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David Drylie winner of 2017 Mike Kenton Award of Recognition

FANN is pleased to announce that David Marsh Drylie, Jr., landscape architect and owner, Green Images Native Landscape Plants, a wholesale and retail native nursery in Christmas, is the winner of the 2017 Mike Kenton Award of Recognition. A volunteer committee selected David from five nominees in late 2017. Presentation of the award will occur during lunch on Friday, January 26, 2018, at the second annual Native Plant Industry Retreat in Melbourne Beach.

“For 35 years or more, David has been serving the profession of landscape architecture. In Florida, he continues to be one of the profession’s strongest advocates for environmental stewardship; often citing the ASLA Code of Environmental Ethics. More than most, David lives and fulfills the ASLA mission, to lead, educate, and participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environment. Elected at least once to nearly every ASLA leadership position, David has a long record of working hard and smart. Many landscape architects who follow his lead, watch, listen, and learn from David. David’s example continues to teach how to prepare and deliver useful, influential, and impactful information to elected and appointed government officials. Noteworthy is David’s remarkable and long-lived success organizing and leading the FLASLA Government Affairs Committee, and establishing the Friends of Landscape Architecture, a political action committee. Before others, David understood the importance of investing in strong and steady advocacy; necessary to strengthen the profession and to protect Florida’s natural resources and scenic beauty.” — Jeff Caster, Florida State Transportation Landscape Architect

David is a pioneer of the Florida native plant movement. He began using native plants in his designs as a landscape architecture student at the University of Florida in the late 1970s. He was in class with Larry Alsobrook, another early native plant enthusiast and movement pioneer. Together they researched propagation of native plant species and bid on a national project that earned them a student government grant. With the exception of a small amount of required turf, David specified all native plants on the plan in his landscape architect licensure exam. He graduated from UF with a BLA and certificate in Environmental Science in 1980. As a new young landscape architect, he advocated with colleagues and clients to use more native plants and quickly recognized that he would need to grow the plants he wanted to use.

David became a grower in 1982, working for years with Steve Riefler to identify and propagate native plants with potential for sustainable Central Florida landscapes. Together they introduced Cordgrass, Muhlygrass and Saw Palmetto, among others. David believes he was the first nurseryman to list “Silver Saw Palmetto,” now an industry staple, on his price list. He purchased Riefler’s Nursery, a 1-acre operation on Curry Ford Road in Orlando and later traded it for property in Green Images’ current location in Christmas.

Service to the industry and leadership were early imperatives for David. He served as president of Central Florida’s Tarflower Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society from 1983-1986. David influenced many municipalities to use native plants and directly impacted landscape ordinances for Orange and Seminole Counties. In 1985, he contributed to the first Orange County tree ordinance. He also served for nine years on the society’s state board of directors. In 1986, David was a founding board member for the Association of Florida Native Nurseries (AFNN now FANN) and together with others, created the Native Plant & Service Directory to promote production, availability and sales. He served as president from 1990-1993 and 1995-1996. He then became active in the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architecture (FASLA), where he served as secretary (1997-1998), president (2000) and trustee (2002-2004). In 2003, he received the UF Dept. of Landscape Architecture Distinguished Alumnus award. David organized and led the FASLA’s political action committee, the Friends of Landscape Architecture. Most recently, David has served as FANN’s representative to the FDOT Industry Liaison Committee managed by FNGLA.

As a child, David enjoyed roaming the woods on family property in South Georgia, where he fished, hunted and ate wild blackberries. A high school aptitude test recommended a career in forestry, but his Gainesville, Florida, garden club mother suggested he look into landscape architecture. Two summers working as an intern at Calloway Gardens, Georgia, helped him get interested in botany. He received additional encouragement and mentoring for many years from Bob Craig, U.S. Department of Agriculture and coastal vegetation expert, and Noel Lake, UF campus landscape architect who advocated for native plants and reintroduced the Shumard Oak, Winged Elm, Needle Palms and Magnolia trees, among others, to the campus grounds. David has himself been a great mentor to many in the movement.

“When I first started growing native plants, David and I went on many field trips and to native plant conferences throughout the South together with Steve Riefler and Larry Alsobrook. We spent many hours talking native plants and gathering cuttings and seeds from all over North Florida that we all shared and introduced to the native plant industry. I can surely say without David Drylie, I would not be where I am today.” — David Chiappini, Chiappini Farm Native Nursery

2017 Mike Kenton Awards Committee
Chair Terry Godts
Members: Roger Triplett, Eddie McKeithen