Supporting Our Community of Practice Through Plant Sponsorships
The Center for Plant Conservation’s plant sponsorship program is an essential component of our work – fueling our community of practice by ensuring our network of Participating Institutions have the resources and funds needed to Save Plants.
When a Participating Institution accepts responsibility for a plant species in the CPC National Collection – a living conservation collection of imperiled plants that serves as an emergency backup in the event a species becomes extinct or no longer reproduces in the wild – it makes a long-term commitment to help secure and recover the species for future generations. They invest significant resources and effort in securing and holding the imperiled plant material, and drive the research and new technologies on the best ways to grow, manage, and restore these rare species.
To offset some of the expenses of collecting, growing, and researching these species, CPC created the plant sponsorship program to provide the Participating Institution responsible for the named species, steady, stable funding for the long-term work. A sponsorship does not cover all the expenses, but it provides significant help and stability, and has a critical and lasting impact on plant conservation efforts. Plant sponsorships can also serve as a meaningful way to honor loved ones.
I am sad to share with my CPC Network that my brother-in-law and sister both passed away in the past 13 months. As the person responsible for handling their affairs, I could think of no better way to honor their legacy than a plant sponsorship. I selected the coastal sage scrub oak, Quercus dumosa, because it is a San Diego County species that supports a broad community, as Joe Ree elegantly describes in this newsletter.
My brother-in-law, Jan Newsom Schmidt, worked as a pharmacist for Rite-Aid for over 30 years. A lover of classical music, sushi, cigars, and a good beer, Jan settled in San Diego County and helped many in need. My sister, Susan Carol Maschinski Schmidt, oversaw pupil services for the South Bay School District – caring for students with special needs and bringing together community services into a hub that easily supported families and children. Among her finest qualities were her vibrant, indomitable spirit and outstanding leadership. CPC reaped the rewards of her wisdom.
In lieu of perishable flower arrangements, friends wishing to honor Susan and Jan Schmidt – and make a lasting impact to save an endangered plant (Quercus dumosa) – can make a donation online at www.saveplants.org (choose dedicated donation, in memory of and indicate your intention for the gift in the notes section) or mail a donation to the Center for Plant Conservation at 15600 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027.