Pennsylvania Rare Plant Forum

Saturday, 28 March, 2020 • Penn State Beaver Campus
General Classroom Building (GCB) Room 115A • Monaca, PA 15061

Register here soon for the 2020 Rare Plant Forum! As always, attendance is free. Bring your own lunch.

Fellow Botanical Enthusiasts,

It is our pleasure to announce that the 2020 Rare Plant Forum will take place on Saturday, March 28th at the Penn State Beaver Campus in Monaca, PA! The meeting will be taking place in the General Classroom Building (GCB) Room 115A.  More details will follow in February.

The PA Rare Plant Forum serves as an opportunity for concerned citizens and plant enthusiasts to discuss changes to the regulatory status of PA Plant species. These discussions are used by DCNR, along with data from the PA Heritage Program and the recommendations of PA Vascular Plant Technical Committee, to update PA’s plant regulations.

Proposals: We want your input!! Every year the Rare Plant Forum considers proposals to change the conservation status of native plant taxa. The planning committee encourages public input and participation in developing the list of proposals. We recognize that assembling the needed materials for a proposal has become rather involved and technical, but we do not want this to inhibit participation. PNHP botanists are happy to accept suggestions for taxa to evaluate, or to work with you to gather information about a taxon and draft the needed documentation.

Please reach out to Steve Grund ( or Jessica McPherson ( to discuss potential proposals.  Please reach out to PNHP or submit a draft proposal by February 14, 2020.  Final, completed proposals are due to the Committee by February 28, 2020.  All proposals will be posted to the website by March 14, 2020 for public review.

The Committee is also currently working to plan a botanical hike at nearby Raccoon Creek State Park, which would take place following the PPCN stakeholder meeting.  More details to follow.

We are also pleased to announce that the PA Plant Conservation Network (PPCN) annual stakeholder meeting will take place on Friday, March 27th at the Penn State Beaver Campus! The meeting will be held in the Student Union Building (SUB) Room 16. Learn about developments from the program and how to get involved!

Do you have a rare plant project that you are currently working on OR are interested in starting? The PPCN is actively seeking projects to support and amplify through our network. Our meeting will provide an opportunity to hear about a variety of species-based and habitat-based projects in the state.

Meet other conservationists, share resources, and strategize efforts!

Contact Kristi Allen ( by February 28th for more details about giving a brief presentation on your project. Please register here to attend. This event is also free!

Please watch for updated information regarding both events. Final details will be emailed to this list in February.

We look forward to seeing you in March!

PA Rare Plant Forum Committee
Mark Bowers
Steve Grund
Jessica McPherson
Scott Schuette
Kelly Sitch
Kristi Allen (PPCN Coordinator)

Get involved!  As mentioned at the 2014 Rare Plant Forum, the PA Natural Heritage Program is participating in a collaborative project to help update the conservation status of several mysterious plant species. We are trying to find as many locations of these plants as possible, in order to learn enough about them to assign them the right status ranks. You can download an identification guide, organized by region, here.

PNHP is asking people to keep their eyes open for these species and report any potential sightings in the field. There was a little talk about the role of Rare Plant Forum attendees in the data gathering process — and this may be just the opportunity you are looking for!

If interested, please contact Jessica McPherson, Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program / Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, at or 412-586-2362.