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




NOVEMBER 10,2015:  "What a Master Gardener Learns About Native Plants", by Vickie Lowe


Our guest speaker, Vickie Lowe, is a northern transplant who learned about native plants and gardening through the Florida Master Gardener Program.  She will speak about a variety of native plants that a Southwest Florida resident can plant that align with Florida-friendly landscaping guidelines.  Learn about ground covers, grasses, trees, scrubs, and perennials that attract birds, butterflies, and other pollinators to your yard, with gardening tips and sage advice thrown in. FURTHER INFORMATION:  Call Denny Girard, 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.  For information on the Florida Master gardener Program, visit gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu./mastergardener/. 


DECEMBER 8, 2015:  Annual Christmas Potluck and Silent Auction.  This event starts at 6PM with a short business meeting, followed by a potluck dinner.  After dinner, the results of the silent auction are revealed.  Please bring your own place setting, eating utensils, and anything you'd like to donate for the auction.


JANUARY 12, 2016:  "Managing Wetland Areas in Our Communities", by Russ Hoffman


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


MARCH 8, 2016:  "Native Milkweeds & Monarchs Workshop", by Jane Wallace

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




OCTOBER 31, 2015, OLD MIAKKA PRESERVE, 251 Myakka Rd, Sarasota, FL

Old Miakka Preserve is 132-acres of scrub and pine flatwoods, and is named after Old Miakka, the historic rural community that originally sat on this site.  There are more than 4 miles of hiking trails.  One might see gopher tortoises, butterflies, and songbirds.  Plants to be seen include Spiderwort, Beautyberry, and Florida False Sunflower.  The preserve has has limited parking, and is accessed through a walk-thru gate.  After our walk, we will be stopping at Florida Native Plants Nursery & Landscaping, which is across Myakka Rd from the park at 730 Myakka Rd.

DIRECTIONS:  From I-75, take Exit 210(Fruitville Rd), go east on Fruitville Rd For 11 miles.  At the stop sign, continue straight on the Fruitville Rd Extension.  This is a dirt road.  Drive 0.4 miles, the entrance is located on the right.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Call Denny Girard at 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.  

NOVEMBER 28, 2015, CASPERSON BEACH, 4100 Harbor Dr, Venice, FL

Caspersen Beach is a Sarasota Co. park with nature trails through freshwater and saltwater marshes, mangrove areas, and tidal flats. Wildflowers and wildlife are plentiful.  Wildflowers likely to be seen are Chapman's Gayfeather, Gumbo Limbo, Rose Natalgrass, Summer Farewell, and Velvet Leaf Milkweed.

DIRECTIONS:  Caspersen is located at the southern end of Harbor Dr in Venice.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:  Call Denny Girard at 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.

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. 

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.



NOVEMBER 21, 2015, CHARLOTTE SPORTS PARK, 2300 El Jobean Rd, Port Charlotte

CHARLOTTE HARBOR NATURE FESTIVAL.  CHNEP's annual celebration of nature is for people of all ages.  There are fun activities for the kids, and informative displays for adults.  Trail walks through Tippecanoe are also offered.

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

14th Annual "Plant Native" Day.  Theme: "Plant 'RealFlorida'--Choose 'Alternatives'."  There will be talks and demonstrations related to the theme.  Laurel Schiller of Florida Native Plants Nursery & Landscaping will be on hand to talk about native flora, and will have native plants for sale.





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  20.10.2015