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Newsletter - April 2012

Monthly Meeting
Upcoming Field Trips
Yard Visit
Notice of Annual Chapter Meeting and Election
Dade Chapter and FNPS News
From the President
Earth Month needs YOU!
Other News and Events
Contacts for DCFNPS


Apr. 14 (Sat): Chapter Workday, Everglades National Park
Apr. 15 (Sun): Earth Day at Pinecrest Gardens
Apr. 21: (Sat): Yard Visit (home of Henry Block)
Apr. 24 (Tue): Monthly meeting at Pinecrest Gardens
Apr. 29 (Sun): Field trip - Chapman Field & Ludlam Pineland
May 12 (Sat): Chapter workday at Bill Sadowski Park arboretum (new chapter project)
May 17-20 (Thu-Sun): FNPS Annual Conference, Plant City.  Register at
May 22 (Tue): Monthly meeting at Pinecrest Gardens
May 26 (Sat): Field trip - Fern Forest (Broward Co.)
June 9 (Sat): Chapter Workday, Everglades National Park
June 17 (Sun): Field trip - Larry & Penny Thompson Park pineland
June 26 (Tue): Monthly meeting at Pinecrest Gardens


Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 7:30 pm

Pinecrest Gardens,11000 SW 57 Ave (Red Road), Pinecrest, FL 33156.|

Free and open to the public. Refreshments begin at 7:15 pm. Merchandise sales are before and after the program (cash, checks and credit cards).  The plant raffle follows the program.  Please label your raffle donations with the plant name (and yours!).

“Orchids of Southern Florida” Frank W. Schena, Eco-Historian, HistoryMiami.

Experience the fascinating history of South Florida’s native orchids, including bio-geography, plant explorers, collectors and preservation.

Long-time Miami resident, Frank Schena has many years experience conducting eco-history tours for HistoryMiami. Frank offers unique and lively presentations on his area of expertise -- the interaction between our region's natural environment and its human population.

May 22 program: David Lee, “Wayside Trees of Tropical Florida”.  FIU professor emeritus of Botany and Biology David Lee, will take us through his new book illustrating the native and exotic tree species found in the urban landscape of Miami and the rest of South Florida. His book will be for sale at the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to the DCNPS.


If the weather is very bad, please call to confirm.  Field trips are for the study of plants and enjoyment of nature by FNPS members and their guests. Collecting is not permitted. Children are welcome. For carpooling, call Patty Phares (305-255-6404).

Sunday, April 29, 2012, 9 a.m.* - noon.  Chapman Field Park and Ludlam Pineland.  This is a joint trip with the Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

Part 1: We will start at the eastern side of Chapman Field.  A nature trail goes to the coast, through restoration projects by Miami-Dade Parks on a former Coral Gables landfill.  The area was scraped to mangrove elevation and red mangroves were planted, with other plants (native and exotic) appearing on their own.  Nearby is a fill pad for an abandoned project which has not yet been restored.  Half is being mowed and contains enough flowering (if weedy or exotic) plants to attract a host of butterflies spotted by NABA members on an earlier visit.  The fill pad also encompasses an active breeding site for crocodiles.  

Part 2: The 10-acre Ludlam Pineland.  We hope to catch some spring wildflowers and may also encounter some of its endangered and endemic plants.

Time, address and directions are in the newsletter mailed to members.  Please join to enjoy all the activities of the chapter!

  • Difficulty:  Easy/moderate - walking on unpaved road or trails, off-trail in open areas.
  • Bring/wear:  Closed shoes, long pants, water, sun protection, bug spray (just in case).
  • Additional info:  Read about Chapman Field's new canoe launch and other improvements at


Saturday, April 21, 9 to 11 am.  A member’s yard in Kendall.

We visited in 2005 and, of course, there have been changes. The property slopes noticeably down 12 feet from the drier pine rockland ridge to what was a fair sized wetland slough. In between is a hammock of many hardwood trees, including several beautiful oak trees. The water table has dropped, but new plants have been added with the topographic features in mind.

This will be a great opportunity to learn the names of many native plants and their growth habits and what has worked and what hasn’t. Or, just come to enjoy being surrounded by natives in an exceptional yard.

Notice of Annual Chapter Meeting
and Election

May 22, 2012, 7:30 p.m. at Pinecrest Gardens

 Elections for the Miami-Dade Chapter Board positions of President, Vice-President, and three Directors at Large (all for two-year terms) will be held at the May Chapter meeting.

The nominating committee presents the following slate: 

  • President: Buck Reilly
  • Directors at Large: Gita Ramsay, Lauren Mcfarland and Lynka Woodbury

Remaining on the Board in the second year of their terms are: Treasurer Susan Walcutt; Secretary Amy Leonard; Directors at Large Amida Frey, Eric von Wettberg and Vivian Waddell.

If you are interested, or have someone to suggest, please contact Amy Leonard (305-458-0969, The main qualifications are enthusiasm and a desire to see the chapter thrive.  You don’t have to be a botanist - a variety of skills is always needed on the board.


Welcome New Members!  Ray Chen, Susan Ford Collins, James and Charlotte Colson, Eileen Cretella, Maria Elena Gonzalez  (student), Leora Herrmann and Jeffrey Pierce, Rick Klein, Mary Lamberts, Je Garcia Matthews (student), Guy Monticello, Tom Meyer and Gregory Izak, Marybeth Pearson, Surey Rios, Karen Shane (TREEmendous Miami), Bill Shore and Gary Vadenais, Janis Signorelli.  Thank you to all who have rejoined or renewed recently - your support of FNPS is needed and appreciated.

Chapter workday at Everglades National Park.

April 14, 9 am-noon.  Help with our native plant habitat maintenance around the Coe Visitor Center.  It will be interesting to see the response to the prescribed burn in January and our "mechanical burn" in February.  Drinks, gloves, hand tools and bug spray are provided, but you may want to bring your own, and snacks to share.  Bring sun protection! New helpers are welcome and encouraged to come.  Everyone in your car gets into ENP free after the workday.  For more information contact Patty Phares (305-255-6404, 

Chapter workday at Bill Sadowski Park.

May 12, 9 am-noon.  DCFNPS  has been asked to adopt the arboretum at this park where we have held Native Plant Day several times in the past and where we will return in 2013.  During our first workday we will begin cleaning up the area and identifying the trees in the arboretum.   Water, gloves and hand tools will be provided, but you may want to bring your own, and snacks to share.  The area is well shaded by trees but you should still bring sun protection and bug protection.  New helpers are welcome and encouraged to come.  We are excited to begin a project at this unique park which offers three distinct habitats within thirty acres; pineland, tropical hardwood hammock, and a drained Everglades slough. For more information contact Buck Reilly 786 291 4824


"Preserving the Natural Heart of Florida"
Plant City, FL (near Tampa).

Conference registration and information at Contact FNPS (321-271-6702, for help with registration or questions. 

On Thursday and Sunday, choose from a variety of wonderful field trips, and on Friday and Saturday soak up information on everything from native plant gardening to environmental issues.  Register for just the days you want to attend. Register by April 16 to save $25 per day on Friday and Saturday.

Featured speakers include:

Doug Tallamy, Ph.D., author of Bringing Nature Home, How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, which has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and caused suburbia to rethink the role of their yards.

Jeff Klinkenberg, Tampa Bay Times.  His new book, Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators, is a collection of his columns.

Hilary M. Swain, Executive Director of Archbold Biological Station since 1995, speaking on Saving the Physical, Liquid and Emotional Heart of Florida.

Additional programs will be in tracks by interest area, including conservation and ecology, native plants in the landscape, current issues, research and FNPS initiatives and operations.  There will also be vendors with a variety of nature-related wares, plant ID contest, native plant sale, silent auction, exhibitors by environmental partners, Landscape Award videos and social events each night (don't miss Saturday night at Crystal Springs Preserve!).


THANK YOU for another great Native Plant Day!

Opuntia humifusa
Opuntia humifusa in bloom. Photo by Lauren McFarland

This year was our first at the Miami Dade College Landscape Technology Nursery and what a fantastic new location it was!  The site played host to our 17th Native Plant Day on March 10 2012.  A warm and sunny day brought brisk plant sales, a great raffle table, and over 400 attendees! Special thanks to Steve Woodmansee of ProNative for his member recruiting incentives! Many of our community partners came to share information about their organizations, and attendees enjoyed programs and nature walks in higher numbers than previous years.

If you passed out flyers, told a friend, worked a table at the event, or helped in the preparation this success is YOURS.  We rely on many of our Chapter members to put on such an impressive event each year and are grateful for the time you give DCFNPS to make it possible.  If you would like to help in preparing for next year, please let us know at or call Amy Leonard, Chapter Secretary, at 305-458-0969.

Mark your calendar now!  We anticipate NPD 2013 being held at Bill Sadowski Park at Old Cutler Hammock on March 23, 2013!

Earth Month needs YOU!

The Chapter has had several requests for DCFNPS to help spread the word about the importance of native plants at several local events this April.  If you are able to share a few hours of your time representing the Chapter, please contact Gita Ramsay, Volunteer Coordinator, at  Remember, you don't need to be a native plant expert, just enthusiastic about sharing the mission of the chapter to conserve and educate others about natives.

  • April 7 (10 am - 3 pm): Town of Miami Lakes Environmental Fair
  • April 15 (8:30 am until 4:30 pm): Earth Day at Pinecrest Gardens - we'll be selling native plants and encouraging memberships.  Shifts will be arranged; you don't have to sign up for the whole day!
  • April 20 (1-4 pm): Whole Foods Market (Pinecrest) - Environmental Awareness Fair held annually right in the store.
  • April 22 (12-5 pm): Coral Gables EarthFest - meet and greet locals at this brand new event!


Dade Native Plant Workshop, Tue Apr 17 at 7 pm: MDC Kendall campus Landscape Technology Center. The topic this month will be the genus Galactia (Milkpeas). Bring at least three plants (especially flowering/fruiting), even if they do not pertain to the topic.  Beginners and old hands are all encouraged to come. Meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. See For more info, contact Steve at or 786-488-3101.

Broward Native Plant Society.  April 11:  Lisa Jameson of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, "Removing Invasive Exotics in Loxahatchee."  7 p.m. at the Broward Agricultural Extension Service, 3245 College Ave., Davie.  954-370-3725 or 

Friends of the Gifford Arboretum, Univ. of Miami.  See or call 305-284-1302.

  • April 14 and May 5: Tour of the arboretum with director Steve Pearson at 9 a.m..  Meet at the stone bench at the south end of the Gifford Arboretum
  • May 2: Meeting.  Steve Woodmansee will speak on “The How To’s, Challenges and Benefits of Restoring and Re-Creating a Pine Rockland Habitat.”  Social at 7 pm, program at 7:30.  Cox Science Bldg., Room 166. 

30th Annual Baynanza Bay Cleanup Day, April 21.  There are 28 cleanup sites to choose from.  Bring lunch and the whole family! Register online as soon as possible to ensure your commemorative T-shirt.  Visit or call 305-372-6784 for more information

Tropical Audubon Society.  Doc Thomas House, 5530 Sunset Dr., Miami. 305-667-7337, for birding trips, Conservation Concerts, Birdathon, workdays, other activities and more details on the following.  Nonmembers are welcome at all activities.

  • May 5: Walk to Key Largo State Botanical Site: Birds, Butterflies & Native Plants

Miami Blue Chapter, North American Butterfly Association.  See or contact Elane, 305-666-5727 or for details and activities. 

  • May 6:  Meeting and program by Marc Minno, Ph.D on the Pink-spot Sulphur, a Caribbean species recently found to be present in our area.  Different location: Simpson Park (55 SW 17 Road, Miami). Program at 1pm.  Come early to explore the trails and enjoy refreshments.

Citizens for a Better South Florida. Citizens is a member of FNPS. See for more information. 

  • Go Native Nursery - call 305-648-0000 to set up a visit. 
  • Demonstration Florida native landscape garden at the headquarters at 138 NW 16 Ave., a historic bungalow-style home. The Garden will serve as an environmental educational tool for the entire community. 
  • April 27: Community tree planting celebration (National Arbor Day)
  • April 28: Native plant sale, Biscayne Park Village Market
  • May 5: Energy Efficiency Workshop, City of Miami Gardens


By Roger L. Hammer

Crinum americanum
Crinum americanum.
Photo by Shirly Denton

The Everglades lost another champion on Saturday, March 31st, and it is with deep and heartfelt sorrow that I now must live the rest of my own life without my dear friend, next-door neighbor, and fellow rum aficionado, John C. Ogden (1938–2012). If you knew John, then consider yourself blessed by good fortune. He was, without question, the most laid-back and down-to-earth person I’ve ever had the honor to befriend, and he enriched my life beyond words. Memories of our times together will linger on in my mind and spirit.

     His life accomplishments are numerous, but among the most noteworthy is that he was responsible for trapping the last remaining California condors and placing them in a captive breeding program to save them from almost certain extinction in the wild. Today there are 388 of them, many of which have been released and are once again flying free in California. A condor roost that John discovered at Tejon Ranch in October 1982 has very recently been officially named “Ogden’s Roost” to commemorate his dedication to California condor conservation. During his long and rewarding career, he was also a major player in avian research, especially wading birds, for National Audubon Society while living in the Florida Keys. He later became the head of the Daniel Beard Research Center in Everglades National Park, and eventually was the senior scientist overseeing the multi-billion dollar Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan for the South Florida Water Management District before retiring. In 2007 he returned to what he loved most, as Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon of Florida, and later became a member of the Board of Directors for Tropical Audubon Society in Miami.

     Being a highly respected ornithologist, John was widely known among the birding community and, even after knowing his days were numbered due to an aggressive form of cancer, he spent many of his final days with his binoculars in a room at South Miami Hospital and compiled a list of the birds he could see from his window. His list included over forty species, and among them were such prized birds as the peregrine falcon, short-tailed hawk, and a nesting pair of swallow-tailed kites that set up residency in a tree visible from John’s bed. Despite his serious medical condition, he even took the time to offer basic birding tips to hospital staff.

     In 1985, I bought a 1926 home on 1.2 acres just outside of the northern boundary of Homestead, which I now live in with my wife, Michelle. Directly next door to the west is Palm Lodge, a Miami-Dade County historical site. Palm Lodge is a 2-story 1912 frame home built of pine, and is rich in history. Back in the day, our home had once been a jelly factory for the lodge, where they made more than 200 different flavors of jellies, jams, and marmalades to sell to guests and visitors. Around 1988 someone asked John if he was planning to move up to the mainland from the Keys, because he had accepted a job with Everglades National Park. John’s comment was something like, “The only way I’d move up there is if Palm Lodge was for sale.” Call it fate if you will, but Palm Lodge was, indeed, for sale. John and his wife, Maryanne Biggar, bought it and moved in. Lucky me.

     John and I would occasionally sit on our patio together and sip 40-year-old Pyrat Cask 1623 rum, distilled on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. One evening we sipped nearly half of a brand new bottle together, and this is $285-per-bottle rum, but sharing it with John made it that much more special. Lucky for John, he didn’t have far to walk to get home.

     Fortuitously, John was released from the hospital on Friday, March 30, so he could return home to his beloved Palm Lodge and be with his loving wife and family in familiar surroundings. Directly outside the door of his room that leads to the front porch was a feeder teeming with brilliant painted buntings. It was there where his life ended the very next day.

     Besides his wife, John is survived by his daughter Laura and son Nick, who gave them three grandchildren; Eva, Taylor, and Avery. John is also survived by his brother David, dogs Elvis and Dolly, and many thousands of birders and friends whose lives he profoundly influenced. Count me among them.

Specify your Tillandsia and/or Sabal Minor delivery preference by contacting FNPS at or 321-271- 6702.
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Chapter Contacts

Dade Chapter Board members:

President: Ted Shaffer,, 305-944-1290
Vice-President: Buck Reilly,, 786-291-4824
Secretary: Amy Leonard,, 305-458-0969
Treasurer: Susan Walcutt,
At Large: Amida Frey,  Lauren McFarland, Gita Ramsay, Eric von Wettberg, Vivian Waddell, Lynka Woodbury
FNPS board: Lynka Woodbury,

Mailing address:

Dade Chapter FL Native Plant Society
6619 South Dixie Highway, #181
Miami FL 33143-7919

General information: 786-340-7914,

Refreshment coordinator: Gita Ramsay,, 786-877-7168

Membership: Patty Phares, 305-255-6404

DCFNPS Web page:

DCFNPS Facebook:

Webmasters: Greg Ballinger and Haniel Pulido Jr.,

Tillandsia editors: Rachel King,, 786-897-0916

State Organization

FNPS Chapter representative: Lynka Woodbury,

FNPS Web Page:

FNPS Blog:

FNPS Facebook:

FNPS Twitter:

FNPS Eco Action Alert List:Send email request to

FNPS (state) office: 321-271-6702,