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New England Wild Flower Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Garden Clubs

Mission: The mission of New England Wild Flower Society is to conserve and promote the region’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes.

Results: Founded in 1900 as the Society for the Protection of Native Plants, New England Wild Flower Society is the nation’s oldest plant conservation organization and a recognized leader in native plant conservation, horticulture, and education. The Society’s headquarters, Garden in the Woods, is a renowned native plant botanic garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, that attracts visitors from all over the world. From this base, 25 staff and more than 700 volunteers work throughout New England 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. The Society also operates a native plant nursery at Nasami Farm in western Massachusetts and has seven sanctuaries in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont that are open to the public.

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

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

1 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.

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.

1 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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.