Nonprofit Spotlight: Center for Plant Conservation

Center for Plant Conservation

Every organization we work with is on the frontlines of making the world a better place. They support the very things that make us human. Through art, compassion, helping people or taking care of endangered plants, our clients prioritize quality of life in all its forms. Whether by practicing conservation and recuperation efforts or providing services and resources to those in need, we are honored to support our clients. 

The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) is one of these organizations. Without plants there would be no us. According to CPC, “plants are integral to our quality of life and essential to our very survival. Plants clean the air and provide food, clothing, medicine and shelter.” They are not only fundamental to our ecosystem, but provide us with “beauty, tranquility and escape from an ever increasingly chaotic world.” 

Who is CPC?

Started over 35 years ago by Donald Falk and Francis Thibodeau, graduate students concerned by the rapid loss of plant life in North America and Hawaii, CPC works with a growing network of Participating Institutions (PIs) to collect, store, and research imperiled plant life.

With nearly 70 PIs nationwide (and a few overseas implementing the same methods), CPC has developed an extensive network of partners working together to save the nation’s plant life. Through shared information, data, and expertise, CPC’s network has saved more plant life as a community than would ever be possible as a lone institution.  

What is CPC’s goal?

CPC safeguards rare and endangered plants through science-based conservation practices, connecting and empowering plant conservationist to protect biodiversity. Through their efforts, CPC hopes to educate and inspire the next generation to advocate and care for the earth’s valuable resources. 

  • Continually advance the science of saving rare plant species
  • Apply science to save imperiled plant life
  • Advocate on behalf of collective efforts to Save Plants and promote the value of plants to humankind

The total number of endangered plants in the U.S. tops 4,400. CPC has secured more than 2,000 (40%) of those plants in the CPC National Collection with a backup collection sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At a rate of 1 plant/week for the past 35 years, CPC continues to overcome challenges to preserve the remaining two-thirds of imperiled plantlife throughout North America.

CPC by the Numbers

In 2019 the California State Legislation chose CPC to manage $3 million granted to the State of California for a biodiversity initiative to collect rare and native plants. With the support of Evergreen Alliance staff to set up the financial infrastructure to manage the complicated state funding initiative, CPC saw great success. CPC aspires to do similar projects in other states.

For more information visit or follow @centerforplantconservation

Curious which plants are rare or endangered in your state? Check out CPC’s Rare Plant Finder!