Tom Heitzman (Serenova Chapter, 2014)
Given for service including serving and president of the Serenoa Chapter, promotion of the use of native plants in landscaping, and generously educating the publice.
also runs a successful native plant nursery (Sweet Bay).
The Serenoa Chapter
of the Florida Native Plant Society
would like to nominate Tom Heitzman
to receive the Green Palmetto Award for his
service to the Society, the local chapter and to the community as a whole.
Tom first joined the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) in 1986.
knowledge of Florida native plants and their ecosystems grew, so did his
understanding of how important it is to not just preserve natural areas, but to augment them with the use of native plants in the urban landscape.
Luckily for Florida, Tom
has worked tirelessly to help others to understand this concept and make it a reality.
first became active in the leadership of the Serenoa Chapter
accepted the position of vice-president in 1996.
After serving for two years, he
took on the role of president for five years.
Since then he has served as program chair, vice-president again in 2003 and then served as an At-large board member until accepting the presidency again in 2013.
During his time serving on the board, he has always led with a steady, levelheaded commitment to the FNPS mission.
has promoted education through organizing informative speakers and field trips, speaking at meetings of the society, to homeowners associations, at public events and to other conservation groups as well as outreach at public events.
He has led countless field trips on public conservation lands and is always a knowledgeable, patient and informative leader.
is always willing to share what he
knows and to learn what he
doesn't, fostering a culture of information sharing.
is always warm and welcoming to visitors and members alike at Serenoa chapter meeting and events.
expanded his love and knowledge of Florida native plants from volunteerism to a business with the opening of Sweet Bay Nursery in Parrish in 1995.
has elevated the use of native plants in the urban landscape to the level of attractive and practical.
educates clients and visitors, who come to the nursery, about the importance of native plants in the urban landscape, not only to benefit wildlife but also, maintain the sense of place that Florida is rapidly losing.
also works with schools to add butterfly gardens and teaching areas on school campuses.
has won several awards for his
In 2006 and again in 2013 he
was awarded First Place Residential Landscape Design Award for the Breyer residence and Richard Beaupre landscape.
has also won two Commercial Landscape Awards for the Ugarte & Associates Office Building
and the Felts Audubon Preserve.
is kind and humble yet energetic and enthusiastic in his
advocacy of Florida native plants.
love and commitment are palpable to those who know him.
truly loves natural Florida and has committed his
full energy to spreading that knowledge and sense of caring to everyone he