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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.  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.


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