues and diligently provided an excellent communication link from the chapter to the BOD and from the BOD to the Chapter.

Joe Cascio (1987)

Joe Cascio designed the landscape award program and developed a policy for transplanting from the wild.

Liberton Cindy (Hernando Chapter, 2008)

Awarded for her service as Communications Chair. She has brought vision for how internal and external communications can work effectively within this society.

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Cindy Liberton has served for over four years as Communications Chair. She is also a strong leader in her local chapter (Hernando). Cindy's professional skills include both orgainizing people and graphic design. She has made FNPS presentation materials professional in content and appearance. She has been active and reliable on the FNPS Executive Committee and a strong advior and support for the entire committee. She has brought vision for how internal and external communications can work effectively within this society.

Anne Cox (Cocoplum Chapter, 2017)

Awarded for her service as Past President.

Anne Cox (2005)

Awarded for her tireless efforts Land Management Partners Committee Chair.  She invented this highly successful FNPS program.

Ina Crawford (Sweetbay Chapter, 2018)

Awarded for her years of service on the FNPS Board of Directors.

Paul Davis (1993)

Paul Davis -- For his leadership in managing the society's financial affairs, and for his efforts in revising the FNPS Bylaws and in clarifying the FNPS/chapter tax concerns

Shirley Denton (Suncoast Chapter, 2009)

Awarded for her work in Society leadership, her support of ongoing growth in her roll as Society Past President, creating an on-line membership renewal system and donation system, forwarding wesite development, and otherwise contributing to FNPS leadership. 

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Shirley Denton - is someone we all know and respect. She's been an integral part of the Society's success for years. Her work during her tenure as Past President involved working on the FNPS website, creating the online membership renewal system, creating the online donation system, designing the conference website page, being a member of the chapter grants committee, and leading the Nomination committee. There are many other "behind the scenes" tasks that Shirley completes. She's a valuable part of our leadership team and is dedicated to the science and success of the Florida Native Plant Society. She is reliable and can always be counted upon to develop operational progress within the Society, which keeps us strong and our technology up-to-date. Shirley received a Silver Palmetto award in 2003 and also in 2005 for her service to the Society. And now she is recognized again for her outstanding and professional service to the society.

Shirley Denton (Suncoast Chapter, 2005)

Science Chair, WebMaster.  At this time of this award, she had moved the Society forward to have a database driven website on the commercial web servier.  

Shirley Denton (Suncoast Chapter, 2003)

Science Chair and Web Master.  At the time of this award, she had reorganized the FNPS website so that it was driven by a menu, with every page available from that menu (prior to that time, there was no clear navigation structure).  She also made sure that the website was always current and removed the need to pay for basic webmaster services.

Mary, Ron Echols (Naples Chapter, 2009)

This award was given to two individuals who have worked together as a team.... Mary and Ron Echols - Mary and Ron Echols have served the Naples chapter in many leadership capacities including both serving as President of the chapter at different times. Ron is currently the Chapter Representative on the Board of Directors. Mary attends meetings as well and their wise input is an asset to the Board. Their consistent and thoughtful leadership has benefited the Naples chapter as well as the Board of Directors and has guided growth, good decisions and exemplary education and outreach projects. Mary and Ron are preserve stewards at an area preservation site and nature center and continuously spend time educating the general public about the importance of conservation, facts about native plants and native plant communities, and inspiring many in the Naples area.

Bob Egolf (Serenoa Chapter, 2004)

Vice President of Administration

Robert Egolf (Serenoa Chapter, 2008)

Bob Egolf is a past president of FNPS, a member of the Serenoa Chapter Board of Directors, and a member of the FNPS Board of Directors. He has recently taken on the long-unfilled post of Publications Chair for FNPS. Bob has a long history of service to FNPS. He initiated our "formal" entry into advocacy with the hiring of our first legislative liason. He has tirelessly taken on tasks that are important but not highly visible, such as heading the last two nominating committees and leading the committee responsible for bringing our by laws up to date. He was a strong advisor and moral support for the next president and has always been reliable and supportive for the entire FNPS Executive Committee.

David Feagles (Serenoa Chapter, 2013)

Devon Higginbotham (Suncoast Chapter, 2016)

Awarded for her dedication and work as the V.P. of Finance.

Mark Kateli (Cuplet Fern Chapter, 2019)

Gene Kelly (Hernando Chapter, 2018)

Awarded for his years of service to the Society, the Policy Committee, and the Board of Directors.

Mike Kenton (Serenoa Chapter, 2006)

Zarillo Kim (Conradina Chapter, 2008)

Kim Zarillo is a past president of FNPS and past president of her chapter (Conradina). She is also a past conference chair. This year she served on the FNPS Board of Directors as co-chair of the Policy Committee. She acted as a menor for the committee and assisted in creating operational guidance for when FNPS should be an advocate for an issue, when to pass the issue to a local chapter, and when not to step into the issue. She has been low key, but highly effective.

Matt King (Palm Beach Chapter, 2004)

Landscape Awards Chair

Don Lantz (Tarflower Chapter, 1989)

Membership Committee Chair, For assistance to the president as membership manager and chairman of the membership committee.

Peggy Lantz (Tarflower Chapter, 1995)

For her nearly 15 years of service as editor of The Palmetto and FNPS's other publications

Lassie Lee (Ixia Chapter, 2017)

Awarded for her service as Vice President for Administration.

Cindy Liberton (Hernando Chapter, 2004)

Awarded for her contributions as Communications Chair.

Carol Lotspeich (Tarflower Chapter, 1991)


Terry Mock (1986)

Gil Nelson (Magnolia Chapter Chapter, 2000)

For Service

Patty Phares (Dade Chapter, 2019)

Ralph Ranney (1987)

Unofficial legal council.

Paul Rebmann (Pawpaw Chapter, 2007)

Awarded for many services to FNPS at the society and chapter level including ongoing service as Webmaster

Paul Rebmann (Paw Paw Chapter, 2007)


Marlene Rodak (Coccoloba Chapter, 2017)

Awarded for her work as the Conference Committee Chair.

Marlene Rodak (Coccoloba Chapter, 2016)

Marlene was given this award in acknowledgment of her extremely hard work in leading two consecutive conference teams to success.

Helen Roth (Magnolia Chapter, 2019)

Juliet Rynear (Heartland Chapter, 2017)

Awarded for her work as the Conservation Committee Chair.

Winnie Said (Palm Beach County Chapter, 2019)

Paul Schmalzer (Sea Rocket Chapter, 2018)

Awarded for his years of service to the Society, his chapter, the Science Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors.

Paul Schmalzer (Sea Rocket Chapter, 2009)

Paul Schmalzer's dedication to the Science Advisory Committee and the role of Sea Rocket Chapter Representative on the Board of Directors. Has rarely missed an Executive Committee meeting or a Board of Directors meeting since his tenure. He has streamlined the conference research sessions, expanded the base of science committee contacts within the state and university systems and has contributed insightful comments and recommendations to the Society on a regular basis. Paul professionalism and scientific background have elevated our Society to new levels.

Marjorie Shropshire (Cocoplum Chapter, 2016)

Awarded for her dedication to excellence in producing the Palmetto and many other artistic works for FNPS.

Don Spence (Pawpaw Chapter, 2006)

For his work on the Landscape Committee

Ginny Stibolt (Ixia Chapter, 2016)

Awarded for her dedication to FNPS.

Carol Sullivan (Sparkleberry Chapter, 2019)

Jo Anne Tebatisk (2003)

Conference Chair, Fundraising, Membership

Sue Thompson (Eugenia Chapter, 2006)

For her work as Treasurer of FNPS

Karina Veaudry (Tarflower Chapter, 2015)

Karina was given the award for her guidance and support for our president, Anne Cox, and for her multiple years of service to FNPS as chair of the FNPS Landscape Committee.

Candace Weller (Pinellas Chapter, 1996)

For her work as treasurer

Leah Wilcox (1997)

For efforts as 1996 Conference Chair

Richard (Dick) Wunderlin (Suncoast Chapter, 2001)

For his tireless efforts on behalf of the FNPS Endowment Fund research awards and FNPS publications

Kim Zarillo (Conradina Chapter, 2016)

Awarded for her service as Treasurer and for her assistance with the annual conference.  Awarded by President Anne Cox.

Kim Zarillo (Conradina Chapter, 1999)

Vice President of Finance, worked tirelessly as Conference Co-Chair, has been the FNPS representative of the Brevard County Comprehensive Plan wetland lawsuit since its inception 3 years ago & her work on the 1999 budget was invaluable

Chapter Green Palmetto Awards

Chapter Chapter (2012)

Given to the chapter for outstanding growth in membership, improvements to chapter infrastructure including adding a website for the chapter, improved programs, and lots of enthusiasm.

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March 29, 2012
Nomination of the Naples Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society for Green Palmetto Award - Chapter
Dear FNPS Board of Directors,
I ecstatically submit my nomination of the Naples Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society for a Green Palmetto Award. In November 2011, I visited one of their meetings, and was very much impressed by its organization and attendance. I found the leadership of the new president George Wilder and past president/vice president Chad Washburn to be exceptional. Accomplishments in the last couple of years include:
  • Formerly one of our smaller chapters, Naples has been around since 1994, but it is beginning to enter the "big league" due to its recent successful membership recruitment. For the previous ten plus years, Naples has always hovered between 55 and 70 members, and seemed to never be able to "get over the hump". But, between January 2011 and February 2012, this chapter has increased its membership by almost 35%, or 22 members, for a new total of 86 members. The individual member increase total surpasses all other FNPS chapters for 2011, and the percentage increase for 2011 surpasses all but the chapters newly formed within the last year or so. In terms of ranking chapters by most memberships, it has moved from being tied at eighteen to being tied at eleven. This is no wonder as your read some of the successful management/marketing techniques used by the Naples chapter.
  • George, Chad, and their chapter BOD's have increased their infrastructure by adding a website, and with the aid of new member and newsletter editor, Monica Higgins, updating their newsletter to an electronic format, in addition to a friendly informative design and cleverly contains a membership application at the end of each edition. This allows the chapter's membership to share newsletters with non-members while simultaneously providing the membership application. Examples of newsletter may be found at:
  • The Naples Chapter is very efficient in running its programs. While many of our chapters struggle finding outstanding programming and field trips throughout the year, the Naples chapter solves this problem by shortening their program season to the "seasonable" months. In addition to assuring quality programs and field trips by reducing their number & frequency to the months when most of its area residents are in Florida, it also gives a welcome hiatus smaller chapters often need during the summer months, allowing leadership to take a break as well as prepare for the upcoming year. Monthly meetings have had excellent programming by top scientists & speakers from their, region as well as elsewhere in and out of the state.
  • Programming over the course of the year is a nice balance of science, advocacy, landscaping, and "outside of the box" topics. They are very well organized, and each year's monthly programs and field trips (September - May) are scheduled well in advance, and printed in their September newsletter. Having this printable yearly schedule is crucial when recruiting new members, in addition to retaining existing members as they marvel at what's to come. Each new season is kicked off in September when the chapter holds its Annual Potluck Dinner at one of its member's homes. This dinner includes a tour of the homeowner's native landscapes, and is a great way to catch up and break bread with old friends from the previous May.
  • Each year the Naples Chapter participates in the Conservancy of Southwest Florida's annual Earth Day Celebration in April. The chapter display/booth/plant sale provides all the materials needed by curious "green-minded" folks. In 2011 the Naples Chapter won Best Children's Activity among all the other displayers at the event. The innovative activity was making paper embedded with native wildflower seeds, which could be used as notecards, and the kids loved it.
I am proud of all the chapters of FNPS, and it is difficult sometimes to choose who deserves the award. Often times the smaller and midsized chapters are overlooked, as the larger chapters with more resources and years of experience, continue to succeed. It is my belief that given the success and progress the Naples chapter has made in 2011, there can be no doubt that they are deserving of notice for all their accomplishments and perhaps our strongest up-and-coming chapter. It is my hope that you
all will agree.
Respectfully submitted,
Steven W. Woodmansee
President Florida Native Plant Society, and Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society member

Coccoloba Chapter (1999)

Native habitat project at Lee County's Manatee Park & allocated most of the three years of fundraising to creating and restoring the park's native plant communities

Conradina Chapter Chapter (2019)

Dade Chapter (2007)

Dade Chapter (1997)

Tireless efforts in distributing information

Hernando Chapter (2007)

Hernando Chapter (2007)

Magnolia Chapter (1996)

Chapter Achievement.   for their work in hosting the 1995
conference and installation of a native plant area at MacClay Gardens
in Tallahassee

Naples Chapter (1994)

Palm Beach Chapter (1992)

Chapter Achievement.  For their efforts on behalf of Preservation 2000

Palm Beach County Chapter (2016)

“Outstanding Chapter of the Year” Green Palmetto Award in recognition of all the effort that went in to making 2015 a banner year in terms of fulfilling our mission and generating momentum that will continue to support chapter growth.

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By effectively marketing the chapter’s annual events to include a wider audience, a larger slice of the community was invited, and indeed showed up, to participate. For example, the 10th Annual Rare and Unique Native Plant Auction, with Craig Huegel as emcee, was a huge success as a fund-raiser (the previous year’s proceeds were more than tripled) as well as an excellent educational opportunity thanks to Craig’s commentary. Many folks heard about this event from chapter President, Susan Lerner on the 5 o’clock news and were at the door two hours later, validating our belief that when you reach out to people they will come. Plants for the auction were donated by members and local native nurseries. The annual native plant garden tour was also successful in attracting a record number of people from the community thanks in part to coverage in the Palm Beach Post. The take home message from this event —the benefits of landscaping with native plants— resulted in motivating many of the participants to sign up for FNPS membership. By the end of the day, we had 23 new members sign up out of the 169 non-members that attended the event. In addition to the garden tour, our chapter has also hosted an annual native nursery tour. For 2015 we scheduled this event in early December and, hoping to grow this concept into a regional event, we partnered with Broward, Martin, and Miami-Dade County Chapters. The theme for this event was “gift your garden with natives for the Holidays”. We are glad to have this opportunity to support our native nurseries in recognition of the support they provide for us. Another annual event that stimulated membership was the FNPS booth at the South Florida Fair. Even though the actual event was held in January, 2016, much planning went into it prior to that time. An amazing display was assembled in the (first time ever) horticultural tent within the Agricultural complex. The exposure to the FNPS mission this event provided to the greater south Florida community is significant. Many of the folks that hold up their hands when asked if this is their first time attending an FNPS chapter meeting respond to “How did you hear about us?” with “At the Fair”. Many of the native plants displayed at our exhibit were then sold to the fairgrounds to add to their landscape. The PBC Chapter of FNPS also participates in, and sponsors, major local events that support natural resource conservation and sustainability. The chapter continues to provide education and outreach at three annually recurring events: Everglades Day at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Naturescaping at MacArthur Beach State Park, and the Lake Worth Festival of Trees. Many volunteers participate at these events in order to bring our message to the masses. All this educational outreach requires a great deal of literature which the PBCC keeps in supply from FNPS and supplements with brochures generated at the chapter level. An event brochure listing all activities planned for the year, in addition to pertinent chapter information, is handed out at every opportunity. A welcome packet of information for newcomers was put together by our membership committee in the last quarter of 2015. It is either presented along with a free plant at their first meeting or mailed to them. Another good source of information is the chapter newsletter “The Dahoon” which has grown in distribution. The newsletter is a collaborative effort with many contributors from chapter and FNPS membership. New for 2015 was the addition of a cartoon (Plantoons) drawn by one of our members. To view the Dahoon online go to: 2015 also saw the Palm Beach Chapter involved in a continuing program to provide and install native landscaping for local Habitat for Humanity homes, in partnership with the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center and others. Funding for this project initially came from a grant from the Chastain Foundation. Lastly, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to work with FNPS Director of Development Andy Taylor, and County Commissioner Paulette Burdick, to officially proclaim October as Native Plant Month at the October Palm Beach County Commission meeting. Looking back on all this activity in 2015, I have to say that the FNPS PBCC volunteers are the most deserving of this award. They are the heart and soul of this chapter and did an exceptional job keeping the events staffed, growing native plants for sale, welcoming newcomers, guiding field trips, spreading the message, and keeping the faith. Respectfully submitted, The FNPS Palm Beach County Chapter On behalf of members and friends

Pawpaw Chapter Chapter (2017)

Paynes Prairie Chapter (2011)

Pinellas Chapter (2009)

For service to their community including native plant outreach, participation on a governmental advisory board, participation in "alliance for a Livable Pinellas", and production of educational materials for public education.

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This year’s chapter achievement awards goes to the Pinellas Chapter. This chapter is involved with their community on a significant level that provides resources and guidance. There are several areas in which the Pinellas chapter influences their region of the state. They have a strong educational outreach program which includes the powerpoint, “In Harmony with Nature”. It is comprised of two separate components, “The Healthy Landscape” and “Landscaping and Gardening with Florida Native Plants” which was developed in partnership with the St. Petersburg Audubon Society. This information has been presented to thousands of people at environmental events, neighborhood association meetings, garden clubs, various civic groups as well as the state conferences of Audubon of Florida and FNPS along with literature and other resources. Designed to make people aware of environmentally friendly approaches to home property management, it has also been a strong vehicle for putting the Pinellas chapter name and mission out into the community and local government. The Pinellas chapter is a vital member of a countywide environmental coalition, called the “Alliance for a Livable Pinellas” ALP meets monthly to share news, discuss issues, and to coordinate advocacy strategies when appropriate. Just one result of these meetings is a forthcoming revised city tree ordinance which is more protective of the tree canopy. They are also members of the County Administrator’s Environmental Science Forum and function as an advisory board member.

Pinellas Chapter (1998)

For its work with teachers and the community

Pinellas Chapter (1993)

Chapter Achievement.  For superior chapter development, for their education activities, and for their chapter project of landscaping
the bank property and for their conference efforts

Suncoast Chapter (2013)

Based upon the success of last year's conference, we wish to formally nominate FNPS's Suncoast Chapter.

1) The chapter pro-actively sought out and obtained a wonderful low-cost facility that enabled them to earn a great deal of money for FNPS

2) Big Suncoast worked very well with little tiny Hernando Chapter, and did so in a very challenging transition year where one staff member exited and a brand new one came on board

3) For the first time that we know of, there were NO cancelled field trips due to insufficient sign-ups- this was due to Shirley Denton field trip chair's excellent planning and design of the right number and type of field trips - a model!

4) $24,000.00 was raised in total for the entire conference.

5) It is also of note that they smoothly navigated the transition between FNPS executive directors.

Nominated by: Steve Woodmansee Cammie Donaldson

Suncoast Chapter (1997)

For "Right Plants for Dry Places" book

Suncoast Chapter (1991)

Chaper Achievement.  For work with FDOT on a median planting (There is a question as to whether this was awarded in 1990 or 1991).

Tarflower Chapter (2008)

Given for its extensive agenda of field trips, educational programs, plant rescues, home garden tour, and education and outreach.

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The Tarflower Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society has completed a busy and rewarding 2007 calendar year of interesting monthly programs on a variety of native plant and environmental topics, regular field trips to Central Florida's numerous ecosystems, several special community events including a home garden tour and an environmental panel discussion presentation, and native plant rescues in local areas slated for development. Those programs and activities were successful in educating members and non-members alike about native plants in the wild, their uses in home landscapes, as well as their companion ecosystems. The Tarflower Chapter supported these activities with funds raised in local activities such as the annual native plant sale at Leu Gardens. The impetus for much of this has been through our Chapter President, Catherine Read-Stoccardo, whose strength is furthering communication among the Tarflower chapter members and allowing members’ strengths to be brought forward. Equally, our chapter board has been a very cohesive group of dedicated individuals working unselfishly to develop new ideas and implement them.

Some of the outstanding topics of monthly meetings held the first Tuesday of each month at Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Avenue, Orlando, Fl. at 7:00 p.m. included “Butterflies and Their Host Plants” by Marc Minno; “Florida Wildflowers” by Tracy McCommon; “Prescribed Fires” by Zach Prusak; “Always Learning-Getting the Most from Your Field Trip” by Paul Eisenbrown; and “Asclepias” by Dr. Walter Taylor. With local publicity for these meetings, the Tarflower Chapter was able to draw hundreds of members and visitors, as well as recruit new FNPS members. A display and description of a group of native plants is also included in each monthly meeting allowing members to learn how these plants can be used in their landscapes.

The Tarflower Chapter's monthly field trips also drew members and nonmembers alike. For example, in May, Liz Block, Education Chairman, organized a Garden Tour of Homes aimed at educating the community about the advantages and possibilities of native plant applications in the home garden. With the assistance of Tarflower volunteer guides, the homes of eight chapter members were opened to the public for an entire day. The tour included the garden of Richard Poole featuring a nesting box with a live video feed by which visitors could view the care and feeding of the baby birds. Cecelia Catron's garden displayed many butterfly plants with an abundance of caterpillars and butterflies flitting about. Catherine and Eugene Stoccardo’s home, an FNPS award winning landscape, highlighted native plants in an urban landscape.

Other 2007 monthly field trips included a trip to Wekiva Springs State Park with the burn program presenter, Zach Prusak. On the field trip, members had an opportunity to explore and observe a recently burned sandhill habitat, a follow-up to the program he gave on the same subject. In October over twenty-five members, some from other chapters, headed to the Florida panhandle, specifically Jackson and Calhoun Counties, for a weekend of hiking acres of sandhills, clayhills, swamps, creeks, and lakes. Leaders from North Florida, providing information about the areas we visited included Guy Anglin, Billy Boothe and Travis MacClendon who was also one of our gracious hosts. A wonderful program was presented in December by Phyllis Gray to share this great time with the rest of the chapter.

In November the chapter assembled a panel of experts on water usage in Florida and the growing need for conservation and regulation while highlighting the importance of landscaping with native plants. Panelists included Tom MacCubbin, UF/IFAS Extension Agent Emeritus; William Bissett, Landscape Architect; Jack Stout, Professor of Ecology, UCF; Catherine Johnson, Orange County EPD; Jay Stainer, Water conservation Officer for the City of Oviedo; David Drylie, Landscape Architect; Chris Byrd, Everglades Law Center; and Robert Fewster, Water Use Regulation, SJRWMD. The program was recorded by Orange TV to be aired repeatedly to the Central Florida viewing community throughout the year. Nearly 200 people attended this outstanding event.

To increase public awareness of native plants, their native ecosystems, and their applications, Tarflower Chapter members hosted information booths at a number of local public events such as the Tibet Butler Preserve Annual Festival, the Wekiva Riverfest, and Focus the Nation at University of Central Florida campus. Chapter volunteers distributed printed native plant information, answered questions, and led hikes through local habitats.

The Tarflower Chapter plant rescue crew made numerous plant saves at area sites slated for development. The rescue sites included multiple ecosystems from wetlands and pine flatwoods at the Orlando International Airport, to dry upland clayhill and sandhill from Volusia, Orange and Osceola Counties. Wetland plants rescued have been shared with restoration areas at the Central Florida Zoo, Langford Park, and the upland plants will be used in the restoration of the Oakland Nature Preserve and University of Central Florida (UCF) natural lands. Numerous endangered plants such as Nolina brittoniana, Eriogonum longifolium were given to Bok Sanctuary for their Endangered Plant research; while hundreds of Liatris (spp.) bulbs, numerous Garberia, Calamintha, and Helianthemum corybmosum went into restoration projects and back yards, and a new rescue technique is being perfected for Asminas (spp.) which has resisted salvaging to date. Plant Rescue chairs, Jackie Rolly and Marge Holt, have been instrumental in the challenging job of rescuing plants as well as locating new homes for and moving them to new areas. They will be presenting a program on plant rescue at the FNPS state conference in May.

Overall, the 2007 calendar year has been one of learning about native plants and their associated uses and habitats through interesting meetings and trips into the field. Equally, the chapter has focused efforts on distributing its accumulated knowledge about the benefits of native plants and their applications to the general public through monthly and special meetings, community activities, and various events.

Other Awards

Marc and Terry Godts (Lake Beautyberry Chapter, 2015)

Public Service award for Marc and Terry Godts (Green Isle Gardens nursery) for their devotion to native plant conservation, land acquisition in Lake County, commitment to public education, and the ongoing donation of nursery space and their time to care for rescued plants until they can be reintroduced for restoration projects at protected sites.

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Marc and Terry have been promoting the conservation of native plants and their use in public and private landscapes for decades.  As members of the Florida Association for Native Nurseries (FANN), their nursery has promoted the availability of native plants to central Florida landscapers and has worked to educate individual landowners about the use of native plants in their home landscapes. 

As the Chair of the Lake County Land Acquisition Committee, Terry helped start the county's land acquisition program and served in Lake County government as a Land Planning Agency board member during the writing of Lake County's Comprehensive Growth Management Plan. 

For years, Marc and Terry have supported the Tarflower Chapter’s numerous native plant rescue and restoration projects by donating nursery space, caring for rescued plants, and delivering them to restoration sites!  Genetic resources and species diversity would be forever lost to the bulldozers without the dedication of people like March and Terry.  Most recently, they have been helping with a massive rescue and relocation in Orlando of over 5,000 plants from one of the last remaining Scrub Communities in that area. 

Juliet Rynear

Conservation Chair

Florida Native Plant Society

Jake Stowers (Pinellas Chapter, 2004)

Jake Stowers was given special recognition for Public Service -- a Green Palmetto for Public Service.   Over many years, as the Pinellas County Administrator, he was a staunch supporter of good public policy that recognized and supported conservation.