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California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

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. Our hikes are often slow with many stops and standing around for long periods. All participants should wear sturdy footwear and carry sufficient water, sun protection, food, clothing layers, personal first aid and other supplies you may need. Also bring hand lens and binoculars for viewing plants and fauna.

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 2022

 

Thu Sep 8, 7-9pm Field Trip Planning Meeting over Zoom

Field trip enthusiasts and leaders, please join us to help schedule our Chapter’s field trips for the remainder of the year, plus brainstorm ideas for 2023’s trips.

All are welcome to join in the discussion. For further information email Dee Himes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please RSVP in Meetup and the Zoom link will be emailed to you 2 days before the meeting.

 

Sat Sep 24, 9am-1pm Oaks of Edgewood (San Mateo County)

Join Paul Heiple and Ken Himes to learn about the five species of Quercus, the true oaks, that occur in EdgewoodCounty Park and Natural Preserve.

Our oak hike will be along a partial loop of about 4 miles on the Clarkia Trail, Serpentine Trail, Sylvan Trail, and Live Oak Trail to see the scrub oaks.

In addition, we’ll see at least two hybrid oaks. Hopefully, we will have a good crop of acorns to help with oak ID. We’ll also feature oak galls, which are another aid to identify oaks. Bring a hat, sunscreen, water and snacks. Wear sturdy footwear. Bring a hand lens or loupe if you have one.

We’ll meet at the Clarkia trailhead across the parking area on Cañada Road at 9am sharp. Careful when crossing road. Parking is across the street, see parking map.

This hike is open, no need to register but go to our meetup for further hike details and directions, here.

NO PETS OR DOGS PERMITTED IN EDGEWOOD PARK. 

This hike is also very slow paced looking at various plant life and enjoying nature.

For more information contact Paul Heiple at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (650)854-7125, or Ken Himes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or(650)933-6319.

 

Sun Sep 25 9 am-Noon Beginner’s Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)

Join Arvind Kumar, Ashok Jethanandani, and Vicki Silvas-Young for this first of Fall beginner’s bird and plant identification walk through Lake Cunningham Park. The lake is a major destination for waterfowl and migratory birds park’s native garden draws many birds for its habitat value. On this walk, Vicki will show you how to identify the common birds of our area.Arvind and Ashok will discuss the native plants they depend on for food, shelter and nesting places. The distance is 4 miles round-trip on a level path.

Bring a hat, water, your bird and plant lists, and binoculars. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

RSVP at our Meetup is required to join us for the walk; no drop-ins please. Space is limited. You will receive an email in a few days before the trip regarding parking.

This walk is cosponsored by CNPS, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority.

Directions: The park is located at 2305 S. White Road, San Jose.

Meet at the Marina building at 9am. The Marina is on the western shore of the lake, next to Raging Waters, at the opposite end of the park from the main entrance on White Road. In Google Maps, search for “Lake Cunningham Marina” to be directed to the Marina. Parking fee is $6

 

 


JULY - AUGUST

NONE

 

 


 PAST FIELD TRIPS


JUNE 2022

Thu-Sun Jun 16 - 19 Grouse Ridge Lake Basin Backpack (Nevada County) (CNPS MEMBERS ONLY TRIP)

Join Joe Cernac and Ken Himes on this backpacking trip to this lake basin area in the northern Sierra plateau just north of I-80 at State Hwy 20. Bounded on the west and far east by volcanics, the central area is glacial-scoured granite with abundant larger and smaller lakes. We hope this date will coincide with early Sierran blooming flora, with possible purple fawn lily (Erythronium purpurascens) at Grouse Ridge Lookout peak. We will have two full days of exploration, which means three nights camping. We’ll park our cars at a nearby trailhead then backpack less than 2 miles, with a 300-foot climb, to our campsite.

This trip is for CNPS members only (please ensure your membership is up to date or join). Space is limited and registration is required.

For more information and to sign up please contact trip leader Joe Cernac at (408) 499-2515 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Trip details will be sent to registered participants closer to the date.

 

Sun Jun 26 9am - 12noon Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)

At the onset of summer, join Arvind Kumar, Ashok Jethanandani, and Vicki Silvas-Young for a beginner’s bird and plant identification walk through Lake Cunningham Park. This park provides food, water and shelter for our local breeding birds and its native garden is utilized by these breeding birds due to its habitat value. On this walk, you will learn how to identify the common birds of our area, as well as the native plants they depend on for food and shelter.

The distance is 2 miles round-trip on a level path. Bring a hat, water, your bird and plant list, and binoculars. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Directions: The park is located at 2305 S. White Road, San Jose. Meet at the Marina building at 9am. The Marina is on the western shore of the lake, next to Raging Waters, at the opposite end of the park from the main entrance on White Road. In Google Maps, search for “Lake Cunningham Marina” to be directed to the Marina. Parking fee is $6.

RSVP is required to join us for the walk. Space is limited. No drop-ins please.

To register, please visit the walk’s Meetup page at www.meetup.com/California-Native-PlantSociety-Santa-Clara-Valley-Chapter/events/261044048/. Organized jointly by CNPS, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority.

 


MAY 2022

Fri - Mon, May 13 - 16 Eastern Sierra Nevada, Owens Valley (Inyo County) (CNPS MEMBERS ONLY)

THERE IS STILL SPACE TO REGISTER!

Join Joe Cernac and Ken Himes on our away trip to the east side of the Sierra Nevada and Owens Valley Desert. We hope to catch the wild flowers as we go up to higher elevations. Owens Valley starts at 3,000 feet in elevation so the spring starts late here. We will be car-camping throughout the trip, but local lodging can be found as well.

This trip is for CNPS members only (please ensure your membership is up to date or join). Space is limited. No drop-ins please.

For further trip information and email registration contact Joe Cernac at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Detailed trip information will be emailed to registered participants closer to the time.

 

Mon May 23 10am - 2pm: Search for the Tiburon Mariposa Lily and Tiburon Jewelflower (Marin County)

Join Ring Mountain Stewardship Coordinator Amanda Magallanes, Vivian Neou and Ramón Curiel to see the Tiburon mariposa lily (Calochortus tiburonensis) on Ring Mountain Preserve and the Tiburon jewelflower (Streptanthus glandulosus var. niger) at St. Hilary’s Preserve. Both species are rare and endangered, 1B.1 listed on the CNPS Rare Plant Inventory, here: www.cnps.org/rare-plants/cnps-inventory-of-rare-plants. 

The Ring Mountain hike will be about 2 miles round trip; the trail is steep and rocky in areas. We will caravan from Ring Mountain to Old St. Hilary’s Preserve to see the Tiburon jewelflower before heading home. It can be very windy and foggy, or hot and sunny, so dress in layers and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Bring hiking poles (recommended), sunscreen, hat, water, snacks and lunch. 

There’s more about the Ring Mountain Preserve, including a trail map, at Ring Mountain Preserve. For more information contact trip co-leader Vivian Neou at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This trip is for CNPS members only (please ensure your membership is up to date or join). Space is limited and registration is required. To register, please visit our Eventbrite registration page at www.cnps-scv.org/field-trip-20220523. Hike details and driving directions will be provided to confirmed registrants. 

 

Wed May 25 10am - 2pm Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve (Santa Cruz County) (NO REGISTRATION NEEDED)

Join Joe Cernac in exploring Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve. This area is a unique ecological islet in the highlands of Santa Cruz Mountains, made possible by an abundance of erosion-resistant sandstone. This sandstone results in landscapes ranging from slopes with little soil, where beargrass makes its appearance, to deep loose sandy soils, where shrubs found in drier regions abound. Finally, at the area’s margins, redwoods and ferns make their presence.

Several species of manzanita will hold our interest. Bring lunch, snacks, and recommended 2+ liters of water. This hike is open to all comers, with no registration needed.

Directions: Parking is limited, so please carpool with others you know. The Preserve is located northeast of Davenport off Hwy 1. Exit Hwy 1 at Bonny Doon Rd. and head northeast. After 3.9 mi. turn right onto Martin Rd. (Bonny Doon Rd. becomes Pine Flat Rd. just before the intersection). In a mile the Preserve entrance will be on your left. Park near the fire station.

For more information contact Joe Cernac at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (408) 499 2515.

 


APRIL 2022

Fri April 1  10am - 2pm Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park  (Gilroy)

Join Judy Fenerty and sweep Stella Yang for a moderately paced hike on the Mendoza, Mummy Mountain and Coyote Ridge trails in the Mendoza Ranch section of Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch County Park.

This 4-mile, 400+ foot elevation gain hike will take us through valley grasslands and up an oak-studded ridge line with spectacular views of the south Santa Clara Valley, Coyote Lake and Palassou Ridge.  This varied habitat supports a wide range of native plants including several stands of big-scale balsamroot, Balsamorhiza macrolepis var. macrolepis, a CNPS 1B.2 rare plant.  If there’s time and interest, we can add an optional foray to check out the serpentine area on the Calaveras Trail.

RSVP is required to join us for the walk.  Space is limited.  No drop-ins please.  To register, please visit the hike’s Meetup page.  Driving directions are provided on Meetup.

For more information contact Judy Fenerty at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Mon - Wed  April 4 - 6  Hite Cove Trail and Mariposa Overnight Field Trip (Mariposa County)

Radhika Thekkath, our new Chapter president, invites you to join her for three days at her family’s vacation log house and cabin in Mariposa to explore wildflowers on the 15-acre private property.  The property is near a 3000-acre protected preserve as a conservation easement managed by the Sierra Foothill Conservancy.

We will also take a moderate hike of 6.5-miles round trip on the longer Hite Cove trail.  It has been four years since the Ferguson fire came through here.  Botanical leaders will include Ken Himes, Joe Cernac and Doug Krajnovich, Past-President of the Sierra Foothills Chapter of CNPS.

This trip is for CNPS members only (please ensure your membership is up to date or join).  Space is limited.  To reserve your spot and for additional trip information, please contact Radhika directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Detailed trip information will be emailed to registered participants closer to the trip date.

 

Sat Apr 16  9am - 12noon  Little Uvas Open Space Preserve  (Morgan Hill)

Join us at Little Uvas Open Space Preserve (LUOSP) for a couple of hours of botanical exploration in a preserve normally closed to the public.  Special access for this hike has been granted by the Open Space Authority.  Located in the Southern Santa Cruz Mountains, LUOSP consists primarily of serpentine hardwoods and grasslands.  It includes grey pine and oak woodlands among five small spring-fed ponds.  We expect to find chia (Salvia columbariae), broomrape (Aphyllon sp.), California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), serpentine leptosiphon (Leptosiphon ambiguus), owl’s clover (Castilleja sp.), Chinese houses (Collinsia heterophylla) and many more spring wildflowers.

Bring binoculars, hand lens, snacks, lunch, and water.  Wear sturdy boots and sun protection as we will be on open rocky fire roads of very gradual ascents in intermittent shade.

RSVP is required to join us for the walk.  Space is limited.  Restricted access, no drop-ins please.  To register, please visit our Chapter’s Meetup page.  Driving directions are provided on the Meetup page.

 

Tues Apr 19  9am - 1pm  Serpentine Chaparral & Grasslands at Edgewood Park  Walk #2  (San Mateo County)

Join Paul Heiple and Ken Himes on a mid-spring walk along the Clarkia Trail in Edgewood County Park and Preserve.  This will be the second chance to explore this trail.  To learn more, see the March 8 walk #1’s description above.  To register, please visit walk #2’s Meetup signup. Walk details and driving directions are provided on Meetup.

 

Wed Apr 27  9am - 4pm  McLaughlin Natural Reserve  (Napa and Lake Counties)

Join Reserve staff for a tour of the Donald and Sylvia McLaughlin Natural Reserve, a unit in the UC Natural Reserve System located near Lower Lake in Napa and Lake Counties.  The reserve protects about 7,000 acres of unusual habitats, including serpentine soils as well as riparian woodland, blue oak woodland and savannah, grassland, and chaparral.

Late April is prime wildflower season and there should be a variety of flowers to see and enjoy.  The iNaturalist list for the reserve includes 468 plant taxa.  We will explore different areas of the reserve on foot and by vehicle.  The visit will be led by reserve staff and will last most of the day.  The group will need to arrive punctually and leave all at the same time.

The McLaughlin Reserve is managed by UC Davis and is not generally open to the public.  It is located about a 3-hour drive from our CNPS SCV Chapter office in Palo Alto.

This trip is for CNPS members only (please ensure your membership is up to date or join).  Space is limited.  Restricted access, no drop-ins please.  To register and for more information please contact trip organizer Sue Kelso directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Detailed trip information will be emailed to registered participants closer to the trip date.

 

Fri - Mon  Apr 29 - May 1  Blue Oak Ranch Reserve  (Mt. Hamilton)

Join us at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve where we will explore the SCU Lightning Complex burn area and look for rare plants.  Blue Oak Ranch Reserve sprawls across the steep slopes of Mount Hamilton just east of urban San Jose.

Plant communities include blue oak woodland, valley oak woodland, black oak woodland, coast live oak woodland, riparian forest, chamise chaparral, Diablan sage scrub, nonnative annual grassland, wildflower field and native perennial grassland.  Blue and valley oak woodlands have become quite rare in California, and few are as protected from overgrazing and the encroachment of suburban development as those at Blue Oak Ranch.

We will explore the burn area and look for rare plants such as Santa Clara red ribbons, serpentine leptosiphon, and the fire follower Brewer’s calandrinia.  We will also make natural history observations in iNaturalist for the 2022 City Nature Challenge, so we’ll be on the hunt for insects, reptiles, and other cool creatures as well.

This trip is for CNPS members only (please ensure your membership is up to date or join).  Space is limited.  No drop-ins please.  RSVP is required to join us for the trip.  To register, please visit Eventbrite to get your ticket..  Detailed trip information will be emailed to registered participants closer to the trip date.

 

 

 

 


PAST FIELD TRIPS

 

MARCH 2022

 

Sat Mar 19  10am - 4pm  Butano State Park  (Pescadero)

Join Dee and Ken Himes for an advanced spring botanical hike at Butano State Park through iconic redwood forests, wetlands and ridge tops.  We will hike along trails that have been reopened after the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire.

We will see understory wildflowers such as redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana), red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) and varied-leaved collomia (Collomia heterophylla).  We will also be walking through some post burn landscapes and observe the fire’s effects on the local plant ecology.

The hiking distance will be about 5 miles round trip on uneven, steep, and potentially muddy dirt trails.  Bring sun protection, water, snacks, lunch and hiking poles if you like them.  A hand lens and binoculars will come in handy.  Dress in layers and wear sturdy hiking shoes.  Heavy rain cancels.

RSVP is required to join us for the hike.  Space is limited.  No drop-ins please.  To register, please visit the hike’s Meetup. Hike details and driving directions are provided on Meetup.

For park brochure and park information.

For PlantID.net plant list.

 

 

Sun Mar 20  9am - 12noon  Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park  (San Jose)

At the onset of Spring, join us for a beginner’s bird and plant identification walk through Lake Cunningham Park.  This park is a major destination for waterfowl and migratory birds and its native garden draws many birds due to 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 is 2 miles round-trip on a level path.  Bring a hat, water, your bird and plant lists, and binoculars.  Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Directions: Meet at the Marina building at 9am.  The Marina is on the western shore of the lake, next to Raging Waters, at the opposite end of the park from the main entrance on White Road.  Parking fee is $6.  In Google Maps, search for “Lake Cunningham Marina” to be directed to the Marina.

RSVP is required to join us for the walk.  Space is limited.  No drop-ins please.  To register, please visit the walk’s Meetup page.

Cosponsored by CNPS, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. [LINKS TBA]

 

Mon Mar 21  7 - 9pm  Field Trip Planning Meeting (Zoom)

Field trip enthusiasts and leaders, please join us to help schedule field trips for the remainder of the year.  All are welcome to join in the discussion.  For further information email Dee Himes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To RSVP, visit the meeting’s Zoom signup page.

 

Tues Mar 22 9am - 1pm  Serpentine Chaparral & Grasslands at Edgewood Park  Walk #1  (San Mateo County) 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: WE HAVE MOVED  THIS FIELD TRIP TO TUESDAY MARCH 22 (FROM MARCH 8) DUE TO MULTIPLE TRAIL CLOSURES IN THE PARK. SAME PLACE SAME TIME.

Join Paul Heiple and Ken Himes on an early spring walk along the Clarkia Trail in Edgewood County Park and Preserve.  Plants of the serpentine chaparral and serpentine grasslands will be featured.  In addition, Paul will comment about the improvements to the grasslands along the western Clarkia Trail as habitat restoration efforts continue to reduce the yellow star-thistle population.  For example, plants such as narrow-leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) have increased dramatically.

RSVP is required to join us for the walk.  Space is limited.  No drop-ins please.  We have arranged for two walks: this one in March and a second one on April 19 (see April trips).  Please register for only one walk to allow others to attend.  To register, please visit the walk’s #1 Meetup signup. Walk details and driving directions are provided on Meetup.

Edgewood plant list.

 

FEBRUARY 2022

Sun Feb 13,  10am - 4pm  Montara Mountain San Pedro Valley County Park (Pacifica)

Join co-leaders Ken and Dee Himes on an early spring outing to San Pedro Valley County Park. We expect to see some early blooms: Montara manzanita (Arctostaphylos montaraensis), pink-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum), Indian paintbrush (Castilleja affinis) and others.

The trip will be a moderate 4-5-mile loop hike on the Hazelnut Trail, through coastal scrub and chaparral plus some riparian woodland. It will include an elevation gain and loss of about 600 feet and is expected to last until 4pm.

The trail is a dirt, uneven narrow path. There will be long moments of standing round looking at plants in detail. Where comfortable walking / hiking shoes.

We’ll meet at 10am in front of the park’s Visitor Center.

Bring warm and wet weather layers for coastal conditions. Trails may be slippery.

Bring water and a lunch or snacks, and fluids. Heavy rain cancels.

For more information about San Pedro Valley Park, see park brochure and trail map.

For questions about the field trip, contact at Dee Himes at dee4CNPS[at]gmail.com.

Space is limited. No drop-ins please. To complete the required RSVP and driving directions, please visit our Chapter’s Meetup page.

The park is located at 600 Oddstad Blvd. in Pacifica. There is a per vehicle entry fee of $6.

 

Sat Feb 19, 10am - 2pm Joint Chapter Hike to South Slope Walk on San Bruno Mountain (South SF)

Join Chuck Heimstadt and Loretta Brooks on this joint chapter (Yerba Buena and Santa Clara Valley) field trip to explore the less visited south slopes of San Bruno Mountain. With its bright landscapes of large grasslands areas critical to our resident endangered butterflies and some locally rare plants on the CNPS Rare Plant Ranks, such as coast iris (Iris longipetala) CRPR 4.2, coast rock cress (Arabis blepharophylla) CRPR 4.3 and San Francisco wallflower (Erysimum franciscanum) CRPR 4.2. 

We may also see the coast onion, Allium dichlamydeum, mission bells / checker lily, Fritillaria affinis; and the Mission blue and Callippe Silverspot butterflies of which its larvae need host plants such as silver bush lupine, Lupinus albifrons var collinus, and California golden violet, Viola pedunculata to thrive. In addition, Niebla lichen abundantly occurs only in the fog belt of the California coast from Mendocino to Baja.

Since there are only fire roads and weeding trails on this side of SBM, the trail is steep, slippery, and rocky slopes and can be difficult to maneuver on. So please be sure to wear sturdy footwear and bring hiking poles as this area is only for the really adventuresome.  

We should have time to stop at the top, so bring a snack or lunch.  Restrooms are only available in the parking area.

Limited space. To sign up, please directly contact Loretta or Chuck at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Details of the meeting location will be sent to participants closer to the day of the hike. Cancels if it rains. 


 

JANUARY 2022

Sat Jan 1,  10am - 2pm  New Year’s walk to Franklin Point, part of Año Nuevo State Preserve  (Hwy 1 coast  ̶  southern San Mateo County)

Join other CNPS members as we celebrate a Chapter tradition of welcoming the New Year with a walk to and picnic at Franklin Point, which is part of the Año Nuevo State Preserve on the San Mateo County coast.  We will be exploring as we casually walk towards Franklin Point, which is the most botanically interesting area of the park.

We will be starting from the North Whitehouse Creek Trailhead which is located south of Pescadero on Highway 1, just north of the Santa Cruz County line.

We’ll enjoy ocean views, coastal prairie including silver bur ragweed (Ambrosia chamissonis), California goldenbush (Ericameria ericoides), coastal sagewort (Artemisia pycnocephala) and Argentina anserina (Potentilla anserina); dune including yellow sand verbena (Abronia latifolia), pink sand verbena (Abronia umbellata), seaside heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum) and American dunegrass (Eleymus mollis); sea cliff bluff lettuce (Dudleya farinosa), fleshy jaumea (Jaumea carnosa), raptors, songbirds and maybe marine mammals.

As this is a day to have fun at the beach with fellow Chapter members, the ending time and depth of botanical discussion may be extended depending on participants.

Bring binoculars and layers of clothing for variable coastal conditions including wind, sun, precipitation and fog.  We will be walking on sand dunes.  Bring a lunch or snacks and fluids.  Extreme bad weather cancels.

No drop-ins please.  To complete the required RSVP, please visit our Chapter’s Meetup page at Meetup.  Driving directions and parking tips are provided on the Meetup page.

Before signing up, please read the Año Nuevo State Park RESTRICTIONS.  Note that there are no bathrooms at Franklin Point.  Flush toilets are located at the main entrance of Año Nuevo State Park, which may require payment to enter.  For more information or questions, contact Dee Himes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Mon Jan 3,  7pm - 9pm Annual Chapter Field Trip Planning Meeting (Zoom)

Field trip enthusiasts and leaders, please join us to help schedule the remainder of our spring and summer field trips, plus any field trips we may want to have for the rest of the year.  With more knowledge of the winter weather patterns, we may also make plans for away trips.

All are welcome to join in the discussion.  For further information email Dee Himes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and to RSVP, visit our Zoom sign up page at https://www.cnps-scv.org/field-trip-20220103 .

 

Sat Jan 8,  10am - 1pm  Dirca Walk at Foothills Nature Preserve (Palo Alto)

Join Don Thomas to see the endemic western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) at Foothills Nature Preserve. Dirca flowered early this season, starting in November. We will look for late-flowering dirca along the Los Trancos Trail.

The preserve, until recently only open to Palo Alto residents, is now open to the general public. The preserve entrance is off Page Mill Road.

We will meet at the Orchard Glen Picnic Area at 10am. To get to the Orchard Glen parking lot, bear left at the first intersection after passing the entrance kiosk.

Bring water and snacks for an optional lunch in the picnic area following the walk.

For more information, contact  Don at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

RSVP is required to join us for the walk. Space is limited. No drop-ins please. To register, please visit our Chapter’s Meetup page .

Driving directions are provided on the Meetup page. There’s a $6 entrance fee, exact change required.

More information on Foothills Nature Preserve website and see trail map.

  

Sat Jan 15,  10am - 2pm  Moss Hike, Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve (La Honda)

Join Ben Carter, botany professor at San Jose State, for a 1- 2 mile walk to learn about bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) of the Bay Area. This is an entry-level walk that will emphasize seeing different bryophyte species in nature and learning about their morphology, ecology and natural history.

There may be some moderate uphill climbs, but we’ll be moving very slowly. Bring a hand lens if you have one. Bring lunch, snacks and liquids. We’ll head out in any conditions except for heavy rain.

We will meet at the main parking lot for the preserve, off Skyline Boulevard (SR 35), one mile south of Page Mill Road. For more about the preserve, including a trail map and driving directions, visit www.openspace.org/preserves/skyline-ridge. For more information, contact Ben Carter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (805) 704-0616.

RSVP is required to join us for the walk. Space is limited. No drop-ins please. To register and driving directions, please visit our Chapter’s Meetup page.

 

 

 


 

DECEMBER 2021

Sat Dec 18 9am - Noon Beginner’s Bird and Plant ID Walk at Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)

As winter sets in, join us for the fourth walk of its kind this year: a beginner’s bird and plant identification walk 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, while Arvind Kumar will identify the native plants they depend on for food, shelter and nesting places.

The distance will be 2 miles round-trip on a level path. Bring a hat, water, your bird and plant lists and binoculars. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Parking fee is $6.

Space is limited. No drop-ins.RSVPis required on Meetup. This walk is organized jointly by CNPS, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority.

Directions: The park is located at 2305 S. White Road, San Jose. Meet at the Marina building at 9am. The Marina is on the western shore of the lake, next to Raging Waters, at the opposite end of the park from the main entrance on White Road. In Google maps, search for “Lake Cunningham Marina” to be directed to the Marina.


NOVEMBER

SUN NOV 7 10AM – 4:00PM UVAS CANYON COUNTY PARK (MORGAN HILL)

Join Ken and Dee Himes on a 3-4 mile hike in this mostly shady woodland of mixed evergreens including redwoods, madrones, sycamores, alders and big leaf maples. There are also isolated population of Oregon grape (Berberis nervosa) here, which is more commonly found north of the Golden Gate. We may see some fall color changes and remnants of fruits and capsules.

We’ll meet in the parking lot. The hike will be moderate in intensity, with an elevation gain of about 700 feet. We will walk at a fairly leisurely pace, stopping for lunch about halfway. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes. A walking stick could be useful. Bring lunch / snack and water. 

Space is limited. No drop-ins. RSVP is required on Meetup. Heavy rain cancels. For more information contact Ken at (650) 591-8560 or email Dee Himes at dee4cnps[at]gmail.com.

Reservation for Vehicle Day Pass: There is a $6 fee per car and you must make a reservation for a vehicle day pass prior to arrival on Uvas Parking Reservation. Choose your entry time slot for before 10am. If full, choose 10am slot. For more about the park, visit Uvas Canyon County Park.

IMPORTANT REMINDER NOTE: You must have a reservation in Meeting AND the Vehicle Day Pass. Having one or the other may preclude you from participating.

Directions: From Hwy. 101, take the Bailey Ave. exit to head southwest on Bailey 3.2 mi. to McKean Rd. Turn left onto McKean. (McKean becomes Uvas Rd. 2.2 mi. south of Bailey.) From Bailey travel 6 mi. south on McKean/Uvas Rd. and turn right onto Croy Rd. Continue 4.4mi. on Croy, through Sveadal (a private resort), to reach the Park entrance.


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.


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