Brief History of NYFA
The New York Flora Association had a beginning in 1990, when, through initiatives of Richard (Dick) Mitchell (State Botanist Emeritus) and Dr. Robert (Bob) Zaremba (New York State Heritage Program) a movement was begun to promote the study of New York State's Flora. An initial meeting in 1988 was heavily attended (over 150 people) and covered two main issues, which were the continuation of the flora project and organization of a group like NYFA where professional botanists could promote the study of native plants. The group was polled both verbally and by ballot about these issues, and very strong support was rallied for both projects, including an enthusiastic, spontaneous speech by Dr. Arthur Cronquist.
In 1989, Mitchell and Zaremba founded the New York Flora Association as a not-for-profit subunit of the New York State Museum Institute. The two botanists founded NYFA under charter in 1990 and served as both co-chairmen and co-editors of the NYFA Newsletter for many years (from January 1990 to Oct 1995).
From 1996 until 2002, at the time of his retirement, Mitchell served as editor and publisher of the quarterly publication whose editorship was then taken up by Stephen Young and Laura Lehtonen. Bob Zaremba served as coordinator of the field trips until Troy Weldy took over these duties after Bob moved to Massachusetts.
Since its inception, NYFA has maintained an enthusiastic membership of over 300 members, conducted a large number of successful field trips and given a voice to field botanists interested in New York State Flora.