Tillandsia Web, Dade Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society

Online Newsletter

Excerpted from our print newsletter. See the printed newsletter for detailed Field Trip directions and reports, for phone and addresses for yard visits and additional articles. Join now to obtain the benefits of full membership!

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February, 2006

In This Issue





  • 15 (Wed.): Keys meeting (Key West)
  • 18 (Sat.): Keys field trip (Key West).  Reservation required.
  • 19 (Sun.): Dade field trip, Everglades National Park.
  • 28: (Tue.): Dade meeting.


  • 4 (Sat): NATIVE PLANT DAY at the Deering Estate
  • 15 (Wed): Keys meeting (Marathon, details TBA)
  • 18 (Sat.): Dade field trip, Tree Islands Park (date tentative)
  • 19 (Sun): Yard visit in Cutler Ridge.
  • 28 (Tues): Dade meeting.



Tuesday, February 28, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road. The meeting is free and open to the public.

CERP: Scope, Scale, and Science Involved in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan – Dr. Len Scinto, Assistant Research Scientist, Southeast Environmental Research Center, FIU.

Dr. Scinto's research focus is the biogeochemistry of freshwater wetlands.  His work revolves around the issues of transport and cycling of chemical elements, notably anthropogenic nutrients, between the living and non-living compartments of wetland ecosystems.  Dr. Scinto will give a brief introduction to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).  Costing an estimated $8.5 billion and encompassing over 18,000 square miles, CERP is unique in scale and complexity and is the largest environmental restoration project ever conducted.  The plan involves numerous, innovative applications of restoration science, land and water management, and environmental monitoring.  Dr. Scinto will discuss examples of restoration science he is involved with, including the development and monitoring of Stormwater Treatment Areas and the Loxahatchee Impoundment Landscape Assessment Area.  (Don't worry – this will be science in layman's terms.)

Refreshments are available for early arrivals at 7:15.  Additions to the refreshment table and raffle plant donations are always welcome.  (Please check your plants for lobate lac scale.)  If you signed up to bring refreshments and have questions, please call Patty Harris at 305-262-3763.

Mar. 28: Chris Migliaccio will talk about the biology of tree bark, distinctive native tree bark and identifying trees from their bark.

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Field trips are for the study of plants and enjoyment of nature by FNPS members (Dade and Keys) and their invited guests. Children are welcome. Details are contained in the printed newsletter mailed each month to members. Collecting is not permitted. Please join today so that you can enjoy all the benefits of membership!

Sunday, February 19.  Everglades National Park, pinelands around Osteen Hammock.  This is one of the healthiest pine rocklands left in South Florida.  It is more similar to the pinelands in the Redland than others in ENP.  

Saturday, March 18 (date tentative): Tree Island Park (SW 147 Ave and 10th St.). Investigate the tree island habitats and look for spring wildflowers in the marl prairie.  Details next month.

Carpooling: Save gas money and enjoy the company.  Call at least 3 days before the field trip!

Learn to ID plants: If you would like help, please let it be known – we'll introduce you to good people to stick close to.

Print a plant list in advance from The Institute for Regional Conservation's Web site, www.regionalconservation.org  Register to get a password.

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To receive email reminders, send your request to douville@bellsouth.net.  Keys members – please send announcements of other activities or Keys news to Tillandsia

MEETING:  Wednesday, February 15;  George Gann presents Natives For Your Neighborhood (NFYN)  

This program was postponed due Hurricane Wilma.  Now more than ever, we need Natives For Your Neighborhood, found on the website for The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC).  George Gann, co-founder of IRC, will demonstrate how to use NFYN most effectively.  Native plant experts as well as newcomers to the field are finding this innovative web application to be user-friendly and tremendously useful for placing the "right plant in the right place."  It promotes the use of native plants within their historical ranges in order to increase the success of native plant projects and maximize conservation benefits.  The site now has information on more than 500 native plant species and 27 habitats for the 10 southernmost counties of Florida, and it displays nearly 2,000 images from photographers including Roger Hammer, Chuck McCartney and Shirley Denton.  NFYN is updated constantly and is now much faster. (See www.regionalconservation.org)

FIELD TRIP: Saturday, November 18, for members only.

Key West's Little Hamaca Park and the Fran Ford White-crowned Pigeon Preserve.

These parks are two natural areas within the Salt Ponds region of east Key West.  Both areas have undergone extensive pest plant eradication. We will pay particular attention to plants which work best in the home landscape, especially after storm surge.  Though the storm damage was minimal at Little Hamaca in some respects, there appears to be a serious setback of the small herbaceous plants on the park's floor. We will check out the survivors, look for casualties and talk about the larger picture of sea level rising and how to deal with it. 

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Native Plant Day, our annual public event, will be at the Deering Estate at CutlerSee the schedule for details.  We need your help! 

(1) Please spread the word – copy and share your flier with friends, post them on bulletin boards, put notices in other group's bulletins.  Contact Patty for more copies or an email version or a small poster (pphares@mindspring.com). The same information is at http://dade.fnpschapters.org/NativePlantDay06/

(2) VOLUNTEER TO HELP AT THE EVENT OR FRIDAY SETUP!  We need help at the chapter information and book/plant sale tables, raffle, presentation rooms, plant holding area, plant hauling, plant sale (help answer shoppers' questions), setup and breakdown and general "whatever."  Please contact Patty (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) as soon as possible.

(3) Raffle and chapter plant sale donations.  Most desired are wildflowers or other herbaceous plants and less-common trees and shrubs (1-3 gallon), but all species native to Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties are appreciated.  To keep the raffle and sale manageable, please pick a just few of your best plants.  If the pots are broken, plants are recently potted up, root-bound, etc., please give them some TLC and save them for a later occasion.  Plants will be assigned to the raffle or sale as needed.  Non-plant items are also desired (books, gardening items, art work, entrance passes, services, etc.)  Please contact Mary Rose at 305-378-0382 or jdrose6@bellsouth.net to let her know what to expect (advance planning really helps us!) or to make arrangements for transportation.

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Tillandsia staff additions wanted.  If you have a modest flair for editing, reporting, writing or publication layout, the Tillandsia might be a match for your talents.  Please contact Patty (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) if you might be interested.

Science Fair Award – not!  No projects were selected for the chapter's George Avery Award at the South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair on January 24.  There was a dearth of projects (not just native plant-related) perhaps partially due to the disruption of hurricanes.  Next year is another story.  Please encourage the students and teachers in your life to consider working on native plant projects next fall.  Thanks to judges Allyn Golub, Lynka Woodbury and Rita Woodbury for their efforts.

FNPS 2006 state conference, Daytona Beach Shores, May 18-21, 2006: Growing Partnerships: Preserving Florida's Environment from Backyards to Backwoods, hosted by the Lyonia and Pawpaw Chapters at the Shores Resort and Spa.  Brochures will be mailed soon – save the date!

Yard visit: Sunday, March 19, to the garden of a long-time member in Cutler Ridge.  Details next month.

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Dade Native Plant Workshop.  3rd Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Bill Sadowski Park, 1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road on SW 176 St.  Study of plant ID and taxonomy.  Call Steve Woodmansee (305-247-6547) or Roger Hammer (305-242-7688).  Feb. 21: see www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp.

The Broward Chapter FNPS meets 2nd Tuesdays at UF's Agriculture Research and Education Center, 3205 College Ave., Davie.  Call Jack Lange, 954-583-0283 for info.  Broward Native Plant Workshop meets on 3rd Tuesdays at the same location.

Miami-Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Assoc.  See www.miamiblue.org or contact Elane Nuehring (305-666-5727, miamiblue@bellsouth.net) for walk and meeting schedule.

Tropical Audubon Society.  5530 Sunset Drive. 305-667-7337,  www.tropicalaudubon.org for details and more events.

Biscayne National Park's Discovery Series.  7:30 pm. Coconut Grove Sailing Club, 2990 South Bayshore Drive, Miami.

Natural Area Management Volunteer Workdays.  9 a.m.- noon.   See http://www.miamidade.gov/parks/natural_areas.asp  or call 305-257-0933 for more information.

The Nature Conservancy Greensweep workdays in the Keys.  Contact Chuck Byrd at 745-8402 or  

TREEmendous Miami plants native and non-native trees from DERM's Adopt-a-Tree program at the homes of senior/disabled residents.  Upcoming plantings need you!  Contact Amy, Program Coordinator, 305-378-1863 or www.treemendousmiami.org .

Pine Rockland Conference "Bridging the Gaps between Florida and the Bahamas", February 8–12. Even if you have not registered, you can come to the FREE programs on Feb 9 at FIU (no programs will be held on Feb 10).  You just won't have any food waiting for you.  See the January Tillandsia or http://fl.water.usgs.gov/Miami/pineland.  or contact Anna Symington,    1-305-745-8402.

Friends of the Gifford Arboretum meetings: Wed, March 1, 7-9 p.m.  Program TBA. Room 166 of the Cox Science Center. Free. See www.bio.miami.edu/arboretum or call 305-284-5364.

Celebrate the Castellow Hammock Additions, Saturday, February 11, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Commissioner Katy Sorenson will speak at 11:15, followed by displays by environmental groups, hammock tours, refreshments and children's activities.  The latest addition is 7 acres purchased by the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program with Building Better Communities Bond funds. 22301 SW 162 Ave.  Free.  Volunteers to help at DCFNPS table will be appreciated!  Call Patty, 305-255-6404.

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Paid Advertising

Garden cleanup and restoration

Experienced with native plants

Keith Schwarz


Advertisement for M&M Data & Designs

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Cynthia Guerra, Executive Director, Tropical Audubon Society

You may have noticed that Miami-Dade County is drastically changing.  With a booming housing market and a growth-based economy, more and more people are moving here.  This rapid increase in population is imposing impacts on the natural environment, like loss of open lands and habitat for wildlife, changes in hydrology for flood control and water supply, and invasion of exotic species.

The Tropical Audubon Society is a conservation organization that works to protect our unique South Florida environment through advocacy, education and opportunities to enjoy our flora and fauna.  Every resident has a role to play and learning a few tools can help every individual become an effective advocate.

The first thing beginning activists must do is become addicted to the newspaper.  Besides the obvious reason – finding articles of interest – the paper is where many development applications and public meetings/hearings are advertised.  Notices can appear in almost any section of the newspaper – the classifieds, the local section, the neighbor's section, etc.  Once you become accustomed to the formats they take, you will be able to spot them.  Also, public notices can appear in various publications, so it is best to scan as many as possible.

An equally good source of information is people who work for agencies like Miami-Dade Planning and Zoning, Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resources Management, the South Florida Water Management District and the Army Corps of Engineers.  Build rapport with agency staffers  many are unable to influence the process internally and may have information that they are not able to act on.  Be sensitive to your contacts, do not betray trusts.  Off the record means off the record!  Public employees can and do get fired or reassigned.

Most things submitted to a public agency become a part of the public record, including applications for developments, e-mails and other correspondence.  You can always request an appointment to review files and ask questions.  Always ask if there is a cost for a file review or reproduction of information so you don't face unexpected costs.

When you identify an issue or development proposal you are concerned about, Google it!  Use that as a starting point and then hit other websites for more information.  You can find county agencies, County Commission and property info on www.miamidade.gov and corporate entity information on www.sunbiz.org.  MyFlorida.com and www.sfwmd.gov also provide information on business entities, state agencies, and development applications.  Sometimes it takes a few follow-up phone calls, but you can usually find what you are looking for.  You can also try the County's new information line 311.  Everglades restoration information can be found on www.evergladesplan.org and www.evergladesnow.org. These pages provide links to other entities like US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US National Park Service.  Finally, you can use www.municode.com for county codes and other rules and regulations, and there are similar pages for state statutes and federal laws.

Once you have done all your homework, you can work the issue by appearing at public hearings and meetings and making comment on the record.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with the proper procedure for making comment.  Usually it's just a matter of filling out a speaker's card.  Remember to obey the time restriction imposed.  Get to your main points quickly and succinctly.  It is important to get on the record, whether through written or oral comment, because that way you establish "standing" and preserve your right to litigate later.

If you are not the type to appear in public to make comment at a hearing, make sure you send your comments in, and always use your elected officials as a venue to state your case.  Contact your federal, state, and locally-elected representatives and make your thoughts clear. You can find links to them at www.tropicalaudubon.org.  You can always leave a message on an answering machine after hours if you are feeling insecure about talking to a person.

If you don't have an internal activist yearning to be free, but you do want to do what you can for the environment, find and support a local non-profit conservation organization.  Find an organization whose mission speaks to you and support them by volunteering your time and expertise or making financial contributions.

Whatever you do, whatever your style, it is important to find your voice and use it.  If you ever need help, feel free to call Tropical Audubon at 305-667-7337 and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction.

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General information and memberships: Patty Phares (305-255-6404)

Contact in the Keys: Jim Duquesnel at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (305-451-1202)

President: Steve Woodmansee ( 305-595-5541, stevewoodmansee@bellsouth.net)

Refreshment coordinator, Dade meetings: Patty Harris, 305-262-3763 eve., 305-373-1000 day

DCFNPS Web page: http://dade.fnpschapters.org

Webmaster: Greg Ballinger

FNPS Web Page: http://www.fnps.org

FNPS Eco Action Alert List: Send email request to info@fnps.org

FNPS (state) phone: 321-271-6702

Tillandsia editors: Patty Phares (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) and Karen Griffin (305-441-0458, kgriffin@cyberonic.com).

The Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding and preservation of Florida's native flora and natural areas, and promoting native plants in landscapes.

The chapter includes residents of Miami-Dade County and the Keys. Meetings in Miami-Dade County are on the 4th Tuesday of most months at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and are free and open to the public. Once a year, instead of the usual meeting, members and their guests are invited to an evening garden tour and social at a member's home. Meetings in the Keys are held on 3rd Wednesdays in November through April at varying locations from Key Largo to Key West. The basic FNPS membership (state and chapter) is $25 per year. Please contact DCFNPS or click on the membership link at this site for a membership application.

Please send articles, announcements of local activities and news of interest to the Dade Chapter PO Box or email to the editor (above) by the 15th of each month to be considered for publication the following month.

Advertising rates from $12/month.

© 1999-2007 Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, Inc.

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