Native Plants for a Bright Tomorrow | BLOOM! CALIFORNIA

This California Native Plant Week, we celebrate the many ways native plants enrich and sustain our lives and the life around us. In bio-regions across the globe, native plants provide the foundation upon which people, wildlife and biodiversity itself can flourish. This is true everywhere, especially in California, one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots. California native plants have evolved alongside California’s Native Peoples and wildlife, developing specialized relationships long ago that help uphold the integrity of local ecosystems.  

Today, however, native plants face the growing threats of a changing climate, habitat destruction, and extinction. We must conserve what’s left while asking more of our “built landscapes.” Key to nurturing those built landscapes is the pipeline between our growers, nurseries, and the public. Once we inspire Californians everywhere to plant native plants, we need to make it easy for them to find, purchase, and enjoy those plants. To help, CNPS has partnered with water agencies, other non-profits, and our network of thousands of volunteers to create offerings like Calscape.org, the regional Calscape Nursery Program and statewide Training, and a new Native Plant Landscaper Certification. Now, we’re proud to introduce you to an exciting collaboration with our partners and nurseries across California to Bloom! California.

Bloom! California: Native Plants for a Bright Tomorrow is a statewide campaign organized by CNPS and developed in partnership with representatives from nurseries, growers, water agencies, non-profits, landscape designers, and CNPS volunteers and staff across the state.  The campaign aims to increase sales of California specialty crop native plants by 20% over the next three years. Wait, what’s a specialty crop?  Specialty crops are legally defined to include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.  Last fall, CNPS was awarded a California Specialty Crop Block Grant to deliver the campaign for a select group of native plants that are also California specialty crops. We’re thrilled that Bloom! California is the first Specialty Crop Block grant focused on California native plants!

Bloom! California chose the campaign’s native plant species in consultation with a multi-disciplinary stakeholder group of experts and practitioners. The plant selections overlap with California’s specialty crop list while also providing an array of important benefits that are a key motivators for the public: supporting pollinators and other wildlife, expanding access to nature, reducing pesticides use, conserving water, and beautifying our communities. 

The following California native plants (cultivars included) are included in our campaign:

Clarkias

Currants

Irises

Manzanitas

Mints

Oaks

Ornamental Grasses

Phacelia

Sages

Toyon

Yarrow

Bloom! California comes at a critical time, as countries the world over grapple with the dual crises of extinction and climate change.  At local, state, and federal levels, policymakers, communities, and scientists are working together to protect biodiversity, improve access to nature, and build climate resilience. In California, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order last fall to protect 30 percent of California’s lands and waters by 2030 while increasing access to nature for underserved communities and building the state’s climate resilience. Bloom! California provides a key opportunity for the state’s residents — from business leaders and educators to consumers, outdoor enthusiasts, and school children — to play a parallel and synergistic role in the ‘re-greening’ of the Golden State with its native plants.

Enrollment Is Open — Join Us!

Ultimately, the success of Bloom! California will depend on the general public getting involved in supporting the campaign through direct purchases of the native plants highlighted in the campaign. But before that happens, we need industry partners to enroll in this first-of-its-kind effort, forming the backbone for what will become an all-out drive to help us reach our vision of a restored, resilient, and healthy California!

By enrolling with Bloom! California, industry partners are committing to helping sell and promote the Bloom! California campaign and the campaign’s selected CA native plants. Participation also brings with it:

  • Increased sale of native plants that translates to increased revenue for participating businesses,
  • Shared branded campaign materials for your website, social media, and nursery point-of-sale,
  • A digital campaign and online hub for campaign resources throughout the campaign’s public duration (2 ½ years), 
  • Influence. Your input and feedback will directly impact the campaign.

All nurseries are welcomed as partners: Any nurseries who commit to carrying the specific plants and agree to the campaign terms and conditions may participate. We are also looking to partner with wholesalers and growers in a way that supports our participating nurseries, as well as large-scale buyers (municipalities, ranches, restoration projects). 

As part of the campaign, a suite of branded marketing materials to promote the effort will be designed and distributed to participating nurseries and retailers. Through the marketing (and co-marketing) of Bloom! California, we will be driving business to nurseries where people can find these plants, while also discovering their new favorite nursery!

The campaign moves into the consumer phase in September, 2021, so now is the time to enroll as an early leader in this growing movement! 

Seeding the Future

The California Native Plant Society envisions a future where every garden and landscape hums with life; where we bask in the colors, aromas, sounds, and textures that make California home; and where we’ve created a built landscape that actually looks like the California we love — from oak woodlands and fields of wildflowers to coastal chaparral! 

To make this vision a reality, Bloom! California is an important campaign among a portfolio of emerging projects and partnerships to power a revolution — a Habitat Revolution, where California native plants become the norm not the exception in our gardens, city parks, business fronts, and more! Bloom! California is a model that can be replicated, expanded, funded, and shared many times over, and this is what makes it so exciting! 

It’s both empowering and inspiring to know that whoever we are, wherever we are, we are can make a difference with what we grow and plant! Together, let’s help Bloom! California. Learn more at www.bloomcalifornia.org.


Funding for Bloom! California was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM200100XXXXG032. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.”

 

4 Comments

  1. Will big box stores that sell retail nursery stock like Walmart, The Home Depot, and Lowes be able to participate in Bloom! California: Native Plants for a Bright Tomorrow? I would hope so, since most people throughout our state buy the majority of their plants at these sellers (which explains the general lack of native plants in home gardens to begin with), and visiting specialty or family-owned nurseries may not be an economic or convenient option. If the CNPS wishes to truly make a difference by getting Californians to plant natives, it will be up to these retailers to make a change, because otherwise its attempts will only be seen in those currently little-known nurseries that are already in need of exposure to the general public.

  2. Can a county entity participate???
    A natural area in the middle of a urban area that wants to lead the native plant “charge.”

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