The Maryland Native Plant Society

The Maryland Native Plant Society

2023-2024 Officers and Directors

President: Lauren Hubbard

Vice President: Judith P. Fulton

Treasurer: Kirsten Hoffman

Secretary: Pru Foster, Ph. D.


Diane Beedle
Allen Browne
Karyn Molines
Sujata Roy
Rod Simmons
Bradley Simpson
Jil Swearingen

At the May 2023 Board Meeting, the Board voted to change the date of the Annual Meeting from December to June. The fiscal year of the Society is January-December, and holding an annual meeting in December resulted in presenting a financial report that was nearly a year old. The board felt that a June Annual Meeting would allow a more current and timely financial report. This change also resulted in changing when the board is installed. Directors and Officers terms run from July 1-June 30.


Diane Beedle. Prince George's County. Diane is the chair and co-founder of the Cheverly Native Plant Project. She has a long history of advocacy, policy work, and direct service from the local to the national level.  She has worked as a community organizer, a recycling program's daily operations manager, and a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill and for a national non-profit before opening her own business selling vintage wares and her handwoven baskets and rugs from sustainable materials. She is currently completing the University of Maryland Extension's Master Naturalist program. Diane has a BA in philosophy from Boston College and spent five years in the University of Illinois-Chicago's College of Education PhD program studying political philosophy of education.

Allen Browne. Montgomery County. Current Board member; retired Informaticist, National Library of Medicine, NIH; MS & PhD-ABD in sociolinguistics; certificate in Natural History Field Studies, Grad School USA/ANS.

Secretary, Pru Foster, Ph. D. Montgomery County.  Pru is a keen native plant gardener. She has a degree in horticulture from the Royal Horticulture Society and one in garden design from the Garden Design School in the UK, in addition to her PhD in astrophysics. She was an academic researcher for 30 plus years and worked on problems ranging from the formation of the universe to the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the global carbon cycle. She was one of the first to do research on the impacts of climate change impacts on biodiversity. Pru is author of the book A Drop of Grace: Finding and Protecting Our Common Ground and writes a newsletter on sustainability called The Prudent Lifestyle.

Vice President, Judy Fulton. Baltimore County. Judy specializes in native plants, invasive plants and ecology, as the founder and principal of EcoPlant Consulting. Her expertise includes selection of appropriate native plants for specific ecoregions and growing conditions, and management of invasive plants. She provides recommendations for transforming degraded properties from landscapes dominated by invasives to healthy ecosystems with native plants. She consults for both individuals and groups, and teaches workshops for organizations such as the University of Maryland Extension, the Maryland Master Gardeners, the Natural History Society of Maryland, and the Irvine Nature Center. Although her principal loves are native species and healthy ecosystems, she is also actively engaged in the invasive species arena. As chair of the Committee on Invasives Lists for the Maryland Invasive Species Council (MISC), she is implementing the Mid-Atlantic Invaders Tool and has coordinated a major update of MISC’s invasive species lists of plants, insects, other animals and pathogens. Additionally, she acts as an invasive plant expert on various legal cases. Judy serves on the Board of the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council. In a previous life, she earned a Harvard MBA and spent over twenty-five years in the business world, including as CEO of a start-up medical device company. The Daily Record selected Judy as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 1998, 2001 and 2004, and inducted her into its Circle of Excellence.

President, Lauren Hubbard, Ph. D. Montgomery County. Current Board Member; Owner of Native By Design, LLC. With a particular interest in the preservation of genetic diversity in native plant populations, Lauren has served on the founding board of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative and has launched a project called Butterfly Bandwagon to promote the use of native plants in home landscaping. Lauren is a certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional, Weed Warrior, and Master Gardener. She has worked with Howard Ecoworks, Muddy Branch Alliance and Urban Ecosystem Restorations providing program support, community outreach, and grant writing and management services that support ecological restoration and stewardship.

Karyn Molines. Charles County. Membership Chair; Past President, Vice President, Secretary, Fall Conference Chair; Southern Maryland Chapter. Division Chief, Calvert County Natural Resources Division. Received her BS in Zoology from University of Maryland, College Park, MS in Environmental Science & Policy from Johns Hopkins University and Certificate in Natural History, Grad School USA/ANS.

Sujata Roy, Montgomery County. Current Treasurer; Instructor for Spring & Summer Wildflower Identification and Botany for Naturalists, Grad School USA/ANS; certificate in Natural History Field Studies; Field trip leader for ANS; Naturalist with Montgomery Parks; interested in habitat preservation.

Rod Simmons. Northern Virginia. Rod is a plant ecologist who has worked extensively in the fields of conservation biology, natural resource management, and ecological restoration for nearly 30 years. He is a Research Associate with the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; a member of the Virginia Botanical Associates; former contract botanist for NatureServe, National Park Service, and others; and works closely with the Virginia and Maryland natural heritage programs. He is the author of numerous technical reports, papers, and articles, and has published in scientific journals. He is a member and a past president of the Botanical Society of Washington, a past president of the Maryland Native Plant Society, serves on the board of the Virginia Native Plant Society, and is a regular field trip leader for all of these organizations. He is a frequent lecturer on native plants, natural communities, ecological restoration, and other related topics. He is the Natural Resource Manager and Plant Ecologist for the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

Jil Swearingen. Prince George's County. Since spring 2021, Jil has served as Editor for the Maryland Native Plant Society's newsletter Marilandica. She is lead author of Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, Field Guide (2022), and founder of the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council. Jil retired in 2017, where she served for 22 years as Manager for the National Capital Region's Integrated Pest Management and Invasive Species Program. While working for M-NCPPC Montgomery County Parks 1989-1995, she became aware of invasive plants and established the Exotic Plant Working Group and Weed Busters volunteers to promote action to address the problem.

Upcoming Board Meetings

  • Meetings are typically in the odd numbered months
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