B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund

NCNPS Editor

NCNPS Editor

The B. W. Wells Stewardship Fund is named for Bertram Whittier (B. W.) Wells, an eminent North Carolina plant ecologist. The fund supports stewardship of North Carolina native plants and grew out of a modest donation made to the North Carolina Native Plant Society (NCNPS) by B. W.’s wife, Maude Wells. The fund receives modest royalties from a revised edition of The Natural Gardens of North Carolina (pictured below).

the cover of the book The Natural Gardens of North Carolina by B.W. Wells

by B.W. Wells

B. W. Wells Stewardship Fund
Application Form

FORM * (129 KB)

In 1919 at the age of 35, B. W. Wells moved to North Carolina to become a professor of botany at North Carolina State College, now North Carolina State University. Dr. Wells became an active researcher in the field of plant ecology. In 1932 he published The Natural Gardens of North Carolina, a classic book describing the natural plant communities of North Carolina. Dr. Wells continued to promote the conservation of North Carolina’s native flora and the protection of our natural areas until his death in 1978. Dr. and Mrs. Wells’ retirement home, Rock Cliff Farm, is now protected as part of Falls Lake State Recreation Area in northern Wake County. You may learn more about the B. W. Wells Association at B. W. Wells.org

Guidelines for B. W. Wells Stewardship Fund

The B. W. Wells Stewardship Fund supports activities that are in keeping with the mission of the North Carolina Native Plant Society “to promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats through education, protection, propagation, and advocacy.”

Each year, the NCNPS funds several B. W. Wells grants up to $1000 each. These grants are available to organizations, including federal, state, and local agencies. Stewardship projects involve the care of existing native plant communities, creating new native plant habitats and gardens, and educating people about native plants and their habitats. Typically, NCNPS does not fund projects for the same site in two consecutive years nor provide funding for the purchase of non-native plants or seeds.

Please note: Funds are exhausted for this year. NCNPS is implementing a deadline for the B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund. Starting in January 2021, applications will be reviewed once a year, after the application deadline of Sep 1 of that year. Applications may be submitted at any time.

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • management of natural plant communities in North Carolina, e.g., invasive species control, prescribed burns, erosion control;
  • preparation, installation, and care of native plant gardens, excluding funding for irrigation projects or installation of hardscape;
  • development, production, and distribution of educational programs and materials promoting native plants and their habitats.

How to Apply for a Grant

The online application form for a B. W. Wells Stewardship grant [see link in the box above] requests the following:

  • Identifying information — the applicant’s name, address, phone number(s), e-mail address, and date the application is submitted.
  • A concise project description (no more than two pages) — Include a summary, a description of why this project is needed, the project objectives, location, and schedule, who benefits from the project and how, and names of other organizations involved. Highlight aspects of the work that you believe are important and creative and how the project will support the mission of NCNPS.
  • A budget summary and explanation of how NCNPS grant funds will be applied. If requesting funds for plantings, include a plant or seed list with scientific names, estimated costs, and possible plant sources for purchasing.
  • If other funds are expected, show how they will fit into the overall budget. NCNPS encourages applicants to seek additional funding because NCNPS is unable to provide full funding for most proposed projects.
  • If the project involves plantings, such as a garden, provide your plans for tending the plants, particularly for watering them during the first year. Also provide your follow-up maintenance procedures.

Obligations of B. W. Wells Stewardship Grant Recipients

Applicants whose project proposals are funded agree to the following obligations as part of their acceptance of funds:

  • The grant recipient will acknowledge the B. W. Wells Stewardship Fund and the North Carolina Native Plant Society (NCNPS), including the website http://www.ncwildflower.org, in event publicity, printed materials, and signage, as practicable.
  • The grant recipient will report any significant change to the project start and end dates or budget requirements to the NCNPS Grants & Scholarships Committee Chair.
  • Upon completion of the project, the grant recipient will submit an article (200 words maximum) with a relevant photograph to be published in Native Plant News, the newsletter of the NCNPS. Send the article to the Grants and Scholarships Committee Chair.
  • The grant recipient may be requested to give an oral report at a Society meeting.
  • The grant recipient is encouraged to lead a field trip for a local chapter of NCNPS members to the project site, if appropriate. Local chapters are listed on the NCNPS website.


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