In 1920, the Wildflower Preservation Society, Illinois Chapter, (WPSIC) convened for a celebration of native blooms. Children got into costumes made up to look like flowers. Formed in 1914, the WPSIC rans hikes around Chicago to introduce the public to the value of wildflowers. The Chicago Tribune told its readers that unless great care was taken ‘There may be no more wildflowers.’
In 1901 Olivia and Caroline Phelps Stokes presented three-thousand dollars to the New York Botanical Garden designated as the Olivia E. and Caroline Phelps Stokes Fund for the Protection of Native Plants. A monetary prize was established soliciting essays that would encourage a public dialogue regarding the preservation of both native and wild plants.
A portion of the Stokes Fund was earmarked for use as the Wild Flower Preservation Society of America in 1902 under the founder, Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton. Britton remained a driving force behind the organization until the mid-nineteen twenties…
ccording to the certificate of incorporation, the goals of the organization were to encourage the preservation and protection of native plants, promote the enactment of laws furthering such preservation, organizing local societies, and to publish, print and disseminate literature to educate the public.
After 1924, the scope of the Society was restricted to the state of New York. Following this change of focus, in 1933 the Society was officially dissolved, as it was determined that the society’s mission was being carried on effectively by the Garden Club of America, various state federations of garden clubs, and by the Wild Flower Preservation Society which had been established in 1925 in Washington, D.C. The remaining assets of the Society were turned over to the New York Botanical Garden to be added to the principal of the Olivia E. and Caroline Philips Stokes Fund.
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