CNPS Panamint Daisy Logo
California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Activities

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 in the evening, although we occasionally schedule them during the day. Our talks are live presentations followed by Q&As with the viewing audience. They are live streamed simultaneously to Zoom and YouTube. They are all recorded on YouTube, so you can see them later on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/CNPSSantaClaraValley


Upcoming Talks

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 7:30pm

                               Maintaining Your Native Plant Garden, a panel talk

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.

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


Recent Talks

Kate Marianchild, credit Evan Johson

The Amazing Manzanita and All Her Relations, Kate Marianchild

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:30pm 

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.

Watch on YouTube

Project 467: Enhancing Native Plant Diversity at Edgewood, Stuart B. Weiss Ph.D.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020DSC09065 mariposa lily moth cropped

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

Watch on YouTube.

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

                               Thursday, December 3, 2020

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.

Watch on Youtube

 

Nature’s Best Hope, A talk by Doug Tallamy

Doug Tallamy

Saturday, November 14, 2020 5:00pm

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.

Watch on Youtube

Wildlife of the Bay Area, a talk by Ameet Zaveri

Ameet Zaveri

October 26, 2020 7:30pm

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.
 

Watch on Youtube

CNPS Vegetation Program: Fine-scale inventory and mapping, a talk by Julie Evens

Julie InField 2020 02 ByBillWaycott P1040199 croppedWednesday, October 21, 2020 7:30pm

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.

Watch on Youtube

Planting Demo, Nursery Tour and QA session

IMG 1356There'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.

Watch on Youtube

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

September 24, 2020

dee orangutanJoin 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.

Watch on Youtube

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. 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.

Programs: Bimonthly general meetings feature invited speakers of significant achievement sharing their knowledge in a friendly, accessible setting. A wide selection of native plant books is available at the book table. The meetings are open to members as well as the general public. The January meeting is Members' Night, and the November meeting is a popular potluck dinner and annual election. Meetings are usually at the Los Altos Library. Please refer to the calendar in the right margin for the date, time, and venue of the next meeting.

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

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.


New field trips will not be scheduled until the shelter in place order is lifted and parks have reopened.


  YouTube icon Facebook icon Instagram icon Meetup icon Twitter icon

CNPS-SCV Latest Events

Mon Jan 18 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Alum Rock Park Volunteers
Wed Jan 20 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Members’ Night Slide Show Plant Adventures in a Pandemic
Sat Jan 23 @ 8:00AM - 11:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Mon Jan 25 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Alum Rock Park Volunteers
Sat Jan 30 @ 8:00AM - 11:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Mon Feb 01 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Alum Rock Park Volunteers
Wed Feb 03 @ 7:30PM -
Gardening for Biodiversity with Native Plants
Sat Feb 06 @ 8:00AM - 11:00AM
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Mon Feb 08 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Alum Rock Park Volunteers
Wed Feb 10 @ 7:00PM -
Photography Group