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Vol. 21 Issue 3 - 2023 Fall Archive Edition

Promoting the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats 

through education, protection, cultivation, and advocacy since 1951

We Understood the Assignment: Then and Now

The NCNPS demonstration garden space at the State Fair, a good place for an early education on the wonder of plants. Photo by Jackie Trickel
Seventy-two years ago, we called ourselves The North Carolina Wild Flower Preservation Society and we understood the assignment: Educate, Protect, Cultivate, and Advocate. It’s still the same, but we say it differently today— Do something. Here’s what we know: Plants connect us. Here at the NC Native Plant Society, we are plant enthusiasts. Our Society is all about their importance. Native plants stabilize us and ground us to the world of healthy ecosystems. What Can You Do? Here are some options for individuals and for groups. Giving Tuesday:  November 28, Giving Tuesday, launches the annual NCNPS fundraising campaign. Your gift to the NCNPS Alice Zawadzki Land Conservation Fund helps protect the earth. Set a reminder to make a generous gift through December 31; donations will be used to permanently protect wild lands. Nominate someone:  Find your favorite person or project and match it to one of our awards to make your nomination. Remember, you can make a nomination for an award at any time of the year. Put some sweat equity in:  Join a volunteer monitoring program to collect scientific data and conduct research. Join Carolina Wetlands Association scientists and others at three critically important North Carolina wetlands. Meet your friends: Bring the kids to the State Fair area where the Society has a demonstration garden space and covered booth maintained by Margaret Reid (Triangle) Chapter volunteers. Parking is near our location. NCNPS members from across North Carolina are invited to spend time at the booth greeting fair visitors. The State Fair is in Raleigh from October 12-22. Bring the kids:  Meet friends at a native plant festival — here’s one October 14, the Marshall Native Gardens Festival at the Madison County Public Library in Marshall. Find out:  What’s Up With ‘Sterile Cultivars’? And why we should avoid them. And what’s a cultivar? What happens when we try to breed sterility into invasive plant species? Lisa Lofland Gould offers some explanations in her article. Write botany articles: Make a difference and write a botany article or write about the ways you help our environment. Send your ideas for our quarterly statewide newsletter, Native Plant News, to Andrea Thunem, editor,
Take a step:  Advocate for native plants. Plant more native plants in your own containers, in your yard, on your school’s campus, at your Home Owners Association garden, at your place of worship. Here’s how to apply for a habitat certification sign for your own native plant area of your garden.
Get educated:  Watch some NCNPS videos on native plants. We have lots to choose from. For more ideas, read our newsletter and visit our website.Do something. As one person or in a group. On behalf of the Society. For the good of our ecosystems. We’re in it together and we’re grateful for it.
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

Resources and Events

Search the plant gallery, find recommended landscaping plant nurseries, and much more on our website.

View past chapter programs on our YouTube channel.

Meet other native plant geeks at events across the state.

Volume 21 Issue 3      Fall 2023

North Carolina Native Plant Society
P.O. Box 9507
Greensboro, NC 27435
Copyright © 2023 North Carolina Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.