Florida Native Plant Society Annual Conference

Landscape Architecture and Designing Professional Landscape with Native Plants
May 18th, 2019

Our team has been involved with the Florida Native Plant Society for the past few years through volunteer efforts at the state conference and locally at chapter plant sales and by leading hikes. We knew we would have a captivated audience at this year’s conference of like-minded individuals who would respect and appreciate the work we do. Our presentation shared an introduction to the art and science of landscape architecture and how our advocacy efforts build communication within our community to help make the case to preserve and reclaim Florida’s biodiversity with the ever-growing built environment. Thank you to the conference chairs for organizing a great conference and we look forward to seeing everyone in Jacksonville in 2020!

Of course, all work and no play would be not be good for the soul. With a trip to Florida’s Nature Coast, we took time to explore by land and by spring! Below are a few stomping grounds we had the chance to visit and are must stops on your next trip to Crystal River, FL.

Three Sisters Springs
123 NW US Highway 19
Crystal River, 34428

Crystal River is home to the Florida Manatee and while we were out on the search to see our favorite sea cows, the springs and surrounding wildlife refuges are more than enough beauty to absorb. From our outfitter at Plantation on the Crystal River, we kayaked to Three Sisters Springs where we were able to paddle into the spring, swim and enjoy its truly incredible crystal clear water under a canopy of cypress, oaks, and sabal palms. The round trip kayak experience was 3.76 miles long.

Roger Batchelor Pier and Fort Island Gulf Beach
14080 W Fort Island Trail
Crystal River, FL 34429

After our presentation we rewarded ourselves with a trip to Fort Island Gulf Beach to take in a beach sunset, something we aren’t able to appreciate on the east side of our state. The drive to the beach alone is worth the visit as you’ll quickly see less development and a more natural landscape – instantly relaxing you. Walk the beach and then to the pier’s boardwalk to view the sunset with fellow sightseers.

Churchhouse Hammock Trail
857 N Suncoast Blvd
Crystal River, FL 34428

Churchhouse Hammock Trail is a 1.2 mile moderate trail and outlook at Crystal River Preserve State Park. Before heading back to South Florida, we hiked the boardwalk trail listening to the harmonies of the preserve’s feathery comrades under the Pine Flatwoods hammock and above the Needlerush and Sawgrass marsh habitats. We would recommend this trail for all ages and suggest an early morning visit to see and hear the most wildlife.