Tillandsia Web, Dade Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society
for Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys

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, 2007

In This Issue


If you didn't receive this Tillandsia in your mail box,
… then you aren't a member of DCFNPS.

Please consider joining (if you have never joined) or rejoining (if your membership has lapsed).  We'd like to have you counted as a conservator of Florida's native plants and a supporter of FNPS!

drawing of a mail boxGive a gift FNPS membership! 
It comes with a FREE native plant.
Two gifts that will keep on giving.

Contact 305-255-6404 or pphares@mindspring.com.




  • 18 (Sun.): Dade field trip – Loop Road, Big Cypress
  • 20 (Tue.): Keys monthly meeting (Key West)
  • 24 (Sat.): Keys field trip (Key West) – rsvp by Feb 21
  • 24 (Sat.): Open House at the chapter’s project, ENP
  • 27 (Tue.): Dade monthly meeting


  • 3 (Sat.): Yard visit (South Dade)
  • 17 (Sat): Native Plant Day at Old Cutler Hammock.
  • 20 (Tue.): Keys monthly meeting (Marathon)
  • 24 (Sat.): Keys field trip (Marathon yard visits)
  • 27 (Tue.): Dade monthly meeting
  • 31 (Sat.): Chapter workday, Everglades Nat. Park


  • 1 (Sun.): Dade field trip (Metrozoo pineland)
  • 19-22: FNPS 27th Annual FNPS Conference, Gainesville


Tuesday, February 27, 7:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Corbin Building, 10901 Old Cutler Road.  Free and open to the public.

February 27, 2007: “ Everglades Restoration: Are We There Yet?” – Dr. Thomas Van Lent, the Everglades Foundation.   

Dr. Van Lent will present a science-based look (tailored for a non-scientist audience) at the historical Everglades, the damage inflicted by flood-control projects, and how a "restored" Everglades might look, along with an environmentalist perspective on how restoration is progressing.  His talk will also provide a behind-the-scenes look at the process, and a prognosis for success.  Dr. Van Lent is a Senior Scientist with the Everglades Foundation and member of the American Geophysical Union.  The Everglades Foundation, Inc. (www.evergladesfoundation.org) is a not-for-profit organization working “to protect the Everglades through environmental leadership, scientific expertise, and policy experience."  See the Website for an array of facts and nice photos.

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.  Merchandise is available for sale before and after the program (cash and checks only).

March 27: “Green Thumb Certified – Working with Nurseries to Stop Invasives” -- Alison Higgins, Land Conservation Manager, The Nature Conservancy, Florida Keys.

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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 18: Loop Road, Big Cypress.  We will check out a new boardwalk near the west end of Loop Road and then look for places to botanize in cypress swamp and prairie habitats off the boardwalk, possibly including some slough slogging (though in the dry time of year it may be only damp or dry).   Bladderworts and marsh pinks should be in flower, epiphytes abound, and it's the perfect time of year to enjoy the charm of the Big Cypress.

Sunday, April 1: MetroZoo pine rockland.

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 (most South Florida natural areas) from The Institute for Regional Conservation's website, www.regionalconservation.org.  Register to get a password.

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For more information, contact Sue Miller at 305-664-9440 or sueorjay@terranova.net.  To receive email reminders of activities (in addition to the newsletter) please send your request douville@bellsouth.net.

KEYS MEETINGS: Third Tuesdays, November to April.

Meeting: Tuesday, February 20, in Key West

Location: Nancy Foster Eco Discovery Center, National Marine Sanctuary, 33 East Quay Road, Key West, 33040.
Directions: Entering Key West on US1, turn right at the light, staying on US1.  Go several miles to White Street, turn right, go several blocks (.3 miles) to Southard Street, turn left.  Go to the end, look for the Eco Discovery Center sign on the right.
Time:  7 p.m. – plant identification workshop (bring cuttings of mystery plants). 7:30 p.m. – Meeting and program.  Native plant raffle and refreshments follow the program.
Program:  “Playing in the Dirt: Habitat Restoration in the Florida Keys.”  Jeanette Hobbs will explore with the audience what makes the Florida Keys unique, why habitat restoration is so important here.  She also explains the efforts underway to protect and restore native species and the benefits to people and wildlife.

Jeanette has been happily restoring habitat in the Keys since she became the Manager of Audubon of Florida’s Keys Environmental Restoration Fund in 2002.  An active volunteer, she has served on the Board of Directors for Monroe County Save-A-Turtle, Inc. and also spent seven years as a volunteer at The Turtle Hospital. 

February 24 field trip – Bus tour of native plants in Key West.

*** YOU MUST RSVP by Feb. 21 to Sue Miller, 305-664-9440 or sueorjay@terranova.net.
Time: 10 am for approximately an hour and a half.
Location: Meet at the McCoy Indigenous Park at the corner of White Street and Atlantic Boulevard.  The bus will go to numerous special parks and native areas in Key West, stopping at several locations.  Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the southernmost city in the continental US and its gardens! 

Coming up in the Keys (details TBA):

Mar. 20 meeting in Marathon: Mary Ann Bolla, “Native Plant Use by Early Settlers.”  Mar. 24 field trip: Marathon yard visits.  Apr. 17 meeting at John Pennekamp: Mike Owen, park biologist, “Native Plants of the Fakahatchee Strand.”  Apr. 21 field trip: Green Turtle Hammock, a native area recently acquired for conservation purposes by Village of Islamorada.

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Dade Chapter Landscape Enhancement Project at the Ernest Coe Visitors Center celebrates its 6th anniversary – please come celebrate with us!

On February 24, we will celebrate the 6th anniversary of the project and show park visitors what it’s all about.  Chapter members and ENP staff will be stationed at strategic spots around the Visitors Center to provide information about the plants, their role in the Everglades and uses in landscaping.  We will also have refreshments, posters about the project and educational handouts.  Tentative hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  There is no entrance fee to the Visitors Center.  It’s the perfect time of year to continue into the park, so bring lunch and stay the afternoon.

If you can help (whether you have been involved before or not), please contact Patty as soon as possible (305-255-6404 or pphares@mindspring.com). We need people to take turns at the stations (in pairs, and we can provide script – so don’t be worried about what to say), to oversee the refreshment table, and greet visitors with information about FNPS and handouts about native plants.  We especially hope that many of the 40 volunteers on the first workday in January, 2001, will join us.

Please contact Patty for more information, to volunteer, or to carpool. 

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Our annual public celebration of native plants will be at Bill Sadowski Park at Old Cutler Hammock in South Dade – and it’s free!  A detailed schedule will be in the March Tillandsia and on the chapter Web site in mid-February.  We have some new topics and activities this year, so don’t miss it!

We need your help! 

(1) Help spread the word – please share the enclosed flier with friends, post on bulletin boards and put notices in other group’s bulletins.  Contact Patty (305-255-6404, pphares@mindspring.com) for more copies or an email version or find at http://dade.fnpschapters.org later this month.

(2) Volunteer to help at the event or Friday setup.  We need help at the chapter information and sale tables, food sales, raffle, plant holding area, plant sale (help answer shoppers’ questions), kids activities, setup and breakdown and general “whatever.” You can pick time slots that allow you to attend activities of your choice.  We also need someone to camp out overnight on Friday since some tents and plants will be delivered in advance and there is no security at the park. Please contact Jan Kolb (305-378-6104 or jankolb@yahoo.com) as soon as possible to volunteer.

(3) Raffle and chapter plant sale donations.  Most desired are wildflowers, passionvines (lots of them!) 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.  If the plants aren’t in good shape or not quite ready for a sale, please give them some TLC and save for a later occasion.  Non-plant items are also appreciated (books, gardening items, art work, entrance passes, services, etc.)  Please contact Mary Rose at 305-378-0382 or jdrose6@bellsouth.net  so we can prepare signs and make arrangements for transportation.

Native Plant Day Committee: Amy Leonard (Chair - aleonar74@yahoo.com or 305-458-0969), Mary Ann Bolla, Robert Harris, Jan Kolb, Suzanne Koptur,  Patty Phares, Ted Shaffer, and Bill Sadowski park manager Barbara Gouldener.

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Date & Time:   Saturday, March 3, 2007, 10 am -noon    
Location: A member's home, Palmetto Bay (South Dade)

This is a yard of experience! You will gain practical knowledge about plant life in the hurricane zone. The landscaping has been rearranged several times since our member started planting a typically barren one acre yard in 1987. The front yard of this high rock ridge (Miami oolite limestone) property is landscaped with exotics and the back yard with natives. It is now a fully grown hammock, with canopy, middle and understory plants. He also has a special collection of cacti and a greenhouse which utilizes wasted space at the end of the pool enclosure. One of the owner’s many activities was setting up a plant nursery at the Deering Estate to grow native plants for the park for several years. This man likes to grow plants! You will gain many valuable insights from his many plant experiences.

This visit is part of an ongoing opportunity (every 2-3 months) to know the natives in a hands-on manner and to see them in various settings, formal and informal, and to learn the property owner’s successes and failures at growing them.  For more information or suggestions for a yard to visit, call Gwlady Scott at 305-238-8901.

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Congratulations to Nia Brisbane, recipient of the Dade Chapter FNPS 2007 George N. Avery Award for Outstanding Science Fair Projects!  Nia is a senior at Felix Varela Senior High School, and her sponsor was her teacher, Nicholas Dehm.  The following is from Nia’s summary of her project “Tiny Seeds Present the Big Picture for Everglades Restoration.” 

The explosive population of South Florida and the resulting land development has dramatically changed the quality, quantity and distribution of water flowing through the Southern Everglades. These changes have impacted the plant and animal communities within the Everglades and scientists have well documented those changes. This experiment examines the effects of environmental stressors such as nutrient availability and hydrologic stress in sawgrass, the dominant macrophyte found in the Everglade.

We will hope to hear more about Nia’s project at an upcoming meeting.  Thanks to judges Allyn Golub, Lynka Woodbury and Rita Woodbury for reviewing all the projects at the South Florida Science and Engineering Fair, which was held at Southland Mall on January 30.

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Lots of things to do over the next month! In addition to the regular meeting and field trip we hope to see you at the Yard Visit, Native Plant Day or the Open House at Everglades National Park.


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Drawing of a tilandsiaDrawing of tilandsia

Saturday, March 17, 2007

9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. -- Rain or shine

Bill Sadowski Park at Old Cutler Hammock
(SW 176 Street just west of Old Cutler Road in South Dade).

Have totally green Saint Patrick's Day!

Learn about about native plants (in landscaping and natural areas) and South Florida nature.
Programs, walks, displays and demonstrations by
local experts and organizations.
Books for sale and a huge native plant sale.
Plant raffles.
Nature activities for children by the park staff.

And it's FREE!    drawing of pointing finger

Co-sponsored by the Dade Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and Miami-Dade Parks.

Details will be available in February -- check this web site or call the Florida Native Plant Society at 305-255-6404 to have a flier mailer to you.


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Citizens for a Better South Florida's "Go Native! Hazlo Nativo!" book has just been updated with 4 new pages.  Go Native! is now on the web AND in a new print edition.  Books are available at Citizens' office, currently still located at 3191 SW 21 St.  See the bilingual web version at www.abettersouthflorida.org.  Special thanks to FNPS member Karen Griffin for her beautiful web design and support!

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). Bring at least three flowering/fruiting plants of any species. Feb. 20 topic: plants with heart-shaped leaves. www.regionalconservation.org/ircs/aboutus/Outreach.asp

The Broward Chapter FNPS meets 2nd TuesdaysAddress: Fraternal Order of Eagles, 560 NE 36 St., Oakland Park.  Feb. 13: “Rare Native Ferns of SE Florida” – Jennifer Possley, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  Mar. 13: “Native Cacti of Florida” - Keith Bradley, the Institute for Regional Conservation. The Broward Native Plant Workshop meets 3rd Tuesdays at the IFAS Research and Education Center, 3205 College Ave. Ft Lauderdale. Contact Jack Lange (954-583-0283, jl_phoenix@comcast.net) for info about both activities.

Full Moon Concert at the Lighthouse: Grant Livingston.  Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.   An evening of acoustical music and storytelling at Cape Florida State Park. $5/person. Picnic baskets welcome.  See www.capeflorida.org, Benefits the Friends of Cape Florida to help the park and restoration efforts.  FNPS member Ted Couillard is also holding a special event for geocachers, including a workday at the park, 9am-noon, and camping for the weekend. Contact Ted at tedcool@gmail.com.  Learn about the sport of geocaching at www.geocaching.com.

Tropical Audubon Society. Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Drive, 305-667-7337, www.tropicalaudubon.org for more events.  Nonmembers are welcome at all activities.  Meetings are free.  Doors open 7:30 pm, program at 8 pm.

Miami-Dade Parks Natural Areas Management Workdays.  See www.miamidade.gov/parks/preservation.asp or call 305-257-0933.  8:45 AM – noon.  Feb. 10 and Mar. 10: Kendall Indian Hammocks (Spud Busters), 11345 SW 79 St.  Feb 24: Florida City Pineland, SW 345 St & 184 Ave. (Florida City - SW 1 St. & 8 Ave.)

Miami-Dade College Environmental Center Kendall Campus.  Call 305-237-2600 or see www.mdc.edu/kendall/ce  - Environmental Center.  Free Second Saturday open houses: picnic, bring the kids, feed the fish, plant and bird tours. Register for a course for a small fee: Care for Container Plants (2/10), Composting Made Easy (3/10), Prune Like a Pro (4/14).

The Nature Conservancy Greensweep workdays in the Keys.  Get involved in restoration and management of Keys natural areas. Contact 305/745-8402 or knorris@tnc.org.March 3: KW Botanical Garden.

Key Largo Hammocks Botanical State Park Lecture Series.  The Delicate Balance of Nature. Through March 28, 7:30pm - 8:30pm, Key Largo School, MM 105 Oceanside Overseas Hwy.  Free.  Bring a seat cushion for comfort. For more info call the Park Ranger Station at (305) 451-1202. 

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Did you know Jack Watson?  Heard stories?  Do you know someone who might have known him?  Please spread the word in time to make his biography for the 50th Anniversary of the National Key Deer Refuge!  Jack was a well-known environmentalist and federal agent in the Keys in the 1950s.  Among other achievements, he stopped the poaching of the endangered Key deer and helped create the National Key Deer Refuge.  Colorful stories of his exploits abound, but Alison Higgins, Chair, Friends and Volunteers of Refuges, believes there are more to be told.  To share a story or for more information, contact her at 305-923-1783, Alison@favorflorida keys.com or PO Box 431840, Big Pine Key, FL 33043.

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Applications due March 2, 2007

The Florida Native Plant Society Landscape Awards are an important tool both to recognize native plant planting efforts and to promote FNPS and native plant causes statewide.

Please inform anyone you know who might be interested (they do not have to be members of FNPS).  Do you know of home gardeners, Landscape Architects, landscape designers, schools, businesses, agencies, municipalities or organizations who have been involved with a native plant landscape project or preservation?  If so, encourage them to apply!  There are categories for just about every project imaginable.  In fact, how about submitting your own lush landscape – it isn’t tooting your own horn – it’s telling people about what a great thing a garden full of natives is!

The due date is March 2, 2007.  Projects must utilize a minimum of 75% native plants have been installed for two years or more.  Information and applications are now available at: http://www.fnps.org/pages/programs/programpg_no_pic.php?keyword=Landscape.

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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: Amy Leonard, 305-458-0969, aleonar74@yahoo.com

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, info@fnps.org

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 Tuesdays in November through April at varying locations from Key Largo to Key West.
The basic FNPS membership (state and chapter) for new members is $25 for the first year and $30 after that. 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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