NANPS Founders Conservation Award Background

After due consideration, the former Paul McGaw Memorial Conservation Award was transitioned into the NANPS Founders Conservation Award. Paul McGaw will continue to be remembered as a skilled naturalist, a talented teacher, and a native plant urban gardener. The wider expanse of the Founders Conservation Award sets out to acknowledge our organization’s early beginnings and ongoing mandate.

The Society’s founders, a small group of native plant enthusiasts, collectively and individually, took important first steps to bring the focus back to native plants. Coming together in 1984, they actively supported what was then a new Canada-wide gardening movement with a rallying cry to garden with Nature, not against Nature. They modeled the leadership and flow of ideas needed to challenge existing traditions of chemically infused gardens, cookie-cutter lawns, and production-line shrubs and annuals. With foresight and passion, they created the mandate that still guides the organization today.

The NANPS Founders Conservation Award acknowledges the past from which NANPS has sprung, as well as that same determination, knowledge and passion still very much needed today. Our mandate to study, conserve, cultivate and restore has not changed. Today’s ongoing conservation projectsand dedicated work deserve special recognition. This award celebrates today’s heroes!

By way of transitioning this award, NANPS recognizes the contributions made by the following:

Our Prime Movers:

Jim French (Founder and Honorary President)

Jim Hodgins (Founder and editor of Wildflower Magazine, 1985 – 2004)

First Board of Directors (February 1985):

Bill Aimers, Tom Atkinson, Bob Dorney, Jim French, Jim Hodgins, Frank Kershaw, Larry Lamb, Pam Meacher, Charlotte Mudge, Ted Mosquin, Gail Rhynard, Vicki Strong, Judith Tenenbaum, Gordon Wik, Faye Whiklo

Our criteria for this award

The NANPS Founders Conservation Award recognizes an individual or groups’ extraordinary contribution to the conservation, protection or restoration of the natural heritage/native flora of North America at the community, regional, provincial, national or continental level. The North American Native Plant Society recognizes that this can take many forms, and therefore accomplishments honoured may include or be related to associated fields such as art, science, education, photography, literature, politics, or cultivation.

  • Nominations for the award may be made by any member of the North American Native Plant Society
  • Submissions are to be received by June 1st and should include a short written description or ‘profile’ of the nominee, their accomplishments and rationale for the nomination. Photos are always welcome.
  • Nominees do not need to be members of NANPS.
  • Current NANPS Directors are not eligible for the Award.

Official presentation of the award are made at the NANPS Annual General Meeting.Selected entries will be posted on the NANPS website and in our quarterly newsletter, The Blazing Star.

Please submit nominations to by July 31st