Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Rare Plant Task Force has been cancelled.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Bok Tower Gardens, and the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens are pleased to announce the 2020 Florida Rare Plant Task Force Meeting sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. Each year, the Rare Plant Task Force of Florida serves as the place for Florida’s professional plant conservation community to share ideas and discuss, prioritize, and coordinate ongoing plant conservation efforts around the state.

The annual Rare Plant Task Force is a state-wide meeting to bring together the network of Conservation professionals from a variety of disciplines and agencies to share approaches and findings, forge new partnerships and discuss rare plant conservation priorities. This annual meeting is made possible by grants from the State of Florida, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.
The Mission of the Florida Plant Conservation Alliance (FPCA) is to study and preserve Florida’s flora through multi-disciplinary research, education, and advocacy; facilitate the recovery of rare, threatened, and endangered plants of Florida and the southeastern US through collaborative efforts in our state; and communicate the importance of preserving biodiversity worldwide.

The Ramada Naples is offering a special $99 room rate to task force attendees. Call the hotel direct and mention the Rare Plant Task Force rate or See the button below for complete information.
Special Discount at Ramada NaplesHotels near Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Thursday, April 30 will consist of presentations on the meeting theme of “The Growth of Rare Plants: From horticulture to recruitment in the wild to tissue culture,” and will include the 4th annual Florida Plant Conservation Alliance (FPCA) section to discuss safeguarding endangered species in Florida, along with a lunchtime tour and after-meeting social at the nearby Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens.

2020 RPTF General Agenda2020 Abstracts

Friday, May 1 will consist of a variety of half-day field trip adventures to local native habitats and points of interest.

Optional Field Trip 1 – Naples Botanical Garden Tour led by Chad Washburn, Vice President of
Conservation at NBG (limited to 15 people)

Participants will be given a private tour focused on the rare plant conservation efforts at NBG.
Meeting location and time: Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples, FL 34112; 9:00-11AM.

Optional Field Trip 2 – Panther National Wildlife Refuge Swamp Buggy Tour led by Jessica Sutt,
Wildlife Refuge Specialist (limited to 12 people)

Participants will enjoy a tour of the refuge, swampy buggy style, while learning about the natural
history of the refuge, wildlife monitoring, and orchid conservation at the refuge. Meeting location and time:
12085 State Road 29 South, Immokalee, FL 34142; 9:00-11:30AM.

Optional Field Trip 3 – Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Boat/Walking Tour led by
Jared Franklin, FDEP Environmental Specialist (limited to 12 people).

Participants will learn about the plant communities of coastal uplands and associated rare plant
species in a boat/walking tour. Meeting location and time: Shell Island Road Lab at 10 Shell Island Road,
Naples, FL 34113; 9:00AM-1:00PM.

Optional Field Trip 4 –Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Walking Tour led by Jimmy Lange, Lead Botanist,
and Jennifer Possley, Conservation Program Manager, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (limited to 15
Participants will enjoy the flora and fauna along the 2,500 foot long Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk that
winds through a beautiful, pristine section of the Fakahatchee Strand swamp and ends at an alligator pond and
observation deck. This is a great place for visitors to get an introduction to the preserve and for those just
looking for a short hike. Meeting location and time: 27020 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, FL 34114; 10:00AM-noon.

Optional Field Trip 5 –Fakahatchee Swamp Hike led by Mike Owen, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State
Park Biologist (limited to 12 people)

Participants will be immersed in the Fakahatchee Swamp on a guided hike with one of few people on
the planet that know the park so intimately. Mike Owen will no doubt share all there is to know about the park
with incredible enthusiasm! Meeting location and time: 137 Coast Line Drive, Copeland, FL 34137; 9:00AM-2:00PM

This year, we invite abstracts for oral presentations and posters focusing on propagation, cultivation, and both in situ and ex situ growth of rare, threatened, and endangered plants. All plant conservation-related submissions will be considered based on merit.

Please submit abstracts to Phil Gonsiska, pgonsiska@boktower.org

We look forward to seeing you there! Please contact Cheryl Peterson with any questions, cpeterson@boktower.org

*We reserve the right to deny registration or admission to, or remove any party from the meeting, in our sole discretion.

2020 Call for Papers