Native Plant Society celebrates 25th anniversary 

In 1981, a group of biologists and botanists met at Blackwater Falls to discuss the lack of concern for protecting rare plants and the disastrous number of non-native species in the state.  As a result of the meeting, the group established the West Virginia Native Plant Society whose mission is to promote the preservation and conservation of the state’s native plants and to teach the public about the value of native plant communities.

Over the years, the group has taken botanical field trips throughout the state, documenting rare plants and filing the information with the West Virginia University Herbarium.  The group has also sponsored numerous workshops, including those to identify flowering plants, ferns and bryophytes. 

Today’s membership includes a diverse group of professional, student and amateur nature lovers who continue to promote conservation and education with a variety of programs as the nonprofit organization celebrates its 25th anniversary. 

Recent projects include volunteers in Morgantown establishing a butterfly garden.  The Kanawha Valley Native Plant Society, one of two local chapters, transformed the lawn of the South Charleston Public Library into a native plant garden with the help of area students.  The Eastern Panhandle NPS raised awareness of invasive plants with a program entitled SNIPS – Save our Natives from Invasive Plant Species.  The group, which has since disbanded, organized field trips to eradicate invasive plants with the help of local groups, including the Master Gardeners, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.  The Tri-State Chapter of the NPS sponsors monthly field trips exploring areas of interest in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.  The chapter also sponsors a winter lecture series at Marshall University which this year will begin November 16 and run through April 2007.

For more information on activities and membership, visit the Web site at www.wvnps.org.