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Florida Native Plant Society. As the name suggests, FNPS promotes the preservation, conservation and restoration of Florida’s native plants and native plant communities. The group tracks legislation and public policies that affect the conservation of Florida native plants; supports initiatives to purchase and preserve native plant communities; offers a range of educational opportunities about Florida's native plants; and hosts regular native plant sales.
Susan Glickman, southern regional director for The Climate Group. Long an activist for various environmental causes and a two-decade lobbyist in Tallahassee on green issues, the Pinellas County resident and Tampa Bay native today helps connect Fortune 500 companies with governments to promote a cleaner Earth and lower greenhouse gases.
Cathy Harrelson, Suncoast Sierra Club. An active voice for environmental policy change in Pinellas, she’s spoken up against the excessive use of nutrient-rich fertilizers, supported use of native plants in city-owned properties and kept up pressure for curbside recycling in St. Petersburg.
Mary Kelley Hoppe, Bay Soundings. She's the co-editor (with Victoria Parsons) of this environmental news journal based in Pinellas Park. She is also president of MKH Communications, which does PR work for environmental campaigns.
Pam Iorio, Mayor of Tampa. She's taken some heat for not moving fast enough to conservation, but Iorio's legacy could be the area's greenest: light rail transit, her second-term priority, appears headed to the voters in 2010. Plus, she is the first Tampa mayor to drive a hybrid as her official car.
Sharon Joy Kleitsch, The Connection Partners, Inc., and The World Café. The consummate connector, Kleitsch is the embodiment of “think globally, act locally.” Drawing on management experience from Citigroup and a Master’s in Spirituality, she has a knack for getting people to talk to one another about sustainability issues and green business, and is joining the CL team as co-editor of our new site, The Green Community.
Denise Layne, executive director of Coalition 4 Responsible Growth. Long a Lutz civic activist and even occasionally a candidate for public office, Layne makes her presence felt in Tallahassee, where her coalition of smart-growth advocates gives her a platform to influence laws about growth management, wetlands protection and development.
Dena Gross Leavengood, co-founder of the regional initiative Tomorrow Matters! A longtime crusader for sustainable growth in Hillsborough County, she fights the good fight through Tomorrow Matters’ listserv, through workshops, and through sheer vigilance, whether she’s dogging county commissioners about protecting disadvantaged populations or arguing for preservation of our vanishing wetlands.
Jack Mariano, Pasco County Commissioner. Mariano is the go-to “green guy” on the Pasco commission, a strong advocate for green-building processes and county programs that promote green living. A Republican, but not a pushover for developers.
Rick Martinez, Sweetwater Organic Community Farm. Although Martinez is best known around the Bay area as the creator of Sweetwater Organic Community Farm in Tampa — the first CSA (community-supported agriculture project) in the state — he’s been getting his hands dirty around the world for almost 20 years. He consults on organic farm projects across the globe, but also finds time to hold intimate local seminars for gardeners and farmers on the Sweetwater property.
Mary Mulhern, Tampa City Council. She argued passionately for the preservation of Kiley Park when she was CL’s art critic. Now Mary Mulhern has carried that same passion for the city’s greenscape onto City Council, fighting for better Tampa representation on the Environmental Protection Commission and organizing a summit on community gardens.
Karl Nurse, St. Petersburg City Council. As a neighborhood leader, he pushed for sustainability and helped organize the annual Pinellas Living Green Expo. As the owner of a printing business, he spent spent $25,000 over a four-year period on efficient lights, windows, skylights and landscaping to make his Bay Tech Label a greener business. Now as a Council member, Nurse has continued to raise green issues, from leading an effort to ban lawn fertilizing during rainy summer months to cut back on Bay runoff to adopting punitive rates for water hogs.
One Bay. A coalition of public and private leaders, One Bay formed in 2007 in the aftermath of Reality Check, which brought together more than 300 leaders for tabletop visioning exercises. One Bay was spearheaded by five regional organizations: Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council; Tampa Bay Estuary Program; Southwest Florida Water Management District; Tampa Bay Partnership Regional Research & Education Foundation, and the Urban Land Institute Tampa Bay District. The organization works on visioning a viable, sustainable future for the region, focusing on transportation, open space, water and other issues.