View this email in your browser
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

FNPS Mission: To preserve, conserve, and restore native plants and native plant communities.
Learn more by visiting the FNPS website • Check our calendar for upcoming events sponsored by the Pinellas, Nature Coast, and Suncoast Chapters • Not a member yet? Join today!

Find us online at
Pinellas Chapter Website Pinellas Chapter Website
Facebook Facebook
YouTube YouTube
Instagram Instagram
Event Updates

Please see details for these events in the newsletter below and check our Facebook Group and website calendar for the most up-to-date information. 
  • Wednesday, 2/2, 6:30 PM: The Story of Heartwood Preserve - Monthly Membership Meeting on Zoom
  • Saturday, 2/5, 9 AM - 12 PM : Fieldtrip to Heartwood Preserve - New Port Richey
  • Saturday, 2/5, 9 AM : Fort DeSoto Scrub Pine Tree Planting Opportunity
  • Saturday, 2/5, 3 PM - 6 PM: Jurassic Park Volunteer Opportunity at Moccasin Lake
  • Saturday, 2/12, 9 AM - 6 PM Hope Spot Festival Volunteer Opportunity, Edgewater Park, Dunedin
  • Monday, 2/14, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM: Pinellas Chapter Conservation Committee Meeting
  • Saturday, 2/19, 8 AM - 10 AM: Moccasin Lake Butterfly Garden Volunteer Opportunity
  • Saturday, 2/19, 3 PM: Save the West Klosterman Preserve Fundraiser - Property Tour & Brewery Crawl
  • Tuesday, 2/22 6:30 PM: Pinellas Chapter FNPS Board of Directors Zoom Meeting
  • Sunday, 3/5, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM: Florida Native Plant Symposium at Florida Botanical Gardens

Ten Second Survey:  Are You Ready For In-Person Meetings And Outdoor Events?


The Story of Heartwood Preserve

Wednesday, February 2nd
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Zoom Presentation

Heartwood Preserve is the first conservation cemetery within a nature preserve in the Tampa Bay area. They conserve and permanently protect the endangered natural habitats by providing environmentally-friendly burial options.

In this presentation, Executive Director Laura Starkey will tell the story of Heartwood Preserve, give an overview of the land’s history and management, and discuss the importance of fire ecology to the overall health of the preserve. She will also talk about the process of conservation (‘green’) burial, its positive environmental impact and how the cemetery helps with the ongoing management of its natural plant communities.

Heartwood Preserve includes two primary ecosystems: longleaf pine flatwoods and cypress wetlands. The flatwoods community is dominated by Longleaf pine, Wiregrass and Saw palmetto and is home to many wildflowers and grasses. Gopher tortoises, Bobwhite quail, Sherman’s fox squirrel, Wild turkey and White-tailed deer all reside within this pristine habitat. The cypress wetland is a lush, sensitive system protected by limited human access and a broad buffer. Invasive species are managed through best management practices.

Program 6:30 - 7:30. Submit questions in Zoom using the chat feature or email us ahead of time. Questions? Email

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 883 7376 5772
Passcode: 307188

Laura Starkey is a third-generation Floridian, born to a cattle-ranching family and raised on the very land that Heartwood Preserve now occupies. She holds a B.A. in music from Maryville College in Tennessee, an M. A. in Applied Linguistics from USF Tampa. She worked as a community organizer for several years in NC before becoming a teacher of English as a Second Language for immigrant adults in Charlotte. Her love of the international community and connecting to other cultures led her to travel throughout Africa and Latin America. From 1998 to 1999, she lived in the Amazon region of Ecuador where she taught high school English. Upon returning to the U.S., she settled in Tampa’s Seminole Heights.

In 2004, Laura left teaching to work with her father’s eco-tour business, Jay B Starkey’s Flatwoods Adventures, located on the family’s ranch. In 2006, she became Director of Conservation Lands, managing over 1000 acres of woods on Starkey Ranch. During this time, she developed a keen interest in finding ways to conserve natural lands while sharing the beauty of Florida’s woods with the residents and visitors in Florida. It was a workshop at a national land conservation conference that then planted the idea of conservation burial in her mind. Over the next few years, this ‘seed’ sprouted into a business plan. Eventually, the idea of Heartwood Preserve became a reality.

Fieldtrip to Heartwood Preserve

Saturday, February 5th
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Who: Pinellas Chapter FNPS Members and Friends Fieldtrip
Where: Heartwood Preserve, 4100 Starkey Blvd, Trinity FL 34655

Heartwood Preserve includes two primary ecosystems: longleaf pine flatwoods and cypress wetlands. The flatwoods community is dominated by Longleaf pine, Wiregrass and Saw palmetto and is home to many wildflowers and grasses. Gopher tortoises, Bobwhite quail, Sherman’s fox squirrel, Wild turkey and White-tailed deer all reside within this pristine habitat. Participants will walk a portion of the 41-acre nature preserve and cemetery with Executive Director, Laura Starkey. Heartwood is popular with both Florida native plant enthusiasts and birders. Members of the local chapters of FNPS and Audubon are frequent visitors. On this field trip, you will learn why.

Meet at the Conservation Cemetery at  9:00 am.  Wear long pants, hiking shoes and bring drinking water, bug protection, binoculars and your camera. Questions? email

Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

View the January Zoom presentation here and subscribe to our channel.
Moccasin Lake Butterfly Garden Report
This month, the team of volunteers at Moccasin lake made a dent in the garden's winter-time cleanup; they focused on cutting back spent flower heads from fall blooming wildflowers and removal of invasive species and undesirable weeds.

There are always tasks like pruning and weeding to keep gardeners busy throughout the season, but next month's volunteer day will have its own focused project. We will tackle the removal of two large, non-native Firebush and several invasives to make room for a new partial shade/ shade garden. This will include plants like marlberry, rouge plant and more! It is also the right time of the year for a rejuvenation pruning of Beautyberry, which will be completed in addition to this new planting. We hope you will join us for this exciting new installment in February!

Pine Tree Planting Event at Ft. DeSoto

Help Create a Gopher Tortoise Habitat
Saturday, February 5th
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Pine Tree Planting Event at Ft. DeSoto

Saturday, February 5th, 9:00 am
Fort De Soto Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S.,
Tierra Verde, FL 33715

Pinellas Chapter Member and environmental activist, Ray Wunderlich, is leading a project to plant 300 seven-gallon Florida Slash Pine "densa" trees on an existing spoil (waste) area of Fort Desoto Park. Once completed the three acre Pine Flatwoods community will serve as potential gopher tortoise habitat, and home to resident and migratory birds.

Follow Signs to The Event upon entering The Park, beginning after the Pay Station
  • Free Park Entrance to all Volunteers!
  • Wear: long sleeved pants and shirt, closed toed shoes, gloves, hat, sunscreen.
  • Bring water.
  • Fruit, bagels and additional water provided.
  • We'll create two to three acres of Pine Flatwoods community for possible gopher tortoise habitat.
  • We'll plant 300, seven-gallon South Florida Slash Pine "densa" trees on now spoil (waste) area.
The Pruitt Foundation is the major sponsor of The Event. Other sponsors are T.R.E.E. (, Keep Pinellas Beautiful (, Pinellas County Parks (, WunderFarms (, Florida Native Plant Society Pinellas Chapter (, The Ivy Group (, Ideas For Us (

Contact Ray Wunderlich at

Jurassic Park Day Volunteer Opportunity

Moccasin Lake Nature Park, Clearwater
Saturday, February 5th
3pm - 6pm
The Pinellas Chapter FNPS needs your help to bring native plants to children through the imagery of Jurassic Park! 

If you remember helping with the event Fantastic Beasts of Moccasin Lake in 2020, you already have a good idea of some of the types of things we will be doing. This year, everything is themed after the blockbuster Jurassic Park franchise.  
Help us staff our exhibit, and interact with the kids through creative play. Pass out printed materials to the parents and share your love of gardening with native plants. You do not need to be an expert, just have a pulse and a passion!

Sign up here for an hour or two and meet other native plant enthusiasts. Volunteers receive a complimentary native plant t-shirt.

Volunteer for the Hope Spot Festival

Wednesday, February 12th
8am - 8pm

Help the Pinellas Chapter share our materials with attendees of the Gulf Coast Hope Spot Festival. Sit in our booth for a two hour shift (or longer) and talk with adults and children about the benefits of native plants and how to start them in their home landscape. Share your love and enthusiasm for native plants and conservation with others. You do not need to be an expert. You just need a smile on your face and a willing spirit. 

The festival will be held at Edgewater Park in Dunedin. Volunteers receive a chapter t-shirt and the chance to share their interests with others.

Have an idea for an easy kid's craft? Email us at

Questions? Call 727-320-5135

Join us for a fun adventure as we raise funds to help save the West Klosterman Preserve!
Tickets for this event are $20.00
- Exclusive tour of the property *for first 25 tickets sold*! (purchase asap)
- Opportunity for a gift with every ticket purchase. Opportunities at each location.

3:00 PM - WKP Property Tour
4:15 - 5:15 PM @ Silverking Brewing
5:30 - 7:00 PM @ Unrefined Brewing
7:15 - 8:30 PM @ Brighter Days Brewing

- Parking for the brewery crawl in public lot off South Ring Avenue between Lemon & Tarpon Avenues, behind Silverking Brewing (325 E Lemon St, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689). Additional street parking available.

- Please plan for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Drink responsibly. No underage drinking permitted. Never drink & drive, have a designated driver.

- Covid Safety: Most of the event will take place outdoors. Please do not attend if you have been exposed or are not feeling well. Please wear masks inside and when social distancing isn't possible.

**All proceeds will go to the Pinellas Community Foundation, West Klosterman Preserve Fund, directly supporting the purchase and creation of the West Klosterman Preserve, a 14-acre forest in Tarpon Springs, preventing it from being sold to developers. For more information visit:
Moccasin Lake Butterfly Garden Volunteer Opportunity
Saturday, February 19th
8 - 10 am

Join a team of volunteers in maintaining the Butterfly Garden at Moccasin Lake. This is a great opportunity to learn more about which plants attract and host our local butterflies, what conditions they grow in and how to prune them.

Please bring hand tools (if you have them), work gloves and a reusable water bottle. The chapter will provide trash bags.

We really appreciate the City of Clearwater allowing us to use the classroom at the park for our monthly meetings, and volunteering in the park is our way of showing it.

RSVP with your mobile number for further instructions.




Volunteer Opportunities

The Pinellas Chapter has several volunteer opportunities that will allow you to channel your passion for native plants and conservation into helping the chapter fulfill its mission. Many volunteer positions require just a few hours a month, and most duties can be performed at your home. If you are interested in applying or would like more information, email

Volunteer Committee Member
  • Recruiting volunteers for special projects and the speakers bureau utilizing social media, emails, and special events.
  • Collecting volunteer contact information, availability and skills, and maintaining a volunteer database.
  • Keeping new and existing volunteers informed about the organization’s volunteer opportunities, matching volunteers to opportunities that suit their skill sets, and ensuring they understand their responsibilities and receive the proper training.
  • Keeping records of volunteers' hours and reporting them to FNPS.
  • (2 to 4 hours per month)

Thank You To Our Business Members

City of Dunedin Parks Department
City of St. Pete Beach
Hort and Soul Landscape Design
Living Roots Eco Design
Rebecca Wellborn, Realtor, Coastal Properties Group
Sunshine City Law 
Vision Ace Hardware - Oldsmar
Wilcox Nursery & Landscape
Wild Floridian LLC

Wise Hands Professional Gardening Services

Pinellas Chapter Florida Native Plant Society
2022 Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs

All chapter members are invited to attend Board meetings.  Email the President for information about the next meeting, and/or if you have an issue that you would like addressed.
President - Davis Byrkit
Vice President - Jane Graham
Secretary - Andrea Andersen
Treasurer - Robin Peacock
Past President  - Michael Coleman
Director / Chapter Representative - David Perkey
Director / Membership Chair - Ginger Brengle
Director / Programs Chair - Pam Schrader
Director / Communications Chair - Jessica Palenchar
Director At Large - Vicki Thomas
Director At Large - Sari Wood
Newsletter Editor - Nataly Capote
Webmaster - Patty Perkey

Florida Native Plant Society Mission

The Mission of the Florida Native Plant Society is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.

The Society fulfills this mission through:
  • Support for conservation land acquisition
  • Land management that enhances habitat suitability for native plants
  • Education
  • Public policies that protect our native flora, especially rare species
  • Research on native plant species
  • Encouragement of local landscaping practices and policies that preserve Florida's native plant heritage
Join/Renew Membership
Copyright © 2022 Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp