Real Plants Florida
Growing, planting and promoting
Florida native plants for sustainable landscapes.
Gardeners & Homeowners

Native Plant Industry Retreat scheduled Friday, January 26, 2018 in Melbourne Beach

FANN and the Native Plant Horticulture Foundation jointly sponsor this opportunity for FANN members, potential members and friends of the native plant industry to look ahead, “think different” and explore new ideas for advancement. We welcome you to this event at the historic Melbourne Beach Community Center in Brevard County. Relax and have fun with your colleagues while taking a deep dive into the future of native plant business. This year’s programs explore novel business models and options for developing and expanding the native plant workforce. Open to FANN members and friends. $15 admission covers lunch & snacks.


LOCATION: Melbourne Beach Community Center, 509 Ocean Ave, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

Melbourne Beach is a small town on our barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon. The town is best known locally for its independent character, including height limitations and battles to preserve mom & pop businesses, and its multiple coastal natural habitats in and around the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, home to the largest nesting loggerhead and green sea turtle populations in the U.S. Beaches are quiet here, not crowded.


    Friday, January 26, 2017

  • 10:30am Check-in at Melbourne Beach Community Center
  • 11:00am Welcome & introductions
  • 11:30am Lunch
  • Noon program – Green is the New Black: Extension Goes to Prison with UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension Agent Lloyd Singleton
  • 1:00pm program – Low-Impact Landscape Maintenance – Solving the Big Gas Problem with Ryan Scofield, owner of Two Tired Services
  • 1:30pm program – Fleet Farming: Urban Farmlettes, Native Plants & the Next Generation with Caroline Chomanics, Fleet Farming and IDEASforUs
  • 3:00pm program – Recruiting & developing the native plant industry workforce workshop with Bruce Turley, FANN President-elect, Native Plant Horticulture Foundation President and owner,
    Wilcox Nursery & Landscape
  • 4:30pm optional hour hike through multiple coastal habitats in Coconut Point Sanctuary with Nichole Perna, owner of Go Native Landscaping
  • 6:30pm Group dinner at Cafe Coconut Cove
    Saturday, Jan. 27, 2017

  • 7:30am optional beach walk
  • 8:45am Coffee & breakfast snacks at Melbourne Beach Community Center
  • 9:00am FANN board meetings
  • 1:00pm Native Plant Horticulture Foundation board meeting

Fleet Farming: urban farmlettes, native plants & the next generation
Caroline Chromanics, IDEASforUs Program Manager, will present a program on FleetFarming and how the native plant industry can join with the Grow Food! Not Lawns sustainability movement to expand our market. Fleet farming brings local, low carbon impact crops to urban areas. Learn more by watching this video.

Green is the New Black: Extension Goes to Prison
Lloyd Singleton, Sumter County IFAS Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Extension Agent, will talk about the Coleman Federal Correctional Facility’s horticulture education program focused on reducing recidivism through meaningful education and job skills, helping students be successful in re-entry to free society. Inmates obtain fertilizer application licensing and FNGLA horticulture professional certification.

Low-Impact Landscape Maintenance – Solving the Big Gas Problem
Ryan Scofield, FANN member and owner of Two Tired Services, an emissions & gas-free landscape company specializing in native plant installation and maintenance, will talk about his hyperlocal low carbon impact business model and its potential for expanding native plant services in urban and suburban markets.

Recruiting & developing the native plant industry workforce
Great workers are golden in our industry. How do we develop them? Many of our native plant businesses are past due for thinking about how to grow and sustain our operations by recruiting and developing great teams and future leaders. Take a deep dive discussion into the potentials for credentialing, certification, internships and apprenticeship programs to help us enhance and expand our workforce.

There are multiple corporate and mom-and-pop lodging options on the barrier island between S.R. 518, Eau Gallie Causeway Blvd, and Sebastian Inlet. Below is a list of some but not all. This is snowbird season, so make your reservations soon.


Sea Glass Inn
Bed & breakfast, walk across street to retreat. Not on beach.
Ratings: Google 5/5, 9.7/10 & TripAdvisor 5/5
$195-$250/night, 2 night minimum

Port d’Hiver Inn
Bed & Breakfast, 10 minute walk from retreat. Across street from beach.
Ratings: Google 4.9/5, 9.7/10, TripAdvisor 5/5
$300+, 2 night minimum

Sea View Inn
Mom & pop on the beach. 9 minute drive from retreat.
Ratings: Google 4.7/5, 9.4/10, TripAdvisor 4.5/5
$195+, 2 night minimum


Sea Scape Motel & Apartments
Mom & pop on the beach. 8 minute drive to retreat.
Ratings: Google 4.5/5, 8.6/10, TripAdvisor 4.5/5

Ocean Pines
Mom & Pop on the beach, 11 minutes from retreat
Ratings: Google 4/5, TripAdvisor 4/5

Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront
11 minutes from retreat
Ratings: Google 4.3/5, 8.2/10, TripAdvisor 4/5

Double Tree Suites
8 minutes from retreat
Ratings: Google 4.3/5, 8.5/10

Crowne Plaza
10 minutes from retreat
Ratings: Google 4.1/5, 7.7/10


Floridana Beach Motel
Older mom & pop with nearby access to beach
15 minutes to retreat
Ratings: Google 4.9/5, TripAdvisor 4.5/5

Older mom & pop on the beach
13 minutes to retreat
Ratings: Google 4/5, TripAdvisor: 3/5