California Native Grasslands Association

The mission of the California Native Grasslands Association is to promote, preserve, and restore the diversity of California's native grasses and grassland ecosystems through education, advocacy, research, and stewardship.

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Address: P.O Box 72405
Davis, CA 95617
County or Parish: Yolo County
Executive Director: Diana Jeffery
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 530-902-6009
Founded in 1991, the California Native Grasslands Association (CNGA) represent people concerned with the continued loss and degradation of California's grasslands, the most threatened ecosystem in California. Habitat loss caused by development, agriculture, invasive species, and other human-related activities have reduced California's native grasslands by 99%. California's grasslands provide our state with significant environmental benefits that promote human health and well-being. Grasslands filter water improving water quality and prevent flooding. Grasslands improve air quality and sequester carbon. Grasslands provide habitat for pollinators we depend on to pollinate our crops. Grasslands provide residents and visitors with recreational opportunities and are chief attractions for viewing spring wildflowers, fishing, and wildlife watching. A large percentage of California's rare and endangered species reside in or depend on grassland habitat.

CNGA develops comprehensive and innovative education, training, and field experience programs for its members and the general public. Members include conservationists, restoration practitioners, naturalists, botanists, resource managers, horticulturalists, agency representatives, farmers, ranchers, homeowners, seed producers, scientists, consultants, students, and native plant enthusiasts.

Through our publications, workshops, field trips, and conferences, CNGA provides an essential network for people interested in California's native grasses and grasslands. We believe this peer-to-peer contact and technical transfer of information is the most effective way to develop and promote the 'art' of native grass restoration and conservation.

CNGA's quarterly journal, 'Grasslands', was started at the inception of the organization in 1991 with a feature article titled 'Working with native Perennial Grasses,' by David Amme.

The journal continues as a publication today and remains a strong source of information on grasslands with peer-reviewed articles on research and practice. CNGA offers workshops throughout the year, with diverse titles such as, 'Nuts & Bolts of Restoration and Revegetation,' 'Apps & Snaps: Smart Phone, Camera, & Online Technology for Grassland Plant Mapping, Tracking, & Identification,' 'Grassland Monitoring: Methods & Techniques,' 'Appreciating and Identifying Native and Naturalized Grasses,' 'Landscaping with Nature,' 'Planned Grazing: Build Soil, Grassland Health & Profit,' and more! Our team of trainers enjoys sharing their knowledge, expertise, and the latest research with all native plant enthusiasts. CNGA's Conservation Committee makes considerable efforts advocating on behalf of conserving California grasslands, which are greatly diminished throughout the state.
The work of the California Native Grasslands Association is accomplished by a small group of dedicated people who volunteer their time and resources. We invite others to participate by volunteering their time and expertise or by funding our efforts. Healthy functioning grasslands provide human beings with many benefits including, clean water, flood control, wildlife habitat, forage for livestock, and recreation.
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Program - Grasslands Journal projected 2019-20 expense: $15,000. Improve quarterly Grasslands journal through increased content development and improved administration.
  2. Funding: Program - Workshops projected 2019-20 expense: $20,000. Increase yearly training workshop offerings to ten per year.
  3. Funding: Program - Conservation Advocacy projected 2019-2020 expense: $6,000. Increase our advocacy efforts to promote conservation of remaining viable native grassland communities throughout California.
  4. Funding: Program - Grassland Research Awards for Student Scholarship (GRASS) projected 2019-2020 expense: $10,000. Provide funding for student grants in grassland research.
  5. Funding: Program - K-12 Curriculum Program Projected 2019-2020 projected 2019-2020 expense: $5,000.
"The work of the California Native Grasslands Association (CNGA) is accomplished through the dedicated efforts and expertise of our volunteer board members who work with organizations, communities, and agencies to identify needs related to grassland conservation and develop related workshops and articles in our 'Grasslands' journal. An estimated 60-80% of California's grasslands are under private ownership. Thus, many of our workshops are aimed at private ranchers and other land managers. However, CNGA works on behalf of all Californians. For example, we offer annual workshops on grass identification and appreciation. Other broad-audience workshops focus on drought-tolerant plants to reduce water in residential and commercial landscaping. Replacing high-water-use, traditional turf grass lawns and other water-thirsty plants with native drought-tolerant species is a great way to reduce water use, create an aesthetically pleasing, colorful landscape, and provide refuges for birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife. These efforts represent only a portion of what we do. Other programs work towards increasing public awareness of the value of intact grasslands. We are especially proud of our Grasslands Editorial Committee, who work tirelessly on CNGA's popular science-based quarterly journal. CNGA's Conservation Committee focuses on preserving remnant grasslands throughout California and is an active player in preservation at Point Molate near Richmond, at the site of the proposed Oakland Zoo expansion in Knowland Park, and at multiple other locations where grasslands are threatened. We continue to develop research and education materials for our website to serve different audiences, from resource managers to the general public; we created a grassland ecology science curriculum for primary schools. The goal is to inspire people, to help them to notice grasslands and to discover that grasslands are not simply fields, but are wonderfully diverse, vibrant, and valuable ecosystems." Sincerely, Diana Jeffery Administrative Director California Native Grasslands Association
-- Diana Jeffery Administrative Director