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October 28, 2013


October 28, 2013

The California Native Plant Society works to preserve the flora of our wild spaces, and in today's world of invasive weeds, that work is so important. People are becoming complacent and accepting of the hodgepodge of invasive weeds in our wild places and are often not even aware that they are not native. I've been tending an ecological restoration plot on West Cliff Drive, a scenic coastal walk in Santa Cruz popular with locals and tourists alike. When I chat with passers by, I find they are not even aware that the smothering blanket of ice plant is an invasive exotic plant from South Africa - planted in a bad mistake made many years ago. Along West Cliff Drive there are virtually no other plants growing on the bluffs. Without native flora, many native insects can't breed. Without insects - no birds - it's all a web that starts with soil, and includes all living things - take away any key component and we can have ecological disaster. CNPS champions our amazing and varied flora - over 7,000 native species - and seeks to protect areas where rare plants grow. I've volunteered with CNPS for a few years now and stepped up to local chapter board a couple years ago. I enjoy the guided hikes, the propagation group and the great resources about gardening with natives. It's a wonderful organization full of hardworking and committed individuals, and I encourage all people living in California to join.

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

Improve our outreach! Some people have misconceptions about CNPS and many have not yet heard of it.

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Assist at chapter plant sales, garden tours, wildflower shows, and hikes; survey and monitor vegetation in local wildlands; attend association, city, and county meetings to identify issues of local vegetation importance; sponsor a school garden; lead a chapter program or project; comment with experienced chapter members on general plans and environmental impact reports; assist in the Sacramento state office; become an expert of a land area, habitat type, or species. Volunteer