North Carolina Native Plant Society – Presidential Task Force Report

3rd Quarter Update

The first half of 2021 has brought some challenges for the Society. Along with impacts to normally scheduled events due to uncertainty around Covid-19 restrictions, we have several Board positions to be filled, including President and Vice President. In the interim, while we identify the next president, we have formed a Presidential Steering Task Force that is providing continuity for the presidential duties. The Presidential Steering Task Force members are Theresa Morr (Secretary), Diane Laslie (Treasurer), Jean Woods (Past President 2012–2015; 2017-2018), and Bettina Darveaux (At- Large Board member). We also have a new Strategic Plan in place that will help guide our society as we move forward into the next five years.

Annual Meeting, Picnic & Plant Sale

We had a successful Annual Meeting, Picnic, & Plant Sale this Spring. It was so nice to be together again in person to catch up with each other, share a delicious meal, and just enjoy a beautiful day outside surrounded by native plants (albeit in
pots!). A heartfelt thank you to the many of you who made this happen. A special thanks to the Triad Chapter who organized the event, Ken Bridle for the morning program on Trees, Larry Mellichamp for leading the auction, and for all those plant donations from you which enabled our Society to raise $3,616 in plant sales.

Native Plants Right to Work Act

Additionally, we increased our efforts to identify and advocate on local conservation issues (such as the passage of SB628, the Native Plants Right to Work Act) and to build relationships with other organizations who align with our mission.

Plant Gallery Database

It is such an exciting time as we continue to improve and find new ways for spreading the word about native plants. We have added many new photographs to our Plant Gallery Database and added new content to our website and social media venues.

Newsletter Task Force

Currently we are in the process of finding an alternative method of delivering our wonderful newsletter to enable us to reach a broader audience. The Newsletter Task Force has been working hard on this project this summer researching possible new formats and identifying members with the right set of skills to implement the new newsletter. We will not have an official newsletter this Fall due to this transition but we look forward with excitement to this new version of our Society’s beloved newsletter.

NC Piedmont Landscaping Booklet and Brochure

We are thrilled to have some newly created regional informational resources – the NC Piedmont Landscaping booklet and brochure which highlights many of our favorite Piedmont native plants. These beautifully designed resources serve as an informative guide and will be distributed to County Extension offices, Society Chapters, landscapers, and Piedmont State Parks, and at various Society events. Many thanks to Diane Laslie, Larry Mellichamp, Ann Walter-Fromson, Lisa Gould, Paula LaPoint, and Judy West as well as Will Stuart and others who contributed plant photos to produce these attractive educational resources.

Central Coastal Plain Chapter

It is through Society Chapters that we best carry out our mission to promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats through education, protection, cultivation, and advocacy. We are happy for the formation of a new chapter this past February-the Central Coastal Plain Chapter co-chaired by Anna Helvie, Carol Peoples and Dale Tilson. In just a handful of months this chapter has jumped into action with monthly in-person and/or zoom meetings, a seed swap, supported a local community garden’s plant sale, a hike in the Croatan National Forest, manned an information booth at a farmers’/artisans’ market, and set up a Facebook page with the Facebook group soon to follow. Wow! Thank you so much for all your efforts for engaging members and promoting native plants in your region.

Looking forward, our annual year-end giving campaign this year will focus on the B. W. Wells Stewardship Fund. These grants support efforts by community organizations to restore and maintain natural plant communities, install native plant gardens, and educate people about native plants and their habitats. Recipients of BW Wells grants are determined and dedicated volunteers working to restore our precious urban green spaces and protect our existing natural communities. Read more here watch the NCNPS Facebook page this fall as we highlight some of these green heroes and learn how BW Wells grants helped their projects succeed.

Spring Hike

Plans have also been in the works for our Spring Hike for the weekend of April 29-May 1, 2022 to the Great Smokey Mountains of NC. Please save the dates and keep your fingers crossed that COVID will allow this popular gathering of our Society members to become a reality.

Open Positions – Need Volunteers

We are grateful for all the past, present and future efforts from our members to enable us to carry out our Society’s mission at both the local and state level. You have always stepped-up-to-the-plate when duty called. As our society grows, so does the Board – here is a link to current board openings we are hoping to fill soon. This is a great time to take a more active role on the NCNPS board of directors


We are simply awed with all the talent, skill sets, passion, and native plant knowledge that our membership possesses. Can you imagine what we could accomplish for our beloved native plants if we can harness all of that? Engagement will be a prime focus moving forward this year. We all understand how busy everyone is so understand the hesitancy for big commitments, but there are so many ways to contribute your time and talents in small bursts throughout the year. This is such a great time to get involved so be on the look-out for emails, or announcements on our society website and/or our other social media venues, for various opportunities where you can get involved.

We are all here for the same end goal and we are so much stronger together. This is your society!

– Presidential Steering Task Force

North Carolina Native Plant Soiety