FMNP Friends Groups

FMNP Friends Groups (e.g. "Friends of…", "Friend Chapters", etc.) are organized groups of FMNP Graduates and Instructors with a desire to stay engaged, volunteer, and become more involved in environmental events and projects in their communities, even after they have completed their FMNP Courses. Field trips, speaker series, beach clean-ups, event tabling, and other conservation activities are often hosted by FMNP Friends Groups.

These grassroots groups are created and managed by the participants themselves, with facilitation of a local FMNP Instructor. The role of the Facilitator is only to provide oversight and ensure that Friends Group operations are within the spirit of the Florida Master Naturalist Program and comply with UF/IFAS standards.

The FMNP State Office supports Friends Groups and recognizes the important role they play in extending the mission of the Florida Master Naturalist Program. Any group using the FMNP as a premise for organized events or activities is expected to submit the required paperwork to become an official FMNP Friends Group. Once the necessary information is provided, the State Office will endorse each Friends Group on the FMNP Website.

The FMNP seeks to understand the tremendous impact it has across the state. To do this, we ask Friends Groups to report their activities and accomplishments on a regular basis. Competitive funding and resources will be available for active FMNP Friends Groups.

To establish a new FMNP Friends Group, follow the FMNP Friends Group Checklist.


  • Northwest Florida Panhandle Friends Chapter
    Counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton
    FMNP Facilitator: Chris Verlinde

  • Northeast Florida Friends Chapter
    Counties: Nassau, Duval, Clay, St. Johns
    FMNP Facilitator: Justina Dacey

  • Friends of Pinellas Master Naturalists
    County: Pinellas
    FMNP Facilitator(s): Jeanne Murphy and Brian Lane
    Email  |  Website  |  Facebook
    Notes: Monthly board meetings (3rd Wednesday of each month; 6:30 – 9:00 PM), Monthly field trips, quarterly public educational programs, and booth events throughout the year

  • Suncoast Friends Chapter
    Counties: Sarasota and Charlotte
    FMNP Facilitator(s): Katherine Clements and Jamie Reynolds
    Email  |  Website

  • Manatee County Friends Chapter
    County: Manatee
    FMNP Facilitator: Angela Collins
    Notes: Meetings scheduled quarterly at the UF/IFAS Manatee County Extension Office

  • Mid-Florida Friends Chapter
    Counties: Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola, and surrounding
    FMNP Facilitator: Jen Hunt
    Email  |  Facebook  |  Website
    Notes: Meetings scheduled quarterly at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

  • Friends of Volusia County FMNP
    County: Volusia
    FMNP Facilitator: David Griffis

  • Space Coast Regional Friends Chapter
    Counties: Brevard, Volusia, Indian River
    FMNP Facilitator: Holly Abeels
    Email  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Flickr  |  Tumblr
    Notes: Quarterly Membership Meetings, monthly Board Meetings, and usually at least one event a month for the chapter.

  • St. Lucie Friends Chapter
    County: St. Lucie
    FMNP Facilitator: Ken Gioeli
    Email  |  Website  |  Facebook
    Notes: Quarterly meetings

  • Southwest Florida Friends Chapter
    Counties: Lee, Collier, and surrounding
    FMNP Facilitator: Roy Beckford