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

Earth Day 2022: Invest in Our Planet 🌎

April is the month we observe Earth Day. The theme for Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in Our Planet.” Earth Day 2022 is focused on accelerating solutions to combat our greatest threat, climate change, and to activate everyone – governments, citizens, and businesses – to do their part. Everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable.

The Pinellas Chapter has chosen the Green Thumb Festival in St. Petersburg on Saturday, April 23rd, as our opportunity to "Invest in Our Planet".  We will be distributing information and talking with attendees about Florida native plants and how to use them in tandem with sustainable landscape practices. Wilcox Nursery and other plant retailers will be on hand selling native plants. Together we hope to help convert some lawns to native landscape and reduce emissions from lawn maintenance equipment, which contribute to climate change, at the same time reducing water consumption and chemical runoff into our waterways.
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. 
  • Sunday, 4/3, 1:00 - 5:00 PM: Pass-a-Grill Garden Tour Volunteer Opportunity
  • Wednesday, 4/6, 6:30 PM - 8 PM : Bats, Bats and More Bats
  • Monday, 4/11, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM: Pinellas Chapter Conservation Committee Meeting
  • Saturday, 4/16, 8 AM - 10 AM: Moccasin Lake Butterfly Garden Volunteer Opportunity
  • Saturday, 4/23, 9 AM - 4 PM: Green Thumb Festival Volunteer Opportunity
  • Sunday, 4/24, 9:30 AM - 2 PM: Caladesi Island Native Plant Walk
Volunteer for the Pass-a-Grille Garden Tour
Vina del Mar Park
Sunday, April 3rd
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
PAGWC's Gardens by the Sea is a dock and garden tour of eleven docks and gardens on the island of Vina del Mar in the historic St. Pete Beach community of Pass-a-Grille. Two tours are open to the public, 1:00- 3:00 pm and 3:00-5:00pm, on April 3, 2022.

Party at the Park (Vina del Mar Park) where there will be pork sliders and salad plates available for $10.00. There will be presentations by the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, The Garden Club of St Petersburg Inc., The Florida West Coast Orchid Society, the University of Florida Master Gardner Volunteer Program and April Brader, Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Staff our booth for a two hour shift (or longer) and talk with adults 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. Sign up below.
Bats, Bats and More Bats
Moccasin Lake Nature Park Picnic Shelter
Wednesday, April 6th
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Our first in-person membership meeting since early 2020!! Held outdoors in the large open picnic shelter at Moccasin Lake.

There are 13 species of bats in Florida, with 5 living right here in the Tampa Bay area. All of our Tampa Bay bats are insect eaters. Bats, Bats and More Bats” features “Oddball” (unusual) bats-some with very “interesting” faces, others with interesting habits. Comprehensively covers bats throughout the world along with our Tampa Bay bats, micro and mega bats, pollination, habitat, camouflage, bat motherhood, babies, bat myths and more.

Francine Prage with Tampa Bay Bats will present a lively and educational power point presentation showing bats throughout the world, with the most amazing photos of them with age-specific commentary. This lasts approximately 20 minutes and is followed by a discussion on echo-location. A question and answer period follows, and then -- the highlight of the program – the showing of live bats!

Arrive at 6:30 to enjoy refreshments, meet other members and participate in a silent auction of donated native plant "volunteers", seeds and cuttings. Prices start at $1. Bring what you can and be sure to bring cash to purchase.

Program 7:00 - 8:00. Questions? Email
Action Alert - Stop Governor DeSantis from Signing SB 2508
We need your help NOW to convince Governor DeSantis that he should veto Senate Bill 2508 because FLORIDA DOES NOT NEED A COMPLETE MAKE-OVER OF OUR IMMENSELY SUCCESSFUL LAND CONSERVATION PROGRAMS! The Florida Legislature passed this terrible bill and it is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. It threatens to upend our successful approach to land conservation by essentially replacing the science-based, transparent, and accountable Florida Forever program with one designed to keep agricultural lands in production. The Rural and Family Lands Program (RFL) was created to purchase conservation easements over privately owned forests and ranches, and is a valuable complement to Florida Forever because the working lands it keeps in production sometimes have supplemental habitat value for native plants and wildlife, and can maintain connectivity within wildlife corridors. But Florida Forever has been, and should remain, our principal land conservation program.

Call Governor DeSantis at (850) 488-7146 and tell him to veto SB 2508 because it will:
  • Reduce the levels of transparency and accountability that have made Florida’s land conservation efforts so successful! Proposed Florida Forever land purchases are vetted by the Acquisition and Restoration Council - a panel of experienced environmental professionals – before being considered for approval by the Governor and Cabinet. Proposed RFL purchases do not undergo such review and vetting. Why should we allow less oversight of such important decisions?
  • Allow landowners to “double-dip” by essentially being paid twice to protect the same piece of land! SB 2508 would allow a landowner to be paid for an RFL conservation easement that protects their land from development, and then establish a for-profit mitigation bank that would pay them for protecting their land from development – AGAIN! That is no way to run a land conservation program!
  • Give utilities expedited review of wetland permits if their project serves a “public purpose” without defining what qualifies as a public purpose. This creates a “fox guarding the henhouse” protection standard for wetland destruction.
SB 2508 is an assault on the principles that have made land conservation in Florida such a success. Let Governor DeSantis know you want him to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of our land conservation programs by vetoing SB 2508. Please do not delay in taking this action. The Governor could sign this bill into law at any time.
Gladys Douglas Property Update
The floristic survey is underway in the sensitive scrub and rosemary bald areas of the property, conducted by ecological consultants, Bowman and Blair Ecology and Design. Project Manager Debbie Chayet and chapter volunteers David Perkey and Cynthia Grizzle (pictured), spent a day in March cleaning up trash left behind by homeless camps and illegal dumping in the disturbed areas.  Disturbed areas, where trash is often found, are more prone to support invasive species.  The volunteer team's future efforts will be focused on removing invasive species, while the consultants continue to identify and map the plant life in the preserve, with special focus on rare, threatened and endangered species.
Moccasin Lake Butterfly Garden Volunteer Opportunity
Saturday, April 16th
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.

Welcome New Business Member - Toftegaard Design

With over a decade of experience in design, continual studies in herbalism, yoga, and ayurvedic practices, as well as an ongoing minimalist mindset and a strong belief in caring for the earth and environment, it was a natural flow into home space & garden design for our newest business member, Toftegaard Design. 

Sara and her husband designed an edible & native landscape at their home in St. Pete, FL in 2020. Now she guides people in finding their green-thumb and designs small-scale gardens for homeowners. Sara’s garden was featured in Historic Kenwood’s Bungalow Fest turned Garden Fest in 2021, where over 200 people toured the garden. Now, she holds workshops at her home regarding different topics within gardening, native plants of Florida, and organic practices, also inviting local garden experts to speak.

Along with garden design, Sara teaches basic design principles within homes, and brings the outdoors in through textures, colors, and materials. With her background career in graphic design, and Scandinavian cultural background, the two come together adding a perfect perspective into interior guidance. 

We look forward to learning more from Toftegaard Design. Visit their website at

Green Thumb Festival Volunteer Opportunity
Saturday, April 23

St. Petersburg's annual Arbor Day Celebration, the Green Thumb Festival, brings together plant and flower lovers, as well as, individuals and families looking for a fun weekend activity. With more than 120 garden, plant and flower vendors and exhibitors, the annual event brings the community together for a weekend of fun. The event is April 23 - 24, 9 am - 5 pm. 

The Pinellas Chapter will have an exhibit at the festival on Saturday, April 23rd from 9 am - 5 pm. We are not participating on Sunday. We need a few volunteers to help us staff the exhibit on Saturday in 2 hour shifts. You do not need to be a plant expert, just be able to smile, nod and point to our handouts. Make new friends, learn more about native plants, and enjoy one of the best gardening festivals in the area. This is a great place to find unusual native plants, orchids and garden tools, etc. 

Volunteers will receive the new 2022 Chapter T-shirt as a thank you. Questions? Email
Caladesi Island Native Plant Walk
Sunday, April 24th
9:30 am - 2 pm

Join the Pinellas Chapter FNPS for a guided native plant walk through Caladesi State Park, led by Dan Larremore, Park Ranger and park volunteers. Join the search for the gorgeous blue Lupines which bloom only in spring. We hope to find Tillandsia utriculata (giant airplant), Encyclia tampensis (Florida butterfly orchid), and blooming Lupinus diffusus (Lupine).

We will be walking from the Caladesi marina to the shop compound, and back, on a circuitous route not more than 2 miles. 3 hours max of leisurely walking. Dress comfortably for the forecast. The terrain will be stable, but sandy in places. Wear close-toed shoes as burrs and poison ivy are abundant.

Bring your water, snacks and be prepared for sun and bugs (not likely). No restrooms on the walk. $14 pp cash for ferry, $8 to enter state park. Carpool at 8:45 from McDonalds, 2618 Bayshore Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698. If you are not carpooling meet at Caladesi Island Ferry at 9:30 for 10:00 departure. RSVP to reserve your spot.

Seedlings for Schools Grant

The Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Seedlings for Schools grants program is accepting applications now through May 15, 2022. Teachers at Pre-K–12 public and private Florida schools may apply to receive an assortment of small Florida native wildflower plants with which to establish or enhance a native wildflower garden. Professional guidance on garden establishment and classroom resources also are provided. These gardens can beautify school grounds and provide an outdoor classroom that helps create connected pollinator pathways.

Grant awardees will receive plants in September for fall planting. Species supplied will be a good fit for smaller garden spaces and should thrive year-round. Those who successfully establish fall gardens will be eligible to receive more plants in spring 2023.

In the 2021 school year, a total of 49 schools were awarded and approximately 4,887 students were impacted. Read the report here.

Visit the Seedlings for Schools grants page for more information and to apply. 


This year FNPS IS holding an all-virtual conference which will be held on a full-featured online platform to allow for you to bookmark and attend your favorite sessions, contact and network with other attendees, speakers, and vendors/exhibitors, join workshops, and "sit down" with your favorite plant nerds at a virtual table.

Registration for the full weekend of conference activities:

$50 for attendees

$100 for vendors/exhibitors

FREE for full-time students who are members of FNPS

Within a week of registering you'll receive a link to log in to the conference platform via email.


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)

Marquette McManus
Volunteer Chair
(727) 776-2794

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
Toftegaard Design
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, normally held via Zoom the third Wednesday of the month from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm.  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
Social Media and Email - Rebecca Wellborn
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