The Metro-Denver Chapter welcomes everyone, members and non-members, to attend its free programs and field trips.
The Metro-Denver Colorado Native Plant Society (CoNPS) Chapter is dedicated to furthering the knowledge, appreciation and conservation of native plants and habitats of Colorado through education, stewardship and advocacy. Our Chapter is committed to adhere to our mission through the connection between people and plants.
Positioned in one of the most diverse geographic regions of the state, our Chapter believes our native plants are as diverse as our community. We recognize that conservation of plant diversity is best advanced by contributions of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and cultures. We value the excitement, knowledge, and expertise of all our members. It is our goal to expand the diversity of our membership, our leadership team, and our choice of other organizations and coalitions as partners.
Our intention is to welcome members into our Chapter without limitation on age, color, disability, gender identity and gender expression, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation and other characteristics protected by law. Increasing access to the diversity of human experience through inclusion and outreach will help us celebrate our native plant heritage and preserve that heritage for future generations. Our Chapter aims to better serve our community and attract dedicated supporters of conservation and education as members and leaders. A wide ranging collection of perspectives and approaches is necessary to fully enjoy the natural world and to meet current and emerging challenges impacting native plants and their habitats, and impacting our society.
The Metro-Denver Chapter Leadership Team (2021).
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS:
We welcome everyone, from professional botanists and horticulturists to amateurs. If you’re new to Colorado or just learning about our wonderful flora, don’t be intimidated by sometimes complex terminology. CoNPS offers opportunities to learn about botany and plant identification. Our goal is to appeal to everyone through various learning opportunities at meetings as well as through classroom workshops and seasonal field trips geared to various levels of expertise.
Although Colorado has approximately 3000 different species of native and alien plants belonging to over 150 families – before you start feeling overwhelmed, concentrate on learning the major families since 75% of taxa (plant species) fall into major families. Everyone knows the sunflower family (Asteraceae) for instance, so build on what you know and HAVE FUN!
Roxboro State Park, Douglas County, Photo by Mo Ewing
Click on tab to get more information.
General On-line Resources
- USDA Plants Database
- Native Plant Master Program
- Southern Rocky Mountain Seed Network
- Denver Botanic Gardens
- Colorado Weed Management Assoc.
- Bringing Nature Home - Home Grown Natl. Parks
- Southern Rockies Fire Science Network
- The Prairie Ecologist
- The CO Land Conservation Assistance Network
- Biological Soil Crusts
- Conservation Webinars
- Forest & Rangeland Stewardship Webinars
- Native Plants for Birds
(USDA Plants Database) (you can enter a plant name, either Scientific or Common Name into Google search and this generally takes you to USDA Database and shows plant photo and distribution info)
SEINET is a terrific website which documents all of the species collected by herbaria in the western states. There are lots of interesting things that you can do on Seinet, but two of the most useful are the ability to create species lists of plants in any location of your choice, and also to create a dynamic key (sometimes called an interactive key) of the plants in a specific location. We have created a 7 minute video tutorial, How To Create Species Lists and Dynamic Keys on SEINET to teach you how to use this useful tool.
The Southern Rocky Mountain Seed Network is a developing collaborative between multiple agencies and stakeholders to help collect, produce, distribute and utilize locally appropriate native seed for disaster, rehabilitation and restoration sites across the front range. This is a very important project that is still in its early stages and is looking for professionals, partners and funders to help achieve these goals
This site gives you information about the Denver Botanic Gardens at 1007 York Street in Denver, and their Chatfield Farms at 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Road, in Littleton, Colorado
The mission of the Colorado Weed Management Program (CWMA) is to provide education, regulatory direction, professional improvement, and environmental awareness to preserve and protect our natural resources from the degrading impacts of invasive species (terrestrial and aquatic vegetation) in Colorado and surrounding states.
This site features a call-to-action by Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, to restore biodiversity by planting native plants in the places where we live. He as coined a term “Home Grown National Parks” to describe his goals.
“Our National Parks, no matter how grand in scale are too small and separated from one another to preserve species to the levels needed. Thus, the concept for Homegrown National Park, a bottom-up call-to-action to restore habitat where we live and work, and to a lesser extent where we farm and graze, extending national parks to our yards and communities.”
The Prairie Ecologist – This is a blog by Chris Helzer, The Nature Conservancy’s Director of Science in Nebraska and author of “The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States” and “Hidden Prairie: Photographing Life in One Square Meter”, both published by the University of Iowa press. He has a vast knowledge of prairie ecosystems, and also does wonderful nature photography.
The Colorado Land Conservation Assistance Network (Land CAN for short)- helps people connect to land and energy conservation resources to make sustainable decisions.
Conservation Webinars is another webinar library with several conservation topics
The Forest and Rangeland Stewardship department of Warner CNR at CSU is offering a spring webinar series for 2021. To attend, sign up for the webinar email list and press submit. It will take you to a “page not found” error, but it will be submitted!
From the website: “ this series focuses on historically underrepresented communities who have always protected, defended and cared for our lands. A variety of scholars, professionals and leaders will share long-held generational knowledge and harmony with land stewardship. These webinars intend to sell new seeds of thought and understanding into our collective consciousness. Embracing all natural resource perspectives and practices will lead our disciplines forward into a more just, equitable and inclusive present and future.“
“Native Plants for Birds” by Denver Audubon and CoNPS discusses how you can help native birds by planting native plants. It gives you tips on gardening, lists specific native plants that will attract and support particular bird species.
Resources to Help You Identify Plants and Pollinators
Eastern Colorado Wildflowers website is Ernie Marks’s wonderful wildflower site Eastern Colorado Wildflowers contains photographs and information for over 525 plant species growing east of the Continental Divide in Colorado. Species listed in Weber and Wittmann’s Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope, 3rd Edition are included. The site includes search capabilities to help you identify Colorado wildflowers.
CoNPS life member Al Schneider has created a terrific website, Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, which contains extensive photographs, descriptions and location maps of the wildflowers, ferns and trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. It contains extensive search capabilities.
Butterflies and Moths of North America is is an ambitious effort to collect, store, and share species information and occurrence data. You can participate by taking and submitting photographs of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars. The site provides assistance in identifying the species that you photograph.
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. As a science-based organization, they both conduct their own research and rely upon the most up-to-date information to guide their conservation work. Their key program areas are: pollinator conservation, endangered species conservation, and reducing pesticide use and impacts.
Native Plant Gardening Information
Species Lists from Metro-Denver Field Trips
Field Trip Species List of Castlewood Canyon State Park with Audrey Spencer and Suzanne Dingwell, May 1. 2021
Field Trip Species List of Clear Creek Canyon with Tom Schweich, May 24, 2021
Species list of Green Mountain field trip with Tom Zeiner, May 24, 2021.
Field Trip species list ofMatthews-Winters Park with Tom Zeiner, June 2, 2021
The Highline Canal
he High Line Canal is an important natural area which runs right through the center of Denver. The trail is 73 miles long, running from Chatfield Reservoir to Aurora. Recently, the Denver Botanical Gardens conducted an inventory of the native and exotic plants along the canal and identified 452 species. They have created this wonderful report which is a fun read.
BOOKS (these and many more available through CoNPS website bookstore)
Alpine Flower Finder, by Loraine Yeatts (pocket size; illustrated).
Rocky Mtn Flower Finder, by Janet Wingate, (pocket size; illustrated).
Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield complete keys for amateurs & pros
Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel (patterns of plant families – illustrated