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Student Scholarship Program


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The Scholarship Program has been an important part of the Cullowhee Conference since the conference began in 1984. Approximately 20 scholarships to the Cullowhee Conference are annually awarded to students, interns at botanical gardens, nature centers and/or parks, and to beginning professionals in a native plant-related field. Also, the Scholarship Program is open to applicants with careers in environmental and science education. Any individual in these categories who can demonstrate an interest in native plants and their use in the landscape - through horticulture, botany, ecology, landscape architecture/design, education, or a related field - is encouraged to apply for a scholarship.


Winners are expected to actively engage with conference attendees; donate some of their time to assist during the conference; and participate in all conference activities. Scholarship winners, if not on a field trip, help vendors set up on Wednesday afternoon, staff the Plant Holding Area table during the conference, run plants during Plants of Promise, assist conference attendees to their cars with plants, and help vendors load at the end of the conference on Saturday. Additionally, a Scholarship Meet & Greet is held on Tuesday evening after registration and scholarship recipients and special awards are introduced on stage during the opening conference introductions.


The scholarship package includes registration fee, a shared room and single bed, all meals during the conference, and field trip expenses if field trip (FT) attendance is selected. We offer the option of full and partial scholarships. Full scholarship covers the cost of the entire scholarship package. Partial scholarship recipients agree to cover half of the expenses related to their attendance choice.


The deadline for scholarship applications is midnight, Sunday, April 14th, 2024. Applications received after this time will be considered only after punctual and complete applications have been judged and awarded. Applications without the information requested, which includes recommendations, are incomplete and will be considered late. NOTE that this deadline is right at the end of the semester, so factor in the time needed writing your application and asking for your letter of reference.

Scholarship awards will be made by email in May.
Applications are to be submitted by the link at the end of the page. If necessary, contact Preston Montague for instructions as to how to submit an email or printed copy.
Preston Montague
Cullowhee Scholarship Committee


Annual contributions to the Scholarship Program come from the proceeds of the conference, nursery men and women who sell plants during the conference, donations of honoraria from the speakers and field trip leaders at the conference, and private contributors. Conference sponsors have included:

  • North Carolina Native Plant Society
  • South Carolina Native Plant Society
  • Georgia Native Plant Society
  • Asheville Botanical Garden
  • Virginia Native Plant Society
  • The French Broad River Garden Club Foundation
  • ....and others

Contributions to the Cullowhee Sponsorship Program are welcome at any time and greatly appreciated. If you or your organization would like to make a contribution please contact Preston Montague at

The Cullowhee Conference is honored to be aligned with our scholarship hosts in expanding our knowledge of native plants and their ecology, native plant landscaping, environmental sustainability, and the conservation and wise use of all of our natural resources. The Cullowhee Conference is committed to the ongoing expansion of the Sponsorship Program and to the active involvement of the sponsorship winners in the conference.

Interested in making a donation to our sponsorship program? 

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