Scholarships, Grants and Awards

B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund

(Open to the Community)

The B.W. Wells Stewardship Fund supports stewardship of NC native plants and grew out of a donation made to the North Carolina Native Plant Society by Maude Wells.

The Natural gardens
of North Carolina

the cover of the book The Natural Gardens of North Carolina by B.W. Wells

by B.W. Wells

$34.95 / $21.95

available through
UNC Press

The fund receives net royalties from a revised edition of The Natural gardens of North Carolina (pictured at right), from bequests and memorial gifts and from plant sale income.

About B. W.

Bertram Whittier (B.W.) Wells moved to North Carolina in 1919 at the age of 35 to become a professor of botany at North Carolina State College (now NCSU). During his years there as professor and department head, he was an active researcher in the field of plant ecology.

In 1932 he published The Natural gardens of North Carolina, a classic book on some of the natural plant communities of North Carolina and a key to many of the State's herbaceous wildflowers.

B.W. Wells continued to promote the conservation of North Carolina's native flora and the protection of our natural areas until his death in 1978. Dr. and Mrs. Maude Wells' retirement home, Rock Cliff Farm, is now protected as part of Falls Lake State Recreation Area in northern Wake County.

You may learn more about the B. W. Wells Association at

Guidelines for B. W. Wells Stewardship Fund

The B. W. Wells Stewardship fund supports stewardship activities that are in keeping with its mission to promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina's native plants and their habitats through education, protection, propagation, and advocacy.

Local native plant chapters, individual NCNPS members, state agencies involved in native plant protection, as well as citizens from the wider community may request funds for a stewardship project.

Stewardship projects shall be considered in their broadest sense. Such activities and costs may include (but are not limited to) equipment and supplies, training materials, subsistence (food and lodging), supervisory and professional costs, insurance, message T-shirts or other items for public messaging, transportation expenses, and for stewardship activities at public and private nature preserves.

  • Priority will be given to stewardship projects on lands with permanent conservation for rare plant habitats.
  • Development, production, and distribution of educational materials and media that promote the enjoyment and conservation of native plants and their habitats are also considered.
  • Favored activities will be ongoing and multiplicative (rather than singular and additive) such as training and supervising habitat stewards, exotic pest plant volunteers, supervisors for youth, church, business groups, community service teams, group workdays, and training to deputize and certify individuals for ongoing work.
  • Plant rescues from loss of habitats and propagation costs for reintroduction to nearby public lands and plant sales are included as stewardship activities, but are generally considered only as a last resort.

How to Apply for a Grant

There is no standardized application form. A proposal should contain the following information:

  • The applicant's name, address, phone number(s), e-mail address, and date submitted.
  • A concise project description (no more than two pages). Include a summary, description of why this project is needed, location, objectives, who benefits and how, and names of other organizations involved. Include scientific information such as hypothesis and data collection and analysis methodology, if appropriate. Highlight aspects of the work that you believe are important and creative and how the project will improve the conservation status of North Carolina's native plants.
  • Attach a project schedule.
  • If plantings, such as a garden, are involved, provide your plans to tend to the plants, especially water them for the first year. Also provide your follow-on maintenance procedures.
  • Please show a budget summary and how NCNPS grant funds will be applied. If other funds are expected, how will they fit into the overall budget? NCNPS encourages applicants to seek additional funding because NCNPS is unable to provide full funding for most proposed projects.

Mail application to:

North Carolina Native Plant Society Stewardship Committee
P. O. Box 10815
Greensboro, NC 27404

Obligation of Grant Recipient

  • NCNPS asks that The B. W. Wells Stewardship Fund and the NC Native Plant Society, along with our website, be used in publicity for sponsored events, printed prepared materials, equipment, and on hardscapes such as permanent structures and at stewardship sites. Verbiage on materials and publicity might include references to the important work of: Bertram W. Wells, 1884-1978, North Carolina's pioneer botanist and ecologist, Nature's Champion, and author of the classic book on North Carolina plant communities: The Natural Gardens of North Carolina (UNC Press). For more info on B. W. Wells visit
  • Submit any relevant rare plant or plant community data to NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the NCNPS. The data should also be reported to the appropriate land management agency whose land is being studied.
  • The grantee will submit an article to be published in The Native Plant Journal upon completion of the project.
  • The grantee may be requested to give an oral report at a society meeting, in a delivery style appropriate for a symposium or professional meeting.
  • The grantee is encouraged to lead a field trip for NCNPS members to the project site(s).
  • An itemized account of expenditures is required at the end of the grant period.
  • At the end of the activity or at least once per year in an ongoing project, write a short report to the NCNPS Board reporting on the status of the project including the number of volunteer hours donated, how the funds were used, and any additional funds that were donated by others for the project. Any unused funds will be returned to the Society.

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