North Coast Chapter of the
California Native Plant Society

California native wildflowers The California Native Plant Society is a nonprofit organization of amateur and professional plant enthusiasts dedicated to the preservation of California native flora. Membership is open to all and includes a subscription to the quarterly journal, Fremontia and the CNPS North Coast Chapter newsletter. The North Coast Chapter CNPS includes Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and the western half of Siskiyou county. Chapter business meetings are held September through May - a new time and location will be announced. Public programs are held on the second Wednesday of each month at the Arcata Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Road in Arcata. Mixer at 7 pm followed by the program at 7:30. No charge - all are welcome. (The times and locations of summer meetings are announced on the web site.)

Read Liz McGee's article on the history of the North Coast Chapter that was printed in the April 2003 issue of Fremontia.

Western Lily Work Days -
   Photo by Dave Imper

The North Coast Chapter CNPS program is wide-ranging and offers something for anyone who enjoys native plants, cool people and interesting places throughout Northwest California. The North Coast Chapter conducts regular field trips and invites speakers to share their knowledge at monthly meetings. In addition, the Chapter conducts native plant sales in the Spring and Fall.

Here is a quick list of some of the things we've been involved in lately: A trip around our web site will tell you more.

Dunes of Humboldt Bay
      region -- Photo
      by Andrea Pickart According to the most common definition, native plants are those that were present in the landscape before the arrival of European settlers in California.

Black Lassic --
     Lassics Botanical Area Preserving Biodiversity -- One of the costs of human development is the destruction of native plant communities. When we use native plants in our gardens, we not only promote the survival of these species, but also restore, at least in part, a damaged habitat. Other organisms indigenous to the area depend on these habitats for food and shelter. By incorporating natives in our gardens, we support a whole complement of beings.

Reducing/Eliminating Use of Pesticides -- Many native plants do not suffer from the diseases and pests that plague traditional ornamentals. Because natives are adapted to their local environment, they are not weakened by stressful, alien growing conditions. They often have developed defense mechanisms against insects and diseases common in their habitats. Both of these factors result in less need to use pesticides.

Native Plants Require Less Maintenance -- Because California is such a vast and varied region, its native plants have adapted to a broad spectrum of growing conditions. Be it desert or sub-alpine meadow, oak woodland or coastal dune, virtually any habitat can support at least a few California natives. By working with nature, the day to day maintenance of the garden is greatly reduced. Once each native plant has become established in its appropriate environment, there should be no need to water or fertilize it. Natives often grow more slowly than traditional garden plants, thus reducing the need to prune, mow or divide. By carefully planning your native garden, you can have a low-maintenance landscape that looks attractive year round.

Native Plants Require Less Water -- Native plants have adapted to the amount of water nature provides in their environment. When we grow plants native to our area, we are growing plants that need little or no supplemental watering. Even if we wish to extend the bloom time of certain natives into summer and autumn by providing water during the "dry season," much less water is required than if we were trying to keep traditional garden plants in flower and thirsty lawns green.

Many thanks to Steve Matthews and Gisela Rohde for creating and nurturing this website through its first years.


California Native Plant Society - North Coast Chapter
P.O. Box 1067 Arcata, CA 95518-1067

Last modified  03/16/06 01:23 EST