or to ask for more information!
NANPS is a volunteer-operated organization. Virtually everything we achieve is through the efforts of volunteers. The more assistance offered by our members, the more we can accomplish together. If you have some time to give...even just occasionally...please look through the following list of tasks or come up with some ideas of your own on how you can help. We have a range of activities, some requiring special expertise and many that you can join in with just your energy and enthusiasm. Work alone at home or join a committee...but join! To find out more, contact NANPS
A small, dedicated group of volunteers manages NANPS. The Board of Directors is elected by the membership each October at NANPS Annual General Meeting. New Directors may be appointed by the Board at other times during the year. NANPS Officers include: the President, Vice President, Secretary & Treasurer. These positions are elected by the Board. The Board meets monthly for about 3 hours from September to May and for a full day planning session each June. Between meetings, information is exchanged primarily via email. Internet access is highly recommended for persons interested in joining the Board. In addition to Board meetings, Directors are asked to participate in at least one committee or special project. It is not essential to have an in-depth knowledge of native plants, but some management or administrative experience is encouraged. A three year commitment is requested.
NANPS offers several annual awards: The Paul McGaw Memorial Conservation Award, Volunteer of the Year Award and the Garden/Restoration Award. The Committee is responsible for garnering nominations and submitting recommendations to the Board of Directors, as well as arranging appropriate commemoratives for the award recipients. The Committee may also assess and approach potential Directors for recommendation to the Board of Directors. Nominations are also accepted directly from the NANPS membership.
Related volunteer activities may include researching the activities of other groups and individuals, selecting appropriate commemoratives or creating presentations/displays.
Public education is a key purpose of NANPS. The Education Committee researches appropriate methods of delivering information about native plant issues to the general public and NANPS membership.
Related volunteer activities may include: creating marketing campaigns, writing new information sheets and booklets, designing or setting up displays at appropriate venues, staffing booths, creating quizzes and activities for various events, recommending venues (ie. display booths at gardening/environmental shows etc), updating NANPS media contact list and writing media releases and advertising for NANPS events.
The spring sale is usually NANPS largest annual event. In addition to raising the bulk of NANPS operating funds, it introduces thousands of native species to GTA area gardens and provides an opportunity to showcase native flora to a wider audience. Offering in excess of 400 species of native perennials, ferns, grasses, shrubs and trees, the event also features information booths from other related groups, hundreds of books & magazines, and an array of interesting and informative speakers. This is the largest native plant sale in Canada. Planning and implementing it takes hundreds of hours of volunteer time starting eight months before the actual sale date. The committee oversees the sale organization, arranges for speakers and volunteers and works with the Education & Publicity Committee to publicize the event and create new displays and handouts for the sale.
Related volunteer activities include: setup (day before sale), table staffing, cube van drivers and loaders (to collect plants from growers), website updates, contacting growers, display creation, information sheet creation, photography (during sale or for displays) and staffing booths after the sale to find homes for unsold plants.
NANPS currently owns two conservation properties: Shining Tree Woods in the Carolinian zone of southern Ontario, and Zinkan Cove on the west shore of the Bruce Peninsula, on Lake Huron. Both these properties offer unique challenges. Shining Tree Woods is home to a number of rare species, including its namesake, the Cucumber Magnolia or Shining Tree. Zinkan Cove is an alvar property and designated ANSI (Area of Natural or Scientific Interest). It is co-managed by the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy, which holds an environmental easement on the land.
The Land Management Committee is responsible for ensuring that these properties are protected and for investigating opportunities to expand NANPS land holdings.
Related volunteer activities may include: site management, invasives monitoring/eradication, species identification and cataloguing, fundraising, volunteer coordination, seed collection and propagation, signage design, real estate and legal advice.
Fundraising is essential to every charity and NANPS is no exception. This Committee is responsible for applying for grants, creating new fundraising opportunities and coordinating donation appeals.
Related volunteer activities may include researching funding sources, finding/creating NANPS merchandise, graphics design, letter-writing, telephoning, bookkeeping, and contacting individuals and corporations for donations of goods and services.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of NANPS. Finding, training and managing volunteers is a job unto itself, and far more than any single volunteer can handle effectively. This committee works closely with NANPS other committees, communicates with volunteers and other organizations that work with NANPS, creates training manuals and training sessions for various activities, researches NANPS obligations, legal and insurance requirements with respect to volunteer activities, and coordinates the volunteer needs of all other committees.
Related Volunteer activities may include becoming a volunteer, legal advice, administration, training other volunteers, arranging seminars, writing, telephoning, creating volunteer recognition promotions.
NANPS has a continental mandate and www.nanps.org provides the best opportunity of reaching such a wide audience. Help NANPS communicate with more people like you by creating fresh and informative content.
Related volunteer activities include: graphic design, photography, artwork, research/writing, updating sections of the website from your location.
NANPS seed exchange provides members with an economical and ethical way to grow indigenous species. The Committee is responsible for encouraging seed donations, obtaining phytosanitary certificates for cross-border orders and setting standards for seed dissemination. NANPS is a regular exhibitor at Seedy Saturday events around Ontario.
Related volunteer activities may include updating our online seed list, researching seed germination techniques, seed cleaning and repackaging, labeling & shipping seeds and promoting native plants and the seed exchange at various venues. Volunteers may also be asked to test-germinate seeds from time-to-time or to grow plants for our annual spring sale.
Unfortunately, established native plants are all too often endangered by development. As a last resort, when efforts to maintain the original habitat have failed, plant rescue may be undertaken. This committee assesses areas available for plant salvages, obtains permission to access the property, oversees the salvage operation, and arranges for volunteers. For rescue operations outside of the GTA, the Committee maintains contact with local groups and assists as feasible. The Committee also coordinates activities at NANPS restoration project, Charlie Clifford Park, and the listing of other restoration opportunities.
Related volunteer activities may include conducting on-site plant surveys, salvaging plants, potting or replanting, species identification, and maintaining contact with groups and individuals operating restorations/salvages across North America.
Visiting natural areas is a fun and interesting way to expand your knowledge of native plant communities. NANPS generally arranges at least two excursions for its members every year, frequently chartering buses or arranging car pools to conservation areas. Past excursions have included trips to New Mexico, Manitoulin Island and to several woodlands, prairies, alvars and wetlands.
Related volunteer activities may include investigating transportation and accommodations, finding knowledgeable tour guides, researching excursion locations, designing posters or other advertising modes, telephoning, and tracking participants.
A relatively new committee, struck to assist native plant gardeners facing regulatory restrictions in some urban areas. The goal of this committee is to create a model bylaw to be proposed in municipalities that have yet to update bylaws & ordinances that have been used to disallow ecologically-oriented gardens and to provide some guidance to persons fighting charges against their gardens.
Related volunteer activities may include negotiating with municipal officials, offering legal advice, writing and telephoning, photographing affected properties, creating visual displays and presentations, circulating petitions, writing articles and contacting the media.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) Caterpillar
on Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Photo credit: John Oyston, Oak Hills Farm