This interactive field tour will focus on native plant ecology, exploring the interplay between native plants and wildlife as well as the link between habitat restoration and native nursery production. The tour will include three stops in Lake County. At the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail participants will learn about the role of native plant species in promoting habitat for endangered and protected species while exploring the restored Florida scrub ecosystem. The tour will continue on to visit two premier local native nurseries, Enviro-Pro Tree Farm and Green Isles Gardens, where participants will hear from experts on the role of native plants in promoting biodiversity and habitat for pollinators, butterflies, and other wildlife. Discussion will address the challenges and opportunities for increasing the supply and demand for native plants in Florida.

Tour Information

Date: April 16, 2021

Time: 8:30AM - 12:30PM

Location: Clermont, FL

Continuing Education Units

Landscape Architect DPBR: 4 credits

AICP: Pending

The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail

The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail is dedicated to increase awareness of the need to restore habitat for scrub-jays, gopher tortoises, and native plant species. Participants will discover the trail, learn about its history and purpose and explore the balance between the native plant communities and wildlife species in this protected ecosystem.

Speaker: Cathy Brown, Executive Director of The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail

Enviro-Pro Tree Farm

Enviro-Pro Tree Farm is one of the State’s leading producers of quality container trees with over 29 native tree species - conveniently located across the street from the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail. Participants will have an opportunity to view all 29 species of native trees and hear from Enviro-Pro owner Lauren Hindman about the market for native trees and the process of selecting and producing native species for the industry.

Speaker: Lauren Hindman, Owner and Vice President of Enviro-Pro Tree Farm

Green Isle Gardens

Green Isle Gardens specializes in Florida native plants and wildflowers, with a focus on upland plant species. The nursery has 8 acres under production and features more than 150 species of native plants. Participants will tour the nursery and hear from nursery owner Marc Godts and botanical expert Craig Huegel about the role of native plants in wildlife ecology, native species identification and utilization as well as opportunities for increasing supply and demand for native plant species. Lunch will be provided at Green Isles Gardens Nursery.

Speakers: Marc Godts, Owner of Green Isle Gardens; Dr. Craig Huegel, Adjunct Professor at St. Petersburg College

The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail + Native Nurseries Tour Map



Part of the OUTSIDE Collaborative 2021 Tour Series, this interactive field tour will explore the landscape heritage, botanical gardens, natural preserved lands, and sustainability initiatives at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The UNF campus covers 1381-acres including the 386-acre Sawmill Slough Preserve, nature trails, a 100-acre central core managed as a botanical garden, 11 LEED-certified structures, four of which have received gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for excellence in sustainability, and many examples of innovative sustainable landscape designs including The Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens, LID storm-water ponds, and much more.

Tour Information

Date: May 7, 2021

Time: 8:30AM - 12:30PM

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Continuing Education Units

Landscape Architect DPBR: 4 credits

AICP: Pending

Campus Core + Botanical Gardens

The UNF campus was founded in 1969 and opened its door on Oct 2, 1972. The original 4 buildings were sited in the middle of a 1000 acre forest. Since that time, the campus has naturally grown over the years. Today it manages 1381-acres with the campus core sited on 100-acres. The campus core has been managed since 2013 with the goal of certifying UNF as a Botanical Garden. Through hard work and perseverance, the campus is set to officially launch the UNF Botanical Gardens in Spring 2021 to the public.

The tour of the campus core will explore the many themed gardens throughout including: Edible garden, bamboo garden, peace garden, healing garden, presidential garden, native plant garden, reflexology garden, butterfly garden

Each garden includes a unique design theme and plant palette. The tour will discuss the design elements, plant selection, landscape management, and social perceptions of these diverse landscapes. The tour will showcase hundreds of Florida native and Florida Friendly varieties as well as many rare and endangered species. Tour participants will be invited to participate in a plant scavenger hunt which challenges them to find and identify over 25 unique varieties located along the tour.

Speaker: Rhonda Gracie, Horticulturist, Landscaping and Ground Department for the University of North Florida

Sawmill Slough Eco-Preserve

The Sawmill Slough Preserve is a 386-acre natural area on campus which was designated as a preserve in May 2006 by UNF President John Delaney. The Sawmill Slough Preserve includes the original Sawmill Slough, a wetland habitat stretching through the western portion of the campus from Central Parkway to J Turner Butler Boulevard. In addition to the wetland, areas of drier habitat include longleaf pine-turkey oak woodlands, mesic flatwoods, sandhills, and bottomland forests. The stated purpose of the Preserve is to "assure that the Sawmill Slough Preserve will persist in a natural condition." The Preserve will protect the natural water drainage of the slough through campus as well as the native plants and animals associated with this habitat.

Speakers: Amy Stratton Costa, Assistant Director of Eco Adventure, Department of Recreation and Wellness at the University of North Florida; William Conrad Smith, curator of the Sawmill Slough Preserve and Assistant Director Physical Facilities Landscape and Grounds Department for University of North Florida