Green Palmetto Award for Sonya Guidry

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on: April 01, 2010, 10:25:27 PM
Nominee: Sonya Guidry – FNPS Green Palmetto Service Award
Nominated by Elizabeth Flynn and the Pawpaw Chapter

Sometimes it is all rolled into one: immense knowledge, inexhaustible energy, selfless spirit, and a wholehearted desire to share with others. Sonya Guidry embodies it all! When she joined the then-newly formed Pawpaw Chapter in 1991, Sonya embraced the mission of FNPS. She soon served as the Chapter’s president from 1993 – 1995, before finding her calling as Field Trip Chair, where she is the native plant ambassador for participants new to exploring central Florida’s plant communities.

Sonya leads field trippers to meet native plants in their natural habitats - whether by foot, Eco-Buggy, canoe or pontoon. Ever-equipped with her native plant books and a child’s sense of wonder, every outing is lovingly planned as a great adventure. One such trip was to Silver Glen State Park, when beforehand Sonya had compiled a list of native plants she hoped to see based on Marjorie Kinan Rawlings mention of them in her book The Yearling. Under Sonya’s direction, participants found the little stream that was the site of Jody’s handmade water-wheel and they attempted to construct their own! Her regard for native plants shines through as she speaks of them as old friends, complete with quirky personalities and idiosyncrasies.

Participants agree Sonya makes outings thoroughly enjoyable, as well as educational, remarking that “She brings native plants alive for me on the many field trips.” or “I've also been able to visit areas of Florida that I probably would have overlooked.” And Sonya shows as much regard for her participants by always supplying them ahead of time with details about their destination, transportation, trip leader, needed funds and sometimes even overnight lodging options.

The past presidents and the board members she has served with through the years agree that when volunteerism is at its lowest, you can always count on Sonya to lend a hand - or hat! (Donning an ostentatious flowery garden hat, Sonya passed out fliers at an unrelated festival of 7,000 people to advertise a Chapter plant sale the following week!)

As a constant fixture at all Pawpaw events - plant sales, book sales, demonstration garden cleanups, festivals, meetings and email campaigns – she goes above and beyond to reach the public and educate them on native plants and environmental issues.

One member recounts how Sonya was instrumental in her joining the Society. At a festival where FNPS had a table, she met Sonya who sold her an iris and they talked at great length. “I found her to be a fountain of knowledge. I went to the next Pawpaw meeting, and joined.” This member went one to be the Chapter’s 7th president and is still active with Pawpaw today. The iris Sonya sold her is still in her yard.

It is the unanimous consensus that no one in our Chapter works harder on our activities than Sonya Guidry. And without question it was Sonya who was the indisputable single source when the Pawpaw Chapter was asked to compile its 20-year history for this 30th anniversary celebration. For all these reasons – and so many more! – Sonya Guidry is our nomination for the 2010 Green Palmetto award.

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The attached file has descriptions of all Green Palmetto Award nominees
« Last Edit: April 01, 2010, 10:45:23 PM by fnpsorg »
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