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The California Native Plant Society

Preserving and Protecting California Native Plants and Their Habitats

The native plants of California are unlike any others in the world. From the desert's richly colored expanse of spring wildflowers to coastal groves of Monterey cypress, the state's wild gardens are immensely diverse and awe-inspiring in their beauty. They define the landscape and offer Californians a sense of place, pride, and stability, and they provide habitat for endemic wildlife species that exist no place else on earth.

Since 1965, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) has worked hard to protect the state's native plant heritage and preserve it for future generations. The CNPS promotes the use of science in land use and management decisions through our Online Rare Plant Inventory and our essential reference book, A Manual of California Vegetation (2nd ed.), 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 well-informed and environmentally friendly policies, regulations, and land-management practices.

Originally formed in 1965 in the East Bay region, the CNPS is a statewide nonprofit organization of amateurs and professionals with a common interest in California's native plants. Our nearly 10,000 members work to promote native plant appreciation, research, education, and conservation through our 5 statewide programs and 34 regional chapters. Through membership in CNPS, Californians of all walks of life are able to support and engage in opportunities to experience and learn about native plants and their habitats, gardening and landscaping with native plants, restoration of habitat areas, and conservation issues throughout the state.

Mission and Vision

The mission of the CNPS is to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants. Our vision includes a future where:

  • Californians actively support the Society's mission, which is accomplished through education, plant science, advocacy, land stewardship and native plant gardening.
  • Californians value native plants, plant communities and healthy ecosystems as essential to the well being of all living things.
  • Californians can experience native plants throughout the state, in natural environments and human-made landscapes.
  • California’s extensive and interconnected natural habitats are preserved.
  • CNPS is the leader for providing reliable information on California native plants and plant conservation. Comprehensive information about California’s flora and vegetation communities is available throughout the state for conservation and educational purposes.
  • CNPS’s leadership influences personal ethics and actions, as well as public policy for native plant protection.

Our chapter serves Marin County in Northern California. Membership is open to all.