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A big Thank You to Dick Fisher, RIWPS’ President, 2016-2020!

Many of us feel Dick deserves more fanfare. However, since we could not gather in March to thank him nor will  be to gather anytime soon, we thought the least we could do is share a selection of thoughts from fellow board members.

Dick graciously agreed to helm the RIWPS ship at a critical time for the organization. I was relatively new to RIWPS and did not know Dick at the time, but those who advocated bringing him on clearly knew what they were talking about. He ably led the board through an examination of its mission, the development of a strategic plan, and numerous other important debates and decisions during his tenure as President. Moreover, Dick’s kind and generous manner, deep knowledge, and humble nature have been a blessing to RIWPS in one way or another for many years!
– Amanda Freitas

Dick has been a wonderful president for these past few years. At the start of serving, he successfully managed our long-term planning project, which led to some revision of goals for the society. Many committees and projects have continued to run smoothly and our society has been growing. We have had some successful joint projects with other organizations, such as the native plant art exhibit last year and the “at-risk” plant project just beginning. The society receives many requests for help or information or action and Dick is skillful at assessing these and saying “no” in a very diplomatic way to ones that do not fit well with our mission and current activities. RIWPS is thriving, and we can thank Dick for his knowledge and effective leadership.
– Dorothy Swift

It was great working with you at the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse on behalf of RIWPS. Thank you for everything, especially your welcoming, kind and thoughtful leadership.
– Beth Dickson

Thank you Dick, for your stalwart leadership, your calming presence and your always thoughtful & intelligent input. You have made everyone feel an important part of the process of Board leadership and you will be missed at the helm. Thank you also for the great cookies at every meeting!!
– Susan Shuster

Thanks Dick, for serving the past four years as RIWPS’ President. Your calm leadership, thoughtful suggestions and guidance moved RIWPS along through various stages and events. Some of the highlights I am particularly appreciative of:
• For your leadership in the Strategic Planning process
• For promoting the RIWPS 30th Anniversary in 2017 when RIWPS co-founder and first president, Lisa Gould,
came up from North Carolina to help celebrate and to address the gang with a talk … Back to Our Roots – Being Wild about Wild Plants
• For the January Social evolving into a more social event – this was your idea! A chance to meet informally and get to know each other.
• For fostering the collaboration with Brown University Herbarium, RI Historical Society, Brown University’s John Hay Library and RIWPS – which resulted in the exhibit at John Hay Library – Entwined exhibit and Pam Harrington’s talk on The History of Botanical Illustration.
• For guiding RIWPS involvement in the “at risk” plant propagation project
• For representing RIWPS at the annual RI Land & Water Summit
• For finding us our Bookkeeper – Kate O’Leary! She is a joy to work with.
– Mary Lou Upham

Thanks Dick for your leadership especially through your guidance during the strategic planning process and the review of the bylaws.  Your gentle but firm leadership has made the board and the society stronger as a community and broadened outreach to the public.
– Mary O’Connor

We are all so glad that you will continue to serve on the Board as a Trustee-at-Large!




Winter Book Discussion: The Brothers Gardeners

During the afternoon of February 9,  eleven RIWPS members gathered in the comfortable living room of the Pilson house around a roaring fire. As if on cue a few snow flakes fluttered past the windows. Elaine Trench lead the discussion of “The Brother Gardeners” by Andrea Wulf.

RIWPS January Potluck Social

On January 11, 2020 RIWPS celebrated GO WILD, an afternoon social potluck, held at the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence. 


Thursday November 7 marked the last walk in our 2019 series First Thursday Botanizing Walks. This series, which is free and open to the public explores a wide variety of natural landscape in Rhode Island.

Keep Our Native Plants Humming – Video Recording and Plant List

What you can do to support native bee pollinators in your landscape. Video recording of the October 2019 Lisa Loftland Gould Lecture by Dr. Gegear. Native Plant list by bee tongue length.

Native Bee Research at URI. You can help!

Thanks to Dr. Steve Alm, Professor, Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology, students are conducting important research on native bees. Most recently is the work to survey bumble bees in Rhode Island. They are looking for citizens scientists to help collect data. Please see the flyer.

RIWPS Fall Plant Sale a Big Success!

There was a fall-like chill in the morning air as volunteers set up tables and tents for our 2nd fall plant sale in Cranston. People were lining up before the sale opened and one of our volunteers Linda Hall began to show them plants, pictures and explain why they really needed these plants. It was a great way to start off the sale!

A Walk through the Seasons with Rhode Island Wild Plants

We are thrilled to announce that the third edition of our coloring book is now available at general meetings, plant sales. A must for all budding naturalists.

A recap: In the Landscape of Nancy Weiss-Fried

Our visit to Nancy Weiss-Fried’s garden in Cranston, on a hot, sunny morning in late July, was a feast for the eyes and senses. Hundreds of species, including groundcovers, perennials, ferns and woody shrubs are terraced down the steep bank behind her house, shaded by the oak, beech, maple, white pine, and even a young chestnut tree that march down to the edge of Spectacle Pond, and which kept us cool, as we wandered about, plant ID lists in hand.

RIWPS is on instagram!

See what we are up to. Find us at or use the icon link in the header banner of our website. We welcome you to submit photos of RIWPS programs and events, or special moments in your journey to appreciate, protect and study our native plants and their habitats. Send your photos to Please include the date and place as well as other relevant details.