The Mangrove Chapter serves Charlotte County and southeastern Sarasota County.

Chapter contact:
    Phone: 941-769-3633
    E-mail: fnpsmangrovechapter@yahoo.com




 As a local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, serving Charlotte County and the southwest portion of Sarasota County, we achieve many of our goals through public outreach education, so our meetings, field trips and special events are open to all who wish to participate. Whether year-round or seasonal residents, our members share a passion for the state’s beauty, as exemplified by Florida’s native plants and diverse habitats, as well as the wildlife these plants and habitats support.

If you attend our meetings, you will hear educational presentations by local experts on a range of topics, such as rare species, native plant communities, protection needs, state and local conservation programs, and native plant landscaping.

Come along on our field trips and get to know your local plants and their communities and how our wildlife depends on them for food, shelter, and nesting. Attend our plant sales and acquire various landscape specimens without damaging their natural environments.

Come to our annual outreach event and learn how native plants in your landscape will save on water consumption, as well as reduce or eliminate the use of fertilizer and pesticides. You will learn how to plant the right plant in the right place and it will flourish without a great deal of care. If you are a seasonal resident, you will find that native plants better survive your absence in the summer months.

When you include Florida native plants in your landscape, you celebrate the unique natural beauty of the “Real Florida”. Please join our efforts and mission to preserve, conserve and restore these native plants and their communities and help us all to bring nature closer to home.

Current Month’s Activities


MEETINGS:  6:15PM--Social Time, 6:45PM--Business Meeting,  7:00PM--Speaker's Program





FEBRUARY 9, 2016:  "Preserving Native PlantsThrough Photography & Conservation"' by Jim Knoy


Jim Knoy, FMN(graduate and instructor), President of Peace River Audubon Society, VP of Peace River Wildlife Center, Sierra Club guide, and CHEC volunteer, will speak about native plants and their habitats, and will illustrate these through his own photography.  More information about the speaker and examples of his photography may be seen at www.jimknoy.com.



MARCH 8, 2016:  "Florida Native Milkweeds in the Garden", by Chris Parisi 


Our meeting will be about how native milkweeds in the garden can help both the Monarch butterfly and many other pollinators, as well as the importance of preserving local ecotypes and biodiversity.


Chris Parisi, owner/operator of Restless Natives Nursery in Tarpon Springs, FL, has been raising native milkweed species for seven years.  He is a graduate of Eckerd College, and is currently enrolled in St Peterburg College to study Cybersecurity.  In addition to raising and selling plants in the Central Florida area, he harvests and sells the seeds of several species of milkweed as part of an ongoing project to increase the availability of local ecotypes in Florida.  Previously, he has done research and seed collections for milkweed projects with several entities, including Cornell University. 


APRIL 12, 2016:  "Preserve, Conserve, Restore--A Visit With Our State FNPS President",  By Anne Cox


MAY 10, 2016:  Annual Election of Officers, Potluck, and Silent Auction.  This meeting starts at 6PM with the election of officers, followed by the member-provided potluck. After the ingestion of the flavorful food, the results of the silent auction are revealed.  We then say goodby for the season.  Please remember to bring your own place-setting



FIELD TRIPS:  All field trips begin at 9AM, unless otherwise specified.

JANUARY 30, 2016, LAKE MANATEE STATE PARK, 20007 SR64E, Bradenton, FL

Lake Manatee State Park is located 15 miles east of Bradenton on SR 64.  The park extends for 3 miles along the southern shore of Lake Manatee.  The lake came into existence in the late 60's by damming the Manatee River.  There are no manateees in this park because of the dam. The park's habitat is primarily pine flatwoods and sand pine scrub with some depression marshes and hardwood forest present.  There is a $5 vehicle fee with 2-5 passengers, and a $4 charge for a single occupant vehicle. Due to this park's distance from Englewood, this walk will begin at 9:30AM, 30 minutes later than usual.

DIRECTIONS:  Take I-75 north to Exit 220, SR64.  Drive east for approximately 9 miles.  The park entrance is on the left.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  Call Denny Girard at 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.

FEBRUARY 27, 2016, MYAKKA STATE FOREST, 2000 S River Rd, Englewood, FL

Myakka State Forest was purchased in 1995 as a part of the Myakka Estuary Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) project.  The majority of the forest is within the city limits of North Port.  The forest consists primarily of mesic flatwoods with a mixture of longleaf and slash pine with a palmetto understory and numerous depression marshes.

DIRECTIONS:  From Englewood, drive on River Rd until the main park entrance is reached, just beyond the Winchester Blvd light.  Entrance is on the right.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  Call Denny Girard at 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.


Charlotte Flatwoods is a 487 acre Charlotte Co Park consisting of mature pine and hydric pine flatwoods with depressional marsh wetlands, dry prairie, and fresh water ponds interspersed among the pines.  This is an excellent birding spot along with many opportunities to observe wildflowers.

DIRECTIONS:  Travel out of Punta Gorda south on US 41.  The park is on the northwest corner of Zemel Rd and US 41.  The parking lot is located directly off of US 41 on the right.  If you pass Zemel Rd, you've gone too far.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  Call Denny Girard at 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.


Charlotte Harbor Preserve SP is comprised of over 43,000 acres, and was acquired to provide a natural buffer for the Charlotte Harbor estuary.  The portion we are going to explore used to be called Gate 4, but was renumbered when the Coral Creek restoration was completed.  The area we are entering is also known as the Coral Creek Trailhead.  The walk will meander through wetlands, coastal scrub, and tropical hardwood hammocks, which will offer a diversity of plant and animal life to be discovered.

DIRECTIONS:  From SR776, turn south onto Sunnybrook Blvd, continue south on Sunnybrook Blvd until the 4-way stop, where the name of the road changes to Rotonda Blvd N.  Keep going south until you've crossed the canal surrounding Rotonda.  Immediately after crossing the canal, turn left onto Rotonda Circle, follow the road around Rotonda until Rotonda Blvd S is reached. (It's the end of the road.)  Turn right onto Rotonda Blvd S, drive a short distance.  The entrance is a walk-thru on the left. Park along Rotonda Blvd S.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  Call Denny Girard at 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.

MAY 28, 2016, URFER FAMILY PARK, 4000 Honore Ave, Sarasota, FL

Urfer Family Park is a Sarasota Co. park that offers playgrounds, fitness trails, and a nature trail.  The nature trail winds through pine flatwoods, and runs adjacent to herbaceous and forested wetlands. 

DIRECTIONS:  Via I-75N:  Get off at Exit 207(Bee Ridge Rd.).  Turn left onto Bee Ridge Rd, go approximately 1.5 miles to Honore Ave, turn left onto Honore Ave.  The park entrance is the first turn on the right.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  Call Denny Girard at 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.

PLEASE LOOK for Plant Lists from some of our previous Field Trips under the NEWSLETTER heading.





MARCH 12, 2016, CEDAR POINT PARK, 2300 Placida Rd, Englewood, FL, 9:30AM-1:00PM

The theme for this year is "Plant the Real Florida, Choose Alter-Natives".  The "Alter-Natives" are common, native, perennial trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that provide natural food sources for local and migrating wildlife, as well as cover for species that reproduce locally. 

Two presentations are scheduled.  At 10:00AM a lecture with live plants, "Alter-Natives in the Landscape", presented by Laurel Schiller, owner of Florida Native Plants, Inc, Sarasota, will emphasize "nurturing nature--what you plant matters to wildlife". She will demonstrate how natives can be used in the home landscape with plants from her nursery.  At 11:00AM, "Creating a Home Yard with Florida Native Plants" will be presented.  A panel of chapter members, using photographs of their yards, will discuss how and why they used natives in their creations.

At 12:00PM, attendees will have the option of touring the native garden, or going out on a guided trail walk through the park.

Plants from Florida Native Plants will be for sale, and donations will be taken for member-potted plants.  The Peace River Butterfly Society will be a participant.  Inside the center will be exhibits by Mangrove Chapter,FNPS, and CHEC. There will be books for sale, educational handouts, and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Cedar Point Environmental Park at 475-0769. This event is sponsored by the Mangrove Chapter, FNPS; Charlotte County; and a grant from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, “A partnership to protect the natural environment from Venice to Bonita Springs to Winter Haven”. To learn more about CHNEP and their available grant programs, visit www.CHNEP.org.  For  more information about native plants, go to www.fnps.org. Mangrove Chapter activities are described at mangrove.fnpschapters.org. Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center programs are listed at www.checflorida.org.






Contact Us


Mangrove Chapter, FNPS

P.O. Box 1153

Englewood, FL 34295-1153

Email: fnpsmangrovechapter@yahoo.com 






Our Membership Meetings, which are open to the public, are held on the second Tuesday of the Month, October through May. We start with an “open door” social, serving a light refreshment from 6:15 to 6:45 PM. This is followed by a brief business meeting from 6:45 to 7:00 PM, and the Speaker Program begins at 7:00 PM (approximately 40 minutes). After the guest speaker has answered questions, a plant raffle is held, which features an assortment of native plants provided by the members. 


Please refer to the Calendar tab for a list of the season’s meetings, speaker programs, dates and times. (Our December and May meetings are membership pot luck dinners, with no speaker.  The May meeting includes our annual election of officers for the forthcoming season).


Meeting Location:  Lemon Bay Park, 570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood, Florida 


Board Meetings: Our Board of Directors meets on the first Friday of each month, 2:30 PM, at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road, Englewood, Florida. All members are welcome to attend. The Board also meets throughout the summer months.



Board of Directors/Officers


President: Al Squires, ahsquires@embarqmail.com, 941-769-3633

Vice President: Lois Cantwell, birderlois@hotmail.com, 941-697-2756

Secretary:  Marianne Owen, gopher36@comcast.net, 941-474-1118

Asst Secretary:  Bobbi Rodgers, rodgersbobbi2@comcast.net, 941-475-0769

Treasurer:  Linda Wilson, ljayewilson@juno.com, 941-475-7210

Chapter Representative:  Al Squires, ahsquires@embarqmail.com, 941-769-3633



Committee Chairs


Publicity: Micki Donnelly, mudisfun@comcast.net, 316-305-8402

Newsletter: Jim Thomson, jimthomson4@comcast.net, 941-830-0737

Website: Barb Seibel, leftyb3@comcast.net, 941-475-0364

Programs: Lois Cantwell, birderlois@hotmail.com, 941-697-2756

Field Trips: Denny Girard, dennyg29@msn.com, 941-474-1492

Membership: Linda Wilson, ljayewilson@juno.com, 941-475-7210

Hospitality: Denny Girard, dennyg29@msn.com, 941-474-1492

Historian: Linda Wilson, ljayewilson@juno.com, 941-475-7210

Conservation/Education: Bobbi Rodgers, rodgersbobbi2@comcast.net, 941-475-0769

Chapter Garden: Lois Cantwell, birderlois@hotmail.com, 941-697-2756 


Field Trips


On the last Saturday of the month, except when preempted by special events, we gather at 9 AM at a designated location for a slow stroll along local trails to identify and observe native plants in their natural environment. These walks are open to the public so that we may use this opportunity for educating folks about the value of natives to the home landscape and the environment. Please refer to the Calendar tab for a list of the season’s field trips, dates and times. A list of “summer walks” is made available near the end of May. 


Special Events


Our Chapter focuses on three events during the fall, winter, and spring season:

   The Annual Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival is usually held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, at the Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte. Visit www.chnep.org or call 866-835-5785 for more information.

   Our annual “Plant Native” Day, a public outreach program, features lectures, walks and plant sales, and is held on the second Saturday in March. It is held at Cedar Point Environmental Park, 2300 Placida Road, Englewood, Florida from 9 AM to 1:00 PM. Details will appear on this website as the event approaches.

   The Florida Native Plant Society Annual State Conference is held near the third week in May, rotating to different cities and co-sponsored by a local FNPS Chapter. Visit the Society website www.fnps.org for more information.




Published on  27.01.2016