The California Native Garden Foundation

The California Native Garden Foundation is a non-profit educational, research, and resource organization that promotes gardening with California native plants. Our goal is to increase the popularity and use of California’s native plants in the designed landscape.


Mission and Vision

Our Mission

Our mission is to demonstrate the beauty, garden worthiness, and ecological appropriateness of California native gardens and to advance knowledge of native plants and increase their availability.

Our Vision

CNGF will become a major statewide source for learning about, experiencing, and promoting California native gardening and for bringing new California native plants to the garden.

Purpose and Goals


We seek to instill a new ethic in gardening and inspire a new ecological ethos. Our usual way of gardening for recreational, aesthetic, and agricultural purposes has not brought us closer to our natural environment, the plant community in which we live. It has distanced us from the trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that were here before us and still survive in undisturbed areas. We hope to bring their under-utilized beauty and economy to home and commercial gardens and promote their appropriateness.

Goals of the Foundation

California Native Garden Foundation (CNGF) will educate the public and design community on the value of native gardens. Classes, field trips, lectures, garden tours, and publications will be made available to members, landscape professionals, and the public. Programs will be offered on ecology, garden design, plant identification, garden building, and garden management with emphasis on educating landscape design professionals.

CNGF will substantially increase the availability and usage of native plants in California gardens. The Foundation will introduce new native plant selections and lesser-known species to the public. New native plant selections will be made according to adaptability to local habitats, garden worthiness, and natural beauty.

CNGF will develop research facilities for testing and propagating California native plants. Field studies, collections, and selections will be integral to this research.

CNGF will be an active non-profit foundation with a diversified membership statewide.


On March 11, 2004, Alrie Middlebrook, Dr. Barry Slater, Glen Keator, Tom Bradner, and David Long made a commitment to change the traditional gardening program. These people, the founders and leaders of the non-profit California Native Garden Foundation (CNGF) realized that though there was plenty information on native plants for the general public, there wasn’t enough information on how to garden with them. The simple, yet crucially important, goals of CNGF started with a question: Why not form a non-profit foundation to help current and future generations realize the importance and benefits of native plants, and how to use them in the garden?

Board Members

Alrie Middlebrook, President and Director
Paige Fox, Treasurer
Vicki Moore, Board Member
Louann Tung, Board Member
Tom Karwin, Board Member
Michael Craib, Board Member