Education and Outreach

Ending Plant Blindness!

People don't appreciate what they don't know. We teach people to value plants -- our lives, the quality of our water and air, our wildlife, and our sense of culture depend on plants.

Florida Native Plant Society members act as ambassadors to communicate our mission to their neighbors and communities.

We educate the public by providing quality materials about native plants and their importance to wildlife including butterflies, native bees and other  pollinators, humminbirds and other birds, and other wildlife.

We teach people about non-native and invasive species and encourage the use of species that will attract desirable pollinators and wildlife into urban neighborhoods.

We teach wise land management policies including those that support water quality, and retain natural flows rates in our streams.  We teach about appropriate uses of fertilizers and minimizing fertilizer and pesticide practices that are detrimental to wildlife, pollinator, fish, and human health.

This page lists some of the educational activities that we do.  And it lists some of the educational resources that FNPS has provided or supported.

FNPS has many local chapters with broad coverage across the state. Most chapters offer programs at monthly meetings. These programs typically provide both education and entertainment on subjects ranging from care of native landscapes, to rare plant conservation, to current issues in conservation, to wildlife and native bees, and a broad range of other subjects. 

To find the chapter closest to you, visit our Chapter Page.  You will find a link to the chapter's website.  You can also visit the FNPS calendar to find events near you.

 

Dick Workman teaching palmetto weaving at an FNPS event.  Photo by FNPS, 2016.

 

 

The FNPS Annual Conference is a wonderful opportunity to expand one's knowledge of native plants, use of natives in local landscapes, and ecology. Programs range from those targetted at the newcomer to Florida to presentations on research. The typical program is both educational and entertaining.

The Conference typically has workshops that can provide continuing education credits for selected professional certifications.

You can find out more about the Conference by going to our Conference pages.

 

 

Field trips are an important part of educational outreach. They promote the mission of FNPS in a manner no other activities can. Field trips get people out into natural communities where they learn how ecosystems function and begin to appreciate the beauty of the native plants that are our heritage in Florida. It's a fact that people must first learn to love what they will later choose to protect.

FNPS sponsors numerous field trips annually both through our chapters and at the annual conference. In total, we offer over 200 field trips annually, each with a knowlegable leader and enthusiastic participants.

Suncoast Chapter fieldtrip. Photo by Shirley Denton

 

 

FNPS chapters participate in numerous community events. We produce a variety of pamphlets and flyers that cover a wide range of topics. Some of our documents can be downloaded from this site. Check out our downloadable documents page.  There you will find a variety of educational materials including educational videos produced by FNPS, a printable coloring book, selected FNPS policy statements, and other useful materials.

You will also find educational materials on our  FNPS Blog.

The cover of a presentation by Mark Hutchinson, available on our downloadable documents page is shown.

 

 

FNPS produces a quarterly magazine, The Palmetto. This magazine has articles that are both educational and entertaining. None are overly technical.

The Sabal Minor is a bimonthly newsletter, usually distributed via email, that provides updates on the operations of FNPS and its activities. This publication typically provides seasonally appropriate educational information such as a plant profile.

FNPS produced 6 regional Native Landscaping brochures.  They are available from our local chapters.

Our chapters produce newsletters, most monthly or bi-monthly. A newsletter staple is a description of a Florida native plant that is appropriate for cultivating in the home landscape.

One of 6 regional Native Landcaping brochures.

 

 

FNPS has a growing collection of videos which we encourage you to view.  You can find some of them embedded in the pages of this site.  All are available on on our YouTube site.

The video below was produced for public education on Florida wildflowers and natural ecosystems at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.  The wildflower walk was led by Craig Huegel and Rodger Hammer, FNPS members.

We recommend that you view this video on a device that is at least as wide as a tablet.

 

 

 

Florida is blessed with a broad array of books on the identification and uses of Florida native plants.  But this was not always true.  We have many of these books because the Florida Native Plant Society provided grants to  authors to get the process started. In return, authors have given the Society a portion of their proceeds, making the relationships mutually benefitial.

We encourage you to visit our Books page.  You will find a long list of plant books, including many that came after people started to catch on to the importance of native plants.  Whether FNPS provided assistance, or whether the authors succeeded on their own, we encourage you to support these authors and learn about native plants and the wildlife that depend on them.

 

 

 

FNPS supports the study of human uses of native plants.

  • The society offers an Ethnobotany award for the development of information on human uses of Florida native plants.   The award is given in honor of Dr. Austinto honor him both for long history of teaching and his educational materials on human uses of native plants. 
  • Dr. Dan Austin authored Florida Ethnobotany, an authorative tome on the human uses of of native plants. FNPS contributed funds to support the development of this book
  • If you are interested in human uses of native plants, we suggest that you visit our Palmetto page and search for articles written by "Austin". Dr. Austin wrote these articles as a voluntary service to FNPS.

Please consider donating money to the Dan Austin Ethnobotany award fund.   You will be adding to money contributed by our Palm Beach Chapter to fund this award and honor Dr. austin.  Your money will go to help current research and education on Florida ethnobotany. 

Cover of Florida Ethnobotany by Dr. Dan Austin.

 

 

An active group keeps our social media sites vibrant and current.

  • The FNPS blog provides frequent, entertaining, and educational content. The recent articles are featured on our blog page. You can see the entire history of articles by visiting the main blog site.
  • The FNPS Facebook site has thousands of enthusiastic friends and an active participating community.
  • The FNPS YouTube Channel has videos about Milkweed species and how to identify them, prescribed burning, field trips to Florida's outstanding natural areas, award winning landscapes, and much more!
  • FNPS has a Twitter site that announces upcoming events and items of interest to members and native plant enthusiasts