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Nature Coast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society Meeting

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on February 22, 2020

The Nature Coast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society meets the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM at The Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd/US 41, Land O’ Lakes, 34639, between SR 52 and SR 54.

Nature Coast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society Meeting

The subject of the Tuesday, March 10, 2020, meeting is “Crop Wild Relatives – Native Plant Cousins of the Foods We Eat”, presented by Katie MacMillan. 

From Biodiversity International

“Crop wild relatives are wild plant species that are genetically related to cultivated crops.  Untended by humans, they continue to evolve in the wild, developing traits such as drought tolerance or pest resistance that farmers and breeders can cross with domesticated crops to produce new varieties.” 

From Crop Trust

“The wild relatives of our domesticated crops are the greatest source of untapped diversity.  These crop wild relatives are, however, threatened in their natural environment; they are also missing in crop collections.”  Florida grows 106 native plant species that are closely related to the foods we eat.  Pasco and its adjacent counties grow 64, or 60% of these native plant species.  How can we, as an FNPS chapter, contribute to global food security?  Collecting crop wild relatives might be one answer.

Katie has a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Carleton College.  She has worked as an environmental educator at the JB Starkey Wilderness Park in Pasco County, a biologist technician on Pasco conservation lands managed by the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Management Program and as a development review biologist for Pasco County Natural Resources.  Katie is now a grant specialist for Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources.

Meetings of the Chapter are free, and all interested parties are invited to attend, to bring questions about their yard, and to participate in light refreshments and the native plant drawing. Telephone inquiries are taken by Sandy at (727) 207-1853.

Chapter website: http://www.pasconativeplants.org.

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