Small but mighty, the VNPS rose up with spirit to meet the challenges of 2017. The members of our Society did not sit around eating bonbons and gnashing teeth over discouraging events last year. Well, maybe there was some gnashing of teeth . . . but in the end, dedicated people got out and got going, and we can be proud of the many accomplishments achieved 2017.
Our year was capped off with the remarkable last-minute award by the state of Virginia to our Society for the purchase of a significant piece of property adjacent to the Mount Joy Natural Area. One hundred and forty acres will now be protected and restored in a place that includes threatened species, 8,000 feet of headwaters streams and the rare sinkhole pond habitat. The whole story of how the grant application came together is a testament to the True Grit of our members. Keyboards on fire late into the night, new apps, new ideas, minds (and feet!) stretching into unknown territory. Watch for the story in the next Sempervirens.
View/download a list of projects and organizations, including VNPS, which received awards through the DuPont Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration initiative.
And how to blow the trumpet loudly enough for a RECORD BREAKING FUNDRAISER! Last spring, our partners at the Virginia Natural Heritage Program informed us that they had come to the conclusion that preservation of the largest portions of land, contiguous if at all possible, was the single most potent tool for effective preservation of species and functioning ecosystems. They
needed help in being ready to purchase lands at a moments notice. The VNPS Board lost no time in decision-making for the Fundraiser of 2017. Our members seconded the decision with their dollars and their hope for the future. As of today, $33,574.11 has been raised to help directly with the purchase of land. Our Campaign will not close with the end of the year, if you haven’t had a chance to contribute, you still can! Donate for land acquisition through this link, or go to our website’s homepage: VNPS.org
As a Society, and within individual chapters, our members worked to put on and to sell out our Winter Workshop and a Tri-State Native Plant Conference. We provided hundreds of – dare we say it? Yes! Science-based programs that the public was thirsting for. We worked:
- in Richmond to educate legislators (land use, pesticides, pollinators, invasives)
- with the VNLA, (Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association), to promote use of natives and to get their help with passing reasonable laws to curb sales of invasives
- with the DOT, (Department of Transportation), to plant pollinator gardens and Waystations
- with the PEC, (Piedmont Environmental Council), to develop guidelines for using natives along roadsides – more info coming soon
- with the Blue Ridge PRISM, (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management), to get help for homeowners with invasive control
- with many local communities to provide education and to help with native gardens
- to sponsor or participate in the sales of native plants to local communities
- to collaborate with the NPCC, (Native Plant Conservation Campaign), contributing to efforts for the Botany Bill and the ongoing Seed Strategy – more info coming soon!
- to award $15,000 to deserving projects engaged in native plant research
And of course, our members took delight in getting out into the field, reveling in the beauty, the mystery and the magic of being out with the plants, and being constantly amazed at the clever ways they adapt to their environments.
Proud to be a member of this outstanding group of people: Bring it on 2018!