CNPS Celebrates 50 Years!
As 2015 comes to a close, we celebrate another year of remarkable
achievements. CNPS staff, volunteers, and partners have worked hard all
year long, with some inspiring results
Rare Plant Treasure Hunters. Photo by Danny Slakey.
The CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt made great progress
on an exciting new goal: to collect and protect seeds from all of California's
CNPS vegetation scientists mapped amazing
landscapes, developing the essential data that will guide conservation decisions
across much of California.
Garden tour. Photo by Colene Rauh.
Dedicated CNPS conservation activists have valiantly taken on challenges
large and small, from fighting to protect our marvelous
landscapes from ill-advised industrial energy development, to
speaking on behalf of our local canyons and hills threatened by short-sighted sprawl construction.
CNPS has advanced a revolution in gardening and
landscaping. We answered the call to help Californians switch to
gorgeous drought-tolerant native landscapes, advising professionals and training
homeowners to create chemical-free, water-wise, pollinator-friendly native gardens.
Photo by Greg Suba.
All the while, we have explored our wonderful plants and
places, photographed flowers, hosted garden tours, shared ideas,
and made friends.
As you know, in many respects this is just a typical year for CNPS, saving and celebrating
North America's most wonderful flora! We do this all the time, year in and year out, but
2015 is different. This is our 50th anniversary, the year
we celebrated five decades of struggle and success
Mariposa lilies. Photo by Becky Reilly.
For 50 years, CNPS has done what no other organization can do. You and
10,000 of your friends have come together as scientists and gardeners
and hikers and photographers and citizen educators and dedicated conservation activists ...
to celebrate and save California's remarkable flora.
As a result, you have changed the laws of the land, transformed Californians'
appreciation of their home, and advanced our understanding of a global biodiversity
hotspot. Working together, thousands of CNPS-ers have
successfully saved the places we love.
Please take a look below to see why we believe
CNPS deserves your special support.
50 years of CNPS Presidents
What makes CNPS so special?
Here are a few words from CNPS's past Presidents, that gave so much to guide this organization.
It was astonishing to see
the growth of CNPS from a
handful in our living room to a
vast multitude. Keep growing!
James Payne Smith
When I joined CNPS many years ago, I was
impressed to discover that its membership
included not only professional botanists, but a
statewide network of enthusiasts dedicated to the
preservation of California flora. This combination
of perspectives has made CNPS the respected and
influential organization it has become.
CNPS introduced me to a
great community of plants
and folks with whom I have
continued to associate. The
value, priceless!! Perhaps
my best investment ever.
CNPS chapters host field trips. People
walking trails to observe our native plants,
paying close attention to the changes in
health, species composition and population
size, are the building blocks for all we do in
protection of native plants and habitats. Only
CNPS retains this focus on plant life.
CNPS does something no
other organization does:
it creates important tools.
The Inventory of Rare
and Endangered Plants;
A Manual of California
Vegetation - these tools
empower us to speak for the plants.
I have spent the majority of my life deeply
involved in CNPS, for a number of reasons,
but the most important reason is that CNPS
is probably the most effective conservation
organization focused on native plants. I
am able to make a difference in protecting
California plants because of CNPS.
CNPS has evolved and
grown in multiple
directions, and it just keeps
getting better and better
at conserving native plants,
providing scientific information
and enriching people's lives!
Wherever you go in the world you will find places
becoming increasingly alike. Preserving a sense of
place is imperative if life is to have meaning. No
one - no one - is doing a better job at preserving
identity than CNPS. If CNPS didn't exist it would
be necessary to invent it.
For me, it often comes down
to that teachable moment.
When that happens, I'll run a
mile with it.
CNPS seems invisible until one gets
involved. Those who get a little
involved see a thin overview. Those
who immerse themselves see the
impressive breadth, depth, and
accomplishments of the Society.
I look forward to us becoming visible
to another 10,000 members!
I have always loved the ecology of California
landscapes and came to CNPS for the people.
Nowhere else can one find this unique blend
of passion, smarts and dedication to conserving
California's flora. The community of CNPS,
combined with this glorious flora, are what inspire me to take action.
In the 1960s and 70s
CNPS emerged as a world leader
in botanical conservation. CNPS
continues to be as progressive and
adventurous as it was then! A friend
once told me, "Great things are as
difficult as they are rare" to which we
add, "there is no time to waste"
I consider CNPS a crucial voice in
conservation. No one else can match
our grassroots knowledge of plants. We
speak for deserts and valleys. We speak
for filling our gardens with the heritage
plants that belong to us. We speak for
wildflowers and meadows and vernal pools and
chaparral. The precious habitats that we know have thrived
for millennia, they are beautiful, and we want them to live
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