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

2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Native Plant Trust, Inc.

1,681 pageviews

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Garden Clubs

Mission: The mission of Native Plant Trust is to conserve and promote New England's native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes.

Results: Native Plant Trust is the nation's first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants. We save native plants in the wild, grow them for gardens and restorations, and educate others on their value and use. We are based at Garden in the Woods, a renowned native plant botanic garden that attracts visitors from all over the world. From this flagship property in Framingham, Massachusetts, 25 staff and many of our 1,500 trained volunteers work throughout New England each year to monitor and protect rare and endangered plants, collect and preserve seeds to ensure biological diversity, detect and control invasive species, conduct research, and offer a range of educational programs. Native Plant Trust also operates a nursery at Nasami Farm in western Massachusetts and manages six sanctuaries in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont that are open to the public. Native Plant Trust, Inc. (formerly New England Wild Flower Society, Inc.) has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a charitable organization and to be a public charity described by Section 509(a)(2) of the Code.

Target demographics: monitoring and protecting rare and endangered plants, and helping citizens conserve, promote, and learn to value our regions's native plants

Direct beneficiaries per year: 200 students; 20,000 visitors to Garden in the Woods; and region wide 3,500 members.

Geographic areas served: every county, in every state in New England

Programs: the Plant Conservation Volunteers, certificate studies in native plant horticulture and botany, over 150 classes/courses/field trips for families and adults, teach-the-teacher workshops in Go Botany, and six annual internships in conservation and horticulture.

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Katie B.6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NE Wildflower Society does an amazing job conserving our native plants. They have a beautiful native plant garden near Boston and sanctuaries throughout the region. They also teach classes and have a huge database. I love this non profit so much! What a gem to have them in my backyard.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization raises awareness with daily social media postings that are intelligently written. I’ve enjoyed getting to know a wide variety of New England native plants and their usefulness. I would love to take a class someday. We put a native bed in our landscape this year, where there was a very wet lawn. We already have lots of butterflies and bees.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Beautiful, tranquil Garden in the Woods is so inviting and compelling. I enjoy each visit as well as volunteering with the Horticulture Crew. My blood pressure seems to drop the moment I enter the garden.

But, the work Native Plant Trust does is so much more than that. They created Go Botany which is a valuable resource for scientists as well as for private citizens. They have a rich offering of classes to educate the public on botanical and horticultural topics. They have extensive knowledge on propagation techniques and have an extensive (and growing!) seed bank for native plant seeds which has been used for restoring habitat damaged by Mother Nature (hurricane Sandy) and mankind (Mount Cadillac). This seed bank also allows them to offer native plants in their garden center that are from our local area and far more likely to thrive here. They continue to do invaluable science on native plants which are the foundation for the ecosystem that supports all the butterflies, frogs, turtles, and all the cute mammals we know and love.

Having a wooded property, I have found them to be an invaluable resource as I learn to take care of my little corner of Planet Earth. I have learned to add the right native plants to my garden to create a healthy ecosystem. I have learned to control invasive species which may look pretty, but provide little sustenance for the creatures in our region. I have learned landscape management techniques to greatly reduce the amount of time it takes for me to maintain my garden. I now have a yard practically a buzz with wildlife.

The work Native Plant Trust does is SO important for our future and our planet’s future. They are creating the knowledge and tools which will be increasingly necessary to deal with the growing specter of climate change.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the Native Plant Trust! First, their headquarters “Garden in the Woods” is always inspiring, every time you walk there. The Garden is beautiful and informative. But that’s just a tiny part of the Native Plant Trust. The Trust has an amazing depth and comprehensive expertise in conservation, ecology and horticulture. There are so many ways to learn and to get involved, depending on your interests and objectives. I have a plant ecology educational background - although I spent my career in biotech. Now that I have more time, I am getting back to the plant world - relearning taxonomy and learning new science! I’m involved in a number of activities and initiatives – an onsite herbarium (including specimens which date to the 1800’s); the Native Plant Trust sanctuaries (there are a number throughout New England), the plant conservation volunteer program, and the seed bank collection program (There's a very informative 6 minute Ted talk on the global seed banking initiative!) . The staff and volunteer community is a wonderful, dedicated group!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Someone once asked me “why one would work to save native plants.” I thought about it for a very long time. The whales, the reefs in the oceans, megafauna like giraffes and elephants, our fellow primates all need help.

But the simple truth is I live here, in New England. A land that is still forested and known for its spring blooming woodlands and astounding foliage colors in autumn; things that I can enjoy every year in my own neck of the woods. My personal passion and support for the work of Native Plant Trust boiled down to the fact that many local species of plants are just as endangered as tigers and snow leopards. Entire local ecosystems depend upon native plants, including insect pollinators, birds, aquatic species and more.

Native Plant Trust enables me to become better educated about plants and habitats of the region in which I live, through classes and on-line courses. As I learn more, the web of life in my own neighborhood is further revealed to me.

It gives me opportunities to explore habitats and witness the diversity of life here in New England by attending field trips and programs.

Friendships blossomed by strolling in the botanic garden “Garden in the Woods”, attempting to identify plants with friends.

By supporting the Seed Ark initiative, which is part of a global effort to collect and preserve endangered plants, I can collaborate with other ecologically minded people to prevent extinction. In addition, my support helps further scientific research into the yet unknown aspects of native plants. I have come to learn that much is yet unknown about many species, including how they grow or the conditions their seeds need to germinate.

Native Plant Trust allows me to help save a part of the world. When it came to answering the question, why save native plants, my answer is “Go for a hike, enjoy our great outdoors and take a deep breath.” The native plants made the oxygen. They help preserve the web of life in our region. They are indeed worth saving, and Native Plant Trust leads the way.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve known and visited the beautiful Garden in the Woods for many, many years, but only when I became involved with the Native Plant Trust did I realize how very much more they did beyond maintaining the beauty of the Garden: From rescuing plants from imminent extinction (such as the the tiny cinquefoil flower that grows only on the tip-top of the White Mountains) to teaching 700 volunteers to collect seeds for the SeedArk, to restoring the vegetation after Hurricane Sandy with native plants. It’s the Little Engine that Could! Quite remarkable achievements in themselves; then add to it their classes and publications. Amazing.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

With a PhD in plant ecology, I especially appreciate the work carried on by Native Plant Trust. Native plants nourish and house all other levels of our ecosystems, at many scales. The diverse work carried on includes the development and maintenance of Go Botany, a sophisticated database of plants of the New England States, available for public use. Also, responsible collection of genetically diverse samplings of seeds of native New England plants supplies the Seed Ark project. A large education program offers courses from technical and scientific to the practical application. Publication of a periodical and texts and identification books offers even more to the public. Garden in the Woods, where Native Plant Trust is based, is a living museum of native plant communities.

I have volunteered there for more than 20 years in many capacities, and I am always impressed and heartened by the devotion and intelligence of the staff in their efforts to accomplish the mission of the organization.

As a Trustee, I am glad to be able to support and participate in the continuance of this fundamentally important organization.

Lalor B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was a multi-term board member from 1998 until 2018, working with five Executive Directors. It has taken some time, but the current administration has righted the ship financially and has enlisted outstanding conservation, eduction, and horticultural leaders.
The NPT is well-positioned to achieve the ambitious goals in its current strategic plan, which follows successful implementation of previous ones.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I recently retired from the Mass Audubon, following a 45-year career as a professional conservationist. During this time, I was involved in all aspects of the work of a major environmental organization and had the opportunity to collaborate on projects with colleagues in North American and internationally. During much of this time I have been associated with the Native Plant Trust (formerly New England Wild Flower Society) initially as a member of its science committee, but also as a Trustee, serving among other capacities as a member of a presidential search committee. I am currently an Overseer of the organization. From the beginning of my association with Native Plant Trust, I have been struck with the high quality of its staff and endeavors from its impressive seed banking and rare species inventories throughout New England on the one hand to its professional horticultural projects promoting the cultivation and use of native plants at Garden in the Woods and Nasami Farm. To my mind one of Native Plant Trust’s key strengths is the ability to do science of national significance while engaging the non-specialist public in its conservation work through education and stewardship programs. This is a rare combination among environmental organizations for which Native Plant Trust has long stood as a model.
- Christopher W. Leahy, Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology (Emeritus), Mass Audubon.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Native Plant Trust is the premier organization dedicated to conservation of native plants and promoting the vital importance of native plants in our natural areas and in our own backyards. They set the standard nationally for best practices in what they do and how they do it.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Native Plant Trust is a gem. They have a world wide reputation for their plant collection and the seed bank project. They teach children and grown ups the relationship between our Native plants, insects, birds, animals and us. They work on restoration projects after natural disasters and supply plants for areas being restored. The botanical garden in Framingham, MA is visited by people from far and wide. It is a wonderful place to introduce people to the concept of natives.
Annemarie Altman
Sharon, MA

Amy P.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm a Native Plant Trust member and I love visiting Garden in the Woods to buy plants and view their lovely grounds. The Trust is an invaluable resource for a non-botanist like myself to learn about these important plants. I've purchased several of the books produced by the Trust and visit their website frequently. I hope to bring my girl scout troops to visit sometime this coming spring as well!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Garden in the Woods is one of the most beautiful places in all of Boston. Every season presents new colors and new plants. The mission of the Native Plant Trust (previously known as the New England Wildflower Society) is crucial for not only preserving rare and endangered plants but for studying the effects of climate change and plant migration to New England in the long run. The Trust's other 7 sanctuaries in New England are also beautiful places and well worth visiting.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Native Plant Trust is a vital organization doing vital work for plant conservation and habitat restoration. It educates the public on the importance of native plants and their use in our gardens and landscapes. The staff is competent, spirited and engaging. The board is committed and determined. I'm a long-time member and donor and have been a volunteer for twenty years ... my time and money very well spent!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The oldest plant conservation organization in the US, New England Wild Flower Society champions the cause for native plants and healthy ecosystems. I've been volunteering for 14 years and find the work satisfying and the people passionate and purposeful. The organization's home is at Garden in the Woods, a renowned native plant botanic garden, where I enjoy the beauty of native plant habitats and take classes to learn about native plants so I can design my own home landscape. It's an amazing place with a most important mission!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is the hidden gem of Framingham. Garden In The Woods taught me about native plants and helped me to discover my passion for them. I have worked to better my yard and community because of the education I received from them. I educate others about native plants and how important they are for our environment. This nonprofit is absolutely wonderful and they have changed my world. If I could go back and do it all over again I would go to school for botany because of them.

1 Liz A.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so excited to be taking my first course with New England Wild Flower society. Their focus on native plants and Garden in the Woods is a much needed model for other who want to learn about incorporating pollinator and other beneficial insect friendly plants into their landscape.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The New England Wild Flower Society does so much to educate our community on the value of native plants. I feel so blessed to be able to buy plants propagated from local seeds or to take part in a garden lecture or walk the gardens with a tour guide.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I design gardens specializing in native plants for pollinators and hummingbirds. New England Wildflower Society has become one of my best go-to places for classes and plant materials. A great resource!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I follow new england wildflower society for education. They have excellent posts and amazing pictures that teach and share knowledge.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fantastic group sharing info on identifying and conserving native plants and natural communities.

1 Stephanie C.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What a wonderful gem of a place this is. Whether you’re an avid plant lover like myself or just looking to connect with nature, Garden in the woods is a lovely place to spend some time learning and enjoying all that native plants have to offer.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

New England Wild Flower Society started me on my botanic journey that has turned into a career protecting the world around us

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have my T-shirt, from Garden in the Woods, which reads “some of my best friends are wildflowers”, that I purchased in 1978. Loved visiting the garden to view the plants and great gardeners like Lesley. Inspired me, just completed 30 year career teaching Horticulture and building a department of four full-time faculty, as well as dozens of adjunct faculty, who all knew that the best way to honor nature’s beauty is to pass the word/information/action to others.
Elizabeth Howley

Jonathan A.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I can't get up to the sales..Not happening for this old fellow.. But the work they do is transformational ..For WAY TOO LONG, we have been told that our Native flora is not on an equal par with Japanese or Asian or European plants.. But suddenly , and I have been in this game for quite a while, suddenly people are realizing that their foreign plants are invading and becoming problems and we really need to look at what we plant and what we use around our homes..The work done at this place is wonderful .. On more than one occasion, I have called them and they have always been gracious and courteous to answer my questions..This should be the ONLY stop for anyone who really cares about our environment...Go there ...They should have chapters in each state ...Hey how about that folks..The idea is good, spread the idea..Maybe get a few outfits like this going in each of the New England States... The real problem you have is the Big Box stores..Until you get them on board, you will see fields of Bradford Pears and fields of Japanese Maples seedlings etc.. GOOD WORK and GOD BLESS THIS PLACE AND THE PEOPLE THERE..You are an inspiration for us all.

1 Revell S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Go Botany is a great resource for identifying plants in the New England area. I have used Go Botany extensively to identify and save native plants while clearing my property of invasive plants. New England Wild Flower posts are inspirational and fun.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have taken classes for years at the New England Wildflower Society and the knowledge that I gained allowed me to create my own nationally recognized teaching garden for natives, pollinators and butterflies. Visitors to my home garden often come away with a new appreciation and resolve to bring nature home to their own gardens in an attempt to leave natural beauty and untamed spaces to our kids and grand kids. Thank you, NEWFS, for all you've taught me.

1 Jessie P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The NE Wild Flower Society accomplishes a tremendous amount with a remarkably small staff and budget. They provide detailed knowledge and practical training to numerous other conservation organizations and governmental groups who work to protect our natural resources. They also introduce many people to the beauty and essential ecological function of our native plants through classes, publications, and their beautiful botanic garden, Garden in the Woods. Everyone who cares about protecting nature should be aware of how it all depends on conservation of our plants. It is too bad the Society is not better known, because they are the only organization focused on this critical job in New England and could do more if they had more support.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The New England Wild Flower Society helps our business tremedously (Connelly Lawn and Garden, in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania) by providing on-going education and information regarding the benefits of native and wildlife plantings.

1 Regina21

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a home gardener who is dedicated to using native plants, the New England Wild Flower Society is an invaluable resource for me. Their educational programs are outstanding, and the online plant ID tool GO Botany is extremely useful. Perhaps the most exciting thing about NEWFS for me is the opportunity to go see how various plants look in the landscape at different times of year, so that I have an idea of which plants I might want to use at home, or what types of habitat and growing conditions best suit which plants. The birds and insects of my backyard are grateful!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

New England Wild Flower Society provides opportunities to both learn about our natural world and to support research that contributes to the conservation of our native landscape. My experience with New England Wild Flower Society has been through courses in native plant identification and conservation, as plant conservation volunteer and on walks through the Garden in the Woods. These experiences have enriched my life and provided many hours of enjoyment.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The New England Wild Flower Society maintains beautiful gardens but does so much more. It has a new series of great online education classes that teach about plant identification and landscape design. The NEWFS is leading the way on seed banking to protect the biodiversity of New England native plants. It has a wonderful community of dedicated members and volunteers, and extremely dedicated staff.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

NEWFS is the only nonprofit conservation organization that actively works across the northeast US to protect and preserve plant biodiversity. Increasingly they are considering how climate change will affect our native flora and taking steps to evaluate innovative ways to address this issue. Since plants are the basis for any healthy ecosystem, I appreciate their dedication to ensuring a healthy environmental foundation. I highly recommend the Garden in the Woods and Nasami Farm as a place of inspiration, learning and resource for maintaining native flora on our own private properties.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Many years ago I began enjoying the Garden in the Woods, then taking classes and field trips to learn more about New England native plants. The New England Wild Flower Society is the most active conservation organization totally commited to conserving New England native plants by preserving seeds and providing education to the public to PLANT NATIVE!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The New England Wild Flower Society not only has the beautiful and informative Garden in the Woods highlighting native woodland plants but also does important research into plants. Their foundational work in native plant science is relied on by many other conservation organizations. They are really doing something to address climate change and its impact on the New England landscape and habitats. They do field conservation studies, intermediations in locally endangered plants, have a very important seed banking operation, and much more. They sponsor terrific education programs and seminars to teach about the important role of native plants and their conservation. This is all critical right now as global warming threatens the survivability of many local plant species, especially cold-adapted plants. They are really doing a lot to save our landscapes and ensure healthy biological diversity.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The best organization working on native New England plants. Makes serious scientific contributions along with being a huge asset to the community at large, especially through their plant propagation efforts.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

New England Wildflower Society is passionate about saving endangered plants (which many people forget about) and teaching botany. NEWFS is well organized, maintains a beautiful nature preserve, and offers numerous classes in botany and horticulture for both children and adults. The classes and field trips are interesting and relevant. As a Plant Conservation Volunteer, I travel around Massachusetts helping identify endangered plant populations and collect seeds from those populations for the NEWFS seed bank so these endangered plants are lost forever. NEWFS helps me feel I'm making a difference.

1 Laura A M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NEWFS has been a wealth of information for me and a big part of my life. I work in the horticulture industry and turn to NEWFS often for information.

2 KathleenGConnolly

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Go Botany database of the New England Wildflower Society is without question one of the top resources in my daily work. I am a landscape designer, garden coach and public speaker on a variety of topics related to ecological landscaping. The Go Botany database, available at no charge to any Internet user, provides the tool I need to create beautiful naturalized gardens that also perform important ecological roles. I use the database almost daily to verify that my plant selections are truly native to the area where I am working and to find plant ideas.

Last year, I won an award for an all-native lakeside buffer garden. My research for that project depended heavily on the Go Botany database.

In addition to assisting specific projects, I also use Go Botany to inform my writing. I am a newspaper columnist on gardens and ecology. I use Go Botany to advise the public on native plants. I also refer my readers and listeners to the database in almost every venue where my work appears.

I have so much gratitude for this tremendous resource, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the tremendous job the Society does in its own beautiful gardens. They have made a real difference in public consciousness while presenting their core mission through a beautiful landscape that makes people want to come back again and again.

I have purchased many native plants from them with great success. They offer unusual selections and they are always one of my first stops when I can't find a plant locally.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

New England Wild Flower Society has been an integral part of my life for decades. When our kids were younger, we attended a series of classes that introduced them to a variety of flowers and native wildlife in an age appropriate manner. Of course we would follow up our class with a fun stroll through the wonderful property filled with a variety of native plants, always stopping to look at the resident toad that lived under the same rock each year.
Now the kids are grown, I continue to return to Garden in the Woods to purchase a wonderful variety of native plants for our yard. Knowing that our purchases support the preservation of our indigenous plant life makes me feel good about every purchase.

2 Elizabeth138

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was absolutely blown away by the service and variety of native plants that are available. The gardeners helped me plan out my whole garden and every plant is thriving and perfect for the setting!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For many years I have enjoyed the opportunity to monitor rare and endangered species, to remove non-native invasives, and to inventory populations on various sites around New England. In the process I met many great volunteers and NEWFS staff members, visited new sites and had the chance to see some of our very special protected areas. The future of our planet lies with maintaining natural diversity.

The properties they maintain are true gems.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NEWFS is a gem. Not only is it an inspirational garden which you want to visit again and again, it offers classes, plants, and opportunities to visit sanctuaries throughout New England. It is a great place to spend the day for young and old alike!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a plant ecologist, I started to volunteer for the New England Wild Flower Society almost 20 years ago because I thought they were doing important work that few others do. Not only do they carry out first rate research, but they educate the public about its importance. Now that I'm a board member, I'm even more impressed with their work. And I'm glad to be able to support the Society in its work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved at the New England Wildflower Society for over five years, but I've known about it since childhood, when my mother filled my ears about it's wonderful Garden in the Woods. This organization has a well established, comprehensive conservation, restoration, education program that reaches out to all ages and institutions and does remarkable things on limited resources. It promotes indigenous species, collaborates with organizations throughout the state, the region, the nation and the world, is on the right page with respect to the challenges facing us as a result of global climate change.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Amidst the activity of an bustling suburb of Boston is the hidden gem known as Garden in the Woods. With well kept nature trails that are surrounded by so many beautiful trees, plants, flowers, and ponds, it is a bonus to begin and end your visit to this sanctuary by stopping by the garden shop. The volunteers who work here present a pride of involvement that makes you want to get involved yourself. Wonderful organization committed to education and preservation.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer at the New England Wild Flower Society in 2013 shortly after retiring from 34 years as an Early Childhood Education teacher and administrator. As much as I looked forward to maintaining a connection to young children while leading school tours of Garden in the Woods, the other appealing feature of volunteering was the chance to learn more about this magnificent collection of native plants in classic New England ecosystems.

Developmentally appropriate learning opportunities are key for all ages, but making the most of the youngest children’s curiosity and sense of wonder about the natural world while working around their shorter attention spans is an art. The resource materials and training provided to new tour guides were excellent and right on target. An additional and very effective resource was the experienced guides’ collective knowledge about children and the garden environs.

Being at Garden in the Woods and sharing it with children is truly a joy!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This remarkable organization is at the forefront regionally and nationally for protecting and conserving native plants. Our native plants, growing in sites and habitats that have evolved over thousands of years, are key to maintaining the health of our planet. Insects and wildlife depend on these plants for survival. Vast areas of natural space continue to be eliminated by development, so it is more and more important to protect not only open space, but the plants that are there. NEWFS is a leader in this effort, and in educating people and organizations about native plants and their benefits to us. They offer many classes and volunteer opportunities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work as a Plant Conservation Volunteer (PCV). As a PCV, we help monitor rare plant populations, remove invasive species, and do botanical surveys. All these efforts are coordinated through the New England Wild Flower Society. The society works with groups from ME, CT, VT, MA, and RI. They work with state governments and other conservation organizations.

The society works diligently to conserve our native flora. It produces reports on rare species, monitors them, and provides management plans.

It's a great society. I highly recommend it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

For the past seventeen years I have been involved in volunteering as a Children's Guide at the "Garden in the Woods" and find it to be a most rewarding and meaningful experience. At the same time, I am spreading my love and knowledge of nature and it's many aspects to hundreds of eager and excited children as we trapse through the woods, meadows, bogs and along brooks and streams finding delights in the wild with every step.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After having worked in a hospital setting for more than thirty years and then retiring from that setting, I wanted to return to my love for the natural world. It is not enough for me to simply walk around outside. I need a purpose-- like learning something new, making a difference by improving a habitat, helping to keep rare species flourishing. Somehow, I found NEWFS, and the folks there let me, as well as other volunteers, enter right into the work they do on a daily basis to learn about and protect the plants and their natural habitats. The staff at NEWFS have lifetimes of expertise, yet freely share their knowledge with volunteers by teaching them at every opportunity and by working alongside them in the field. This element of sharing has me returning as often as possible, and has showed me how to share with others what I have learned.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

New England Wildflower Society (NEWFS) is a top-ten non-profit green contender. NEWFS is the nation’s oldest and largest membership organization devoted exclusively to native plant conservation. Its mission is to “Promote the conservation of flora through Education, Research, Horticulture, Habitat Preservation, and Advocacy.

One of the many ways that NEWFS seeks to achieve this goal is through the Plant Conservation Volunteers (PCV’s), of which I am one. Throughout all the New England states, PCV’s are active helping their state’s natural heritage programs survey rare plants. In these difficult economic times, our state botanists do not have the manpower to achieve this goal.

In order to conserve and promote the region’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes, the society’s research botanist, Arthur Haines, has written a guide, “Flora Novae Angliae” which will be an up to date guide for botanic reference in New England.

Also, the society’s education department offers Certificates in Native Plant Studies. These classes prepare individuals to work in rare plant monitoring or propagating their own native plants, design sustainable gardens, and then plant, prune, and maintain them. One can study grasses, ferns, wildflowers, and framework trees or learn how to enjoy sketching or photographing them. I can attest to the quality of these programs as I have recently earned a certificate in native plant studies.

NEWFS also cultivates and sells native plants for gardens and restoration efforts. This service aids in habitat preservation by discouraging the harvesting of our flora from its native habitat. Seeds are harvested in the wild in an environmentally friendly manner, which will not endanger native plants. Many of these seeds are stored in seed banks.

I cannot overly emphasize the joy one receives from our heritage, our native habitats. To get a small preview of this, visit the society’s native plant garden, Garden in the Woods, in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Barbara Grunden