Become a Member of the Utah Native Plant Society San Rafael Chapter

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In 2005, the Price chapter of the Utah Native Plant Society (UNPS), which was started by Mike Hubbard of the Forest Service, dissolved. The most significant contribution that the chapter spearheaded was the Utah Heritage Garden, which was started in 2000.

A desire to reinstate the chapter was spurred recently and the chapter once again became active in 2022, with a vote to rename it as the San Rafael chapter. The reinstatement came from Jared Higgs, who serves as the current president. Britt Glenn acts as the treasurer and the secretary is Kristi Mingus.

The goal of the UNPS is to encourage the use, appreciation, and protection of the native species by educating the public on how to use them in landscaping to save money, time, and water.

The chapter also has plans to work with local groups that are related to the use and appreciation of the local landscape to create awareness and to coordinate efforts in its responsible use. Future plans include native plantings in Helper on the parkway, a demonstration garden, plant sales, assistance from locals in growing and acquiring native plants, and coordinated projects with local outdoor groups.

“Additionally, the Price penstemon (Penstemon marcusii) is in need of a little help,” the San Rafael chapter shared. “The location it was first collected was destroyed to make the BMX park. This, along with several other species in our area, would make great garden plants and focal points for coordinated efforts.”

Last year, the UNPS took a field trip to the San Rafael Swell to view two endangered plants. Currently, the focus is on the first part of the Helper River Walkway native plantings, which is in the planning phase with help from Helper Mayor Lenise Peterman. A goal of completion has been set for June.

“We meet every month on a Thursday, usually at the Prehistoric Museum,” shared the UNPS. “Anyone interested in joining us is welcome!”

It is preferable that those interested become a member through the website as well. There will be at least one field trip this year, to be determined, though volunteers are needed to complete the native planting on the Helper River Walkway before.

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