Member Spotlight #6: Chuck Roux
Tarflower member: Chuck Roux
Chuck doesn't act his age. At 84, he's still brimming with energy and comes out to the field trips every single month, persistently tending to his yard, and constantly looking into newer technologies in an ever-changing market. Speaking of his yard, Chuck happens to have a unique patch of sacoila lancelotas. Every spring, he invites Tarflower members to come see his yard when they are bloom.
Chuck has many varied interests such as time clock collecting, geology, and, of course, native plants. He enjoys figuring out how to fix anything when it breaks down.
We are grateful to people like Chuck for their passion and interest in native plants ... with a committment that spreads decades of service. Thank you Chuck!
Q) How many years have you been a Tarflower member?
"32.5 years (Earliest notation of a meeting time is Nov 1984)"
Q) Can you picture a visual for us on how Tarflower meetings were in those early years?
"We mostly had standing room only, maybe twenty people, at the little Leu house [now called the 'cottage' see map] that I believe is the restrooms now, just south of the old main house [now called the 'Leu house museum']. Meetings were very informative. We moved over to the Orlando Garden Club house on Rollins Street for a good while but the New Leu House [now called the 'Garden House' or main building welcome center] had better meeting technology and a good price and we moved back."
Q) What brings you back to Tarflower?
"I believe that we fill an environmentally important purpose that is generally ignored by the general public. We do things that are educational and interesting."
Q) If there was one thing about FNPS that you would want people to know, what would it be?
"I’m going to turn this around and say what I want FNPS people to know. There is not enough effort to educate people and politicians about invasive exotic plants in suburbia. For instance, somebody in city employment (parks?) was told of Chinese Tallow on city right of way years ago on Pershing Avenue, Southern Oaks neighborhood, but they are still there. These trees are invading our natural wetlands areas and they do not freeze like Brazilian Pepper. Southern Living Magazine, years ago, had an article about it being a good specimen for a hard to fill place. The writer answered my letter with an apology but said a retraction was impossible because they were working on production of two years advance material. Cat claw vines are rampant in vast areas north of Lake Conway, near Rock Lake, and probably many more areas in Orange and Seminole (Mead Gardens) Counties and they do not freeze. Cypress Grove Park on Holden Avenue was overrun before it became a park but it has been eradicated, I believe. I do not know of any out in natural areas, but watch out. Coordinate with FLEPPC who have the expertize but seem to me to not deal much with suburbia."