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California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Activities

CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter Field Trips

CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter Field Trips

IMG 7822 dee stella ken pinnacles 640pxChapter field trips are free and open to the public.  Field trips are oriented to conservation, protection and enjoyment of California native plants and wildlife.  A list of past field trips and reports can be found here.

 Many other upcoming chapter activities are listed in the Blazing StarYou can also find many of our chapter field trips and other activities on our Meetup Group.  Signing up on Meetup allows the trip leaders to send notifications in case of changes or cancellations.

 In our region it is important to be prepared for hiking on rugged and steep terrain, wide temperature ranges and rapidly changing conditions at any time of year.  All participants should wear sturdy footwear and carry sufficient water, sun protection, food, clothing layers, personal first aid and other supplies you may need.  Cell service is mainly restricted to cities and major highways. On your way to an outing do not rely solely on your phone. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a particular field trip, please contact the trip leader in advance.


September

Sun Sep 19 9am - Noon Beginner’s Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)

As fall begins, join us as we resume our First Day of the Season beginner’s bird and plant identification walks through Lake Cunningham Park.  The lake is a major destination for waterfowl and migratory birds, and the park’s native garden draws many birds for its habitat value.  On this walk, Vicki Silvas-Young will show you how to identify the common birds of our area, as well as the native plants they depend on for food, shelter and nesting places.As fall begins, join us as we resume our First Day of the Season beginner’s bird and plant identification walks through Lake Cunningham Park.  The lake is a major destination for waterfowl and migratory birds, and the park’s native garden draws many birds for its habitat value.  On this walk, Vicki Silvas-Young will show you how to identify the common birds of our area, as well as the native plants they depend on for food, shelter and nesting places. The distance will be 4 miles round-trip on a level path.  Bring a hat, water, your plant and bird lists and binoculars.  Wear comfortable walking shoes.  Parking fee is $6.
Space is limited. No drop-ins. RSVP is required on Meetup.  This walk is organized jointly by CNPS, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority.

Sun Oct 3  10am – Noon  Stevens Creek Trail From Blackberry Farm to Linda Vista Park  (Cupertino)

Join Ron Horii for an easy 2.6-mile hike along the Stevens Creek Trail in Cupertino.  We’ll follow the trail south through Blackberry Farm Park, McClellan Ranch Preserve, and Linda Vista Park.  We can see native plant restorations and native riparian vegetation along Stevens Creek. The trail is flat except for a short climb on the newly-opened trail segment to Linda Vista Park.  There are paved and unpaved sections.  Restrooms, water, and a snack bar are available.  Other things to see include 4-H animals, a new community garden, historic buildings, heritage orchards, and an environmental education center (if it’s open).The trail is flat except for a short climb on the newly-opened trail segment to Linda Vista Park.  There are paved and unpaved sections.  Restrooms, water, and a snack bar are available.  Other things to see include 4-H animals, a new community garden, historic buildings, heritage orchards, and an environmental education center (if it’s open). The route is mostly shady, but bring a hat for the sunny sections.  There are multiple places for picnicking, if you want to bring a picnic lunch.  For families, there are swimming pools, a playground and playing fields.
Space is limited. No drop-ins. RSVP is required on Meetup. Families are welcome. For more information, email Ron at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Or see his well-captioned Facebook album of the Cupertino Stevens Creek Trail hike route at tinyurl.com/yw87ju8.

Sun Oct 10  10am - 2pm  Alum Rock Park Restoration Tour  (San Jose)

Join habitat restoration lead Stephen Rosenthal for a walk to learn about habitat restoration work done by our CNPS Chapter at Alum Rock Park in San Jose.
We’ll view several restoration sites that we’ve worked on in the last few years, including the Todd Quick Trail area work, that has been in progress for over seven years, and a new frog habitat created at a seep on the west side of the Todd Quick Trail.  We’ll also discuss plant propagation, fire mitigation strategies and the tools that we use. Parts of the walk are on hilly trails, so wear sturdy hiking shoes.  Bring a sunhat, water and a bag lunch. Parking fee is $6.
Space is limited. No drop-ins. RSVP is required on Meetup.

Sat Oct 16  10am – Noon  Martial Cottle Park Master Gardeners’ Tour  (San Jose)

Join Ron Horii for a tour of the UC Master Gardeners’ Martial Cottle Park Demonstration Gardens and Community Education Center.  The 4-acre parcel within the 287-acre park contains native plant, pollinator and drought-tolerant gardens. Volunteers will be available to answer questions and will give us a tour of their native plant garden.  Learn about gardening techniques, plant species, composting, water-wise irrigation and more.  Afterwards, we can see the 900-foot long native plant hedgerow planted along the edge of the park. Later options are to see Our City Forest’s parcel with its native plant garden, see the park’s visitor center with its historic and nature displays or have a picnic in the park.  For those who want to get some exercise, the park has 3 miles of paved, flat trails. Bring a hat, as there’s not much shade.  Water and restrooms are available within walking distance. 

Space is limited. No drop-ins. RSVP is required on Meetup. Families are welcome. For more information, email Ron at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see his photos of the Master Gardeners’ parcel taken on October 15, 2019 during the park's Fall Festival: tinyurl.com/y6som7we.  For a look at the same garden in the spring of 2019, see tinyurl.com/y28gdtdx

August

Sat, Aug 7, 9am - noon, Tour of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden (Tilden Park, Berkeley)

Join East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden director Bart O’Brien for a walk through the state of California within the garden’s 10 acres. This early August walk will highlight some of the botanic garden’s newly added areas. We expect to see a variety of summer blooming plants such as wild buckwheats, late penstemons, evening primroses, gum plants, scarlet larkspur, Milo Baker's lupine, and some beautiful alpines in our new crevice garden to name a few. Bring a lunch and have it on the lawn after the tour. Please note there’s no public access to the buildings at the moment.

This field trip is open to CNPS members only due to the limited spaces available. No drop-ins. Attendees must sign up in advance.


Photography Group

Our Photography Group is a great place to meet other native plant enthusiasts while improving your photographic skills and learning more about our native plants. It is open to all. The group has periodic meetings, photography outings and an active email list. The group has an on-going #MyPhotoOfTheWeek activity on the email list for group members to share their favorite shots with the group on a weekly basis. There is a monthly virtual meeting on zoom on the fourth Friday of each month for members to share photos and more -- everything from photography tips to organizational ideas to plant hot spots.

Our upcoming events can be found on Meetup and Facebook. Past events can be seen here.

To participate in our virtual activites, we recommend that you join our online discussion group


 

 

Plant Lists

Plant lists for many San Francisco Bay Area parks and preserves can be generated from the Natural Resources Database at nrdb.org. Visual plant lists may also be generated at plantid.net.

The following are custom plant lists from local CNPS field trips, bioblitzes, plant surveys and restoration projects:

 Other lists:

Anza Borrego State Park - March 6 - 13, 2016

By Dee Wong, Field Trip Chair

bighorn sheep anza borrego lohseCo-leaders Patricia Evans and Joe Cernac took 17 hearty souls (including CNPS fellow Sally Casey, age 94) on a trip to the desert, despite forecasts of rain. After arriving in Anza Borrego on Sunday March 6, the trip started in the rain Monday with a stop at the visitor center. Two days of sunny hiking followed in Palm Canyon and Culp Valley. Many of the highlights were seeing the desert peach, desert apricot, and desert almond all on the same day. We also saw five bighorn sheep which the state park is partially named after, Borrego, and hundreds if not thousands of sphinx moth caterpillars of various instars (molting phases) devouring the brown-eyed primrose and sand verbenas. Dee Wong even saw one that was digging a hole in preparation for pupating.

Read more ...

Stile Ranch Hike #2, May 10, 2015

By Dee Wong, Field Trip Chair

asclepias-fascicularis-narrow-leaved-milkweed-closeHike #2 was to see the progression of drought effecting Stile Ranch. There were 11 attendees including the co-leaders Stella Yang and Dee Wong, and Ken Himes as sweep. As the weather heated up without much winter rains, the grasslands along the trail had already started drying out and turning gold and silvery in color. The native grasses such as Elymus glauca, Melica californica and Melica torreyana had begun to set seeds. With most spring wildflowers finished flowering, the summer flowering plants that were in bud (during hike #1) were now flowering, such as the Monardella douglasii, Streptanthus glandulosus var. glandulosus.

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Stile Ranch Hike #1, Mar 8, 2015

By Dee Wong, Field Trip Chair

lewisia-rediviva-bitterroot400The intention of having a three-part series of hikes to the same location over the course of the year was to see the changes of diversity of one particular area.
Hike #1 started at 9am and ended about 1pm.  Thirty people attended, including the trip leaders and sweeps.  We split into two groups, with Dee Wong and Woody Collins as co-leaders and Huey Shin Yuan as the sweep in one group, and Ken Himes and Stella Yang as co-leaders and Carolyn Dorsch and Michael Yantos as the sweeps for the other group. Thanks to all participants for sharing their knowledge and their time to help make this a very successful trip.

We saw these flowers in bloom:

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Castle Rock October 25, 2014

By Dee Wong, Chapter Treasurer at the time, now (Feb 2015) our Field Trip Chair

Our last field trip for the year took us to Castle Rock State Park.

There were 14 in attendance including the co-leaders, Ken Himes and Dee Wong, and with Toni Gregorio-Bunch as our sweep. Thank you Toni! Of the 14 people, there were one new member who joined before the field trip and three that are not members and were enthusiastic to become members of our Chapter. While on the trail, Dee also encountered a young couple from Marin, who were curious about what we were doing, and was handed a membership form and a plant list for this hike. They were so thrilled! We hope this will capture their interest in joining CNPS!

On the morning of the hike, the weather was overcast with light drizzle on and off but cleared to occasional blue skies in the afternoon. The view was quite dramatic with Ken and Dee vocalizing their view of the scenery to be that of the Oregon mountain ranges with mist rising from the forest, rain curtains drifting by in the background, and misty sun rays shining through the clouds.

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Mount Lassen Car Camp - July 13-17, 2014

By Dee Wong, Chapter Treasurer at the time, now (Feb 2015) our Field Trip Chair

Mt. Lassen Car Camp, six people in the shade of a tree. Photo taken by Carolyn DorschDee Wong, Ken Himes, and with the help of Paul Heiple and his wife, Linda (who helped shepard the group to be keep the pace going) successfully co-led the Santa Clara Valley Chapter field trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park from Monday, July 14 through Thursday, July 17.  We camped at Summit Lake South and Warner Valley to see geological and botanical wonders that are unique to this area. Including the co-leaders, there were 19 participating CNPS members mostly from our Chapter, along with Deanna Giuliano, president of the Santa Cruz Chapter who was also there, and made it all so fun.

Photo: from Left to Right: Diana Quon, Patricia Evans, Dave Hershey, Ken Himes, and Dee Wong. Photo taken by Carolyn Dorsch.

Read more ...

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Upcoming Events

Sat Oct 16 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sat Oct 16 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
Martial Cottle Park Master Gardeners’ Tour (San Jose)
Wed Oct 20 @ 7:30PM - 09:00PM
Water Resilience in the Garden
Fri Oct 22 @ 7:00PM -
Photography Group - Photo Sharing Meeting
Sat Oct 23 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sat Oct 30 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sat Nov 06 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Tue Nov 09 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Conservation Committee
Sat Nov 13 @ 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden