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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

California Native Plant Society

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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

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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.


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!

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 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 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.


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.