The Orange County Chapter of The California Native Plant Society provides speakers on the topic of native plants.

OCCNPS is a non-profit organization of volunteers devoted to the conservation of California’s native plants and their natural habitats, and to increasing the understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of our native plants. Through our activities we fund native plant outreach efforts, research and educational grants, field studies, symposium, conservation efforts and other important work.

Our programs are best suited for groups with an interest in California native plants, local natural history, the outdoors and similar topics. Because our programs are presented by volunteers, availability varies. Please inquire with your program preference, but also include one or two alternatives where possible.

Our requested donation helps fund our outreach, conservation and education efforts and helps to offset the travel costs of our speaker’s.

For more information or to schedule a presentation please contact us.

Our current program offerings:

Students are often looking for ways to get experience with native plants or ways to get involved and ways to learn more about our flora. Sometimes these interests arise out of a senior school project, a scout project, a community service interest or simply out of an interest in our natural world.

However the source of the interest, here are some ways that students and other young individuals can get native plant experience and get involved:

Field Trips: OC CNPS conducts native plant field trips in Orange County and nearby areas. Interested students can assist by helping to record the species seen, helping with sign-ins and registration, writing a post-trip report and in other ways. Learn about our field trip program on our Explore page and contact us by sending a note to the Field Trip Committee Chair at .

Invasive Plant Management: OC CNPS is a leader in the early detection and management of many invasive plants in Orange County. Invasive plants are one of the greatest threats to the health of our native flora and natural areas. Periodically, we organize invasive plant Weed Pulls in various places around the county. Learn more about our Emergent Invasive Plant Program at our Invasive Plant section and get involved by inquiring to .

Annual Home Garden Tour: During this one-day annual event native plant experts open up their home gardens for the public to enjoy. You may be able to help by hosting a garden, helping with ticket sales, check-ins, some garden work, etc. To volunteer or get more information send a note to the Committee Chair, Sarah Jayne, at

Orange County Chapter CNPS Grants

The Charlie O’Neill Grant

The Orange County CNPS chapter established the Charlie O’Neill Grant in 1993 to honor the late Charlie O’Neill, OC-CNPS President from 1990-1992 and a highly inspirational member of the chapter. This grant is awarded to graduate students for field research related to southern California native plants.

The Charlie O’Neill Grant is awarded annually to a graduate or junior/senior-level undergraduate student planning to conduct field research related to biology, ecology, floristics, taxonomy, ethnobotany, of native plants. Awards range from $500 to $1000 based on the number of suitable applicants and the relative quality and merit of their proposals. Grant awards are presented as a lump sum award at project begin and may cover items such as supplies, equipment, and travel costs not covered by other sources of funding and include a one-year membership with CNPS.  By accepting funding, grant recipients agree to provide a one paragraph synopsis of their work to be posted on the OC-CNPS website upon begin of the project and a copy of the final project results, in the form of a report, thesis, dissertation or newsletter article. Any publication should include acknowledgement of Orange County CNPS. If the project is of strong local interest, the grant recipient may be invited to present their work at the Orange County local chapter meeting.                                                      

Application Format

Applicants should submit a cover letter and proposal to for review.  The proposal should be 3-5 pages in length include the following sections: Abstract (or Project Summary), Introduction, Goals and Objectives, Methods, and Budget (total requested and otherwise funded cost estimate). 

Review Process and Selection Criteria

Applications must be submitted by Friday December 16th in order to be considered for funding. Proposals will be reviewed by committee and applicants will be notified as to whether they have been selected for funding by January 30th

Selection will be based on each proposal's completeness, technical quality, consistency with CNPS goals, intended use of funds, local relevance, and likelihood of completion. All proposals considered for funding must directly support or be consistent with the mission of CNPS, which is to ”conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants." Preference will be given to proposals including study of species occurring within Orange County and its environs.  If the review committee concludes that no proposal meets selection criteria, then the grantaward may be suspended until the following year.

PDF version of this description

To apply for one of these grants, please email .

2016 Charlie O’Neill Grant is Awarded!

We are happy to report that Shannon Lynch, graduate student from UC Santa Cruz, has been selected to receive our full $1000 O'Neill Grant to work on Fusarium infections in native trees of Orange County.

It is hoped her work will help advance basic research on the threat of Fusarium dieback (caused in part by the notorious Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer) to the riparian and oak woodland habitats throughout Southern California.

Also, Thanks to our Chapter’s esteemed review committee: Bob Allen, Jutta Burger, Celia Kutcher, Fred Roberts, and Ron Vanderhoff in helping guide the grant process.



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