old Meeting & Trip Registration 2022

  • 2022-2023 Meetings and Field Trips

Registration Links Below

General Meetings

Our General Meetings are via Zoom at 7:00 pm on the 3rd Monday of each month, September through May. We first convene for a short business meeting followed by the evening's program.  After the presentation, the meeting concludes with a moderated Q&A session with the speaker.  Zoom registration links for each meeting are provided below.  Please register in advance.

For the best experience we recommend you download the Zoom app ahead of time at https://zoom.us  Contact Alison Bishop for zoom technical assistance serenoa@fnps.org or 941-376-4415 (text is best)

Field Trips

There's now something happening at least once a month.  Whether it's an educational tour, informal hike, or to advocate, Serenoa is getting out into the community.  Some trips have limited availability. Register online in advance to confirm your spot.  Please wear appropriate clothing, pack trail snacks, & bring water.  Details and Directions will be emailed to registrants as the trip date approaches. 

September 2022

  • Sep 19        General Meeting Zoom 7 p.m. - Restoration and Conservation of the Scrub Habitat: Vital for Florida Nave Species

Dr. Neal Halstead is Research Director and a Senior Ecologist with Wildlands Conservation in Tampa. He has 20 years of research and field experience in Florida. His primary focus is on conservation issues associated with Florida native species and habitats, with an emphasis on experimental design and analysis of research studies 

  • Sep 24        Field Trip **Time changed to 11:30 a.m** - Duette Preserve

Please note the Time Changed to 11:30am

Neal Halstead will lead our group at Duette Preserve. At over 21,000 acres, the Duette Preserve is the largest Preserve in Manatee County. It is located in the northeastern part of the County and contains the headwaters of the Manatee River. Duette Preserve is host to many of the native plant communities throughout Manatee County, providing protection and preservation of pine flatwoods, hardwood swamps, xeric oak scrub, depression marsh, and vast dry prairie.


October 2022

  • Oct 17         General Meeting Zoom 7 p.m. - Prescribed Fire: A Vital Role in Our Ecosystem

Meghan Meyer is a first-generation Floridian with a love of being outdoors. She has a BS in Wildlife Ecology and a Masters' in Forest Resources and Conservation. She’s worked as an environmentalist at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, the FWC, and as the Environmental Specialist for Talbot Islands State Park in Jacksonville. Currently, she’s the Land Manager with Sarasota County. She has a passion for prescribed fire, restoration, and managing Florida’s natural habitats.


  • Oct 22         Field Trip 9 a.m. - Carlton Reserve

Meghan Meyer will lead our group on a tour of the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota. The Reserve land was purchased in 1982, for the purposes of developing a wellfield to provide drinking water for the county. 24,565 acres are set aside for natural resource protection and nature-based recreation. This site is also where many prescribed fires are executed along with the Fire Fest, an annual event centered on planned fires


November 2022

  • Nov 21          General Meeting Zoom 7pm - Noteworthy Plants of Southwest Florida: including rare and endemic species, local specialties and problematic exotics found in our region

Jeff Weber earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Eckerd College and started
his career with the Florida Park Service in 1985. He's worked as a state park ranger at various
Central Florida parks, including Gamble Plantation State Historic Site, Caladesi Island State Park & Wekiwa Springs State Park. In 1989, he became the district biologist within the Florida Park Service, working at Oscar Scherer State Park in Sarasota County. Then, in 1992, he accepted his current position as an environmental specialist with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, where he enjoys the many rewards (and the occasional challenge) of managing five Sarasota County natural area preserves.

  • Nov 26            Field Trip - Myakka Island Pointe

Chris Meyer will guide a tour through Myakka Island Pointe. This Park lies near the southern tip of Sarasota county. The 100 acres of environmentally sensitive land, was purchased by Sarasota County back in 2006. The park includes pine flatwoods, mangrove swamp, and tidal salt marsh. Read the link below for a lovely article on the park.


December 2022

  • Dec 10           Field Trip - Canopy Walk @Myakka River State Park CANCELLED - Myakka River State Park remains closed due to damage from hurricane Ian

Interested in a walk in the woods with a “fresh Perspective?” Then please join our leisurely trail through Myakka River State Park that, for those who are able, culminates with the infamous Canopy Walk.  Guide TBA. Family and Friends welcome on this one.

  • Dec 19             Holiday Party 6pm at Sarasota Audubon Nature Center

Mingle with Fellow Members and native plant friends during our Potluck Celebration and Gift Exchange.  Please bring a dish to share, your own dinnerware & the optional $15 gift to play the ever-entertaining White Elephant Exchange

January 2023

  • Jan 16          General Meeting Zoom 7pm - Native Orchids

Dr. Tatiana Arias is the new orchid research botanist at Selby Botanical Gardens.  She has
been leading an eponymous research lab for the past several years focused on orchid genomics, horticulture, and conservation.  She has over 15 years of experience working in plant sciences, particularly in the understanding and conservation of plants.  She earned recognition and awards from the World Academy of Sciences and The Colombian Academy of Sciences, among other professional achievements.  She also has taught and mentored young scientists from Colombia and beyond.

Jan 16          Manatee River Kayak Trip 9am

Meet at: Ray’s Canoe Hideaway, 1289 Hagle Park Rd, Bradenton, 34212

Time:  9am

Costs: Payable at Ray’s:

Applies to all: $8.00 per car (not per person). 

Boat rental: Half day single kayak or canoe rental $25; double boat (2 people per boat) is $35. Call Ray’s to reserve your boat: 941.747.3909.

Deadline to sign up: Thurs Jan 14.

Susie Venter will call you if the trip needs to be cancelled due to weather (wind or rain). Please also call Susie at 941,718,3362 if you signed up and need to cancel later. Thanks!



  • Jan 21            Field Trip 10am - Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

With more than 85,000 acres, this is Florida’s Largest State Park & worth going the distance to visit.  We’re fortunate to have Mike Owens giving our guided tour. We will begin at 10:00am, this field trip might last for 2-4 hours. Please know this will likely be a long drive depending on where you live - to accommodate, we are starting later than we typically do for field trips.

* Please know this is a long-distance trip and plan your drive ahead of time.

* $3 fee per vehicle. 

* Please wear long pants and appropriate footwear for walking through water and mud. 

* We encourage members to bring and use a walking stick.     

Feburary 2023

  • Feb 20          Manatee River Kayak Trip 9 am

Meet at: Ray’s Canoe Hideaway, 1289 Hagle Park Rd, Bradenton, 34212

Time:  9am

Costs: Payable at Ray’s:

Applies to all: $8.00 per car (not per person). 

Boat rental: Half day single kayak or canoe rental $25; double boat (2 people per boat) is $35. Call Ray’s to reserve your boat: 941.747.3909.

Deadline to sign up: Feb 18.

Susie Venter will call you if the trip needs to be cancelled due to weather (wind or rain). Please also call Susie at 941,718,3362 if you signed up and need to cancel later. Thanks!Register here

  • Feb 20          General Meeting Zoom 7pm - Tidy Island & Mangrove Preservation

Dr. Brad Oberle is the Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at New
College.  He is an Environmental biologist and liberal arts educator dedicated to promoting sustainability through strong community partnerships.  Experienced with research project management, staff supervision, and communications for grants totaling over $1 million and 20+ peer-reviewed publications

  • Feb 26          Field Trip 9am - Leffis Key Preserve

Mike Elswick, Land Manager, will lead our stroll into Anna Maria Island's only nature preserve and talk about the recent large-scale replanting project.  While this preserve is on the smaller scale, it is still a special and beautiful place to visit.  The preserve is made up of footpaths, 1,500ft of boardwalks that run through the mangrove forest, and a 26-foot high hill that provides 360-degree views of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay

March 2023

  • Mar 20          General Meeting Zoom 7pm - Good Bugs Bad Bugs : Part 2

Kate Borduas returns to us for Part 2 of her Bug Series.  She 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 the hidden wonders of nature around us with others.

  • Mar 25          Field Trip 9am - Little Manatee River State Park

Our Humble Plant Learned Board Member Tom Heitzman knows just the spot to give a guided tour through Little Manatee River State Park. Register early.  This one is sure to be informative

April 2023

  • Apr 15          General Meeting Zoom 7pm - Native Plants of SW Florida Through the Seasons

Learn what’s blooming for pollinators or producing fruit for wildlife and how to incorporate native plantings into your home landscape that will provide enjoyment throughout the year.
Ashley Ellis is the Residential Horticulture / Master Gardener Coordinator at UF/IFAS
Sarasota County Extension. The Residential Horticulture program provides research-based gardening and landscaping information to the residents of Sarasota County.  Ashley is interested in environmental horticultural practices that focus on preservation of natural resources and landscaping for wildlife

  • Apr 17              Serenoa Day at Sweet Bay Nursery 9am

Serenoa Day at Sweet Bay Nursery.  Demonstration garden tours, food, and vendors.  FNPS member discount of 15% off plants!  Proceeds go to our grant fund.  Volunteers are vital to this operation. Please register in advance.

May 2023

  • May 15          General Meeting Zoom 7pm - Conservation Foundation of Gulf Coast : Land and Water Protection in SW Florida

Lee Amos the Land Stewardship Manager at The Foundation will be discussing how they
protect the land and water in Southwest Florida for the benefit of people and nature and how we can help. To date, more than 18,943 acres across 53 properties are protected because of you and others like you, who care about our lands, waters, and way of life.  This adds up to nearly 30 square miles of protected land that provides for kids and grown-ups, wildlife and waterways.  They partner with landowners, businesses, and government to conserve the environmental excellence of our lands and waters in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties.

  • May 20          GardenTours 9am

You’re invited to explore a bit of Manatee County and enjoy selected native gardens. The Garden Tour includes both private yards as well as public Serenoa Grant Recipients. This trip is sure to be unique and inspirational.Register here

Jul 2023

  • Jul 9                     Myakka Walk with A Park Ranger - 9am-11am

Mike Stanfield the park ranger at Myakka River State Park will lead us on a stroll for a plant ID exploration. 


In-person meetings are currently on-hold.  

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.