Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

California Native Plant Society

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

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

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Brian163

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a life long nursery professional, arborist and horticulture consultant as well as a California native I have found so many amazing people within the California Native Plant Society who have shared their passion and knowledge with me. The pride and dedication to preserve and educate others about the wonderful native plants of out great state is unmatched in my experience. No matter your experience or knowledge this gtoup will teach you something every day. That is what life is all about.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These people are keepers of knowledge, inspired to service through passion and appreciation. Endless advocacy, education, planting, weeding, field trips and communications. The plant realm needs them today more than ever. These photos show common yarrow, California brittlebush & California buckwheat found in my city.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When it was time to replace my lawn with drought tolerant plants, they provided education, assistance with selection, historical framing of the importance of native plants, and made drought tolerant landscaping accessible to me. Their services and nursery made re-landscaping affordable and helped me to understand the importance of native plants.

Rebecca188

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Fabulous non-profit. The CNPS does a great job locally, with its chapters, and on a statewide level with resources, trainings, and conservation work.

Kate103

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great organization! Especially important here in the San Joaquin Valley, where native plants are few and far between, and drought is having a tremendous impact on both agricultural and natural habitats.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We follow each other on Twitter, where I enjoy their useful tips and important stories.

Native plants can save money, by saving water, and can save species by providing food and habitat. Plant native!
-SaunieInDiego

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a backyard gardener. Interested in using native plants to create a natural ecosystem. Calif. Native Plant Society has been marvelous as an informational resource, and a place to purchase healthy native plants at reasonable prices. Their annual plant sale is a must do for me every year.

1 Laura317

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for CNPS for over 10 years. The society is volunteer driven with local chapters, and a fantastic resource to learn about amazing native plants and related topics like gardening, butterflies, habitats, geology, etc. etc. CNPS is an important voice, speaking for the deserts, the wild spaces, the people who need connections with our heritage. California's flora is one of the most incredible in the world, and CNPS is striving to protect it and helping us all to understand it better.

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

Donor

Rating: 5

CNPS placer county wikdflowers, and shrubs and trees books have been an invaluable resource. They are masterpieces and have helped plan our natives garden that will attract butterflies, bees, other beneficials and hummingbirds. CNPS's collaborative role in Calscape is monumental. Excellent organization for supporting habitat reatoration one home garden at a time. Great also for organic gardening. CNPS is simply the best!

1 Guy_4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CNPS was instrumental in getting me to a nearly water free front yard. After taking out over 1000 sq feet of grass, they helped me to learn about the new, Native plants I should be growing.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

California Native Plant Society is an exceptionally informative and supportive group, focused primarily on education and real outreach. They assist in everything from identifying plants on social media, to consulting with land use planners on best practices to maintain or restore native habitats. Their reach goes far beyond just plants, because when native plant habitats are preserved, whole areas and ecosystems are preserved. CNPS is non-judgmental and always mindful that they operate in the real world. They have become an excellent resource and community to thousands, and will continue to grow in importance as pressures increase on native ecosystems.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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.

1 Arlene10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CNPS provides the support I need to grow my landscaping business with native plants of California, many of which are endangered. The public has shown increasing support to landscaping with the incredible diversity of species native to California, and the results are spectacular. It is a revolution of how we manage the land, and I see great future for the society. Their field trips have inspired me and connected me with valuable networks in the profession I am passionate about. They are very active with their members and I appreciate their workshops and outreach efforts.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a botanist and Environmental Consultant in California, I have worked with CNPS information and programs for over 20years. Their work to classify native CA plants and communities and evaluate threats and risks is outstanding. What CNPS does is essential to applying CA's legal protection to natural resources through the CEQA and federal regulations such as the NEPA and the ESA. CNPS also has good programs for public awareness, landscaping with natives, habitat restoration, and many more. The close connections between local chapters and state CNPS works well to ensure the entire state and all audiences have the most useful help.

I've also worked in other western US states and can compare the high quality of CNPS very favorably with what exists ( or doesn't) elsewhere. During my time working with CNPS, I've seen their publications go from text only computer print outs of lists and tables (in the 1980s) to color photo filled books of great value to both lay and professional users. Nothing is glossy just for cosmetic value; these quality publications serve both professionals and gardeners, and help hikers identify the rare plants encountered. Considering the myriad habitat types and large number of vegetation resources in CA, this undertaking requires enormous efforts and close attention.

I don't know how Environmental Consultants, botanists and other plant scientists could conduct their work in CA without the vast resources of CNPS. I know that our rare plants and plant communities would be greatly diminished, many extirpated or extinct, without the advocacy and programs of CNPS.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of CNPS for many years. They have inspired me to make over my garden with native plants. CNPS provides any and all the information I could possibly need, first hand or through links to relevant partners. Books, maps, seminars, lectures, regular meetings, dedicated nurseries are all available to members and often to the community at large. Annual native garden tours are a wealth of information not only for help in choosing appropriate plants but also for ideas for infrastructure utilizing solar, eco-irrigation/graywater, insect and fauna habitat etc. One has immediate contact and conversation with local experts in these fields.
Their educational outreach in the realm of local political, community and land-use concerns is most comprehensive and effective.

Debra50

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CA Native Plant Society's plant sales and educational events are helping a lot of Californians including myself learn about and plant California native plants. Great way to save water and money as a homeowner. Great for the environment and native birds of California! Their work helps to counter the the effects of the disappearing landscape brought on by development.

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.