Start by attending local chapter events, reading the local newsletter, reviewing this website, and reading the Bulletin. Then dig into areas of your interest!

Join teams working on locally initiated projects and local teams working on statewide programs

  • Assist at chapter plant sales, garden tours, wildflower shows, and hikes
  • Plan an activity
  • Introduce new members to people and opportunities in CNPS
  • Lead a chapter program or project
  • Run for a chapter office
  • Volunteer at local arboretums and parks with planting, weeding, tours, and designing educational signs and brochures and programs
  • Sponsor a school garden
  • Survey and monitor vegetation in local wild lands
  • Comment with experienced chapter members on general plans and environmental impact reports
  • Find out how to provide data and specimens to local herbariums and the Rare Plant program
  • Attend association, city, and county meetings to identify issues of local vegetation importance
  • Sign up for action alerts
  • Follow and analyze state legislative issues
  • Research, analyze, and develop CNPS policies
  • Assist in the Sacramento state office
  • Join the host team when Chapter Council meetings are in your part of the state
  • Set up fundraising events
  • Write donor and volunteer appreciation letters for your chapter
  • Write an article or proofread for your local chapter’s newsletter
  • Contribute pictures to the Vegetation Photo Library
  • Assist with workshops
  • Offer your skills to state program directors
  • Become an expert of a land area, habitat type, or species.
Phacelia exilis
Phacelia exilis (CRPR 4.3), photo by Lara Hartley 2005

Thank you!

The efforts and accomplishments of members like you are vital to CNPS success with native plant appreciation and preservation. Thank you for all the work you do.

–Brad Jenkins, CNPS President 2006-2007


CNPS is a volunteer-based organization, and volunteers do much of the work that makes CNPS so effective! Please get in touch with your local chapter to find a range of needs locally, or to learn more about serving in a leadership capacity. In addition, the following opportunities are available:

  • Rare Plant Program – The Rare Plant Program is seeking volunteers to search for historical rare plant populations as part of the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt (RPTH). Many of our state’s rare plants have not been documented in over 20 years, and surveys are needed to provide us with up-to-date information on their status. In the last five years, RPTH-ers have mapped 2,500 populations –a third of them new discoveries! Volunteers will be provided with maps and information to help identify rare plants in the field. A GPS unit and some previous experience in plant identification are required for most projects. Contact to get started!
  • Vegetation Program – The Vegetation Program is seeking individuals to assist us with mapping vegetation of rare plant communities. Mapping would be conducted in our Program office in downtown Sacramento using available computer equipment and ArcGIS software. We are open to individuals with a range of skills, but some experience with ArcMap 9 is required. This is a great opportunity to develop your skill set while assisting with our desert mapping efforts! Contact Julie Evens ( if you would like to find out more.
  • Calscape is seeking volunteers to create and edit plant records in the Calscape plant database at If you’d like to share your knowledge of native plants with the CNPS community, and thousands others looking for information about native California plants, please contact us here to get started.
  • We are also seeking an individual to assist with a variety of other data related tasks. These include entering vegetation survey data from around the state, researching characteristics of vegetation types, etc. We are looking for a detail-oriented person for these tasks, and this is a great way for someone to gain experience and knowledge of California’s diverse flora. Contact Julie Evens ( if you would like to find out more.