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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Land Resources Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

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: CNPS is helping make the home gardener more environmentally friendly with our online tool, Calscape, found on our home page. Our citizen science initiative, the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, is locating and helping rare plants across the state. Recently, we successfully petitioned for the first plant in nearly a decade to be added to the California Endangered Species list, the Livermore tarplant, known to only two populations in the East Bay. 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.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started attending California Native Plant Society's free library lectures to learn about California native plants. Then I joined the society and now I volunteer to teach others about the unique flora of California and how important it is to preserve the unique ecosystems. I have learned much, and seen much. I'm also impressed at how many people contribute to the organization on a volunteer basis. It is an important institution.

1 Tripp M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 maryfrances40

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Roger K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Celina H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.