The mission of the Kansas Native Plant Society is to encourage awareness and appreciation of the native plants of Kansas in their habitats and in our landscapes by promoting education, stewardship, and scientific knowledge.
The Kansas Native Plant Society (KNPS) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. It was organized in 1978 as the Kansas Wildflower Society (KWS) to make people more aware of the beauty and value of our state's native wildflowers. In 2004, the "Wildflower" was replaced with "Native Plant" in our name to more accurately reflect the spectrum of plants we study and promote and to put more focus on our indigenous flora.
The Kansas Native Plant Society (KNPS) educates the public about Kansas plants – wildflowers, grasses, trees, shrubs, and lesser known groups, including sedges, rushes, liverworts, mosses, and ferns. These plants are encountered in the state’s prairies, woodlands, and wetlands, from the Ozark Plateau in the southeast to the High Plains in the northwest. We focus on our native plants but the introduced plants are also noted.
KNPS sponsored wildflower walks are our most popular venue for sharing knowledge about wildflowers and other plants with the public. People who attend learn plant identification, are made aware of uses of the plants by people and animals, and enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of our native flora – all in the friendly atmosphere of other plant-lovers. See wildflower walks and other plant-related events on our events calendar.
Our educational resources include our quarterly newsletter, the prairie patch program, a wildflower growing guide, booklet of resources for plant identification, a gardening with natives fact sheet, and an invasive plant fact sheet.
We have members who volunteer to do presentations on native plants and to lead wildflower walks. The public can request an education volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering, see our volunteer opportunities.
The society recognizes, with formal awards, those individuals and organizations that complement its mission through education, research, or the use of native plants in the landscape. Scholarships are awarded to students conducting research on native plants.
The society has standing, action, and ad hoc committees that help expedite our business. Members are encouraged to serve on committees.
The society has partnerships with organizations that help carry out our mission.
The organization has a Board of Directors and Officers that are governed by our bylaws. The Board of Directors meets four times a year. We often have an outing associated with our board meetings. We also hold an annual membership meeting in the fall and it is associated with our Annual Wildflower Weekend (AWW). Members may attend the meetings and the board meeting outings. We keep minutes from our board and membership meetings.
In the 1970's and 1980's, the Kansas Wildflower Society (KWS), which became the Kansas Native Plant Society, was sponsored by the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University in Topeka. From 1992 to 1993 sponsorship moved from the Mulvane to the R.L. McGregor Herbarium at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The R.L. McGregor Herbarium serves as the archive for KWS/KNPS files, holding all of the past minutes, newsletters, and official documents. It also provides a point of contact for the public and provides basic administrative functions for the organization.
KNPS Files contain our logo for use in printing materials.