Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants

Richard Brownscombe

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Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« on: May 26, 2014, 06:26:47 PM »
How does landscaping relate to what Chapters are doing and need and want to do? What ideas, materials, kits, best practices, web links, etc. would help Chapters promote landscaping locally? Are urban landscape issues and programs different than rural landscaping? What problems do we face in promoting landscaping? Should we first narrow the focus of this Initiative to focus on a critical landscape promotion problem? What is that? What do we need to solve?

Here is this Landscape team:
http://council.fnpschapters.org/index.php?id=council-subcommittee
Choose a leader, then work on narrowing this discussion to the most exciting and valuable piece. Word it so we can all understand your one achievable goal.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 07:11:48 PM by Richard Brownscomb »
Richard Brownscombe
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Richard Brownscombe

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Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 01:52:14 PM »
I was able to recover Devon's Landscape Comments that were lost and have posted them here (the image of the original post is also in the attachment). Devon posted this on 31, 2014, 6:16 PM:

What committee under FNPS is already working on landscaping issues? I would like to know what they have done already and what they are currently working on.
If our goal is to promote the use of native plants in landscaping, I see the 3 main issues as:

1) Explain how they will attract birds and butterflies.
2) Explain the problems with aggressive exotics.
3) We need to solve the constant problem of availability. If we are asking homeowners to plant natives, they must have a convenient source.

Devon Higginbotham
Suncoast
Richard Brownscombe
Broward Chapter

Karina Veaudry

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Here are the projects that the FNPS Landscape Committee is working on
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 02:23:23 PM »
The FNPS Landscape Committee is only as strong as the number and dedication of the FNPS member volunteers.  Take a look at the projects were working on and let me know if anything needs to be added (see attached list).

If anyone would like to volunteer to help on any of these promotion of and advocacy of native plants PLEASE LET ME KNOW!! 

I'd love to discuss the possibilities at the Council of Chapters meeting in August.

Karina 
Email:  landscape@fnps.org
Phone:  (321) 388-4781

Richard Brownscombe

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Read Landscape Projects (Karina)
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 05:07:53 PM »
Hi All,

Please open the attachment in Karina's post, as it shows the projects of the Landscape Committee. Karina is invited to participate in all our discussions so we can coordinate our focus with what she is working on.

This is a great boost to us, as we think about choosing a focus, one thing perhaps, to work on improving/supporting/preparing this year. This narrow and doable focus should be perceived as helpful to chapters and their work with the local landscapers or gardeners or projects in their community.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 09:09:09 PM by Richard Brownscomb »
Richard Brownscombe
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Sonya Guidry

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Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2014, 05:41:37 PM »

Promoting Landscaping with Native Plants has been a main Pawpaw Chapter focus for for years.  I am sure all the things that we have done to promote using native plants in landscapes is already being done in other chapters:
1. Native Plant Sale with Seminar (about one per year)
2. Advertised Home Landscape Tour (about one per year)
3. Hold a Native Plant Swap each summer.
4. Feature a native plant of the month at meetings and have a drawing to win the plant.
5. Maintain a native plant section at a public garden (in exchange for free meeting room use)
6. Provide landscaping books at our meetings for sale, and now as a free lending library.
7. Pass out literature at events, on Native Plants as well as brochures on invasive exotic plants to avoid.
8. Monthly field trips to natural areas, butterfly gardens, native nurseries. (Kayak tours, walks, even a horseback ride)
9. Support local native nursery and refer others to this native plant source.
10. Hold an annual Holiday Native Plant Auction (covered dish dinner)
11. Maintain other public garden sites featuring native plants. (sometimes difficult to retain maintenance volunteers)

Richard Brownscombe

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And you landscape passion is...
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2014, 02:43:29 PM »
Thank you for you posts Karina & Sonya. I'm hoping more will join us here (please comment "Reply" otherwise we don't know you are out there). Mark "Notify" on this discussion and you will be sent an email if there are any new posts here.

Please read my recent thoughts about the purpose of this (and the other) Initiatives: http://council.fnpschapters.org/index.php?id=council-subcommittee. In the last paragraph it says, "Currently the Council Initiatives are too broad and poorly defined. The task of [our] group is to narrow the objective and to make it something: a) relavent to Chapters, b) something that working together is better and more effective than working separately, and c) something [doable]." I should have said, "Something that excites us."

So read Karina's project list and the other posts hear and post an idea. What is small and beautiful, that we can work on together, and promotes landscaping with the public? Something that kind of touches my landscape passion to work on is...? Something that is really important and often overlooked is...? Something we all do separately and should develop together and make better is...?

Let me kick it off with a brainstorm that just popped in my head right now. Then you "Reply" and tell us your brainstorm.
My brainstorm: Shirley's FNPS "Native Plants for Your Area" is the best out there. Let's help her design a plant tag that can be printed from the website giving the best PUBLIC-FRIENDLY growing information anywhere on the internet. In addition to designing the ideal tag, we will compile & vet any new information needed in whatever import format she needs. In the end, we (or anyone) can print PUBLIC-FRIENDLY plant tags from the site. We are in the best position to know what the public needs to help them grow plants more successfully.
Richard Brownscombe
Broward Chapter

Sonya Guidry

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Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 09:43:20 PM »
Along with Shirley Denton's "Native Plants for your Area" Plant Tags.  I am impressed with a small booklet pubished by Lake county: "Greener Choices, Alternatives to Invasive Exotic Plants".  Developing a similar "Plant THIS not THAT" sort of booklet for each region might be a good collaborative project for FNPS Chapters.  Distribution to the public in those regions as well as their local nurseries could help landscape owners and nurserymen make better choices.  I am not sure how to inseert a link, but if you put the information below in your "GoodSearch" engine, you will access the Lake County pdf with excellent photos of both the exotic invasives as well as photos and lists of alternative native plants suitable for that region. Check it out!

Lake County, Florida Greener ChoiCes
https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/pdfs/parks/field_guides/invasive_plants_p1-4.pdf

Jon Pospisil

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Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 09:04:43 PM »
Any time you say "promoting," you've identified your problem as a marketing problem.  We need to think about our challenge in terms of marketing,
--  who are our potential markets?
--  which segments should we pursue? [I continue to think that at our conferences, we should at least TRY to get some community association managers and management companies to come by planning a one day track that would give them some CEUs.  If we get just two or three managers to start promoting native landscaping to the boards of the HOAs they manage, we'll start affecting a huge group of people.]
--  what benefits do we offer?
-- who is our competition and what are their strategic advantages in marketing against us? etc. etc.

It would be great if Kelli could get us a grant or two to help us tackle this challenge in a thoroughly professional way,  but we should really put a bunch of big stickies up at our next meeting and brainstorm this as a group.  And perhaps the other 2 groups should do the same on the other two focal concerns/strategic initiatives.  No, we don't want to work at cross purposes with Karina's committee, but I don't know that anyone other than us will actually brainstorm all that is involved.

I've taken a very rough and very preliminary stab at putting a few thoughts in this regard on paper on the attached.  Though it is all stuff that all of us know already, I hope that organizing it in the way I did may stimulate the thoughts of others and at least move us an inch or two forward.


PS: Richard, thanks so much for nudging us along and  mooderating!  ;)

neta

Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2014, 03:54:08 PM »
Hello All Landscape Committee Members...and any others

I believe in multi-prong solutions as addressed in the Education Committee tasks - government, public, landscapers, growers.  And, I agree we can only handle one solution at a time, narrowing our focus.  I think the most important focus is encouraging the general public homeowner gardeners to use native plants.  In my experience, many home gardener don't plant natives because they are unfamiliar with using them.  People who are not home gardeners usually aren't much interested in any plants in particular except that it looks good and stays alive in their yard.  There was even a study a few years back in a new development in Enterprise where natives were planted and the homeowners were taught about maintaining them.  The idea failed.  The plants died.   I'll try to find the results of this experiment.  Most homes I see are mow and blow.  Homeowners who mow and blow themselves or have a company mow and blow aren't interested in gardening.  If they're not interested in gardening I don't think they will seek out natives and that's what it takes...seeking out the natives.

I would like to see more classes and workshops for garden clubs, classes offered at botanic gardens and  demonstration gardens, nurseries that have some natives for sale, and libraries, and articles in garden magazines.
The classes should be practical, that is, not just what is a native but how to plant and maintain them. I have done this at a nursery that sells natives and non-natives.  Only 10 people showed up but it was well-received and they had lots of questions. A native yard is not no maintenance.  I have one and until it's established it is work before it becomes low maintenance.  That's why using natives is for gardeners, people who get dirt under their fingernails.  At this point I don't think we can convert people not interested in plants even if it's good for wildlife and a healthy environment.  The ones who do plant in a neighborhood will convert others through example.  It is a slow process but I have seen progress.

Neta Villalobos-Bell
Cuplet Fern Chapter


Richard Brownscombe

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Something like an "Elevator Pitch" on a Small Card
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 04:08:16 PM »
This from Donna Harland, a citizen in Broward County:

"What I would like is what we call an elevator pitch in my business (computers).  I want something I can tell others in about 2-3 minutes the sums up the affect of the loss of these natives and turning FL into something other then what it has been ever since the waters receded and florida popped up.  Even having a small card with that message that we can all carry with us would be helpful.

"We created a multi-fold card [about sea turtles] that, when folded, is the size of a business card. We created it ourselves just using MS word and a printer printed them for free when they had free time so we did have to wait on them.  So a low cost operation.  We fold them ourselves.  People will put something that size in their pocket or purse for later reading rather then trash because they are too large."

[posted on Donna's behalf by Richard]
Richard Brownscombe
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Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2014, 10:43:09 AM »
(my note to Cocoplum board-Martin County Chap)
The quote below comes from the discussion FORUM for FNPS Council of Chapters which I have just now been looking over… I like Richard's brainstorm and thought of Debbie's work for our recent plant sale… Can we get the idea facilitated within our group so that FNPS will have something to post for downloading by an interested public?

Quote
My brainstorm: Shirley's FNPS "Native Plants for Your Area" is the best out there. Let's help her design a plant tag that can be printed from the website giving the best PUBLIC-FRIENDLY growing information anywhere on the internet. In addition to designing the ideal tag, we will compile & vet any new information needed in whatever import format she needs. In the end, we (or anyone) can print PUBLIC-FRIENDLY plant tags from the site. We are in the best position to know what the public needs to help them grow plants more successfully.

Richard, I forwarded your brainstorm to our chapter's board and our member who worked on plant labels for our plant sale this spring. They all like the idea and if we can help forward this effort please let us know who we should be working with to get the proper sizing (both label-wise and proper sizing for posting then printing!), get the plant info correct/ verified….

Regards, Joan

Richard Brownscombe

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Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2014, 11:23:26 AM »
So happy you are using the Forum (where others can see and participate). And of course, it's great to hear that you share the dream of a FNPS plant label.

I am sensitive to what it means for Shirley. In a past life I was one who had to try to program people's seemingly simple ideas into reality in a database and then to a website. I also know she has a lot on her plate. We should talk with her first, give her plenty of time, and knowing her limitations, then conceive the best possible plant label. Any information on the label that is not already in the plant database requires gathering all the plant-specific data and putting it all in the correct format to upload to match all the existing records.

My own plate is getting full. I have worked to focus the Council Landscape work group on one narrow and doable task (current proposal is FL native Gardening 101). I'm leery of splitting into two projects. I have no ownership on the idea, so if you and others want to run with it, that is one possibility.

PS: You are Conservation Chair for Cocoplum, I think. There seems to be no way to find your email on FNPS. One possibility is to put it in your Forum Profile, so Forum Messages work. You can probably send me a Forum Message or email Richard@Brownscombe.net for off-Forum conversations (details other people are unlikely to want to read through).
Richard Brownscombe
Broward Chapter

Jon Pospisil

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Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2014, 08:52:52 AM »
to download ALL of the Lake County Greener Choices brochure that Sonya referenced, go to: www.lakecountyfl.gov/departments/public_resources/parks/park_resource_center.aspx  then scroll down to GREENER CHOICES.  You can order hard copies from the county for about $1 each, don't know minimum quantity.

Juliet Rynear

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Re: Initiative: Promoting landscaping with native plants
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2014, 07:20:40 PM »
Just a few thoughts to add to the discussion:

- We need to build a stronger working relationship with FANN and its member nurseries.  It doesn't make sense to promote natives if we won't have the capacity to fulfill demand.  One suggestion is that we could have local nurseries "contract grow" specifically for local plant sales events.  We could also encourage municipalities to hire local native nurseries to contract grow for specific projects and use local ecotypes in the process.  This would allow nurseries to provide a greater selection of plants and to ensure local source material was used for the project.  This is very important to prevent a "native" species from becoming an exotic invasive when planted outside its natural range.

- A current problem in the native market is that many of the species offered are ruderal species (weedy) that are commonly found in disturbed habitats like you would find in an HOA.  This is one reason that many people are "turned off" by commonly available natives - they look like weeds, grow like weeds, and are a lot of work to manage in a typical landscape.  We need to work with FANN to bring more natives to market and to promote locally-sourced material.

- Rather than think about native plants in "regional" terms, it is more accurate to consider natural communities, ecosystems (like Lake Wales Ridge, Pine Rockland Ridge, Longleaf pine), and the historical range of each species.  Locally-sourced plant material is always best.
Chair Conservation Committee

Richard Brownscombe

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FL Native Gardening 101: Work Plan Aug 16 Version
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 05:08:31 PM »
Work Plan (Aug 16) is attached here. Please send your re-writes or improved project concepts to (Richard@Brownscombe.net) or post them here by September 10. A new compiled & revised Work Plan will be posted here no later than Sept 17. We will then talk about the improvements (and perhaps narrow the project) at our September GoToMeeting conference call (see proposed dates below).

We agreed to have two GoToMeetings for the Florida Native Gardening 101 work group before the November 15 (Board-Council meetings at Disney Preserve).

GoToMeeting proposed dates:
Thursday evening, September 18th at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm.
Thursday evening, November 6th at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 05:12:08 PM by Richard Brownscomb »
Richard Brownscombe
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