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Florida Wildflower Symposium
April 27, 2018 @ 9:00 am - April 28, 2018 @ 4:00 pm
The ninth annual Florida Wildflower Symposium at the Orange County UF-IFAS Extension Center in Orlando will feature workshops, presentations, field trips and garden walks on Florida’s native wildflowers and wildlife. Learn about butterflies, bees, sustainable landscaping, conservation issues and much more. Get hands-on experience by participating in the installation of a wildflower meadow. Learn the fine points of growing Florida’s first flowers. Experience some of Central Florida’s most stunning conservation areas.
Friday morning field trips
Pre-registration is required for all field trips. Start times, fees and participation requirements vary. Details will be available when registration opens.
* Enjoy a leisurely tour of the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. Participants will see the Center’s non-releasable resident raptors and hear stories about the birds while learning about Florida’s natural history and Audubon’s conservation efforts. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements.)
* Experience the wildflowers of Wekiwa Springs State Park with biologist and native plant nursery owner Nancy Bissett. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements.)
* Todd Angel of the Florida Forestry Service will lead a hike through the Seminole State Forest Warea Tract to see the rare, endemic and endangered Clasping warea in bloom. Scrub morning glory, Lewton’s milkwort, Britton’s beargrass and other wildflowers should be on display as well. This is the southern tract of Seminole State Forest, located in Lake County. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements.)
* Paddle Rock Springs Run, a tributary of the Wekiva River, with adventure guide Lars Andersen of Adventure Outpost. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements. Must register by 9/17/17. No refunds will be issued after this date.)
* Take a buggy ride through the Florida Forever tract with Steve Morrison. (Click here for details, including start time, duration, fees and participation requirements. Must register by 9/12/17. No refunds will be issued after this date.)
Friday afternoon topical presentations
* Natalae Almeter, bear biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will present “Be Bear Wise,” a discussion about human-bear interactions and the wildlife corridor, including what to do if you see a bear in your neighborhood and how best to keep your family, pets and property safe.
* WMFE’s environmental reporter, Amy Green, will update us on the state of the Everglades and talk about her forthcoming book on this important and fragile ecosystem.
* St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman will provide a virtual tour of the St. John’s River, and will discuss the environmental challenges it faces, as well as share tips on how to save Florida’s longest river.
Friday night social
Join us at Bar Louie from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. for hors d’oeuvres, drinks and lively conversation. Bar Louie is an eclectic, urban restaurant located just minutes from the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension. Ticket includes buffet-style appetizers and one drink ticket good for soda, domestic beer or house wine. Vegan/vegetarian options will be available.
Saturday presentations and workshops
* Humans live in a world visually dominated by plants, yet their ability to notice and name individual plant species is often limited. Elisabeth Schussler will give the keynote presentation on “Helping People See Plants in a Plant Blind World.”
* Loran Anderson will introduce us to some of the different “Seed Dispersal Strategies” that wildflowers have developed over millions of years, taking advantage of wind, rain, sun and various animal interactions.
* Firefighter and Florida Forest Service volunteer Todd Angel will introduce us to “Florida’s Fire Flowers,” and discuss the necessity of fire to many of Florida’s endemic wildflowers and its relationship to threatened and endangered species.
* Jaret Daniels of the University of Florida will update us on “Butterfly Conservation Efforts in Florida.”
* Go behind the scenes of “Flip My Florida Yard” with producer and adventurer Chad Crawford.
* Jonnie Dietz of the Florida Museum of Natural History will show us some of Florida’s native pollinators.
* Learn “How to Talk With Your Neighbors About Your Native Plant Landscape” with Russ Hoffman, former psychologist and owner of Beautiful Ponds. Russ will offer practical dialogue and simple maintenance techniques to improve the neighborly atmosphere.
* Discover “Sex in the Garden” with Craig Heugel.
* Nature photographer Steven Long will take us on “A Photographic Journey of Florida’s Rare Flowering Plants.”
* Discover the “Role of Seed Biology in Plant Conservation” with Hector Perez, University of Florida.
* Jennifer Reinoso of the American Orchid Society will present “Protecting Sacoila lanceolata.” Learn the plant’s history, efforts to protect it and which wildflowers and butterflies share the same spaces.
* FWF Executive Director Lisa Roberts will give an overview of the Foundation’s work and current projects.
* Walter Taylor is going “All Yellow,” highlighting the yellow wildflowers of Florida and giving special consideration to the ones that are difficult to identify.
* Bruce Turley, owner of Wilcox Nursery & Landscape, will discuss the latest trends and opportunities in native wildflowers and other landscape plants.
* Wildflower grower Terry Zinn will provide guidelines on how to have a “Successful Large-Scale Wildflower Planting.”
* Dr. Jeff Norcini will present the concepts and simple steps for “Establishing a Small Wildflower Meadow from Seed,” then demonstrate the process in the UF/IFAS Extension’s new wildflower meadow. (Pre-registration is required as space is limited.)
* Learn the basics of native plant propagation with Claudia Larsen of Micanopy Wildflowers. (Pre-registration is required as space is limited.)
Saturday guided walks
* Take a tour of the UF/IFAS Extensions gardens with extension agent Kelly Greer.
* Search for butterflies with Dr. Jaret Daniels.
Native plant sale
Saturday’s native plant sale will feature a selection of plants adapted to Florida’s unique environment. Find the perfect additions for your landscape or garden.