California Native Plant Society

Rating: 5 stars   16 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: 2707 K Street Ste 1 Sacramento CA 95816 USA

Mission: The mission of CNPS is to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants.
Results: 2013 finds CNPS adding its first international chapter in Baja California to bring total chapter count up to 34 regional chapters throughout the California Floristic Province and hiring its first full time Horticulture Program Director. Donate online by going to our homepage, cnps.org.
Geographic areas served: California
Programs: Vegetation science, Rare Plant science, Horticulture science, Education, and Conservation. Since 1965, CNPS has worked hard to protect California's native plant heritage and preserve it for future generations. CNPS actively promotes the use of science in land use and management decisions through our Online Rare Plant Inventory and essential reference book: Manual of California Vegetation, 2nd Edition, both of which are the most advanced resources available for identifying and managing critical habitat in California. We work closely with decision-makers, scientists, and local planners to advocate for well-informed and environmental friendly policies, regulations, and land management practices.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

See How 3Hrs Can Help

More Info

EIN 94-6116403
916-447-2677
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My work with CNPS began some three years ago, when my curiosity and interest in California native plants put me in contact with local CNPS members conducting field trips in the Sierra foothills region.

At first, my activity consisted of attending field trips and meetings of various speakers, and occasionally helping out on service projects like invasive plant removal. However, my activity with the group soon escalated as I discovered how serious and dedicated a group of people was the local chapter, and in less than a year I found myself assisting in a summer-long project with two professional botanists on an extensive lava cap plant community survey throughout the Eldorado National Forest, a scientific project that led to my own photo project on native plants in our region that has now had three exhibitions of the work.

While my work and respect for the local group and individuals deepened, I came into direct contact with the state organization of CNPS, and soon discovered that my experience in the local chapter was a reflection of the mission and goals, as well as dedication, of the state organization and staff, that have a proud history of informational, scientific, and advocacy work on behalf of California's native flora. From educating gardeners throughout the state about how to incorporate native plants into their landscape, to directing and carrying out sophisticated computer mapping surveys of California native vegetation in conjunction with various state agencies, to publication of scientific as well as popular books on native flora, CNPS provides a broad support structure for people working professionally "in the field" as well as people like myself, working in their own backyards and local forests or deserts to protect, identify, use or grow our native plant heritage.

Without CNPS, a great deal more of California's often rare and unique plants would have been lost to ignorance, development, carelessness and lack of understanding and education. But because of CNPS, California is able to share with the world it's uniquely diverse floral heritage with future generations. There is no other organization in our state that covers such a range of activity, both general public and scientific, on behalf of our native flora, and CNPS is in fact a model for similar work in other states and regions in our nation, perhaps the world.

Our plants, and our future, would be even more endangered without it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Assist in finding additional funding sources to expand its already extensive work, and do additional public outreach to inform and educate the public about its unique and valuable work.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is an almost 50 year old conservation organization which strives to protect native plants throughout California. It is science based and has developed a listing of rare and endangered plants which are used by many other people and organizations. It has a large volunteer base. It has well respected programs to teach children about nature. There are 34 local chapters and many of those have free educational programs to teach people about California native and why it is important to protect them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would get a communication consultant to help them better tell their important story.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

CNPS is the one and only scientificly based plant conservation organization in CA. CNPS has earned great respect from the regulatory agencies on its listing of endangered plants in CA. CNPS will soon celebrate 50 years of educating the general public and the regulators about native plants. CNPS is also the second oldest plant society in the country. Without preserving native plants and their habitat all the doe eyed animals in the world would not survive but animals have a better lobby than plants! I knew very little about native plants when I first became involved. CNPS has taught me about native plants and was instramental in my deciding to remove my lawns and plant native gardens. I have been thrilled with the results and all the birds and other critters which call my garden their home now.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I had a lot of fun on a CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt and learned so much. It is great to know that a hike can contribute to environmental conservation in California.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

CNPS provides a full range of information about native plants, for everyone from the novice newby to the experienced professional. They support and promote the kind of on-the-ground scientific research that's desperately needed in today's rapidly changing world. I've learned a lot by being a CNPS member, and I'm glad to share my knowledge with others in the CNPS community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The native plant society provided practical pictures and information to help you grow and enjoy our California native plants. The native plants are important so that we can provide habitat for our native animal species. Now I have tons of life teaming in my yard.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been volunteering with CNPS since 2005 and have learned so much and met tons of interesting, bright and dedicated people who love the natural world. CNPS at the state level does a lot of valuable work in state-wide vegetation mapping, conservation, education/outreach and rare plant research, working together with state and federal agencies. Each local chapter also has its own activities such as outreach events, field trips, educational grants, plant sales, speakers, gardening symposiums and more.
Chapters draw members with a variety of interests, - from native plant gardening to botany to conservation to just enjoying being out in and learning about nature.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

This organization is composed of people passionate about protecting native plants and their habitats and promoting their use in horticulture. Each chapter has their legends about the vitality and eccentricities of their core volunteers who accomplish an incredible amount of productive and scientific work to fulfill the goals of the society. The staff (few as they are) are amazingly resourceful and attentive to the needs of their members as well as to the future of the society. Native plants, unlike wildlife, have few legal protections from destruction, but CNPS does its best to give them status, including developing and updating the comprehensive rare plant inventory that is universally used by botanists and ecologists to assess species rareity. I'm always amazed that so few active CNPS people can do so much! My one complaint is that the society is not well known by the general public.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the recent conservation conference in Sacramento, which generated so many diverse sets of data, questions on the future and next steps, and good will among the participants and others who happened to be in the building.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

concentrate on name recognition in more ethnically and age-related diverse sectors of the population

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the energy others bring to meetings that prove that the whole is greater than the individual parts. All our opinions are generally given careful thought that feed into the group decision making process within this community of mutual respect.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding and all quite unique in their interests and ways of accomplishing tasks.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

(1) donate much of this money toward conservation goals and to other non-profit groups to network more effectively in accomplishing mutual long-term or short-term tasks (2) buy a building of its own to house its diverse activities (3) hire perm. staff

Ways to make it better...

I had learned about the society much earlier in life and had not had preconceived notions about it that kept me at a distance.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

(1) financial: not having sufficient funds to accomplish its goals and (2) critical need for younger volunteers to replace aging or burned-out members in some chapters

One thing I'd also say is that...

This group works hard!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

This group gets it about having both very active, local chapters focused on local matters; and a statewide organization that works for common interests for the state. It is an effective organization in its goals of education and conservation both at the local and statewide level. It can also be a lot of fun.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Preserving vernal pool habitat in Sacramento County, and making sure that the rare plants in the state have more protection than they would with the Endangered Species Act alone.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Sharing my enjoyment of nature with others. Another thing is the breadth of things I've been able to do with CNPS--attend and lead hikes, write letters and attend council meetings about local conservation issues, and participate in native plant sales.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

expert in vegetation and botany, motivated, self-directed kind of people. Nice too.

Ways to make it better...

there was more diversity in the organization. The organization's strength is also its weakness--it seems to attract people who are already botanically/environmentally oriented instead of finding ways to inspire a wider audience to become involved.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I attended the terrific conference in Sacramento (on my own nickel) and found it well worthwhile. Much useful information, and I enjoyed the speakers Ringo and Hopper. Couldn't attend the evening banquet due to lousy public transport in Sacramento. I am a retired plant breeder, recently moved to the Big Valley (Lodi area) from the Monterey Bay. Thanks for a great conference, though a bit pricey for those of us with no sponsor. I will be working with invasive plant issues on the Mokelumne River and the Cosumnes, being a docent in the Lodi Lake Natural Area, doing water-saving workshops in our local nursery, trying to help out. Thanks for a great conference. Only comments: education outreach for native habitat gardens, through parks and schools, need to be enhanced. Count me in! Josie C can contact me any time for help in this, my services are Free! I also am a speaker for the Calif. Invasive Plant Council, and am available for any sort of visit to do the excellent powerpoint that they have provided.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the important listings of endangered plant species, the contacts with governmental agencies such as BLM, National Parks and private landowners to protect endangered spp. Organizing volunteers for weed eradication is a CRUCIAL part of the cnps, keep it going and increase if possible.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Please increase the publicity on dangers from invasives, including the wildfire issues. If we had more publicity about the vulnerability of broom and pampas to fire, perhaps folks would pay more attention.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Besides the conference, the newsletter is great. I am between chapters, geographically, so need to carefully choose what trips and events to attend.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

excellent

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Buy advertising to reduce invasive plants by informing folks of the dangers.

Ways to make it better...

The public transportation in Sacramento had been better, safety around the convention center at night was an issue, was unable to attend any evening sessions. Maybe move the keynote speaker to a daytime slot instead next time.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

many, no time no to enumerate...you know what they are

One thing I'd also say is that...

I'm looking to get more involved, but both chapters (N and S) are pretty far away. Will try to keep informed on activities and attend when possible. Ever thought of a chapter in Lodi? I know folks connected with the Lodi Lake Park who might be interested. What is involved in starting a new chapter?

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Was this review helpful?