Projects

Over the years the Pinellas Chapter has carried out numerous local projects in support of the FNPS mission to preserve, conserve, and restore the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. Funding for these projects comes from our membership dues and fundraising efforts, with occasional support from our state organization.

Have a project that you would like to request collaboration on with the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society?  Please submit your request here.

Below is a summation of our most recent projects:

Floristic Inventory of the Gladys Douglas Preserve - Dunedin - 2022

The Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, in partnership with the City of Dunedin, launched a twelve-month floristic survey of the Gladys Douglas Preserve. This survey was critical to the future management of the property and protection of the rare resources and will also be used to influence the future park development.

The year-long field-based floristic survey and inventory of the property focused on the scrub and rosemary bald communities. Existing plant species were documented, with special emphasis on rare or endangered native plant species. GPS (Global Positioning System) units were used to precisely locate plant populations, gopher tortoise burrows and develop detailed ecosystem maps. The data and mapping will serve as a floorplan for the City of Dunedin to use when planning development of infrastructure, determining where the public should be allowed to travel within the preserve, county management of the native plant communities by prescribed fire and other means, and removal of invasive species.

The survey was funded by a $5,000 Conservation Grant from the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS), and the Clearwater Audubon Society (CAS) contributed $2,250 in matching funds for the grant and $15,000 towards the land acquisition in 2021. The 44-acre Douglas property was purchased jointly by the City of Dunedin and Pinellas County in 2021 for $10M, with $4.5M in public donations. The Douglas property consists of sandhill, scrub, wetlands and the last remaining intact rosemary bald in this highly urbanized county. Listed endangered and threatened species on the property include Garberia (Garberia heterophylla), Nodding Pinweed (Lechea cernua) and Spreading Pinweed (Lechea divaricata). Threatened Gopher tortoises reside in the scrub. The City of Dunedin will develop and manage the property for passive public use and Pinellas County will conserve and manage the rosemary bald and sandhill plant communities.

Ecological consultants Bowman and Blair Ecology and Design led the survey with support from the Pinellas Chapter FNPS. The Pinellas Chapter FNPS donated $5,000 toward the land acquisition and will provided skilled volunteer support to Bowman and Blair, led by project manager Debbie Chayet. Skilled FNPS volunteers helped to inventory plants within the homestead acreage, conducted cleanups and assisted with removal of invasive species.

Pollinator Pathyways – 2022-Current

The Pinellas Chapter Conservation Committee is currently working on an initiative focused on creating habitat for pollinating insects throughout Pinellas County. The Conservation Committee meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 pm via Zoom.  The committee is open to any member or non-member interested in discussing local conservation issues and formulating chapter policies and programs to address the issues. If you haven’t contacted us already and are interested in participating, email conservation@pinellasnativeplants.org for more information.

Native Plant Demonstration Plot at Dunedin Community Garden - 2021-22

This native demonstration plot was on the border of the Dunedin Community Garden, next to the hiking path and tennis courts. Its highly visible educational signage was designed to educate the public about native plants, as many citizens pass by it each year. It included plant species that provide nectar for adult butterflies and larval food for their caterpillars. Chapter volunteers maintained the garden through selective planting of native butterfly plants, and monthly pruning and weeding. 

The garden plot is no longer active as the volunteer who maintained it has moved out of the area. The chapter would like to reinstate it if a new volunteer can be found to take it on. Volunteer work would be required twice a month. Volunteering is a great way to learn which plants attract butterflies and pollinators to your yard, and how to plant and maintain them. If you are interested in volunteering in Dunedin, email us at info@pinellasnativeplants.org.

Moccasin Lake Nature Park Butterfly Garden – 2008-Current

This native garden is just outside the classroom building at Moccasin Lake Nature Park, and is an excellent opportunity to educate the public about native plants, as thousands of people visit the park each year. It includes plant species that provide nectar for adult butterflies and larval food for their caterpillars. Chapter volunteers maintain the garden through selective planting of native butterfly plants, and monthly pruning and weeding workdays. In 2019 the Nature Park underwent a major renovation by the City of Clearwater, which included the butterfly garden. At that time many non-native species were planted. In 2020 the Pinellas Chapter funded a project, led by Nicole Schmidt Jones, to restore the garden to primarily native butterfly plants. 

Volunteer workdays in the garden, usually held on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 9:00 am – 11:00 am, are a great way to learn which plants attract butterflies and pollinators to your yard, and how to plant and maintain them. View our calendar for upcoming workdays and sign up here..

Neighborhood Home Solutions/Bartlett Park Native Plant Demonstration Garden and Homeowner Education Project – 2018 – 2019

Volunteers from the PCFNPS worked with Neighborhood Home Solutions and the Bartlett Park Neighborhood Association to install a sustainable native plant demonstration garden and signage in landscape beds around the entrances of the Resource Center, to be maintained by the community.

Following the installation of the garden, PCFNPS and Pinellas County Extension Service prepared a 20 minute curriculum on Florida Friendly sustainable landscape practices, utilizing Florida Native Plants to be incorporated into the pre-purchase homeowner education provided to 600 clients over a 12 month period. Each client received printed materials, and water saving devices provided by the City of St. Petersburg.

Volunteers from the PCFNPS presented 2 workshops, on Florida Native and Florida Friendly sustainable landscape practices, in the community room of the Resource Center to clients who have qualified to receive financial assistance, and to residents of Bartlett Park. The workshops presented Florida Friendly sustainable landscape practices, utilizing Florida Native Plants. Participants received printed materials and water saving devices.

The Narrows Community Garden, Vegetable and Native Plant Demonstration Plot -  2018 – 2019

The Narrows Community Garden is located at McGough Nature Center, 11901 146th St N, Largo, FL 33774. Thousands of people visit the park each year, and participate in the community garden program. In 2018, chapter volunteer Stefan Babjack created a demonstration garden to show people how native plants can be combined seamlessly and beautifully with edible herbs and vegetables. The result is a thriving garden and a small ecosystem friendly to native animals, at the same time decreasing the need for pesticides with the increase of insect biodiversity. 
 

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.