The Conradina Chapter serves SOUTH Brevard County, from Rockledge to the Indian River County line.
We meet at 6:00pm the second Monday evening of the month, September-December and January-May at the Melbourne Public Library on Fee Avenue in downtown Melbourne. We also enjoy a potluck "end of year celebration" at Erna Nixon Hammock, usually the second Sunday in June.
The Mission of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.
Many people are "plant-blind" -- to them plants are the green stuff. What we know little about tends to be valued less. The Conradina Chapter, and FNPS work to teach people about the plants that we live with and why they, and the native plant communities around us are important.
When we convert native plant ecosystems to subdivision and farms, we lose the native plant communities that they supported. The same thing happens when we withdraw management - some systems become overgrown losing wildflowers that need light, some get taken over by non-native invasive species. Did you know that most of the really bad weeds that you see are non-native? If we remove mangrove forests along our coastlines, we increase the chances that hurricanes will cause increased coastal erosion because the natural thicket sof protective mangrove roots are gone.
Local actions can make a difference. When we change our landsaping to include native plants grown with techniques that minimize the need for added water and fertilizer, we can and do minimize our footprint on our environment.
Plants are enormously important to insects a huge number of which rely directly on native plants. Did you know that the larvae of monarch butterflies depend exclusively on native milkweeds? Studies are showing that there is a close relationship between insect abundance and native plants (they co-evolved together). Recent studies show that we are losing our insects, both in terms of the number of species and in terms of their numbers locally. The Conradina Chapter's events, and programs provided by FNPS, are designed to educate our members and the public.
Wildlife depend on native plants and native plant habitats. Some wildlife are herbivores (deer). Some are insectivores (most birds feed their babies insects even in species where the adults eat grains, fruits, or animal prey). You can attract hummingbirds a feeder, but they need places to nest, insects to feed their young, to rest and hide, and nectar that is more nutrition than sugar water from a feeder.
We get out into the woods, into our parks, into our swamps, into other wild lands. We have field trips lead by local botanists and ecologists. Contribute by being a participant. Lead trips.
The Conradina Chapter is an enthusiastic group of volunteers. Whether it is helping with a plant sale, handing out native plant information at a public event, presenting a program, or helping manage our chapter, volunteers are our life-blood.
Filling our mission is non-politcal, and it needs all of us. We are non-political. We are multi-racial. We are multi-ethnic. We welcome anyone who shares our mission.
An important aspect of being in this type of organization is that you gain a community of like-minded people to support you. We provide means, such as our meeting and field trips. We also provide easy ways to connect online.
Most of our programs and events are open to the public. We rely on the dues that members pay to support our conservation and education outreach.
There are also personal advantages to being a member. FNPS will send you our quarterly publication, the Palmetto and bi-monthly newsletter, the Sabal minor. You will also get discounts on the FNPS conference and FNPS books. Most native nurseries provide discounts to FNPS members (ask!).
But all-important, help us fulfill the mission.
© 2020 Conradina Chapter, Florida Native Plant Society