Native plants are the building blocks of our ecosystems. In the early 1990's, it became clear that there was a need to address the increasing awareness for native plants by supporting communication and cooperation among those interested in native plants. In 1994, a group of native plant enthusiasts put together a seminar in Saskatoon to see if there was a need to develop a society to promote native plants. The meeting resulted in the formation of the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan (NPSS) as a non-profit organization in 1995. The NPSS subsequently became a registered charity in 2014.
The diversity of people involved with native plants makes fulfilling our vision and mission statements a challenging job. Our membership includes representation from government, agricultural and resource extraction industries, conservation organizations, horticultural groups, floral crafters and hobbyists, nature enthusiasts, educators and research institutions, and those interested in the medicinal and nutritional properties of native plants. The NPSS has grown rapidly since 1995 and now has hundreds of members across the province. This growth in membership has resulted from activities such as our annual conference, publication of our newsletter the Native Plant News, and NPSS organized workshops and field trips.
Funding from Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development Program (administered by the Agriculture and Agri-food Canada) allowed the NPSS to hire a coordinator in 1998 and 1999, and the organization has maintained a paid coordinator ever since. The resulting activities of the coordinator have driven the NPSS to initiate many projects and rapidly gain exposure in the province. The NPSS' role has continued to evolve over the years and currently includes projects related to rare plants, invasive species, native plant identification, restoration and development of native plant markets. The NPSS also sits on many provincial, national and international committees and working groups. Due to these efforts, the NPSS is provincially and nationally recognized as an impartial authority on issues related to native plants.