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California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Activities

2020 CNPS SCV Native Plant Lecture Series

bannerThe CNPS SCV Native Plant Lecture Series was started during the pandemic in 2020. It covers a wide range of native plant related topics -- conservation, rare plants, gardening, plant science, tours of botanical hot spots, and more. The talks were live presentations followed by Q&As with the viewing audience. 


DSC09065 mariposa lily moth croppedProject 467: Enhancing Native Plant Diversity at Edgewood, Stuart B. Weiss Ph.D.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Watch on YouTube.

Edgewood Natural Preserve near Redwood City is famous for its flower-filled serpentine grasslands. But the 467 acres of Edgewood support great biodiversity in the chaparral, oak woodlands, and grasslands on more fertile soils. The 100+ acres of fertile grasslands are by far the most weed-invaded habitat, and have been the focus of successful control of “macroweeds.” Learn how the Friends of Edgewood and Creekside Science are pursuing the goal of decreasing “microweeds” and increasing native cover and diversity.

A Rapid Assessment Plot (RAP) inventory with over 80 plots documented more than 90 native species in the fertile grasslands, albeit often at low cover. They are investigating treatments to reduce annual weed seedlings just after germination, including hydromechanical pulverization (HMP) -- basically pressurewashing the grassland, and close-mowing with string cutters.

Besides commercially available local seeds, they are using more than 15 species of “boutique” seeds grown at Edgewood Farms and the Native Garden. They are trying to develop a long-term “indigenous” approach to restoration, whereby a beautiful, colorful diversity of native plants is established and can spread naturally given occasional management.

Stu Weiss, Ph.D. (Stanford University) is Chief Scientist of Creekside Science, which provides scientific and conservation expertise to diverse organizations as they cope with the rapidly changing 21st Century environment. He has researched the Bay checkerspot butterfly and serpentine grasslands since 1979, and has authored numerous scientific papers concerning climate/microclimate, population dynamics, nitrogen deposition, and conservation ecology. Creekside Science executes many hands-on restoration projects, including butterfly reintroductions, propagation of endangered plants, and habitat monitoring and management. His research and advocacy were instrumental in the development of the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan, and he is Science Advisor for the Bay Area Conservation Lands Network. For more information see www.creeksidescience.com

                               Native Plants for Year-Round Color, a talk by Madeline Morrow

Thursday, December 3, 2020

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Learn how to select and group plants with varying bloom times so your garden is never without color. You’ll enjoy it and so will the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds! See how to choose different plant forms and include beautiful bark, berry, and seed producing species for maximum interest all year long.

Madeline Morrow is a past President of our CNPS Chapter and current board member. A former computer programmer, she now volunteers in her community and works extensively on her native garden. Her garden was featured in Bay Nature magazine in March 2013; and she solved her drainage problem by installing a rain garden.

Doug TallamyNature’s Best Hope, A talk by Doug Tallamy

Saturday, November 14, 2020 5:00pm

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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.

Ameet ZaveriWildlife of the Bay Area, a talk by Ameet Zaveri

October 26, 2020 7:30pm

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We call the Bay Area our home. How well do we know the wildlife that inhabit this space? Over 400 species of birds, charismatic cats like puma and bobcat, even non-felines like Western Tiger Swallowtail? Can you tell a rattlesnake from a non-venomous snake? Do you know there are *two* whale-watching seasons every year?
 
Learn about these and other fascinating aspects of wildlife in the Bay Area from naturalist and photographer Ameet Zaveri. An avid naturalist from a young age and a long-time Bay Area resident, Ameet is the founder of the informative website sfbaywildlife.info. He will share pictures and information about when, where, and how to experience wildlife in the Bay Area, and answer your questions.

Julie InField 2020 02 ByBillWaycott P1040199 croppedCNPS Vegetation Program: Fine-scale inventory and mapping, a talk by Julie Evens

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 7:30pm

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Julie Evens, the Vegetation Program Director of CNPS, will give an overview of CNPS's Vegetation Program and our broader collaborations on fine-scale vegetation classification and mapping in California to document our state’s incredible vegetation diversity. Julie helps maintain standard methods for surveying, classifying, and mapping vegetation in California and works with agencies, conservancies, and CNPS chapters on vegetation assessment projects, including current projects in the Greater Bay Area, Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Sierra Nevada foothills, North Coast, Modoc Plateau, among other regions. She is a co-author with John Sawyer and Todd Keeler-Wolf of A Manual of California Vegetation, 2nd edition (http://vegetation.cnps.org), and she is a co-editor with Michael Barbour et al. of California’s Botanical Landscapes: A Pictorial View of the State’s Vegetation. She also helped compile the CNPS Fire Recovery Guide, 1st edition (available for download here: https://www.cnps.org/give/priority-initiatives/fire-recovery). Julie has a M.A. degree from Humboldt State University, and she has two B.A. degrees from the University of California–Santa Cruz.


IMG 1356Planting Demo, Nursery Tour and QA session

Saturday, October 10, 2020 10am

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There's a twist on our Going Native Garden Tour session in October -- rather than our usual garden visits, we'll be visiting the CNPS SCV and Grassroots Ecology Nurseries. Our 2020 fall plant sale is going to be online and will start immediately after the session (more information about the CNPS SCV plant sale at http://cnps-scv.org/2020-plant-sale, and Grassroots Ecology's at: https://www.grassrootsecology.org/online-plant-sales). Since you won't be able to come to the nursery to pick your plants out, we're doing our best to bring the nursery to you. This session includes a planting demonstration by Krzysztof Kozminski and tour of the nursery followed by a QA session with knowledgeable native plant gardeners from both nurseries so that you can ask for advice and get answers to questions about specific plants that will be available at their sales.

 

dee orangutanCNPS Explorers: A Botanical Quest in Asia & Europe, by Ken and Dee Himes

September 24, 2020

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Join Ken and Dee Himes as they highlight their 2019 travels from May to November: a journey to Hong Kong, Borneo, Singapore, Penang, India and parts of Europe, on a botanical quest to compare flora and geological features with those of California. The main botanical focus of the trip was in Munsyari, the southern side of the Himalaya in the state of Uttarakhand, India. They will share some of their experiences from a once-in-a-lifetime trek in the Himalaya with three other Chapter members: Arvind Kumar, Ashok Jethanandani, and Joe Cernac. See a surprising geological feature in Hong Kong; orangutans in Borneo; amazing flora in the Himalayas; and other botanical interests in the other countries visited. Of course there will be some interesting insect and bug photos as well.

Ken and Dee Himes have been Chapter members since 1974 (Ken) and 2007 (Dee). Ken is a CNPS Fellow who has held nearly every Chapter position, in addition to leading long-term habitat restoration efforts at Edgewood. Since joining CNPS, Dee has been our Chapter treasurer, field trip chair and board member, a member of the CNPS State Board; and has inspired many with her exceptional photography skills. Ken and Dee were married in 2016, and have continued to celebrate by enjoying interesting plants and habitats wherever they travel.

GNGT: Matadero Garden and Bol Park

September 15, 2020

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View two fabulous native plant gardens in Palo Alto with talks and Q&A sessions by their owners and designers. This is a terrific opportunity to get ideas for your own garden and receive advice from experienced gardeners and designers.

Matadero Garden, http://gngt.org/MataderoOaks_GNGT, Melanie Cross & Stephanie Morris

Bol Park Native Garden, http://gngt.org/BolPark_GNGT, Melanie Cross & Claire Elliott

GNGT: Hernandez Backyard & Butterfly House Native Garden

September 2, 2020

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Going Native Garden Tour (GNGT - http://gngt.org) - virtual visits to two of the garden on the tour.

Hernandez Backyard in San Jose, http://gngt.org/Hernandez_GNGT

Carrie Levin, Butterfly House Native Garden in Sunnyvale, http://gngt.org/ButterflyHouse_GNGT

 

 

CNPS SCV Native Plant Lecture Series

bannerThe CNPS SCV Native Plant Lecture Series has something for everyone -- whether you're curious about native plants, an experienced or aspiring native plant gardener or a professional botanist, you will find something to interest and educate you in our offerings. From gardening to plant science to conservation to tours of botanical hot spots, if you're interested in California's native plants, there's something here for you. Most of our lectures are on Wednesday evening. Our talks are live presentations followed by Q&As with the viewing audience. They are live streamed simultaneously to Zoom and YouTube.

View past talks on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/CNPSSantaClaraValley


Upcoming Talks

Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 7:30pm

DSC00639 tiberon mariposa lily croppedBay Area Rare Plants – A nine-county photo tour, a talk by David Greenberger

This talk will take viewers on a whirlwind trip around the Bay, presenting photography and commentary on rare species ranging from the iconic to the very obscure.  The nine counties that touch San Francisco Bay will each have time in the spotlight, with several plants featured for each.

David Greenberger is fortunate to work as a botanist and conservationist on Mt. Tamalpais, a small coastal peak in Marin County whose watersheds cradle a flora of over 1,000 species.  He’s spent the last six+ years with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and has also done stints with the Marin Municipal Water District and Point Blue Conservation Science.  He serves as Rare Plant Chair for CNPS Marin Chapter.  His plant expertise centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, but he’s obsessed with biodiversity, novelty, and rarity across the state and beyond.

This talk will be live streamed on YouTube and Zoom (requires advance registration).

Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 7:30pm

sheet mulchingConverting Your Lawn with Sheet Mulching, a talk by Radhika Thekkath

Do you have a traditional lawn that you would like to convert to a native garden with habitat value and long-term drought resilience? Come learn a simple technique that you can immediately put into practice and start planting your native plant garden this Fall. Radhika's lawn area was sheet mulched years ago and is now a thriving native pollinator meadow giving joy to birds, bees, butterflies and the family.

Radhika Thekkath is a retired computer scientist who has been gardening with native plants and has been an active member of our Chapter for over ten years. She recently returned to California after a three year stay in Washington state. Her more recent work includes active forestry management and stewardship as well as sustainable building with cob and straw bale. She recently completed an in-depth course in permaculture design.

This talk will be live streamed on YouTube and Zoom (requires advance registration).

Recent Talks

Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 7:30pm

P5141074Rosewood Medicinal Native Garden, a talk by Radhika Thekkath

This talk will feature an in-depth visit to the Rosewood Medicinal Native Garden, one of the gardens on the 2021 Going Native Garden Tour. Come on a tour to a suburban garden stocked with native plants valued for their medicinal value. The Rosewood Palo Alto garden is about 12 years old, converted from non-native grass to native plant areas. The garden features a pond with waterfall and bathing area for birds and wildlife, a native pollinator meadow, edible fruits, and a compost area. The tour will be followed by a question and answer session with the garden owner. This talk is part of the 2021 Going Native Garden Tour, which started in April, and is providing virtual tours throughout the year. Register for the tour at gngt.org to receive updates on upcoming tour activities.

Radhika Thekkath is a retired computer scientist who has been gardening with native plants and has been an active member of our Chapter for over ten years. She recently returned to California after a three year stay in Washington state. Her more recent work includes active forestry management and stewardship as well as sustainable building with cob and straw bale. She is currently completing an in-depth course in permaculture design.

This talk will be live streamed on YouTube.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 7:30pm

IMG 8009 nikki croppedFire Resilient Landscaping with Native Plants, a talk by Nikki Hanson

With increasing drought and fire risk, gardening and land management in the wildland urban interface (WUI) can seem daunting.  In this talk, Nikki will address six elements of firesafe landscaping to consider when trying to tackle this hot topic: where to plant, what to plant, spacing between plants, break up continuity in the garden, maintenance, irrigation. We will have lots of time for questions as we break down the pieces to creating a landscape that is beautiful, resilient, and habitat friendly.

Nikki brings a breadth of experience to her landscaping and land management approach. With 17 years working in native plant nurseries, and a dozen years working as an educator in various capacities, she hopes to help home gardeners and rural residents be more equipped to foster a fire resilient landscape. Prior to starting her new business, California Sisters Landscapes, she had a variety of roles at the local non-profit Grassroots Ecology, including Environmental Educator and Nursery Manager. Nikki has an B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz. She has experience in plant science, including her own graduate research on native milkweed production at the University of Idaho.

This talk will be live streamed on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 7:30pm

SMorris Bio Photo 200pxFrom Trails to Gardens: Celebrating Local Native Plants, a talk by Stephanie Morris

For many of us, hiking has activated an interest in gardening with California native plants.  This talk explores many of our locally native plants in Santa Clara Valley through hiking photos and compares native plants in our wildlands with their counterparts in gardens.

What unusual plants are growing closer to us than we think and where can we see them?  What do we learn about how to grow natives from seeing them in their natural setting?  Do plants look different or respond in unexpected ways when grown under garden conditions?

A plant list of California natives seen on local trails that also thrive when grown in gardens will be shared, along with many inspirational home garden and wildland trail photos.

Stephanie Morris has been working in the field of Landscape Architecture for 25 years.  She enjoys creating designs that respond to aesthetics, functionality, and ecology  ̶  with emphasis on California native plants, healthy soil, water-conservation, and environmentally-conscious materials.

This talk will be live streamed on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 7:30pm

pengar26 croppedThe Penney Garden: A Transformation Story, a talk by Janine Penney

Many years ago, the Penneys stopped watering their lawn and caring for the soil.  Most of the established non-native plants did well on only rainwater, but the rest of the yard became compacted and overgrown with Bermuda grass. This talk is part of the 2021 Going Native Garden Tour, which is providing virtual tours throughout the year.  Register for the tour at gngt.org to get updates on upcoming tour activities. View this garden's tour site at https://gngt.org/Penney_GNGT 

Janine Penney will walk us through the one-year process that has transformed the compacted dirt yard to a young native garden.  She designed the garden with wildlife in mind, with foundation plants that mature to different levels to provide food, shelter and nesting areas.  Visitors can’t help but notice the two raised vegetable beds among the native plants, which provide vegetables and edible (non-native) flowers.  There is also a small pond with native bog plants.

Janine Penney has over 20 years of experience in K-12 education and amateur gardening.  She became obsessed with California native gardening over the last few years.

This talk will be live streamed on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 7:30pm

staff a williamsWildflowers of the Bay Area, a talk by Andrea Williams

Wildflower season in the Bay Area is upon us, but even seasoned hikers and naturalists can get confused by the diversity of beautiful flowers we have in our area.  To help you progress in your native wildflower knowledge, Andrea Williams, CNPS’ Director of Biodiversity Initiatives, will provide an overview of the most common wildflowers in our area during this webinar.  She’ll go over how to identify these flowers and share interesting natural history details about each.  We’ll also share about some of the community science work CNPS is leading to protect our state’s amazing plant biodiversity.

Andrea Williams has two decades of experience in science-based public lands management: monitoring rare plants and plant communities, carrying out project compliance surveys, mapping and removing invasive plants and responding to landscape-level threats.  She has worked in partnership to design indicators, metrics, status and trends for land health; lead volunteers in botanical inventories; improve the quality and quantity of data submitted to California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB); and teach plant identification, field methods and invasive plant management planning.

This talk will be live streamed on YouTube.

ryan odell 200pxFlora of the San Joaquin Desert, a talk by Ryan O’Dell

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

Located in the southern Central Valley, the San Joaquin Desert is the smallest, least recognized and most imperiled true desert in North America, with less than 40% of its original area remaining. The desert was not formally described until 1995 and didn’t gain recognition by the scientific community until 2011. The San Joaquin Desert is floristically distinct with 37 near-endemic and 40 strictendemic plant species. Nearly half of the species are imperiled and listed as endangered, threatened, rare or watch status. This presentation will delve into why it took so long for the San Joaquin to be recognized as a desert, how it is both climatically and floristically similar to the Mojave Desert and what we can do to conserve what little of it remains.

Ryan O’Dell has been a Natural Resource Specialist with the BLM Central Coast Field Office for 14 years. His primary duties include rare plant survey and endangered plant species monitoring and recovery in the central Inner South Coast Ranges and San Joaquin Desert.

J 1125dGardening for Native Bees, a talk by John Kehoe

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

We all know about the European honeybee, but what about the native bees that live here in Santa Clara Valley? These local insects help pollinate our ornamental and edible plants, too! Once you know what to look for, you’ll learn to recognize over a dozen bee species that live in our urban setting ̶ especially among locally-growing native plants. Find out how planting even a few select natives can enrich your garden and attract even more bees.

John Kehoe is a longtime member of CNPS as well as the Xerces Society. He is passionate about the natural world and is a lead volunteer as well as a board member of the nonprofit Ulistac Natural Area Restoration and Education Project (UNAREP). He is also a regular volunteer at various CNPS functions. His research interests include studying native bees and their relationships with native plants. He shares these interests by way of his photography on Flickr, CalPhotos, Bumble Bee Watch, and on his YouTube channel, He frequently posts on iNaturalist, especially on the California Pollination Project.

Juanita SNative Plant Pollinators, a talk by Juanita Salisbury

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

Join Landscape Architect Juanita Salisbury to learn fascinating details about native plant pollinators. Juanita will share details about specific pollinator relationships with California native plants and methods for attracting more pollinators to your garden. She will also share information about several public California native pollinator gardens she has spearheaded in Palo Alto. The focus for designing a habitat is productivity and resiliency and methods to achieve both will be discussed. “Form follows function” in the most general sense, is one of the guiding principles for a resilient habitat. Best practices for optimizing the functions of various plants and other habitat items will be discussed, as well as how to avoid creating an ecological trap. These methods are easily implemented and flexible so that they can be shared and built upon.

Juanita Salisbury, Ph.D., is a licensed landscape architect who grew up in exploring wild spaces in California and Oregon. She started gardening at around age thirteen and has been inspired by the beauty of gardens and nature ever since. With degrees in psychology, biopsychology, and landscape architecture, Juanita has established her own design firm focused on ecologically friendly, drought-tolerant planting.

kk truck 200pxMeadowlands Garden Tour, a talk by Krzysztof Kozminski

Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

Meadowlands, a private residential garden in San Jose, has been cultivated for over 20 years, starting from a lifeless patch of subsoil, stripped bare during the house construction in 1996. Initially it was planted as a mix of native and exotic drought-tolerant plants. From about the year 2000 onwards, only native plants were added. Currently, the garden is at least 95% California native, and boasts a collection of over 300 species and cultivars of California natives. The main feature of the garden is a large collection of California lilacs (ceanothus), with over 60 different species and cultivars, most of them having grown to mature size. Ceanothus seedlings have volunteered in the garden in recent years; most of them are unique hybrids and about 50 of these have reached flowering stage. The wide variety of native plans and large brush piles attract numerous wildlife. Visitors include jackrabbits, skunks, lizards, frogs, toads, snakes and many birds and insects. Several years ago, a covey of California quail made its home in the thickets of big saltbush (Atriplex lentiformis) and other low-growing shrubs. The garden is frequently on the Going Native Garden Tour (gngt.org/Meadowlands_GNGT).

Krzysztof Kozminski, aka KK, is a software engineer by profession (Ph.D. in electrical engineering, 1985). His hobbies are collecting and photographing plants and growing clay-tolerant native California species in his garden in San Jose. He is an active member and co-founder of the Going Native Garden Tour Steering Committee and created and maintains the Tour’s website. Krzys was the recipient of our Chapter’s 2020 Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Krantz BotGarden 200pxSaving Wildflowers: How to be a More Effective Rare Plant Advocate, a talk by Dr. Tim Krantz

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

This talk is cosponsored by the East Bay Chapter and our Chapter of CNPS. Rare plants are like canaries in coal mines: they are indicator species of environmental impacts to their respective ecosystems, which, if ignored or left unattended, could result in the destruction of those unique habitats. Each one has its own story of endangerment: from the Presidio manzanita, with only one naturally occurring specimen in the wild but reproduced from cuttings in the native nursery trade; to the Cushenbury buckwheat, restricted to limestone soils and threatened by mining; to the slender-horned spineflower, once common on alluvial fans in Southern California and now extremely endangered by sand and gravel mining and urban development. And they need your help! From more than 40 years of environmental impact assessment experience, Dr. Krantz will share some tricks of the rare plant protection trade, including a citizen’s guide to the California Environmental Quality Act and Federal and State Endangered Species Acts, as they pertain to rare plant conservation. Anyone can adopt a local rarity, become familiar with its natural history and testify before a local agency as an “expert witness” on the rare plant’s behalf. You too can become a “Wildflower Warrior!”

Dr. Tim Krantz’s day job is Professor and Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at the University of Redland. At his “moonlight job” he serves as the founding director of the Southern California Montane Botanic Garden at The Wildlands Conservancy’s Oak Glen Preserve. He is an authority on the flora of the San Bernardino Mountains, which was the subject of his dissertation from U.C. Berkeley. He is also an authority on the Salton Sea, when he served as the Salton Sea Database Program Director under the auspices of then-Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt. He is an avid birder, but his particular passion is conserving rare and endangered plants. He has been cited on the listing petitions of 15 rare, threatened or endangered species.

Tim's talk will be preceded by the recipient of the 2020-2021 Donald Mayall Conservation Graduate Research Scholarship, Martin Purdy from the Claremont Graduate School / California Botanic Garden. Martin has been exploring the flora of the Coyote Ridge area, a 50 square mile alpine-subalpine site located in northwest Inyo County for the past year.  This year, he will continue to document the diversity and distribution of vascular and nonvascular plant species, publish a voucher-based checklist of plants occurring there, and provide this information to the Inyo National Forest and California Natural Diversity Database. The primary recipient of his plant vouchers will be the California Botanic Garden Herbarium with duplicate sets sent to other regional herbaria.

                               Growing and Appreciating California Succulents in Gardens and in the Wild,  a talk by Paul Heiple 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021,  7:30pm 

This talk can be viewed on YouTube.

A few pieces of California native succulents from a CNPS wildflower show prompted geologist and restorationist Paul Heiple to add many California natives to his large collection of “foreign” succulents. Soon he was deep into dudleyas, sedums, lewisias, cacti and yuccas. Paul will share the excitement of finding these beautiful plants in the wild and he will explain how he grows them.

Paul Heiple is the Grassroots Ecology Botanist Emeritus. A retired petroleum geologist who spent his career exploring for oil in the Williston Basin of North Dakota, he now focuses on the smaller landscapes of Jasper Ridge and nearby Pearson-Arastradero Preserve and Edgewood Preserve. Paul has served as chair of the Conservation Committee of the Town of Portola Valley, co-chair of the San Mateo County Weed Management Area and as our Chapter’s Treasurer. He is active with the California Invasive Plant Council and mentors local Boy Scout troops. He also leads the long-running, effective weed warrior effort at Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve, a famous serpentine grassland reserve near Redwood City.

Radhika face 200pxGetting Started with Native Plants, a talk by Radhika Thekkath 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

Handouts: Plant List, Slides

Learn the advantages of incorporating even a few native plants into a Bay Area suburban garden. Whether the homeowner wants to put in three native plants in a small bed or convert the entire front yard, it is never easy to know where to start. This talk takes the fear out of this unfamiliar botanic world. With lots of photos and a list of just 22 plants of varying sizes, colors and shapes, the problem is made tractable. The chosen plants are easy to grow, maintain and water, and do well in the clay soil of our San Francisco Bay Area. 

Radhika Thekkath is a retired computer scientist who has been gardening with native plants and has been an active member of our Chapter for over ten years. She recently returned to California after a three year stay in Washington state. Her more recent work includes active forestry management and stewardship as well as sustainable building with cob and straw bale. She is currently completing an in-depth course in permaculture design.

Dee Himes    Taking Close Up Plant ID pictures with a Camera Phone, a talk by Dee Himes

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

Plant identification in the field can be challenging, and capturing clear pictures of the parts of a plant that you’ll need for later identification can be a frustrating exercise. Dee Himes will show you how to take quality close-ups with an iPhone and ōlloclip® lens adapter, and help understand what features of plants are needed to identify a plant from pictures. You’ll never have to return home and be disappointed that your pictures are missing features or are too fuzzy to use.Plant identification in the field can be challenging, and capturing clear pictures of the parts of a plant that you’ll need for later identification can be a frustrating exercise. Dee Himes will show you how to take quality close-ups with an iPhone and ōlloclip® lens adapter, and help understand what features of plants are needed to identify a plant from pictures. You’ll never have to return home and be disappointed that your pictures are missing features or are too fuzzy to use.

Dee has been a CNPS member since the early 2000s, and served as our Chapter treasurer (2012-2014) as well as field trip chair (2014-2016). She’s currently serving on both the state CNPS and our Chapter’s board of directors. Dee has a passion for horticulture and photography and combines this love by photographing plants in their natural environment.

san bruno headshots 20210216The Natural History of San Bruno Mountain, a talk by David Nelson and Doug Allshouse

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

San Bruno Mountain is possibly the best undiscovered natural area in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Thirteen rare and endangered plants, including six endemics, call the mountain their home. Four federally threatened or endangered butterflies live and breed here, the only place on Earth where they all co-exist. All told, there are 42 species of butterflies, 200 species of birds, 16 mammals, 13 reptiles and 6 amphibians. The mountain is a mélange of plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates that celebrate the incredible diversity that once existed within our state; a diversity that is vanishing at an astonishing rate, but that is being fiercely protected by people who simply refuse to allow it to disappear on the mountain. This talk will show you some of the natural wonders of this State and County Park and federallyprotected nature reserve and biological hotspot.

David Nelson is an orthopedic hand surgeon who has long been a student of nature. He took a CNPS tour of San Bruno Mountain led by Doug Allshouse in 2013 and was hooked by the beauty of the mountain and Doug’s talent for explaining nature. When he proposed doing a book on the mountain to Doug, he discovered that Doug was already working on one and welcomed his participation. Doug Allshouse lives on San Bruno Mountain, 100 feet below the Saddle Trail, and has been exploring, studying, and recording their natural history since 1981. He was a founder and officer of Friends of San Bruno Mountain, beginning in 1996, as well as of the original Mission Blue Nursery in 2001. He has been working on a seven-year project with David Nelson writing an updated flora, The Natural History of the San Bruno Mountains.

Shelkie TaoGardening for Biodiversity with Native Plants, a talk by Shelkie Tao

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 7:30pm

View this talk on YouTube.

Native gardens provide so many benefits. They are beautiful, low water, low maintenance and support a wide variety of wildlife. A major advantage of native gardens is that they can be a great place to help us preserve biodiversity. 

California is a hotspot of biodiversity: it “is home to more species of plants and animals than any other state, and is home to about one third of all species found in the United States, including more rare plants than most states have plants.”  However, “More than 30% of California’s species are threatened with extinction.”

The good news is that our gardens can help restore and preserve biodiversity. By planting a wide variety of native plants, including those that are facing extinction, native plant gardens can support plant biodiversity while supporting a large number of insects, pollinators and other forms of wildlife.  In this meeting, Shelkie will talk about the biodiversity benefits of native plants, and go through some of the plants she uses in the gardens she designed.

Shelkie Tao is landscape designer and founder of WaterEfficientGardens.com, an online landscape design business that excels in low water and native plant garden designs. She is a sustainability-driven entrepreneur committed to developing water-saving and ecosystem-friendly solutions.  Prior to Water Efficient Gardens, Shelkie worked over 10 years in the high tech industry in Silicon Valley.  She received her Certificate of Achievement in Environmental Horticulture and Design from Foothill College, and MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.

                               Maintaining Your Native Plant Garden, a panel talk

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 7:30pm

Watch on YouTube

Winter is a time of renewal for native plant gardens. As we hope for winter rain, we are also on the alert for the weeds they bring while taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and moisture to plant, prune, and take care of other important gardening tasks. Stephanie Morris, Lior Dahan, Patricia Evans and Madeline Morrow will share their winter garden maintenance routines. Bring your questions and any ideas you may want to share with others during a group discussion, and get your garden ready for spring!

Stephanie Morris is a landscape architect focused on creating designs that respond to ecology, aesthetics, and functionality with emphasis on native plants, healthy soil, water-conservation, and environmentally-conscious materials..  Lior Dahan has a degree in environmental horticulture and owns Rhythmic Gardening, an ecological garden maintenance company with a focus on working with nature to heal soil, grow healthy plants, and appreciate the wildlife in our gardens. Patricia Evans, owner of Natural Landscape Design, specializes in native plants and sustainable landscaping. Madeline Morrow is a past President of our CNPS Chapter and current board member. Her garden was featured in Bay Nature magazine in March 2013 and has been on the Going Native Garden Tour for many years.

Kate Marianchild, credit Evan Johson

The Amazing Manzanita and All Her Relations, Kate Marianchild

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:30pm 

Watch on YouTube

Manzanita! The word conjures visions of curvy reddish limbs reaching upward and outward into the sky, a feast for the fingers as well as the eyes. But there is much more to this plant than its striking beauty, including its talent for thriving in tough conditions. Have you ever wondered how 193 species and subspecies have managed to emerge since manzanita first appeared on the central California coast 37 million years ago?

In January, when manzanitas of all shapes and sizes will be glowing with small white or pink flowers, author and naturalist Kate Marianchild will explain some of manzanita’s “mojo” ––its profound partnerships with fungi and bumblebees; its super-thin skin that both helps and hinders it; and its waxy leaves that follow the sun from dawn to dusk. She’ll tell stories about pollination in middle C; unscrupulous “nectar thieves,” and bark that peels around summer solstice. She’ll also emphasize manzanita’s vital role in the lives of animals––from ants and silk moths to birds and bears.

Kate Marianchild is the author of Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants and Animals among California’s Oaks (Heyday, 2014). This award-winning bestseller is an engaging and beautifully illustrated romp through California’s most widespread habitat. With humor, affection, and scientific accuracy, Marianchild profiles the behaviors, social structures, anatomical marvels, and co-evolutionary relationships of twenty-two plants and animals found in California’s oak woodlands.

Marianchild lives in a yurt near Ukiah surrounded by acorn woodpeckers, woodrats, newts, and five kinds of oaks. When she is not giving talks, guiding walks, or observing nature, she swims, sings, and advocates for the preservation of native plants and the food webs that depend on them. More information, as well as the opportunity to purchase signed copies of her book, close-focus binoculars, and oak identification guides, at katemarianchild.com.


 Archives

2020 Talks

Natural Resources DataBase

What Is the Natural Resources DataBase?

The Natural Resources DataBase is a compilation of observations of flora and fauna made at open space and nature preserves and parks in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The database can be searched for available data on flora, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes seen at one or more preserves. The database was designed and implemented by Dennis H. Smith, who also entered and maintains the data. Bill Korbholz adapted the database for Internet use and designed and implemented the web interface. The system was a popular source of lists for use in the field, and provided users with a wide variety of options -- including checklists, plant lists and more.

Although many of the preserves represented in the NRDB are a part of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, MROSD is not affiliated with the NRDB nor is the District responsible for the maintenance, quality, or accuracy of data represented by the NRDB. Collection of specimens on preserves represented in the NRDB requires special permission. Contact the managing agency for more information.

As of its last update on 3/31/2020, the database contained information on 4,510 plant and animal species found on 238 preserves within the greater San Francisco Bay Area. There have been 95,155 sightings recorded to date. Plant lists from NRDB have been copied to PlantID.net and Calflora.

Accessing NRDB lists on PlantID.net

All of the plant lists from nrdb.org are available on PlantID.net under Local Plant ID Lists. Lists from nrdb.org will include "List Source: NRDB.org" under the list name.

Accessing NRDB Observations at Calflora

Tens of thousands of NRDB observations have been transferred to Calflora. The focus of the NRDB is what species are observed at named preserves. The focus of Calflora is where named species have been observed. Calflora provides a mechanism for getting a plant list for a given preserve, but there are currently some caveats. Every species in Calflora is accompanied by observation records. Because NRDB data were entered into Calflora as checklists, you must check the 'include surveys/checklists' box on the Observation or Observation Hotline page. NRDB observations will appear withObserver = Staff, and Source = Natural Resources Database - www.nrdb.org.

Activities

Activities

Chapter activities provide a wide range of opportunities for novice and experienced native plant enthusists to learn and enjoy the company of fellow plant lovers.

Tumy Hills 20160227

Field Trips: The chapter conducts many outings during the year to areas of botanical interest, usually in the local area, but also occasional overnights to exciting, far off places. Each trip is a good opportunity to explore new places and meet new friends.

Photography Group: A popular program dedicated to improving photographic skills. The group has a monthly meeting to share photographs. A good way to learn more about photography and our native plants, and very good entertainment!

Keying with Natives: Monthly meetings offer an opportunity to develop and practice plant identification skills.

Native Plant Lecture Series:: The CNPS SCV Native Plant Lecture Series has something for everyone -- whether you're curious about native plants, an experienced or aspiring native plant gardener or a professional botanist, you will find something to interest and educate you in our offerings. From gardening to plant science to conservation to tours of botanical hot spots, if you're interested in California's native plants, there's something here for you. We offer several lectures a month, usually on Wednesday evening.

Member Meetings: Our annual general meeting in November features a speaker of significant achievement. This meeting is open to members as well as the general public. In January, our Members' Night meeting provides a venue for members to share photos and socialize.

Botanizing in the State of Jefferson July, 2007

On June 30th, nearly 30 CNPS members made a seven hour voyage to the area of far northern California that many consider to be the heart of the State of Jefferson. What follows is a summary of where we went and what we saw.

Situated right on the wild and scenic Klamath River, Sarah Totten campground was all ours, and offered a wonderful place for us to call Home Sweet Temporary Home. On Sunday July 1st, we caravaned to Cook & Green Pass via Saeid Creek Rd., making several stops on our way up. At our first stop, sharp eyes spotted an interesting saprophytic plant growing in the forest duff: Monotropa hypopythis or pinesap, and this was a first time sighting for most in the group. As we continued uphill, we found many other interesting and showy plants, including some that were being dug up by poachers! At the top, we explored the Pacific Crest Trail as it heads east of Cook & Green, and  got a taste of the rich flora of the region and its relationship to the geology.

Monday was Calochortus day, and we traveled to three very different locations finding all three species we were seeking in nice bloom: C. persistens high up on Gunsight Ridge just west of Yreka; C. greenei just over the border into Oregon; and C. macrocarpus in a wide valley north of Mt. Shasta.

Day three saw a return to Cook & Green, this time on the PCT west of the pass towards Red Buttes. We encountered many species not seen on the other side of the pass, including a seep with Cypripedium californicum, the California lady-slipper orchid. The top of our journey to Bee Camp opened up to an area of stunning vistas and a different flora, as the local botany closely follows the local geology and microclimate.

The next day was a trip to Alex Hole, a northeast-facing cirque situated at the shoulder of Coundry Mountain. We found a stunning array of species to occur in and around this glacially-carved bowl, including choice plants from genera Lewisia, Erythonium, and Polemonium, along with several orchid species. This is also the only place we encountered melting snow. I think...

We moved camp south for the rest of the trip, to yet another paradise situated on the summit of Scott Mountain Pass, south of Etna on Hwy. 3. This campground adjacent to large meadows with seeps and fens surrounded by rich woodlands provided ample opportunity for the botanically inclined to lose themselves in the identification and appreciation of such a diversity of species.

Jefferson, we shall return.

Sonora Pass Carcamp Trip Report (Aug 1-3, 2008)

by Carolyn Dorsch

Eighteen people, including trip leaders Stella Yang and Carolyn Dorsch headed up to the Sierras the first weekend of August.  We camped off of Hwy 120, at 6,200 feet, near the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River.  The first day we stayed in the “lowlands,” and explored along the Clark Fork meadow and the Column of the Giants. 

Day Two found us up near the top of Hwy 120, just a little west of Sonora Pass.  We spent the day hiking up to St. Mary’s Pass (10,100 feet).  The walk was steadily uphill, but with wildflowers all along the way, low 70s temperature, and nice breezes, the 1,200 foot climb from the trailhead was quite manageable.  Along the way, and at the top of the pass we found many high-elevation flora blooming, including the following:  Pursh’s wooly-pod (Astragalus purshii), Buckwheat (Eriogonum ovalifolium), Sierra Claytonia (Claytonia nevadensis), and Arctic Willow (Salix arctica).  In fruit were two anemones: A. occidentalis and A. drummondii.  All together, it was about a three-mile round trip.  A couple people took the challenge offered by the mountains, and continued their hike up to Stanislaus Peak (11,233 feet) before rejoining the group back at the trailhead in the late afternoon.

Day Three, as a final stop before heading home, we drove down Herring Creek Road.  While it can be stunning in June (elevation around 7,000 feet), we had to work harder to find the flowers.  Following the water, we came across beautiful colonies of Alpine Lily (Lilium parvum) near Herring Creek. The trip was capped off with a short visit along the Trail of the Gargoyles, where we could admire the amazing geologic formations.  Plans are already in motion for another trip up to the Sonora Pass area. 

Late June/early July is the best time to see the flowers at the 6-7,000 feet elevation, but there is plenty to see in early August, so long as you go to the higher elevations. Look for this trip’s highlights at a Member’s Night meeting later in the year!

Completed Field Trips and Reports

Past Field Trips and Reports

Our chapter has an active field trip schedule. We've travelled all over the state and even out of state. You can see a list of some of our trips below. Where available, reports are linked to the trip listings.

Lunch at Montara Mt

Lunch at San Pedro Valley County Park Feb 21, 2016


Completed 2020 field trips

  • Jan 1, Año Nuevo State Preserve New Year Hike, San Mateo County
  • Jan 8, Field Trip Planning Meeting, Palo Alto
  • Feb 15, Dirca - Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, Cupertino
  • Feb 23, Hazelnut Trail, Montara Mountain, San Pedro Valley County Park, Pacifica
  • Mar 8, Spring Hike on Stile Ranch Trail, San Jose

2019 field trips

  • Jan 1, Año Nuevo State Preserve New Year Hike, San Mateo County
  • Jan 8, Field Trip Planning Meeting, PCC
  • Jan 12, First Wildflowers, Mushrooms, and Newts in Huddart Park, Woodside
  • Jan 13, Beginner's Plant Id at Almaden Quicksilver County Park, San Jose
  • Feb 9, Fetid Adder’s Tongue, Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve, Redwood City
  • Feb 16, Dirca - Stevens Creek County Park, Saratoga
  • Feb 17, Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, Morgan Hill
  • Feb 28 - Mar 2, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Camping Trip, Borrego Springs
  • Mar 16, Monvero Dunes Wildflower Tour, Firebaugh
  • Mar 17, San Bruno Mountain State & County Park, Brisbane
  • Mar 23 - 24, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Sonoma County
  • Mar 24, First Day of Spring Beginner’s Bird and Plant Identification Walk @ Lake Cunningham Park, San Jose
  • Apr 3-4, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve and Feather Falls, Butte County
  • Apr 7, Uvas Canyon County Park, Morgan Hill
  • Apr 13, Vernal Pool Wildflower Walk, Fremont
  • Apr 14, Beginners Wildflower Id Walk @ Stile Ranch Trail, San Jose
  • Apr 18, Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve, Cupertino
  • May 8, Mount Umunhum with Ken Hickman, Los Gatos
  • May 11-15, Lost Coast Backpacking Field Trip, Humboldt County
  • Jun 22, Search for Soap Plant - Evening Hike at Pulgas Ridge, Redwood City
  • Jun 23, First Day of Summer Beginner’s Bird and Plant Identification Walk at Lake Cunningham Park, San Jose
  • Jun 29, Insect & Plant Identification Walk @ Sierra Azul OSP, Los Gatos
  • Jul 4 - 7, Ebbetts Pass, Alpine Lake and Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold
  • Sep 22, First Day of Fall Beginner’s Bird and Plant Identification Walk @ Lake Cunningham, San Jose
  • Sep 22, Data Collection with Calflora at Edgewood, Redwood City
  • Nov 17, Beginner’s Plant Id Walk @ Rancho Cañada del Oro, Morgan Hill
  • Dec 7, Moss Hike in Almaden Quicksilver Park, San Jose

2018 field trips

Hummer at Loma Hike

  • Jan 1, Año Nuevo State Preserve (Hwy 1 coast-southern San Mateo County)
  • Jan 8, Annual Field Trip Planning Meeting, PCC.
  • Jan 14, Almaden Quicksilver County Park, Plant Communities of the South Bay: Plant Id Walks for Beginners.
  • Feb 12, Dirca walk at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Portola Valley.
  • Feb 17,  Dirca Hike at San Francisco Peninsula Watershed, San Mateo County
  • Feb 18, 2018, Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, Morgan Hill - Plant Communities of the South Bay: Plant Id Walks for Beginners (Morgan Hill)
  • Feb 19, Dirca walk at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (San Mateo County)
  • Feb 24, Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve, Fragrant Fritillary at Coyote Ridge (Morgan Hill)
  • Feb 25, Hazelnut Trail, Montara Mt., San Pedro Valley County Park (Pacifica)
  • Mar 1-5, Cancelled
  • Sun Mar 4 Lichen Walk at Pedro Point Headlands (Pacifica) (Changed date due to rain)
  • Sun Mar 11 Shooting Stars at Grant Ranch (San Jose)
  • Mar 18 #1:Beginner’s Bird and Plant Identification Walk Series at Lake Cunningham, San Jose
  • Mar 22 Picchetti Ranch OSP, Cupertino
  • Mar 25 Field Trip Planning and brainstorming Potluck & Edgewood Hike and leader training (San Mateo County)
  • Apr 1 Summit Loop Trail, San Bruno Mountain State and County Park
  • April 8 Sweeney Ridge (San Bruno)
  • Apr 29, Cañada de los Osos Ecological Reserve, Gilroy
  • May 5, Wilder Ranch State Park (Santa Cruz)
  • May 5 Loma Fire Hike, x-Rancho Cañada del Oro, rescheduled
  • May 19, Coastal Walk at McNee Ranch State Park (San Mateo County)
  • May 20,  Grass Walk at Los Trancos OSP (Santa Cruz Mountains)
  • May 24 - 29 (Memorial Day weekend) Lava Beds National Monument and McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park (NE CA)
  • Jun 3,  Redwood Walk at Portola Redwoods State Park (San Mateo County)
  • Jun 9,  Night Hike at Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve (San Carlos)
  • June 10, Mount Hamilton Road Trip (San Jose)
  • Jun 16, Beginner’s Bird and Plant ID Walk Series at Lake Cunningham Park  (San Jose) Session #2: First Day of Summer
  • July 1-8: Backpacking trips to Mt. Eddy and Big Duck Lake in Russian Wilderness
  • July 20-23 Carson Pass  ̶ Sierra Wildflowers off Hwy 88 (Alpine County)
  • Aug 4-11: Backpacking trips to Little Duck Lake and Campbell Lake (Marble Mtn Wilderness)
  • Sep 23: Beginner’s Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)
  • Oct  13 October  Native Plant  Stroll (San Jose)  
  • Oct 14 Berries for Birds: a Beginner’s Plant Id & Habitat Walk @ Rancho Canada del Oro (Morgan Hill)
  • Nov 25 Uvas Canyon County Park (Morgan Hill) [rescheduled from Nov 17]
  • Nov 25 Trees and Shrubs of Santa Clara Valley: a Plant Id Walk @ Rancho Cañada del Oro (Morgan Hill)
  • Dec 23 Beginner’s Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham (San Jose)

2017 field trips

Fetid Adder's Tongue, Pulgas Ridge

  • Jan 1, Año Nuevo State Preserve (Hwy 1 coast-southern San Mateo County)
  • Jan 8 St. Joseph's Hill Preserve, Mid Pen Open Space Preserve (Los Gatos) RAIN CANCELED
  • Jan 9 Field Trip Planning Meeting, PCC
  • Jan 14, Dirca Walk, Windy Hill Open Space Preserve (Portola Valley)
  • Jan 22, Fungi Walk, Los Trancos Open Space Preserve (Page Mill Rd)  RAIN CANCELED
  • Feb 11, Fetid Adder’s Tongue, Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve (San Carlos)
  • Feb 26, Summit Loop Trail, San Bruno Mountain State and County Park   
  • Mar 5  Uvas Canyon County Park (Morgan Hill) CANCELED
  • Mar 5  Stile Ranch Trail, San Jose
  • Mar 11 Lichen Walk at Pedro Point Headlands (Pacifica) CANCELED
  • Mar 19 Beginner’s Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)
  • Mar 19  Mount Madonna County Park (Gilroy)
  • Mar 19  Exploratory Walk on San Bruno Mountain (South San Francisco)
  • Mar 25 Pinnacles National Park (San Benito County)
  • Mar 31 Sun April 2  Spring Wildflowers at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (Mt. Hamilton)
  • April 9 Red Hills Area - BLM (Chinese Camp)
  • Apr 16 Serpentine Loop Trail in Calero County Park (San Jose)
  • Apr 23  Spring Butterflies on Coyote Ridge (San Jose)
  • April 30 Vernal Pool Tour at Don Edwards SF National Wildlife Refuge, East Bay.
  • Apr 30  9am - 5pm  Henry Coe State Park Backcountry Walk (Morgan Hill)
  • May 6  Grass Walk at Edgewood Park (Redwood City)
  • May 7 - 13 Joshua Tree Camping
  • May 21 Bean Hollow State Beach (Hwy 1)
  • June 10, 2017 Search for Soap - Evening Hike, Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve (RWC)
  • July 1 to Tuesday, July 4 Ebbetts Pass, Alpine Lake and Calaveras Big Trees State Park
  • Sep 24 Beginner’s Bird and Plant Identification Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)
  • Oct 15 Salt Marsh Bird and Plant Walk at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, Union City
  • Oct 29 Woody Plants of St. Joseph’s Hill Open Space Preserve (Los Gatos)
  • Nov 19 Trees and Shrubs of SCV, Rancho Cañada del Oro OSP, Morgan Hill
  • Dec 16 Beginner’s Bird and Plant ID Walk, Lake Cunningham Park, San Jose
  • Dec 31 Butano State Park, Pescadero, San Mateo County (with Costanoa NYE Extravaganza Celebration)

2016 field trips

bighorn sheep anza borrego Joerg LohsePhoto by Joerg Lohse

  • Jan 1, Año Nuevo State Preserve (Hwy 1 coast-southern San Mateo County)
  • Jan 10 Know Your Willows:  Guadalupe River Mitigation Area
  • Feb 6 Dirca - Stevens Creek County Park, Cupertino
  • Feb 21 San Pedro Valley County Park (Pacifica)
  • Feb  27 Coal Mine Ridge (Portola Valley)
  • Mar 6 San Bruno Mountain Watch Hike (South San Francisco)
  • Mar 6 – 13 Anza Borrego Desert State Park ( San Diego County)
  • Mar 13 Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park (Gilroy)
  • Mar 20, Beginner’s Bird and Plant Identification Walk, Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)
  • Mar 20, San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • Mar 24, Walk, Talk and Shop Hike at Hidden Villa (Los Altos Hills)
  • Mar 26, Mt. Tamalpais, North Side Loop Hike
  • March 27, Coyote Ridge  (South San Jose)
  • March 29, Presidio Native Plant Nursery Field Trip Tour
  • April 2 Vernal Pools at Jepson Prairie (Solano County)
  • April 3 North Table Mountain Reserve (Butte County)
  • April 10 Rancho San Vicente (South San Jose) CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN
  • April 9 – 14 Eastern Mojave Desert
  • April 16, Calero County Park, Serpentine Loop Trail
  • April 17 Restoration project walk along Stevens Creek, Cupertino
  • May 14 Mount Hamilton Road Trip (San Jose)
  • May 14 Grass Walk at Los Trancos OSP
  • May 15 Butano State Park, Pescadero (San Mateo County)
  • May 22 Geology and Plant Walk at Alum Rock Park (San Jose)
  • May 21 Windy Hill Open Space Preserve (Portola Valley)
  • June 12 First Day of Summer Beginner’s Bird and Plant Identification Walk @ Lake Cunningham Park
  • July 16 - 23 Ericaecious Heaven - Duck Lake and Mt. Eddy Backpacking Trip
  • Oct 30, Uvas Canyon County Park, Morgan Hill
  • Dec 18, Beginners Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose).

2015 field trips

lewisia-rediviva-bitterroot400 Photo by Dee Himes

  • Jan 1 Año Nuevo State Park (Hwy 1 coast-southern San Mateo County)
  • Feb 7 Eaton Park (San Carlos)
  • Feb 22 Montara Mt., San Pedro Valley County Park (Pacifica)
  • March 1 Pulgas Ridge Open Space (San Carlos)
  • March 5  Maguire Peaks Loop, Sunol Regional Park
  • March 8 Stile Ranch, San Jose
  • March 15 San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • March 21 Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley Hills
  • March 22 - 28 Central California Camping Trip
  • March 23 –  28 Mojave Desert Car Camp
  • March 28 Coyote Lake (Gilroy)
  • April 5 Edgewood Park, San Carlos
  • April 11 Alum Rock Park (East San Jose)
  • April 12 Calero County Park / Rancho San Vicente (south San Jose)
  • April 26, 9:30am - 2:00pm Sunol Regional Park, East Bay
  • April 26th 10AM-3PM Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve
  • May 2 Mount Hamilton Road Trip (San Jose) 10am - 4pm
  • May 9 Grass Walk at Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve (Redwood City)
  • May 10 Stile Ranch Hike #2, San Jose
  • May 17 Butano State Park (Pescadero in San Mateo County)
  • May 22 - 25 Sierra Foothills Memorial Weekend Trip
  • Jun 6 - Fountain Thistle Work Party (San Mateo)
  • July 7 - 15 Botanizing the Western and Eastern Siskiyous
  • Aug 8  Stile Ranch Trail, Hike #3
  • Aug 22 Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, Moonlight Walk
  • Nov 21 Bryophytes in Pescadero County Park (San Mateo County)

2014 field trips

Photo by Toni CorelliCoastal flowers overlooking tidepools and Pacific Ocean beyond

  • Jan 1 Año Nuevo State Park (southern San Mateo County)
  • Jan 25 Rancho Cañada del Oro (South San Jose)
  • Feb 8 Eaton Park (San Carlos)
  • Feb 16 Pulgas Ridge (San Carlos)  
  • Mar 16 San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • Mar 22 New Hagen Meadow (San Jose)
  • Mar 23  Sweeney Ridge (San Bruno)
  • Apr 4 - 6  Carrizo Plain National Monument Car Camp (San Luis Obispo County)
  • Apr 13 Sign Hill (South San Francisco)
  • April 19-20  Mt. Diablo State Park Carcamp and Day Hikes (Contra Costa County)
  • Apr 20 Coyote Lake (Gilroy)
  • May 4 Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park (Gilroy)
  • May 6 Año Nuevo-Cascade Field (San Mateo County Coast)
  • May 11 Bean Hollow Pigeon Point Light Station (San Mateo Coast)
  • May 17 Devil’s Slide Trail (San Mateo Coast)
  • May 18 San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • May 20 Pescadero (San Mateo Coast)
  • May 27 Montara and McNee Ranch
  • May 31 Fountain Thistle Work Party (San Mateo)
  • June 27-29 Mt. Eddy Carcamp (Klamath Mtns)
  • July 13th–17th  Mt. Lassen Carcamp
  • Jul 26 Crystal Springs Watershed (Mid-peninsula)
  • Aug 23 Bean Hollow SB (San Mateo County Coast)
  • Sat Oct 25 Castle Rock Fall Hike (Skyline – Santa Cruz Mountains)

2013 field trips

  • Jan 1 Año Nuevo State Park (southern San Mateo County)
  • Jan 26 UCSC Upper Campus, Santa Cruz
  • Feb 2 Water Dog Lake (Belmont)
  • Feb 10 Perennials and Woody Plants of Alum Rock Park (San Jose)
  • Feb 23 San Pedro Valley County Park (Pacifica)
  • Mar 2 Edgewoood County Park (Redwood City)
  • Mar 3 San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • Mar 20 Pinnacles National Park (San Benito County)  
  • Mar 23 Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve (Santa Cruz County)
  • April 6th Coyote Lake (Gilroy) 10am - 3:30pm   
  • Apr 8th– 10th  Lake County, Bear Valley, Palisades, Table Rock
  • Apr 13 Rockaway Headlands (Pacifica), Moss Beach and Pillar Point Bluff (San Mateo Coast)
  • Apr 14 New Hagen Meadow (San Jose)
  • May 5 Grant Ranch (San Jose)
  • May 11 Grass Walk at Edgewood County Park (Redwood City)
  • May 12 Mount Hamilton Road Trip  (San Jose)
  • May 18 Cowell Ranch Beach and Cowell-Purisima Trail (San Mateo Coast)
  • May 19 Stile Ranch/Santa Teresa County Park (San Jose)
  • May 25 Butano Ridge (east of Pescadero)
  • June 8th  Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve  (east of Half Moon Bay)
  • June 15 Mt. Diablo State Park (Contra Costa County)
  • Sep 15 Sharsmith Herbarium (San Jose State University)
  • Sep 29 Monte Bello Open Space Preserve (Skyline-west of Palo Alto)
  • Nov 2 Crystal Springs Watershed

2012 field trips

  • Sun Jan 1 Año Nuevo State Park (southern San Mateo County)
  • Sun Jan 22 Sierra Azul (Los Gatos)
  • Sat Jan 28 Quail Hollow Ranch (Santa Cruz)
  • Sat Feb 4 San Pedro Valley County Park (Pacifica)
  • Sat Feb 18 Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve (Redwood City)
  • Sun Feb 19 Sierra Azul (Los Gatos)
  • Sat Feb 25 Stevens Creek County Park (Los Gatos)
  • Sat Mar 10 Stile Ranch (Santa Teresa County Park)
  • Sun Mar 18 San Bruno Mountain County Park (Brisbane)
  • Sat Mar 31 Uvas Canyon County Park (Morgan Hill)
  • Sun Apr 8 Blair Ranch (Morgan Hill)
  • Sat Apr 14 New Hagen Meadow (San Jose)
  • Wed April 18 Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve (Cupertino) 
  • Sat – Tues May 5-8 Carrizo Plain to Cuyama Valley (San Luis Obispo County)
  • Sun May 6 Coyote Lake (Gilroy)
  • Sun May 13 The Wildflowers of Cascade Field (North of Año Nuevo–Hwy 1)
  • Sat May 19 Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Sun May 20 Palassou Ridge OSP (Gilroy)
  • Sat Jun 2 Grass Walk at Los Trancos OSP (Los Altos)
  • Sat Jun 9 Fountain Thistle Work Party (San Mateo)
  • Sat Jun 16 Stile Ranch (San Jose)
  • Wed -Thu Jun 27 - Jul 5  Mineral King Backpack (Southern Sierra Nevada) 
  • Sat Jul 21 Crystal Springs Watershed (Mid-peninsula)
  • Sun Aug 5  Bean Hollow State Beach (Hwy 1)
  • Sun Oct 21 Uvas Canyon County Park (Morgan Hill)

2011 field trips

  • Sat Jan 1 Año Nuevo State Park (southern San Mateo County coast)
  • Sat Jan 15 San Francisco Peninsula Watershed Dirca Hike
  • Sat Jan 29 San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • Sat Feb 5 Edgewood County Park & Preserve (Redwood City)
  • Sat Feb 12 Coal Mine Ridge (Portola Valley)
  • Sat Mar 5 Hidden Villa (Los Altos)
  • Sun Mar 6 Sunol Regional Park (Fremont)
  • Sat Mar 12 Pulgas Ridge Open Space (Redwood City)
  • Sun Mar 13 Stile Ranch (Santa Teresa County Park)
  • Sun Mar 20 – Sun Mar 27 Death Valley Car Camp
  • Sun Mar 27 Coyote Ridge (San Jose)
  • Sat Apr 2 Coyote Ridge (San Jose)
  • Sun Apr 3 Coyote Lake (Gilroy)
  • Sat Apr 9 Joseph Grant Park (San Jose)
  • Sun Apr 10 San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • Sat Apr 16 10am San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • Sat Apr 30 South Valley Reserve (eastern Santa Clara County)
  • Sun May 1 Whitehouse Creek (Pescadero)
  • Sat May 7 Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (Mt Hamilton Range)   
  • Sun May 8 Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park  (Felton)  
  • Sun May 15 Grass Walk at Edgewood County Park (Redwood City)  
  • Sun May 22 The Cedars (Sonoma County)
  • Sun May 22 Mt. Madonna County Park (Gilroy)
  • Sun Jun 5 San Bruno Mountain (Brisbane)
  • Sun Jun 19 Beginner’s Woody Plant Walk - Alum Rock Park (San Jose)
  • Sat  Jul 9 Crystal Springs Watershed (mid-peninsula)
  • Fri-Sun July 29-31 Carson Pass (Sierra)
  • Sun Aug 7 Calero Creek (South San Jose)
  • Sat Sept 10 Sun Bean Hollow State Beach (Hwy 1)
  • Sat Oct 8 Hidden Villa (Los Altos)
  • Sat Oct 29 Castle Rock Fall Hike (Skyline-Santa Cruz Mtns) 
  • Sat Oct 29 Fountain Thistle Work Party (San Mateo)
  • Sun Nov 6 Rancho Cañada del Oro (San Jose)

2010 field trips

  • Sat Jan 9 Ano Nuevo State Park
  • Sat Jan 16 Picchetti Ranch and Stevens Creek County Park
  • Sun Jan 31 Stanford Trees and Landscape History
  • Sat Feb 20 San Pedro Valley County Park
  • Sun Feb 21 Los Gatos Canyon: Plant ID-ing for Beginners
  • Sun Mar 7 Rise of the Sporophytes!
  • Sun Mar 14 San Bruno Mountain
  • Sat-Mon Mar 27-29 Golden Valley and Grass Valley Wilderness
  • Sat Apr 3 Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch
  • Sun Apr 4 Warm Springs Vernal Pools
  • Sat Apr 10 Coyote Ridge
  • Sun Apr 11 San Mateo Coast (Rain Cancelled)
  • Sat Apr 17 Rancho Cañada del Oro
  • Thu Apr 29 Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve and Stevens Creek County Park
  • Sun May 2 Blue Oak Ranch
  • Wed May 5 An Evening with the Grasses
  • Sat May 22 Fountain Thistle-San Francisco Peninsula Watershed
  • Sat-Sun May 22-23 The Cedars (Sonoma County)
  • Mon-Fri May 24-28 High Desert Trip - Southeastern Sierra
  • Sun May 30 Mt Hamilton Field Trip
  • Sat Jun 5 Grass Walk at Los Trancos OSP 
  • Sat Jun 12 Fountain Thistle Field Trip & Restoration Work Party at Crystal Springs
  • Sun Jun 13 Mt Hamilton Field Trip
  • Sun Jun 20 Feelin’ Fruity-Belmont's Water Dog Lake Open Space
  • Sat-Sun July 31-Aug 1 Butterfly Valley-Red Hill
  • Sat Aug 14 Portola Redwoods State Park
  • Sat Sep 11 Edgewood Natural Preserve
  • Sat Sept 25 Rancho Cañada del Oro
  • Sun Oct 3 Shields Grove at U.C. Davis
  • Sun Oct 10 Uvas Canyon-San Jose

2009 field trips

  • Sat Feb 28 Fire-follower Walk at Owl and Buckeye Canyons (San Mateo County) 1-4 pm
  • Saturday, March 7, 9 am, Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve
  • Sunday, March 8, 9:30 am, Mt. Tamalpais
  • Saturday, March 14, 10 am, Stile Ranch Hike
  • Sunday-Thursday, March 15-19, Desert Wildflower Trip
  • Friday-Sunday, March 20-22, Carrizo Plain National Monument (eastern San Luis Obispo County)
  • Saturday, March 28, 1 pm, Del Monte Forest, Monterey
  • Sunday, March 29, 1 pm, Coyote Ridge (Second trip on Saturday, April 11, 10 am)
  • Sunday, April 5, 10 am, Grant Ranch County Park
  • Sunday April 5, 10:30am-1:30pm. West Pinnacles w/ Corky Matthews
  • Saturday, April 11, 10 am, Coyote Ridge
  • Saturday April 11. Fire Followers at Big Creek Reserve w/ Dave Nelson
  • Monday April 13 through Friday April 17. CA desert
  • Saturday, April 18, 9:30 am, Woods Trail, Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve
  • Wed April 29 7pm An Evening with the Grasses
  • Saturday-Sunday, May 2-3, The Cedars (Sonoma County)
  • Sat May 16 10am San Mateo Coast
  • Sun May 17 9am Mount Hamilton
  • Fri-Tues May 22-26. California Floristic Province in Oregon
  • Sat May 30 1pm Ring Mountain, Marin County
  • Sun Jun 7 10am Grass Walk at Los Trancos
  • Sun Jun 14 10am San Mateo Coast
  • Sun Sep 20 Bonny Doon Ecological Preserve
  • Sun Oct 4 Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve
  • Sun Oct 25 Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

2008 Field Trips


2007 Field Trips

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Upcoming Events

Fri Jun 25 @ 7:00PM -
Photography Group
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Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Wed Jun 30 @ 7:30PM - 09:00PM
Converting Your Lawn with Sheet Mulching, a talk by Radhika Thekkath
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Lake Cunningham Native Garden
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Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sat Jul 17 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden