Serenoa Chapter

Florida Native Plant Society


Day and Time

Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of the month, September through May. New in 2020, meetings will be held via Zoom.  For the best experience we recommend you download the Zoom app ahead of time at

Contact Karen Willey for technical assistance or 941-704-4325

Serenoa Chapter will convene for a short business meeting at 7:00pm followed by the evening's program.  A moderated Q&A session will be held with the speaker after the presentation.

Field trips are outdoors as usual. We will wear masks and social distance. Be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook Page and Website for the latest details.

Contact: Fran Palmeri 941-544-6148

SEPTEMBER 2020 (no General Meeting in September)

Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope, will present a special talk about birds and native plants. The title of his presentation is "A Guide to Restore the Little Things that Run the World."


  • Sept. 26 Field Trip 9 a.m. Container Gardening

Field Trip Registration Link:

Chris Meyer, Land Manager in Sarasota County, will tell us how Florida native plants can be grown in containers of all sizes. He will demonstrate how to create wetlands and uplands environments to get the best results.


  • Oct. 19 General Meeting on Zoom 7 p.m. Conserving Habitat Forever.

Zoom Registration Link:

Zoom meeting recording:

Debi Osborne, Director of Land Protection, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast will share why and how Conservation Foundation protects land in southwest Florida and connects its land conservation mission to people of all ages to build a land ethic in our communities.

  • Oct. 24 Field Trip 9.a.m. Johnson Preserve

Field Trip Registration Link:

Lee Amos, Land Steward of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, will lead us on a tour of the Preserve. A trip back to Old Florida, this 44--acre natural oasis on the Braden River east of drinking water for Bradenton and is home to an amazing diversity of plants and animals including longleaf pines and imperiled swallowtail kites and gopher tortoises.

Please note, Parking is available only on the road-shoulder at 99th Street East on the preserve-side of the street. Do not burden the neighborhood by parking on the house-side of the street, or in strange places.



  • Nov. 16 General Meeting on Zoom 7 p.m. Native Plant Gardening 101 and Beyond

Zoom Registration Link:

Zoom meeting recording link:

Tom Heitzman, Owner, Sweet Bay Nursery. Experienced gardeners will enjoy Tom’s refresher course which includes not only basic approaches to native plant gardening but lots of tried and true tips. With many years of experience Tom will also share some new innovations.

  • Nov. 21 Field Trip 9 a.m. Sweet Bay Nursery

Field Trip Registration Link:

On a 20-acre site with beautiful old live oaks, areas of pines, and of course lots of plants for sale. View the Nursery’s demonstration gardens and plants. A trip to Sweet Bay is a fun experience for the whole family. Plan to picnic and shop after the tour.



  • Dec. 12     Field Trip 9 a.m. Myakka River State Park

Registration link:

Join Serenoa Field Trip leader Cathy Page as she leads us down Ranch House Rd to the prairie and then loops us back to the main road. This is an easy 2 mile loop. Bring your lunch if you wish to picnic afterwards.

  • Dec. 21  General Meeting on Zoom 7pm  Horticulture for the Holidays

Zoom Registration Link:

Join us for our Annual Holiday Party with fun and games via ZOOM! Depending on the number of participants, we will move into and out of breakout rooms with some fun Native Plant activities. Don’t worry about the technology – zoom will do it all for you!

January 2021

  • Jan 18 General Meeting on zoom, 7pm,  Aquatic Butterfly Gardening, Sean Patton, Stocking Savvy

Zoom Registration Link:

Zoom meeting recording link:

Sean Patton, Owner of Stocking Savvy will share why and how butterfly gardening in ponds is important and fun! There are over 70,000 large lakes and countless acres of shoreline, wetland, and watery areas in Florida that are under used and not biodiverse with native plants. The goal of this talk is to help plant wet areas with a diverse assemblage of native plants to support birds, pollinators, fish, and help combat Red Tide and Climate Change.

  • Jan 23 Field Trip 9am Sneak-Preview Robinson Preserve

Field Trip Registration Link:

Damon Moore, Manatee County Ecological Resources Division Manager, will lead us on a tour of the newly restored Robinson Preserve Expansion. The expansion is not open to the public yet, they are still moving earth. This will be a behind-the-scenes sneak peak tour for Serenoa members. 

Febrary 2021

  • Feb15 General Meeting on Zoom 7 p.m. Community Playbook for Clean Waterways Jennifer Shafer, Science and Environmental Council

Zoom Registration Link:

Zoom meeting recording:

The Clean Water Playbook is a digital tool aimed toward citizen action to reduce and remove excess nutrients from natural systems. Developed by local experts using research and stakeholder interviews, more than 40 activities are organized around 10 topics. Groups and individuals can use this tool to decrease their impact on local waterways leading to Sarasota Bay and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.

Jennifer Shafer is a marine ecologist and Principal at Shafer Consulting specializing in facilitating and communicating science and science-policy issues.  Highly analytical and detail-oriented, Jennifer loves research and analysis on coastal issues that lead to insightful and creative strategies for protecting the environment.   She is also Co-Executive Director of the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida, a consortium of 40 local science-based environmental organizations, of which Serenoa Chapter is a member. 

  • Feb 20 Field Trip Old Myakka Preserve 

Zoom registration link : to be announced

Old Myakka Preserve (including the new addition) and Florida Native Plants Nursery

March 2021

  • Mar 15 General meeting on zoom 7 p.m.  Lost Old-growth Forests: When Will we see the Forest and the Trees?  Kate Borduas

Zoom registration link:

Vast swaths of old-growth virgin forest - from American Chestnut to Long-leaf Pine once covered America east of the Mississippi.   Most have been felled for lumber or have succumbed to disease.  We now understand that forests are not simply a commodity to be exploited but are, instead, complex eco-systems that are home to great diversity. There are no simple answers about the future of old growth forest but exploring these questions is quite an eye opener.

Kate Borduas is a self-described “Adult-onset” Naturalist. A transplant from coastal Maine, she is trained as a Florida Master Naturalist and as a nationally Certified Interpretive Guide. As a naturalist and guide, Kate is committed to sharing with others the hidden wonders of nature all around us. 

  • Mar 20 Field Trip 9 a.m.  Garden Tour  Three Palmetto yards  with Dr. Hal Ott.

Zoom registration link:

Three properties in downtown Palmetto, with two  restored historic houses. Many mature and newer native trees and plants throughout the landscape and gardens of both houses. We will be touring the gardens only.

Apr 2021

  • Apr 1

    Earth Day is going VIRTUAL this year on the Friends of Oscar Scherer Facebook Page Beginning April 1, 2021. From the Friends Group: “Like and Share daily posts from local organizations that support the environment and the community. Use the daily post to complete your action item and scavenger hunt clue. Message us your answers to be entered into the prize drawing. Visit us daily for more chances to win. Happy Hunting and Make Earth Day Every Day.” 

  • Apr 19 General meeting on zoom 7 p.m. Histories & Mysteries of the Cabbage Palm – Jono Miller

Zoom registration link:

Jono Miller has written the latest word on Sabal palmetto in his book entitled The Palmetto Book.  He will offer surprising facts and dispel common myths about this often-misunderstood native plant. The book itself is very readable and fascinating, don’t miss his talk on Zoom! The book is available at local bookstores and through the University Press of Florida.

  • Apr 24 Field trip 9am Sweet Bay Nursery

In-person meetings are currently on-hold.  

© 2020 Serenoa Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society

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