The Colorado Native Plant Society has endless opportunities to participate in our activities, from running interpretive field hikes for the education of the public to writing book reviews for our newsletter and bookstore. Scan down through the many opportunities and join us in our efforts to protect Colorado's wonderful flora.
The Annual Conference
If you enjoy working with other people, being creative, or planning events, our annual conference committee is the perfect committee for you.. Volunteers are always needed to help choose the theme for the conference, set up venues and refreshments and find exciting speakers. Within the conference we organize an evening social, poster sessions and a silent auction. And at the conference we need volunteers to help staff tables, work projectors and computers, help coordinate food, coordinate field trips, introduce speakers, and staff the registration table. Contact the annual meeting committee if you would like to help.
The conference is organized and run by the Annual Conference Committee.
Board of Directors
The board of directors of CoNPS meets three to five times a year, currently at the Regis University Library in Denver. Voting members at the meetings include board members, chapter presidents and committee chairs. Since many of our members are spread out across the state, several participate in meetings by speaker phone. All meetings are open to CoNPS members and we encourage you to attend. There are always lively topics to discuss and vote on and refreshments are provided for your pleasure.
Serve on the Board of Directors
Not all of the conservation programs require you to go out into the wild lands of the west and battle thunderstorms and bears to plant willows along a stream denuded by grazing cattle. We also do more civilized things requiring the use of your brain rather than your back.
A small group of dedicated conservationists review the strategic plans and management plans of local, state and federal officials and write public comment to represent the Society in these important matters. In 2014 we commented on a variety of issues from the management plan at Pueblo Reservoir to the State Wildlife Action Plan. If you like to read government planning documents (!), and like to write, you might enjoy this project.
We also write a quarterly column for our Society newsletter Aquilegia. The column is called Conservation Corner and the sky is the limit on the weird and wonderful things we write about, from the similarities between the Front Range of Colorado and Nantucket, Massachusetts, to what it's like to write a Colorado Flora. If you have some conservation interest and like to write, join us!
These programs are run by the Conservation Committee.
Education of the Public
One of the major goals of the society is to educate the public about Colorado's native plants and their habitats. A great group of dedicated volunteers do this in a variety of ways. They run collaborative events to extoll the virtues of our native flora, they create slide presentations, lesson plans for schools, staff educational booths at events, serve as speakers at meetings and they lead interpretive hikes for schools and adults alike. Lots of enthusiastic volunteers are needed to help in these activities.
This program is run by the Education and Outreach Committee.
This tab will take you to their latest education and outreach activities.
Over the years, the Society has done many BioBlitzes and other species inventories of special places in Colorado. Documenting plant species in different habitats is an important aspect of native plant conservation. If you don't know what's there, there is no way you can effectively conserve it. So, an important role of the Society is to maintain records of all the species documented by our activities and to make these plant lists available as widely as possible.
Starting this year, we have been recording the species lists of all of our BioBlitzes, field trips and field workshops on SEINet. SEINet is "a data portal created to serve as a gateway to distributed data resources of interest to the environmental research community". It contains most of the herbarium collections in the Rocky Mountain West, and those collections as well as the plant database is connected to the species lists that we are currently loading into their database. SEINet is an incredibly wonderful resource. Go to our Plants and Habitats page for information on how to use this site.
If you love organizing lists of plants, playing with databases, preparing plant photos for web distribution, or in general consider yourself a "plant data geek", this is the place for you.
This program is run by the Field Studies Committee..
Native Plant Gardening
Another important role that our volunteers play is communicating with Colorado gardeners about the ecological benefits of using locally native plants in their gardens. These volunteers promote the propagation and sale of native plants and with other CoNPS Committees and encourage the use of native plants in landscaping.
In order to accomplish this task, they produce and update information on native plant gardening, like our most recent addition, Native plants for Pollinators. They also present topics on Native plant education, and lists of Native Plant Vendors. Lots of volunteers are needed to help in the crusade for native plants.
These programs are run by the Horticulture Committee.
Another important role that our volunteers play is communicating with nurseries, seed suppliers, landscape architects, and government agencies about the ecological benefits of using locally native plants in landscaping, restoration and revegetation projects. These volunteers promote the propagation and sale of native plants and with other CoNPS Committees, encourage the use of native plants in landscaping and restoration. They also watch for and protest against the introduction of invasive, non-native species.
In order to accomplish this task, they produce and update information on lists of Native Plant Vendors and have a variety of Restoration Topics to educate the public about using native plants in restoration. Lots of volunteers are needed to help in the crusade for native plants.
These programs are run by the Restoration Committee.
Ever since the founding of the Society in 1976, the Colorado Native Plant Society Newsletter (now called Aquilegia) has been published on a quarterly basis. All of the issues are stored in the Regis University Library but Regis is moving the system so it is currently down but when it comes back up we will supply the link. In order to obtain interesting content and a beautiful presentation, the publication always needs fresh volunteers as
Writers for articles about plant profiles
book and media reviews
As well as photographers, and reporters for annual meeting programs and field trips.
In addition, we produce a calendar of our photo contest winners each year and volunteers are needed to review the photographs, as well as enter the contest themselves!
We need volunteers to help us with reviewing applications for CoNPS Scholarships. These scholarships are available to anyone who wishes to participate in CoNPS activities but are unable to afford the cost.
This activity is run by the Scholarships Committee
The Society has three grants which are give out every year. The John Marr fund provides grants for research on Colorado native plants, The Myrna Steinkamp funds grants for Colorado rare plants, and the Mission Fund supports other grant requests the the Society receives. The Marr and Steinkamp grants deadlines are on February 17 and the grants are announced on April 3. The Mission Grant deadlines are March 1 and August 1. All of these grants need volunteers to review approve awards.
The granting process is run by the Research Committee