Point Reyes from Nicasio Ridge – (photo by Vernon Smith)
Marin County’s Unique Native Plant Heritage. Marin County has a unique concentration of diverse plant habitats that range from marine to coastal to higher elevation plant communities in the space of a few miles. The County is a vegetation border zone where a number of plants from the south reach their northern limit and a number from the north reach their southern limit. We are also home to many rare and endangered endemic plants that grow nowhere else but in Marin County. The value and uniqueness of the native plant habitats in Marin County have been recognized by inclusion of most Marin public open space land in the United Nations-designated Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve.
Threats to Native Plants and Habitats in Marin: Many native plant habitats in Marin are under siege. They are threatened by the spread of destructive invasive species such as broom, pampas grass and yellow star thistle, by recreational uses that degrade native plant habitats, by rapid climate change that exceeds their ability to adapt; and by lack of understanding of the importance of preserving native plants and habitats, including for biodiversity.
Marin CNPS Working to Protect Marin’s Native Plants and Habitats: The Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society works to protect our native plants and habitats. We welcome and need volunteers interested in helping to ensure that the native plants we enjoy in the wild continue to exist and flourish. Our work takes many forms: comment on development proposals and public land use plans affecting native plants, work with public land managers and other non-profit organizations to conserve and restore native plant habitats, organization of weeding programs to protect rare species threatened by exotic invasives, and public education about threats to native plants. In this PROTECT section of the website you will find out more about our work and how you can get involved.