Making a Difference

Gardeners showing off their native plants
When we share our joy of native plants, we make a difference. Libby Vagnoni shared her Huntersville yard with fellow gardeners at an NC Native Plant Society event. From left are Tina Zeman, Libby Vagnoni (kneeling), Linda Nelson, Jessica Rayburn, and Ellen Bird. Photo by Cabot Thunem
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Andrea Thunem

Making a Difference is our theme for this fall 2022 issue of Native Plant News.

When I think about it, I prefer starting small rather than grand. For example, it cheers me that one pebble can affect a whole pool. We all seem to know that a single pebble tossed into a pool produces ripples that reach the pool’s outer edge. From there, that analogy can apply to a single native plant that makes a difference. Maybe it’s one or more native plants in our kids’ schoolyard or maybe it’s a fabulous native plant in our backyard. Maybe it’s out in the wild.

Who or what makes a difference for you?

Whatever the situation, one thing is certain: if you’re reading this, you like native plants. Here at the North Carolina Native Plant Society our mission is to make a difference with native plants – with people, with groups, in wild areas, and on developed lands. We promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats through education, protection, cultivation, and advocacy.

In this newsletter, you can read “make a difference” stories about someone given our Society’s highest honor, the President’s Award, whose achievements impact our society and other organizations; people enjoying a summer’s day at our annual picnic; a statewide program to remove and replace invasive Bradford Pear trees; how fewer pesticides means more lightning bugs; kids installing native plants on a Wilmington school campus. And there’s more! Discover it  in our newsletter.

Juney Whank Falls along the Deep Creek Loop trail, Smoky Mountains near Bryson City, NC. Video by Susan Trabka

To see plants that make a difference, check out Did You Spot These Plants? and Botanizing with Friends from our spring hikes in the Smoky Mountains.

We have lots going on and it all makes a difference here—NCNPS statewide and chapter events, activities for individuals and groups, ideas and answers. We also have questions.

Let’s explore together. We at the North Carolina Native Plant Society are making a difference, collectively and individually. It’s fun and rejuvenating, plus if we like, we can make friends along the way. Join us! Become a member. Donate.

By Andrea Thunem
Native Plant News – Fall 2022

Andrea Thunem

Andrea Thunem is editor of the North Carolina Native Plant Society’s Native Plant News and a member of the NCNPS Southern Piedmont chapter. A retired journalist and landscape designer with a passion for native plants and environmental sustainability, she loves working with people to present their stories about the holistic nature of plants, people, earth, and connections. Email her at

Copyright © 2022 North Carolina Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.