November eNews for Broward Native Plants
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Florida Native Plant Society

Promoting the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Broward County
Promoting the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Broward County
Membership $35


Broward Chapter (Coontie) & Event Calendar
Chapter Email
Plant List (Inst. for Regional Conservation)

Three out of four Florida voters want our natural lands & waters protected! Drawing its funding from one third of existing real estate tax, Amendment 1 will dedicate about a billion a year to conservation.
"The Plant Communities of Long Key" with Kelly Whitney
Secret Woods Nature Center, 2701 Florida (W. State Rd.) 84, Dania Beach, FL 33312

Kelly Whitney, Park Naturalist at Long Key Nature Center, introduces us to Long Key's plant communities including at least one you might not expect. Because significant Seminole history took place at Long Key, Kelly will include a bit of park history and the Seminole use of plants.

Kelly has been naturalist at Long Key for 12 years. Prior she taught science to 7th and 8th graders. She was an undergraduate in Kansas majoring in Environmental policy and a graduate student at FIU in Biological Management.
Photo by Kenneth Cole Schneider

"Plant Walk: Discovering Long Key" with Kelly Whitney
Long Key Nature Center, 3501 SW 130th Ave, Davie, FL 33330  (954) 357-8797

Kelly Whitney will lead us to see some areas of the Long Key park that are not normally visited by the public. Here we can begin to understand what comprises an historic plant community and look for interesting plants. At another location we can see restoration working in concert with nature. It's always wonderful to go off trail with a guide who has such long-term experience at a natural site.

For newcomers: The trip will be easy going, but off trail, so tennis shoes or whatever can take a little mud or water is recommended, just in case. Drinking water, sun protection, insect repellent, and perhaps long pants and sleeves will ensure your comfort. Bring a camera, binoculars, or magnifier if you enjoy taking something home (photographs), seeing distant wildlife (usually birds), or the fascinating small parts of plants & insects. If you are just coming to enjoy the out of doors: the air, fragrances, and flowers, this is not only OK, but perhaps the very best of all reasons to join us.

We will meet at the nature center next to the main parking lot for Long Key at 9:30 am.

Big Cypress, Endless Beauty

November eNews Feature

It's not easy to capture the magnificence of Big Cypress, the smell of plants, the crystal clear water, flowing and warm, and the play of light and shadow. The top photo was a cooling stop on the Billy Concho Trail that captivated us all with small garden delights above and below the water.

These photos are from a recent joint field trip with the Dade Chapter to Billy Concho Trail in Big Cypress. The next joint trip is to Juno Dunes Natural Area in Palm Beach County with Steve Woodmansee on Saturday, Nov. 22nd. Check our Calendar for next events.

We believe this is Ipomoea sagittata, Everglades Morning-glory, artful as if arranged with the care and imagination of an Ikebana master.

Conservationists sometimes talk too much about the loses and threats. Nature is exceedingly resilient. We should bask more in that yellow light and play of fragrance just enjoying the beauty and letting it heal us.

Muhlenbergia capillaris, Muhly Grass, is common in Big Cypress and in landscaping. This time of year the shiny back-lit red filaments wave in light breezes. Non-hybrid native plants can be just perfect.

Poking out of the water Utricularia foliosa, Leafy Bladderwort, (if we have identified it correctly) is one of several yellow and purple Bladderworts commonly seen in wet places. Below the water, they capture tiny water insects in their bladders for the nutrients.

Climate Change: What to do?


Our work to preserve more space for nature and bring more native plants into our spaces is a partial answer to helping protect the now-unbalanced planet. Plants inhale carbon and exhale oxygen. But this is not nearly enough to address the climate crisis. The extinction of plants and wildlife, and the welfare of our own species are threatened by the imbalances we have created.

What to do? How do we stop fueling rapid climate change?

We thought air conditioning might be the most carbon-creating human activity in south Florida. We could create awareness by raising the thermostat 2 degrees, and cool ourselves more from natural breezes (well-design buildings and homes) ... and fans.

But we did some research to discover which human activity actually burns the most fuel and found the answer in a report by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and national Department of Energy. You can find the charts here. It takes a little study to understand, but look at that widest band on the chart: 27% of all energy use is transportation! No other single human activity comes close.

Driving in a car, moving that ton of steel wherever we travel, is the single most energy using and carbon-polluting thing we do. Bicycles, carpooling, walking, are all good, of course (for us and for the environment), but realistically, we must also have the quick mass transit option.

Quick mass transit is an alternative to driving, but only when the travel frequency and time compete with car travel. Many examples of great mass transit across the country have proven that people choose it when it's good, and that it greatly reduces car use. Creating great Broward (and inter-county) public transportation (see Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization) is the biggest single thing we can do locally (not the only thing, but the single most important) to reduce carbon.

Without creating shaded walkways, bike lanes, greenways, parking at stations, and quick mass transit (the things that make us PREFER this travel), we cannot reach the carbon goals that stop atmospheric warming and acidification of the oceans.

By comparison, residential energy use is 11.4% of all energy use and it is from the cleanest (less carbon-polluting) sources. So turning up the thermostat 2 degrees may be the second most important action, but we can't ignore the importance of making mass transit work locally. Greenways (Broward Greenways) have been on hold for a decade, but are part of the total transportation vision that makes pleasant the entire journey from home to work, shop, or play.

We normally focus this newsletter on native plants, but it just feels irresponsible not to occasionally tell ourselves the truth about sustainable, environmental priorities. Climate change and development's impact on native plants are huge. Where we meet at the Secret Woods, salt intrusion is significantly changing the trees and other plants. Let's be focused about how we really protect the wild, natural legacy of this place. Mass transit and greenways need to be a part of Broward's green solution and our proposals.

Become a part of green solutions:
Broward Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society
Speaker events are on 2nd Wednesdays at 7 pm at the Secret Woods.
Field Trips are usually on a following weekend but they vary,
so always check the Calendar and check again for last minute trip updates.
Visit for a wealth of information about local plants.
Copyright © 2014 Broward Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, All rights reserved.

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