Our History

Kansas Wildflower Society
1978 - 2004

Kansas Native Plant Society
2004 - present

A Summary of 40+ Years of Accomplishments

By Craig Freeman (excerpted from Kansas Native Plant Society Newsletter, October 2018)

  • Estimated 5000 total members since 1978
  • Paid memberships during past twelve years has averaged about 730 per year
  • Principal vehicle by which the organization historically has communicated with members
  • Published four times annually since 1979
  • Hundreds of articles that document the history of KNPS, describe the flora and vegetation of Kansas and the Great Plains, and provide horticultural advice
  • PDFs of issues from 2003-2018 available online; also some older issues
Website and Social Media
  • Website since 1999 – contains a wealth of information and serves as an archive for some historical materials
  • Facebook page since 2010 – essential for engaging a new generation of wildflower enthusiasts
Annual Meeting
  • Annual meeting has evolved from a one-day meeting (1979-1993) to a two-day meeting (1994-2003) and most recently a three-day meeting (2004-2018)
  • Christened Annual Wildflower Weekend in 2007
  • More activities added (e.g., outings, photo contest, silent auction) to engage more members and to help support KNPS
Education and Outreach
  • Sponsored or co-sponsored more than 1000 outings across the state from Atchison County to Morton County
  • 1990 chartered bus trip to the Cimarron National Grassland • 2003 van trip to Nebraska Sand Hills
  • KNPS members authored or co-authored two pocket guides distributed by Great Plains Nature Center
    • Flint Hills Wildflowers and Grasses – Iralee Barnard
    • Red Hills Wildflowers – Phyllis Scherich
  • State Grass Initiative
    • Introduced children and adults to the prairie, prairie plants, and the legislative process
    • Lead by Nancy Goulden and Valerie Wright with assistance from other KNPS members
    • Promoted via online resources and presentation
    • Little bluestem named state grass of Kansas by Kansas Legislature on July 1, 2010
Scholarships and Awards
  • Mary A. Bancroft Scholarship Award (1998-2017):
    • $12,000 in twelve years
    • Seventeen students (2 BA, 11 MA, 4 PhD; from seven colleges and universities)
  • Stephen L. Timme Excellence in Botany Award (2001-2018):
    • Twelve recipients, including amateurs and professionals
  • Rachel Snyder Memorial Landscape Award (1991-2018):
    • Thirteen recipient organizations and individuals from across state
  • Sheldon and Virginia Cohen Memorial Award for Service to KNPS (2008-2018):
    • Twelve recipients making lasting impacts on KNPS through service
Wildflower of the Year
  • KNPS has promoted a Kansas Wildflower of the Year since 1999
  • Intended to increase public awareness of native plants and use of native plants in landscapes and gardens
  • KNPS has promoted stewardship of natural resources and native vegetation in a variety of ways
  • Growing Native Wildflowers publication
  • KDOT Roadside Aesthetic Taskforce
  • Kansas Nongame Wildlife Advisory Council
  • Plant vendor list
  • Invasive plants list
Research and Discovery
  • Members have contributed to basic science
  • Rare and declining species
  • Invasive species
  • Phenological observations
  • Data and specimens have improved databases, monographs, and floras