Plants of Concern (POC) engages a diverse, dedicated group of citizen scientists to monitor endangered, threatened, and rare plants in the Chicago Wilderness region, which includes northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana. The program provides this important data to our partners, who use it to conserve and protect native wildflowers, grasses, and other plants that once flourished in our region. Plants of Concern is coordinated by the Chicago Botanic Garden in partnership with local, state, federal, and nonprofit agencies.
The program aims to:
- Train volunteers as citizen scientists to monitor rare plant populations and become conservation advocates
- Monitor endangered, threatened, and locally rare plant species using standardized protocols
- Assess long-term trends in rare plant populations in response to management activities and/or threats to populations
- Provide information on population trends and potential threats to the populations to public and private landowners, land managers, and agencies as feedback to help determine future management practices
Since its ambitious inception in 2000, Plants of Concern has grown and continues to expand. New sites, plant species, and volunteers have been added every year. Volunteer participation is the backbone of the program, and Plants of Concern has thrived because of the dedication and perseverance of volunteers and the collaboration of regional partners.
You can help! The project needs volunteers to help with monitoring rare species in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana.