Mission and History
A brief look at the goals and development of New England Wild Flower Society
The mission of New England Wild Flower Society is to conserve and promote the region’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes.
Through our leadership, New England's native plants will exist in vigorous populations within healthy, evolving ecosystems, and people across the region will actively promote and protect them in the wild and in their gardens.
In 1900, the founders of the Society for the Protection of Native Plants, which evolved into today's New England Wild Flower Society, had a compelling vision—a plant conservation organization that would protect our native flora. Their efforts foreshadowed the comprehensive and broad-reaching conservation program to come. At this point in our second century, we are very grateful for the stewardship of our predecessors and acknowledge their many accomplishments. Because of the New England Wild Flower Society, the native plants of New England are better protected and more appreciated than ever before. Today the Society is recognized as one of the nation's leading plant conservation organizations.
The Society owns and operates Garden in the Woods, the largest landscaped collection of wildflowers in the Northeast, as its headquarters and as a public botanic garden. The Garden, located in Framingham, MA, serves as New England's premier showcase of native plants and as a center for botanical and horticultural study and enjoyment.
For over 30 years, the Society has focused on perfecting techniques to propagate and grow more than 450 species of native plants, and selling them as an alternative to wild-collected plants. The Society owns and operates Nasami Farm, in Whately, MA, our rapidly growing native plant nursery, where we produce over 75,000 plants annually for homeowners, landscape professionals, restoration projects, and towns.
Over the past decade, the Society has prepared itself for the plant conservation, habitat protection, and environmental leadership challenges of the 21st century. If industrialization, development, and pollution have severely challenged plant and habitat conservation in our first century, the next century will be even more demanding. In our second century, we seek to sustain and expand the conservation gains of our first 100 years.
To learn more about the Society's history, view Society Facts. If you would like to know more about how you can support New England Wild Flower Society's efforts to protect native plants and their habitats, visit our Conservation, Membership, Support, and Volunteer pages.