The Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society covers Santa Clara County and southern San Mateo. Want to learn more about native plants? Support California's biodiversity? Join us! We welcome CNPS members and the public at our virtual and in-person activities.
The Chapter's Online Nursery Store is a great place to buy plants and more (delivery and pickup available)
Our Native Plant Lecture Series includes a wide variety of talks with a native plant focus. You can view past talks on our YouTube channel.
The Lake Cunningham Native Plant Garden provides opportunities to preserve and restore native plants
Activities such as Keying With Natives are on hiatus until health ordinances make it practical to hold them again. All nursery workdays and some restoration activities (Edgewood and Alum Rock) are being held on a restricted basis until further notice.
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Santa Clara Valley Chapter of CNPS
The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of California's native plants and how to conserve them and their natural habitats through education, science, advocacy, horticulture, and land stewardship.
The Santa Clara Valley Chapter of CNPS covers Santa Clara County and southern San Mateo County. It offers activities focusing on the many aspects of native plants, from gardening, plant identification, and photography to conservation and rare plants. Activities include talks and lectures and workshops, field trips, native plant sales, wildflower show, restoration workdays, and more. The chapter was founded in 1972; more history can be found here.
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CNPS SCV Photo Gallery
Archived photos from the photo gallery on our old website
Blazing Star Mailing Party 2/27/2020 (Vivian Neou)
GWN Potluck Social 10/6/2019 (Vivian Neou)
2020 General Meeting - November 14th
Chapter Members -- please join us for a virtual annual potluck. Cook your favorite food and remember when we could meet in person. Starting at 4:00pm, our Chapter’s General Meeting will include our annual election and recognition of volunteers, Fellows and others. Please watch your email for the Zoom invitation. The meeting will be followed by a talk at 5:00pm
Nature’s Best Hope, A talk by Doug Tallamy
Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current land management practices have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Doug Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can and must ̶ take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.
Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 103 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 40 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug’s new book, Nature’s Best Hope, released by Timber Press in February 2020, is a New York Times Best Seller.
The general public is invited to watch on Youtube starting at 5pm November 14, 2020.
CNPS SCV YouTube Channels
CNPS SCV has two YouTube Channels:
Some of the recordings available on our YouTube Channels include:
Stay In Touch with the Chapter
Stay in Touch!
Our chapter has a rich variety of activities scheduled year-round. Most of our Chapter activities are listed in the Blazing Star Newsletter, but some late-breaking events don't make it into the newsletter and are announced electronically. Stay informed by making sure that your contact information is correct.
Activities will be announced on our Chapter News list, our Facebook page and Meetup. Two things you can do to make sure you don’t miss anything are:
Chapter news list:
Check your Email Settings on CNPS.ORG
Make sure that your membership contact information is correct by going to cnps.org, and clicking on “My Profile” in menubar on the upper right-hand corner of the page. Log in if you have an account set up already, or set an account up if you don’t. Check your email address to make sure that it’s correct, and make sure that you have authorized CNPS to send email to you. Please see the figure below to see the options you must set in order to receive email from our chapter. "Yes, I would like to receive email from California Native Plant Society." must be checked in order to receive mail from us! It is not enough to check the Local Chapter News under Email Interests.
CNPS is a volunteer-based organization, and the CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter is fortunate to have many volunteers who contribute to the success and vibrancy of our chapter. Indeed, this has been a hallmark of our chapter since its inception.
The Outstanding Volunteer Award recognizes a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in their contributions to the chapter, and who has volunteered for the chapter in the current calendar year. The Native Plant Ambassador Award is intended for a person who has made significant contributions to the promotion and understanding of California native plants in urban landscapes or in the wild.
We invite you to submit candidates for a volunteer award at any time of the year. You may submit your nominations here. If you have questions or need help with the nomination process please contact the Leadership Development Committee Chair or Chapter President.
2020 Outstanding Volunteer Award - Krzysztof Kozminski
Krzys (KK) has been a Chapter member and volunteer for over twenty years. He has a beautiful and mature collector’s garden which contains over forty species and cultivars of Ceanothus alone, and has conducted many public and private tours of his garden. KK has served on the Going Native Garden Tour committee continuously since 2002. He developed the website that has been used to support the tour for over a decade. His position as tour webmaster belies the enormous responsibility and effort involved: keeping the website running, handling registrations, updating garden pages, sending notifications, and more. Nella Henninger calls him “the backbone of the tour.”
2020 Garden Ambassador Award - Sherri Osaka
Sherri Osaka made numerous contributions to the chapter to promote native plant landscaping and sustainable living. An electrical engineer by training, she switched to landscape design in mid-career. Her gardens were featured on the Going Native Garden Tour for many years. She led the Gardening with Natives (GWN) committee of the Chapter, arranging over 30 public talks annually throughout two counties, touching the lives of over a thousand attendees each year. She was a passionate advocate for living lightly on this earth and giving back.
2019 Garden Ambassador Award - Patrick Pizzo
Patrick Pizzo's made countless contributions to promoting native plants in this area. A San Jose native, he had a long academic career at San Jose State University. After retirement, he threw himself into native planting projects around the valley, including Capitancillos Drive, Fontana Park, and the Hellyer Park Interpretive Center. He engaged with the Chapter, Our City Forest, County Parks and community members to advocate for native plants in everyday landscapes like streets, local parks, and schools. He had a vision and was constantly engaged in implementing it with passion, persistence, and good cheer. He was a frequent contributor on the Gardening With Natives email group, lead Chapter field trips to visit his planting projects and provided encouragement and guidance to novice and experienced native plant gardeners.
2019 Outstanding Volunteer Award -Toni Gregorio Bunch
For over a decade, Toni Gregorio-Bunch has had a hand in coordinating and managing Chapter activities and administration: Vice President for three terms, volunteer recruiter and coordinator too many times to count, Outreach Coordinator, and Publicity Chair. She was the co-coordinator of our Chapter’s Wildflower Show for several years and the Fall Plant Sale Manager. Even when she is not coordinating an event, she shows up to help: from tabling at many local outreach events, staffing plant sales and the Symposium, and showing off her buckwheat (and more) garden on the Going Native Garden Tour - she’s ‘been there’ for the Chapter.