• Wildness and Design in the Urban Garden

    Orinda Public Library, Garden Room

    Native plants point to an original integration of species and place, but we often think of wildness and domesticity in opposing terms. This presentation will explore the contrast, and how sensitive design can make us more at home in our homes as well as better partners in a regional ecology. Connections between philosophical and practical perspectives will be illustrated using examples from Bay Area gardens, California landscapes, and around the world. A freelance garden designer and visual artist, Todd Gilens’ work has been seen on public transit vehicles, in botanical gardens, arts and conference centers, abandoned factories and wilderness areas, as well the front and back yards of East Bay residents. He has designed private gardens for the last seven years, taught ecology classes in the landscape architecture program at the Academy of Art University, and occasionally leads a landscape photography workshop for the Point Reyes Field Institute. Todd earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University and his website, which includes both artworks and garden design, is toddgilens.com. East Bay CNPS Members Meetings are free of charge and open to everyone. This month’s meeting takes place in the Garden Room of the Orinda Public Library at 26 Orinda Way, Orinda 94563, a few blocks from the Orinda BART station.

  • Botanical Hike | Redwood Regional Park

    Big Bear Staging Area

    A hidden redwood forest lies off Redwood Road just a few miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland. The forest's peaceful groves give little evidence of the park's bustling past – in the mid-1800s the area was the scene of extensive logging to supply building materials for the San Francisco Bay Area. The logging era has long since passed, and a stately forest of 150-foot coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) has replaced those cut down. Redwood Regional Park is part of an extensive historical belt of coast redwood forest. We will botanize through redwood forests and fern groves and look for smaller plants near creeks. From the Big Bear Staging Area, we will cross Redwood Road to enter Redwood Regional Park. In Redwood we will follow the Golden Spike Trail then the West Ridge Trail along Redwood Creek and into the center of the park. Please carry water and wear good hiking shoes for mud and rocky terrain. The path includes uneven and rocky sections, and a moderate incline. Significant rain will cancel. Meet at the Big Bear Staging Area (which is in Anthony Chabot Regional Park and across the road from Redwood Regional Park), Oakland. From southbound Hwy 13, take the Redwood Road exit. Drive 3 miles and look for a sign for Big Bear Staging Area on the right. There are no bathrooms at the Staging Area but are bathrooms inside of the park. ******* Trip leaders: Janet Gawthrop, Botanist and Restoration Leader, and Camille Nowell, Botanist with Cardno ******* As with any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks in participating. By attending the event, you agree that you are 100% responsible for your own safety, health and well-being.

  • Help Restore Huckleberry Park -- Oakland Hills

    Huckleberry Parking Lot

    Join Janet Gawthrop and other volunteers restoring Huckleberry Park in the Oakland hills. Please note that you may be exposed to poison oak during this event so if you are sensitive to it you may wish to consider another event. ***** We meet year-round at 9:30 am on the 3rd Sunday every month to remove invasive plants by hand from Huckleberry Park, one of the very few botanic preserves in the East Bay Regional Park system. Several plant communities thrive in Huckleberry Park, including live oak-bay woodland and maritime chaparral, which has several species unusual plants now threatened by development. At the turn of the last century, maritime chaparral grew in much of the Oakland-Berkeley hills, but decades of real estate development consumed most locations of this plant community. Now, you can find maritime chaparral only at Sobrante Ridge, Huckleberry/Sibley parks (adjacent), and Knowland Park in the Oakland city parks. Unlike more typical, inland chaparral communities, maritime chaparral adapted to take advantage of additional moisture from summer fog and relatively mild winters. Blooming season at Huckleberry Park often begins on New Year's Day, with the pink or white dangling urns of brittle-leaf and pallid manzanitas (Arctostaphylos crustacea and A. pallida). In February, yellow flowers of western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) join the late bloomers of the manzanitas, and about forty species of mosses and liverworts put on their greenest, most leafy display in February and March. Vascular plants flower on into spring, with huckleberries and madrones (Vaccinium ovatum and Arbutus menziesii) adding more dangling, pink urns in the heath family to replace the bloomed-out manzanitas. Fruits from these plants support an unusually large variety of migrant and resident birds. Unfortunately, exotic landscaping plants, such as French broom (Genista monspessulana), now edge the margins of Huckleberry Park, while cape ivy (Senecio mikanoides) and periwinkle (Vinca major) have gained a foothold in the park interior. Our crew aims to remove these invasive landscape imports with a minimum of disturbance, so that historic native plants can fill in the small voids left by weeding. Park staff provide support in the form of tools, gloves, water, and snacks--just be sure to return to the parking lot at 1 pm if you need to return borrowed tools or gloves. ******* Thanks to Ken-ichi Ueda for the photos ******* Rain? We go out in mist or light rain, but heavy rain cancels. Huckleberry Park has steep slopes and potential erosion problems, so the dividing line is there enough water on the ground to turn soil to mud? If yes, we simply meet again at the 2nd Saturday of next month. Light rain softens the ground, and actually makes work easier. When in doubt, I go up to the parking lot so no one is left wondering. ******* Public Transit: • Take AC Transit line 33 from downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area or Piedmont. ******* As with any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks in participating. By attending the event, you agree that you are 100% responsible for your own safety, health and well being.

  • Help Restore Huckleberry Park -- Oakland Hills

    Huckleberry Parking Lot

    Join Janet Gawthrop and other volunteers restoring Huckleberry Park in the Oakland hills. Please note that you may be exposed to poison oak during this event so if you are sensitive to it you may wish to consider another event. ***** We meet year-round at 9:30 am on the 3rd Sunday every month to remove invasive plants by hand from Huckleberry Park, one of the very few botanic preserves in the East Bay Regional Park system. Several plant communities thrive in Huckleberry Park, including live oak-bay woodland and maritime chaparral, which has several species unusual plants now threatened by development. At the turn of the last century, maritime chaparral grew in much of the Oakland-Berkeley hills, but decades of real estate development consumed most locations of this plant community. Now, you can find maritime chaparral only at Sobrante Ridge, Huckleberry/Sibley parks (adjacent), and Knowland Park in the Oakland city parks. Unlike more typical, inland chaparral communities, maritime chaparral adapted to take advantage of additional moisture from summer fog and relatively mild winters. Blooming season at Huckleberry Park often begins on New Year's Day, with the pink or white dangling urns of brittle-leaf and pallid manzanitas (Arctostaphylos crustacea and A. pallida). In February, yellow flowers of western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) join the late bloomers of the manzanitas, and about forty species of mosses and liverworts put on their greenest, most leafy display in February and March. Vascular plants flower on into spring, with huckleberries and madrones (Vaccinium ovatum and Arbutus menziesii) adding more dangling, pink urns in the heath family to replace the bloomed-out manzanitas. Fruits from these plants support an unusually large variety of migrant and resident birds. Unfortunately, exotic landscaping plants, such as French broom (Genista monspessulana), now edge the margins of Huckleberry Park, while cape ivy (Senecio mikanoides) and periwinkle (Vinca major) have gained a foothold in the park interior. Our crew aims to remove these invasive landscape imports with a minimum of disturbance, so that historic native plants can fill in the small voids left by weeding. Park staff provide support in the form of tools, gloves, water, and snacks--just be sure to return to the parking lot at 1 pm if you need to return borrowed tools or gloves. ******* Thanks to Ken-ichi Ueda for the photos ******* Rain? We go out in mist or light rain, but heavy rain cancels. Huckleberry Park has steep slopes and potential erosion problems, so the dividing line is there enough water on the ground to turn soil to mud? If yes, we simply meet again at the 2nd Saturday of next month. Light rain softens the ground, and actually makes work easier. When in doubt, I go up to the parking lot so no one is left wondering. ******* Public Transit: • Take AC Transit line 33 from downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area or Piedmont. ******* As with any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks in participating. By attending the event, you agree that you are 100% responsible for your own safety, health and well being.

  • Manzanitas, Toyon at Mount Diablo

    End of Regency Drive

    At Mount Diablo, Hetherington Loop is gorgeous this time of year. We should see Big Berry Manzanita in flower, and Toyon in fruit. If we are lucky, we might get to see crystal clear Donner Creek during a high flow. We Will take Donner Canyon Rd, and Hetherington loop trail. Round trip distance is 3 miles, elevation gain is 350 ft. If there has been a lot of rain, wear appropriate footwear, since it can get very muddy on this walk. Bring lunch and water. Meet at end of Regency Drive in Clayton. Directions: Take 24 or 680 to Ygnacio Valley Road. Continue on Ygnacio valley Road into City of Clayton, turn right on Clayton Road. Take Clayton Road past the first intersection with Marsh Creek Road. In about a mile, it becomes Marsh Creek Road. Continue straight on Marsh Creek Road. Turn right on Regency Drive. Go to end of Regency. Do not turn onto Rialto drive, that is for a different trail.

  • Help Restore Huckleberry Park -- Oakland Hills

    Huckleberry Parking Lot

    Join Janet Gawthrop and other volunteers restoring Huckleberry Park in the Oakland hills. Please note that you may be exposed to poison oak during this event so if you are sensitive to it you may wish to consider another event. ***** We meet year-round at 9:30 am on the 3rd Sunday every month to remove invasive plants by hand from Huckleberry Park, one of the very few botanic preserves in the East Bay Regional Park system. Several plant communities thrive in Huckleberry Park, including live oak-bay woodland and maritime chaparral, which has several species unusual plants now threatened by development. At the turn of the last century, maritime chaparral grew in much of the Oakland-Berkeley hills, but decades of real estate development consumed most locations of this plant community. Now, you can find maritime chaparral only at Sobrante Ridge, Huckleberry/Sibley parks (adjacent), and Knowland Park in the Oakland city parks. Unlike more typical, inland chaparral communities, maritime chaparral adapted to take advantage of additional moisture from summer fog and relatively mild winters. Blooming season at Huckleberry Park often begins on New Year's Day, with the pink or white dangling urns of brittle-leaf and pallid manzanitas (Arctostaphylos crustacea and A. pallida). In February, yellow flowers of western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) join the late bloomers of the manzanitas, and about forty species of mosses and liverworts put on their greenest, most leafy display in February and March. Vascular plants flower on into spring, with huckleberries and madrones (Vaccinium ovatum and Arbutus menziesii) adding more dangling, pink urns in the heath family to replace the bloomed-out manzanitas. Fruits from these plants support an unusually large variety of migrant and resident birds. Unfortunately, exotic landscaping plants, such as French broom (Genista monspessulana), now edge the margins of Huckleberry Park, while cape ivy (Senecio mikanoides) and periwinkle (Vinca major) have gained a foothold in the park interior. Our crew aims to remove these invasive landscape imports with a minimum of disturbance, so that historic native plants can fill in the small voids left by weeding. Park staff provide support in the form of tools, gloves, water, and snacks--just be sure to return to the parking lot at 1 pm if you need to return borrowed tools or gloves. ******* Thanks to Ken-ichi Ueda for the photos ******* Rain? We go out in mist or light rain, but heavy rain cancels. Huckleberry Park has steep slopes and potential erosion problems, so the dividing line is there enough water on the ground to turn soil to mud? If yes, we simply meet again at the 2nd Saturday of next month. Light rain softens the ground, and actually makes work easier. When in doubt, I go up to the parking lot so no one is left wondering. ******* Public Transit: • Take AC Transit line 33 from downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area or Piedmont. ******* As with any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks in participating. By attending the event, you agree that you are 100% responsible for your own safety, health and well being.

  • Help Restore Huckleberry Park -- Oakland Hills

    Huckleberry Parking Lot

    Join Janet Gawthrop and other volunteers restoring Huckleberry Park in the Oakland hills. Please note that you may be exposed to poison oak during this event so if you are sensitive to it you may wish to consider another event. ***** We meet year-round at 9:30 am on the 3rd Sunday every month to remove invasive plants by hand from Huckleberry Park, one of the very few botanic preserves in the East Bay Regional Park system. Several plant communities thrive in Huckleberry Park, including live oak-bay woodland and maritime chaparral, which has several species unusual plants now threatened by development. At the turn of the last century, maritime chaparral grew in much of the Oakland-Berkeley hills, but decades of real estate development consumed most locations of this plant community. Now, you can find maritime chaparral only at Sobrante Ridge, Huckleberry/Sibley parks (adjacent), and Knowland Park in the Oakland city parks. Unlike more typical, inland chaparral communities, maritime chaparral adapted to take advantage of additional moisture from summer fog and relatively mild winters. Blooming season at Huckleberry Park often begins on New Year's Day, with the pink or white dangling urns of brittle-leaf and pallid manzanitas (Arctostaphylos crustacea and A. pallida). In February, yellow flowers of western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) join the late bloomers of the manzanitas, and about forty species of mosses and liverworts put on their greenest, most leafy display in February and March. Vascular plants flower on into spring, with huckleberries and madrones (Vaccinium ovatum and Arbutus menziesii) adding more dangling, pink urns in the heath family to replace the bloomed-out manzanitas. Fruits from these plants support an unusually large variety of migrant and resident birds. Unfortunately, exotic landscaping plants, such as French broom (Genista monspessulana), now edge the margins of Huckleberry Park, while cape ivy (Senecio mikanoides) and periwinkle (Vinca major) have gained a foothold in the park interior. Our crew aims to remove these invasive landscape imports with a minimum of disturbance, so that historic native plants can fill in the small voids left by weeding. Park staff provide support in the form of tools, gloves, water, and snacks--just be sure to return to the parking lot at 1 pm if you need to return borrowed tools or gloves. ******* Thanks to Ken-ichi Ueda for the photos ******* Rain? We go out in mist or light rain, but heavy rain cancels. Huckleberry Park has steep slopes and potential erosion problems, so the dividing line is there enough water on the ground to turn soil to mud? If yes, we simply meet again at the 2nd Saturday of next month. Light rain softens the ground, and actually makes work easier. When in doubt, I go up to the parking lot so no one is left wondering. ******* Public Transit: • Take AC Transit line 33 from downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area or Piedmont. ******* As with any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks in participating. By attending the event, you agree that you are 100% responsible for your own safety, health and well being.

  • Help Restore Huckleberry Park -- Oakland Hills

    Huckleberry Parking Lot

    Join Janet Gawthrop and other volunteers restoring Huckleberry Park in the Oakland hills. Please note that you may be exposed to poison oak during this event so if you are sensitive to it you may wish to consider another event. ***** We meet year-round at 9:30 am on the 3rd Sunday every month to remove invasive plants by hand from Huckleberry Park, one of the very few botanic preserves in the East Bay Regional Park system. Several plant communities thrive in Huckleberry Park, including live oak-bay woodland and maritime chaparral, which has several species unusual plants now threatened by development. At the turn of the last century, maritime chaparral grew in much of the Oakland-Berkeley hills, but decades of real estate development consumed most locations of this plant community. Now, you can find maritime chaparral only at Sobrante Ridge, Huckleberry/Sibley parks (adjacent), and Knowland Park in the Oakland city parks. Unlike more typical, inland chaparral communities, maritime chaparral adapted to take advantage of additional moisture from summer fog and relatively mild winters. Blooming season at Huckleberry Park often begins on New Year's Day, with the pink or white dangling urns of brittle-leaf and pallid manzanitas (Arctostaphylos crustacea and A. pallida). In February, yellow flowers of western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) join the late bloomers of the manzanitas, and about forty species of mosses and liverworts put on their greenest, most leafy display in February and March. Vascular plants flower on into spring, with huckleberries and madrones (Vaccinium ovatum and Arbutus menziesii) adding more dangling, pink urns in the heath family to replace the bloomed-out manzanitas. Fruits from these plants support an unusually large variety of migrant and resident birds. Unfortunately, exotic landscaping plants, such as French broom (Genista monspessulana), now edge the margins of Huckleberry Park, while cape ivy (Senecio mikanoides) and periwinkle (Vinca major) have gained a foothold in the park interior. Our crew aims to remove these invasive landscape imports with a minimum of disturbance, so that historic native plants can fill in the small voids left by weeding. Park staff provide support in the form of tools, gloves, water, and snacks--just be sure to return to the parking lot at 1 pm if you need to return borrowed tools or gloves. ******* Thanks to Ken-ichi Ueda for the photos ******* Rain? We go out in mist or light rain, but heavy rain cancels. Huckleberry Park has steep slopes and potential erosion problems, so the dividing line is there enough water on the ground to turn soil to mud? If yes, we simply meet again at the 2nd Saturday of next month. Light rain softens the ground, and actually makes work easier. When in doubt, I go up to the parking lot so no one is left wondering. ******* Public Transit: • Take AC Transit line 33 from downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area or Piedmont. ******* As with any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks in participating. By attending the event, you agree that you are 100% responsible for your own safety, health and well being.

  • Toyon Canyon at Briones Regional Park

    Briones Regional Park - Briones Road Staging Area

    Native plant expert Gregg Weber leads this trip to a floristically rich area of Briones Regional Park. Toyon canyon trail descends 300 feet, to the creek, and a 300 foot elev gain follows. Distance is 4 miles. We will see unusual plants such as Western viburnum, bent-flowered fiddleneck, tufted poppy, Mount Diablo sunflower, and Eucrypta, plus many more familiar plants such as silver leaf bush lupine, coyote mint, mules ears, pipe stems, hop tree, dutchmans pipe, and osoberry. We will return to the cars at about 2:45pm. Directions: From west of the Bay hills, go east on 24 and exit at Pleasant Hill Road. Go north on Pleasant Hill Road 0.5 mile and then turn left onto Reliez Valley Road. Go 4-5 miles on Reliez Valley Road to its end at the junction with Alhambra Valley Road. Ignore the entrance signs on Reliez Valley Road and continue straight on Alhambra Valley Road to the first hard to see, tiny road on the left, which is Briones Road. Go about 1.5 miles to the end of Briones Road and park on either side of the road. For the Pinole/Martinez area, just proceed down Alhambra Valley Road and follow the directions to the end of Briones Road. Safety: Outdoor activities are inherently risky. By attending, you agree to be 100% responsible for your own health and safety on this trip. If you bring a guest(s), that guest(s) will be 100% responsible for his/her own health and safety.

  • Help Restore Huckleberry Park -- Oakland Hills

    Huckleberry Parking Lot

    Join Janet Gawthrop and other volunteers restoring Huckleberry Park in the Oakland hills. Please note that you may be exposed to poison oak during this event so if you are sensitive to it you may wish to consider another event. ***** We meet year-round at 9:30 am on the 3rd Sunday every month to remove invasive plants by hand from Huckleberry Park, one of the very few botanic preserves in the East Bay Regional Park system. Several plant communities thrive in Huckleberry Park, including live oak-bay woodland and maritime chaparral, which has several species unusual plants now threatened by development. At the turn of the last century, maritime chaparral grew in much of the Oakland-Berkeley hills, but decades of real estate development consumed most locations of this plant community. Now, you can find maritime chaparral only at Sobrante Ridge, Huckleberry/Sibley parks (adjacent), and Knowland Park in the Oakland city parks. Unlike more typical, inland chaparral communities, maritime chaparral adapted to take advantage of additional moisture from summer fog and relatively mild winters. Blooming season at Huckleberry Park often begins on New Year's Day, with the pink or white dangling urns of brittle-leaf and pallid manzanitas (Arctostaphylos crustacea and A. pallida). In February, yellow flowers of western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) join the late bloomers of the manzanitas, and about forty species of mosses and liverworts put on their greenest, most leafy display in February and March. Vascular plants flower on into spring, with huckleberries and madrones (Vaccinium ovatum and Arbutus menziesii) adding more dangling, pink urns in the heath family to replace the bloomed-out manzanitas. Fruits from these plants support an unusually large variety of migrant and resident birds. Unfortunately, exotic landscaping plants, such as French broom (Genista monspessulana), now edge the margins of Huckleberry Park, while cape ivy (Senecio mikanoides) and periwinkle (Vinca major) have gained a foothold in the park interior. Our crew aims to remove these invasive landscape imports with a minimum of disturbance, so that historic native plants can fill in the small voids left by weeding. Park staff provide support in the form of tools, gloves, water, and snacks--just be sure to return to the parking lot at 1 pm if you need to return borrowed tools or gloves. ******* Thanks to Ken-ichi Ueda for the photos ******* Rain? We go out in mist or light rain, but heavy rain cancels. Huckleberry Park has steep slopes and potential erosion problems, so the dividing line is there enough water on the ground to turn soil to mud? If yes, we simply meet again at the 2nd Saturday of next month. Light rain softens the ground, and actually makes work easier. When in doubt, I go up to the parking lot so no one is left wondering. ******* Public Transit: • Take AC Transit line 33 from downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area or Piedmont. ******* As with any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks in participating. By attending the event, you agree that you are 100% responsible for your own safety, health and well being.