Mission, Background and Vision

Vision

As Florida develops, the Florida Native Plant Society endeavors to preserve its glorious natural heritage. From the Panhandle to the Keys, native plant communities are being restored, created, and preserved through advocacy, leadership, educational programs, and the dedication of the membership of the Florida Native Plant Society.

Mission

The purpose 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.

Official Description

The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) is incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida as a Scientific and Research not-for-profit corporation. The Society provides information to government officials, business persons, educators, and the public at large on the protection, management, and restoration of native plant ecosystems through ongoing distribution of knowledge by means of periodic publications, conferences, symposia, workshops, and a statewide membership organized by local chapters.

History of Society

In 1980, FNPS was founded under the sponsorship of the Florida Conservation Foundation, Inc. (FCF). FNPS functioned under the FCF not-for-profit corporation until 1986, when it received independent status as a Scientific and Research not-for-profit corporation from the State of Florida. In 1987, FNPS received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the United States Internal Revenue Service.

Since 1980, the not-for-profit Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS), has been pursuing the mission of promoting the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. FNPS has been effective in providing widespread education and outreach programs, conservation grants, research grants, publications, legislative input and policy statements. In addition to educating the general public, FNPS has been a resource for city and county planners, landscape architects, land managers, teachers, ecologists and biologists. You can download a detailed discussion of the Society’s history, including conference locations and Palmetto award recipients.

Location of Chapters

Chapters of the FNPS are located throughout the State of Florida, and established according to the bylaws (see Society Governance). Chapters may chose to serve a specific county, part of a county, or a multi-county region depending on location and population density. By default, members are assigned to Chapters according to zip code, however each member may affiliate with the Chapter of choice, or may establish membership in more than one Chapter through purchase of additional memberships. Formation of Chapters is addressed in this handbook under Chapter Operations. A map and directory of Chapters is maintained on the FNPS website and appears in The Palmetto, the official journal of the Society.

Society Governance in a Nutshell

The Florida Native Plant Society's policy decisions and daily operations are governed by a Board of Directors (BOD) composed of an Executive Committee, FNPS Chapter Representatives, and up to six Director At-Large positions. Under the Bylaws, FNPS daily operations and policy decisions are delegated to the Board of Directors who see that FNPS activities comply with all state and federal regulations. The FNPS corporation operates independently of the FNPS Chapters. FNPS Chapters are independent organizations responsible for complying with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

Control of the organization is ultimately in the hands of FNPS members. Members are responsible for voicing their preferences on all BOD decisions through their FNPS Chapter Representatives. FNPS Chapter Representatives are members of the FNPS Board of Directors and are required to attend FNPS BOD meetings, annual FNPS general membership meetings, and may be required to attend other FNPS Chapter meetings. Duties of Directors are discussed in the FNPSBYLAWS2011.pdf .

The Society's Standing Committees organize and direct programs and assist with chapter activities. Standing Committees are responsible for specific committee tasks and general tasks associated with organizational needs. Standing Committees include Communication, Conference, Conservation, Education, Finance, Policy & Legislation, Membership, Land Management Partners, Publications, and Science Advisory. Questions regarding committee programs and tasks may be directed to the appropriate Executive Committee Officer, BOD Member, Committee Chairperson, or FNPS Chapter Representatives (see FNPS Contact Information at http://www.fnps.org).

FNPS has paid contractors that provide membership services, and program support, and ensure compliance with the required legal and financial documentation of the organization. Contracts are renewed or new contracts are adopted on an annual or multiple year basis for the following services: general administration, Executive Director, membership, publications, bookkeeping, financial audit, conference registration, and editing The Palmetto quarterly journal and the Sabal minor Society newletter. Miscellaneous services, such as web page development and updates, bulk mailing, grant writing, and grant services may also be contracted on an as-needed basis.