Past National Meetings

The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) is a one-of-a-kind network, uniting plant conservationists from botanical gardens, arboretums, and other plant-focused organizations that collaboratively work to save the imperiled plants of the United States, its territories, and Canada, throughout their native range.

To ensure that all are using the best and most up-to-date means possible to Save Plants, each year, CPC convenes a meeting of its Participating Institutions and conservation partners. More than 100 of the leading plant conservation professionals in the world from botanical organizations come together for this three-day conference to share, learn, and create the cutting-edge science and technology used to save rare and endangered flora.

We invite you to learn more about previous year’s National Meetings below, and to learn about underwriting opportunities that help CPC keep registration costs affordable for our partners.

Learn more about the 2024 National Meeting at The San Diego Zoo & Safari Park.



2023 National Meeting Highlights

Our 2023 National Meeting at the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ, was a stimulating and well-attended hybrid meeting, with 170 participants both in person and online representing a broad cross-section of the CPC network. The desert flora in full bloom was the perfect backdrop to inspire our members to share their conservation accomplishments and challenges, establish new collaborations, explore future possibilities, and strengthen relationships. The long and interconnected history between plants and humans was a pillar of Wendy Hodgson’s keynote address entitled, “Agaves and Humans—An Affair for the Ages.” As Herbarium Curator Emerita & Senior Research Botanist at Desert Botanical Garden, Wendy’s expertise studying native agaves in the area made for a fascinating discussion of the role of agaves in the cultures of Indigenous Peoples north of the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as a wonderful post-meeting field trip to sites where several of these native agaves grow.

Becoming involved in preventing extinction is a choice—a realization that every species is precious and deserves to flourish as part of our global ecosystem. Our National Meeting always serves as an inspiring reminder that we are not alone in this fight to prevent extinction, and that by working together, we can achieve our conservation goals.

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2022 National Meeting Highlights

The CPC 2022 National Meeting was held at Denver Botanic Gardens and also encompassed a hybrid virtual version. 95 in-person and 72 online colleagues had a wonderful opportunity to learn about plant conservation milestones and accomplishments, and to learn about the network-wide project to study seed longevity.  A pre-conference visit to the National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation in Ft. Collins inspired attendees and reinforced the critical function of our rare plant seed collections. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Deane Bowers, presented a compelling case for the intricate connection of plant chemistry to humans, highlighting many uses, and described how plant chemicals influence the insects that eat or pollinate them. Throughout the meeting, we shared a common theme: that acts of kindness go a long way to encourage one another and indirectly help Save Plants.

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2021 National Meeting Highlights

Building on the success of our 2020 virtual National Meeting and for the safety of our network, the 2021 CPC National Meeting again was held virtually. Even though participants were miles apart, network partners were able to share lightning talks on the challenges and victories of plant conservation during the pandemic.

The meeting featured a lively key note address by Peggy Olwell, Plant Conservation and Restoration Program Lead, Bureau of Land Management. Working sessions engaged the network to gather input for the CPC policy paper on the threat of climate change to rare plants, and to beta-test the IMLS-funded plant conservation education platform, CPC Rare Plant Academy.  Back by popular demand, the second annual National Meeting Photo Contest amazed the group with many outstanding entries. Special thanks to Kubtec Scientific for graciously underwriting a portion of the meeting.

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2020 National Meeting Highlights

The CPC National Meeting has always been a centerpiece of our plant conservation work and the fine individuals who endeavor to Save Plants.  Despite not being able to be together physically, we managed to capture the essence of our meeting in a virtual way in 2020. Going virtual had its challenges, but it also had some advantages. One of the biggest advantages was that more people from more institutions had the opportunity to attend and learn about the great work that is being accomplished within the network and the great new synthetic collaborations being spearheaded by the National Office

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2019 National Meeting Highlights

Our 2019 National Meeting was held at the Chicago Botanic Garden, who shared with us their amazing conservation science programs. The meeting featured: a keynote address by Dr. Daniel Ballesteros Bargues, Tree Seed Science Research Fellow for Europe, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew; presentations from our Participating Institutions conservation officers and network partners; beta-testing online resources; tours of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Morton Arboretum.

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2018 National Meeting Highlights

The 2018 National Meeting was held at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) in Fort Worth, Texas. Ed Schneider, executive director of BRIT, along with his capable and enthusiastic team, helped us convene one of the most successful national meetings in CPC’s history. In attendance were over 80 plant conservation professionals representing more than 40 CPC Participating Institutions. Additionally, we had representatives from several Texas local, regional, and national organizations in attendance as guests of our host institution BRIT.

In all, nearly 40 presentations were given covering the breadth of current plant conservation science, from in-the-field efforts to seed storage science to conservation genetics.

2018 National Meeting Highlights