With Local Nature
- Dive into websites. For example Calscape, iNaturalist, and Calflora
- Help the UCI Herbarium transcribe their collections - and learn new plants
- Watch/listen to nature videos and podcasts. Start with,
- Doug Tallamy's 'Restoring the Little Things that Run the World'
- Jim Riley's 'Coastal Sage Scrub'
- Imagine your Dream Garden. Think Nature. Share it. Build it, even if just piece by piece.
- Plant native plants. Check hours at these nurseries with year-round inventories:
Tree of Life Nursery, inland from San Juan Capistrano near Caspers Wilderness Park
California Botanic Garden, Claremont
Theodore Payne Foundation, Sun Valley
Roger's Gardens, Newport Beach
Find more nurseries on Calscape
- What to plant now – Calscape
- Add pollinator and habitat plants –Calscape, Calflora
- Monthly garden chores
- Go for a walk
- Share photos of the native plants you see to iNaturalist or Calflora
- Learn to identify new native plants along a trail
- Hunt for high priority invasive plants in secluded areas and report them
- Visit our local OC Facebook page
- Visit our local OC Instagram page
- Visit our Native Gardener's Corner archives and learn
- Look at the wide range of California Native Plant Society work and activities
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:
Charlie O’Neill Research Grant
The Charlie O’Neill Grant was established in 1993 to honor the late Charlie O’Neill, OC-CNPS President from 1990-1992 and a highly inspirational member of the chapter.
The grant is awarded annually to graduate and undergraduate students planning to conduct field research related to biology, ecology, floristics, taxonomy or ethnobotany of native plants. Preference will be given to proposals including study of species, plant communities, etc. occurring within Orange County.
Awards range from $500 to $1000+ (up to $3,000 total annually) 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 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 prior to the distribution of funds, and a copy of the final project results, in the form of a report, thesis, dissertation, presentation or newsletter article. Any publication should include acknowledgement of Orange County CNPS. The grant recipient may be invited to present their work at an Orange County local chapter meeting.
Applicants should submit a cover letter and proposal to for review. The proposal should be 3-5 pages in length and include the following sections:
- Abstract (or Project Summary)
- Goals and Objectives
- Budget (total requested and otherwise funded cost estimate)
Review Process and Selection Criteria
Applications must be submitted by the 2nd Monday of January to be considered for funding. For 2023, the submittal deadline is extended to Friday February 24.
Proposals will be reviewed by committee and applicants will be notified as to whether they have been selected for funding by the 2nd Friday of February. For 2023, grant notifications will be delivered by March 24.
Selection will be based on each proposal's completeness, technical quality, scientific merit, and overall contribution to our understanding of local flora. All proposals considered for funding must directly support or be consistent with the mission of CNPS which is to ”protect California’s native plants and their natural habitats, today and into the future, through science, education, stewardship, gardening, and advocacy." Preference will be given to proposals with direct relevance to Orange County. If the review committee concludes that no proposal meets selection criteria, then the grant award may be suspended until the following year.
(Arceuthobium ssp.)" Mari is pursuing a master's degree in molecular biolodgy at Cal State Fullerton.
"In-vitro Cultivation: Fighting Poaching and Extinction of Vulnerable Dudleya Taxa". Kevin Alison is a Master of Conservation and Restoration Science (MCRS) candidate at U.C. Irvine.
"Plant age and precipitation alter water transport traits in Artemisia californica." Greg is a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine.
Runner Up - Keir Morse
Five O'Neill / Scholarship / Traveller Grants to the CNPS 2018 February Conservation Conference.
"Floristic studies in the San Jose Hills of Los Angeles County." Asseneth Berbeo is a student at Cal Poly Pomona.
Research on "Artemisia californica gene expression to reduced precipitation."
"Fusarium infections in native trees of Orange County". Shannon is a graduate student from UC Santa Cruz.
[Thanks to the review committee: Bob Allen, Jutta Burger, Celia Kutcher, Fred Roberts, and Ron Vanderhoff.]
Nicholas (Nick) John Jensen
Erika M. Gardner
"Molecular study of Calochortus subsect. Weediani". Graduate student at San Francisco State University.
CA State University, Fullerton
Genevieve K Walden
To apply for the Acorn, Horticultural or Traveler's Grant, please email .
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 email@example.com.