• Field Trip to Huckleberry Botanic Preserve

    Huckleberry Parking

    This trip is limited to 25 participants. You must RSVP via Meetup to attend. If your plans change and you will not be able to attend, please update your status by Thursday Dec. 30 so we have time to fill in from the waiting list.

    A beginner-level, informal field trip, featuring shrubs, trees, and some talk about restoration and plant communities. With the recent rains, we can count on at least some of the manzanitas to be in flower, often visited by Anna's hummingbirds and a plethora of bees. Because of the incidence of a Phytopthora pathogen on the upper leg of the trail, we will start the loop path downhill and complete the circle on the uphill side, finishing with both of the manzanita turnouts.

    Heavy rain will cancel. Be sure to bring a change of shoes, or 70% alcohol solution to clean your trail shoes.

    Directions: From Highway 13, exit at Park, and turn left onto Mountain at the end of the ramp. Go several blocks and then turn right onto Snake, uphill. A very short block later, make a hard left (less than 90 degrees) to stay on Snake--if you continue straight you'll be on Shepherd Canyon Road. Follow Snake to its other end at Skyline, where you'll turn left onto Skyline. Follow Skyline several hundred meters until you see the Huckleberry parking lot on the right. Street parking is free if the lot is full.

    There has been a history car break-ins along Skyline Blvd ever since the pandemic started. The best prevention is to remove all gear from the interior of your car and either lock those items in the trunk or bring them along with you. There is now a regular bicycle rack by the parking lot in case you want to bike up and then walk the loop trail. If you bring your digital camera or phone along, be sure to post some field trip photos after the trip!

    This group is sponsored by California Native Plant Society, East Bay Chapter. To find out more about the chapter or subscribe to our email newsletter, visit https://ebcnps.org.

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  • Maintaining a Native Plant Garden: Strategies for an Easier Season

    Native Here Nursery

    One of the most frequent questions asked by people considering converting their gardens to California natives is, “How do I maintain it?”

    Come to a talk by Suzanne Carter at Native Here Nursery on December 11 at 11 am to learn how to do it yourself or how to hire a knowledgeable person to do it for you. In addition to tips and tricks, Suzanne will touch on various topics like discouraging weeds in the first place by planting smart, gardening without commercial herbicides, and considering the needs of garden wildlife. Suzanne will answer questions after her talk.

    Suzanne Carter has been gardening in the Bay Area for 12 years. She has a certificate in landscape horticulture from Merritt College and has taught numerous pruning and design workshops. Along the way, she worked at East Bay Wilds Nursery for several years. As her company name Urban Gardens suggests, she’s geared toward smaller city and suburban gardens. She tends to recommend the right plant for the right place, so she’s been working primarily with native plants for a while.

    Join us at Native Here on Saturday, December 11 at 11 am to learn more.
    The nursery will be open during regular Saturday hours: 10 am - 2 pm.

  • Buy Nothing Day walk on the California Coastal Trail

    Temporary Transit Center

    This trip is limited to 15 participants. You must RSVP via Meetup to attend. If your plans change and you will not be able to attend, please update your status by Wednesday Nov. 24 so we have time to fill in from the waiting list.

    We'll walk from the transit center up Lincoln Blvd. to the Crissy Field overlook and then on the high route (not the beach) toward the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center. There is running water here for refills before we pass through the tunnel, and onto the Batteries to Bluffs trail, with a side trip to Marshall Beach if weather and trail conditions permit. I'm leading, but with the caveat that I may turn the trip into an impromptu keying session if we run into an unexpected plant. Bring Linda Beidleman's key to Plants of the SF Bay Area, or your other favorite key, recommended in a plastic bag of its own.

    This trip will take in a number of beach restoration plantings, along with planted conifers and invasive plants.

    This will be a day trip, to return to the temporary transit center by 4:30 pm (in time for the last Presidio shuttle to the Market Street BART stations). Depending on weather, we may wimp out of the Crissy Field overlook and take the in-park Presidio Shuttle closer to the Golden Gate Bridge to start.

    Mass Transit is available. Take BART to either the Embarcadero or Montgomery BART stations, where you can catch the 9:30 am Presidio shuttle either from the Transbay Terminal, or in front of the SF Hyatt on Market Street (next to the cable car terminal).

    Rain date is Saturday November 27, same time.

    This group is sponsored by California Native Plant Society, East Bay Chapter. To find out more about the chapter or subscribe to our email newsletter, visit https://ebcnps.org.

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  • Protecting San Francisco Bay from Invasive Spartina

    Online event

    Join our speakers to learn how the California Coastal Conservancy's Invasive Spartina Project has been pushing back invasive Atlantic cordgrass (Spartina foliosa) and restoring salt marsh and tidal mudflat habitat along San Francisco Bay.

    IMPORTANT--PLEASE READ:
    * This is an online presentation that will take place via Zoom. YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE WITH ZOOM (in addition to RSVPing via Meetup) in order to attend
    * TO REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT, follow this link:
    https://cnps-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0FQ2xk3oSwaMxllhl_nVCA

    San Francisco Bay is more than the geographic feature that defines our region. It is home to hundreds of types of fish, birds, and other wildlife. It provides food (it once provided a lot more). It’s an aquatic mood stone that goes from slate grey on a cloudy day to sparkling emerald and sapphire on a sunny day. (And, yes, it smells kind of bad sometimes.) Unbeknownst to many, it is the largest estuary on the West Coast of North America, in a league with Chesapeake Bay on the East Coast and the Mississippi Delta on the Gulf Coast.

    Whether riding on a bike or watching birds or having a barbecue, we are fortunate to have this amazing place in our backyard. And we’re not the only ones: millions of birds use the Bay as a critical stopover point when they migrate along the Pacific Flyway each year. They get food and shelter from the Bay’s salt marshes and tidal mudflats.

    But our salt marshes and tidal mudflats are under threat, not just from sea level rise but also from invasive plants. Back in the last century, well-meaning engineers planted Atlantic cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) for erosion control. Then it began to spread and damage marshes. Since 2005, the Coastal Conservancy’s Invasive Spartina Project has used airboats, genetic testing, sophisticated GIS, and a lot of hard work to push back the invasive cordgrass. In this month’s program, we will learn how hometown heroes are doing their part to address the global biodiversity crisis.

    About Our Speakers

    Jeanne Hammond has worked on the Invasive Spartina Project for Olofson Environmental, Inc. since 2008. She wears many hats for the project, but the main one is as restoration program manager. Before working on tidal marsh restoration projects for Olofson, Jeanne worked at Point Blue Conservation Science conducting songbird research and monitoring projects, primarily in restored riparian habitats. She has a BA in Urban Studies and Environmental Planning from UC San Diego and an MS in Natural Resources–Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University.

    Lindsay Faye Domecus is an environmental biologist at Olofson Environmental, Inc. She started at Olofson as a seasonal employee in 2017 after finishing her graduate degree in Environmental Science at San Francisco State University, where she studied environmental physiology. At Olofson, Lindsay works on a variety of projects, including the Invasive Spartina Project, and spends most of her time working in the marshes of the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Both Lindsay and Jeanne spend lots of time getting muddy while wearing the less-typical office attire of hip waders. They also both think that a great work day usually involves a kayak.

  • Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates, with Special Emphasis on California Natives

    Join lifelong gardener and award-winning photographer Saxon Holt to learn how understanding your own local climate and selecting plants that are well suited to it are the first steps toward creating a thriving, largely self-sustaining garden that supports the natural world.

    IMPORTANT--PLEASE READ:
    * This is an online presentation that will take place via Zoom. YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE WITH ZOOM (in addition to RSVPing via Meetup) in order to attend!
    TO REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT, follow this link:
    https://cnps-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_S4eavSziTOugTKbrTUJu3Q

    Our Bay Area climate, with its dry summers and soggy winters, can be challenging for gardeners. But it’s not just dry or soggy; there are local variations that matter in choosing garden plants. Yes, our summers are mostly dry, but how dry and for how long? Our winters are usually wet, but what about infrequent heavy rainstorms? Does fog moderate local summer temperatures? Do winter temperatures drop below freezing?

    Saxon Holt will explain how understanding your own local climate and selecting plants that are well suited to it are the first steps toward creating a thriving, largely self-sustaining garden that connects with and supports the natural world. You can choose plants that sustain local and regional biodiversity, take little from the earth that is not returned, and welcome and accommodate the presence of wildlife.

    Saxon Holt is a lifelong gardener and an award-winning photographer with a distinct vision and understanding of plants and landscapes. He is the author, co-author, and/or photographer of a number of books, most recently Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates with Nora Harlow. His work and his books increasingly focus on the relationship between gardens and the land, seeking a sustainable aesthetic that can enhance both the gardener and the earth: Garden Earth.

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  • Get Started Growing Native Plants

    Native Here Nursery

    Many people who could confidently plant daffodils, marigolds, or roses in a new garden may feel lost when it comes to planting a native garden. But native plants have lived here for millennia, and they want to grow here. Our speaker, Arleen Feng, will guide you through the process of choosing and planting flowers for your native garden. Then you can spend years enjoying the beauty and wildlife your garden will bring, the savings on your water bills, and the many other expected and unexpected pleasures of native gardening. Volunteers will be available in the nursery to answer shopping questions after the talk.

    This event will be held in Native Here Nursery’s outdoor classroom with social distancing and masks required. The nursery is located at 101 Golf Course Drive in Tilden Park, Berkeley.

    Native Here Nursery is open from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays, with many new and favorite plants.

  • Field Trip to Albany Hill

    Albany Hill

    This trip is limited to 12 participants. You must RSVP via Meetup to attend. All participants must wear masks.

    Margot Cunningham will lead a trip to Albany Hill, where we will walk to Cerrito Creek then take the trail up through the oak woodland to the top and decide where to go from there. We will look for nuts and berries of coast live oak, Calif. hazelnut, Calif. rose, and others, and observe the various dormancy strategies native plants use to get through the summer and fall. The hike will be 1-2 miles with a climb of about 300 ft.

    For more information about Albany Hill or to help out with habitat restoration, visit www.tendancienthill.org

    This group is sponsored by California Native Plant Society, East Bay Chapter. Visit https://ebcnps.org to find out more about the chapter or subscribe to our email newsletter.

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  • New Calflora Tools for Your Native Plant Ventures and Adventures

    Please join Cynthia Powell, Calflora’s executive director, to learn about new Calflora tools for CNPS native plant professionals, gardeners, and enthusiasts.

    IMPORTANT!
    * * * This is an online presentation that will take place via Zoom. YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE WITH ZOOM (in addition to Meetup) in order to attend!
    To register with Zoom and receive a link to the meeting, click the link under "Online event" next to the little video camera icon if you're signed in to Meetup (or the red "Attend online" button if you're not signed in). * * *

    Calflora aggregates millions of plant observations across the state from dozens of sources and serves them to the public free of charge. These data sources include CCH2 (a worldwide plant information portal from the California Consortium of Herbaria), iNaturalist, and CNPS plant checklists from around the state. How can you better use this incredible resource to learn more about regional plants?

    In this presentation, Cynthia will cover Calflora’s "planning your garden" tool (https://www.calflora.org/entry/palette.html), detailed plant ranges now available on Calflora’s species pages (like this one for Grindelia stricta https://www.calflora.org/entry/dgrid.html?crn=3967), population monitoring tools, email alerts, and the CNPS East Bay and Calflora collaboration with Dianne Lake and the chapter’s Database of Rare, Unusual and Significant Plants. She will also go over the important role CNPS members play in submitting and commenting on Calflora observations and checklists. Explore Calflora at https://calflora.org.

    BONUS FIELD TRIP: HANDS-ON PRACTICE WITH CALFLORA IN THE FIELD
    Thursday, September 23, 9-11 am
    Attending Cynthia Powell’s September 22 presentation is a prerequisite for attending this free hike.
    EMAIL [masked] TO SIGN UP FOR THE HIKE and receive detailed location information.

    Cynthia will lead a hike in the Oakland-Berkeley Hills on September 23 to demonstrate use of new Calflora tools in the field. This will be a moderate hike of about three miles. Due to COVID-19 precautions, we must limit the number of participants on the hike. If there are more hike registrations than spaces on the hike, we’ll conduct a random drawing with everyone who signs up for the hike.

    ABOUT CYNTHIA POWELL: After three years as Calflora’s GIS project manager, in 2016 Cynthia became Calflora’s executive director. She graduated with her MS in GIS (Geographic Information Science) in 2010, forecasting Mokelumne River water supply based on MODIS remote sensing snow pack images. She’s been examining what was under that snow—plants!—ever since. She coordinates all Calflora programs, research, outreach, and advocacy, as well as fundraising and project management.

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  • ONLINE EVENT: Insect Apocalypse--Is insect biodiversity & abundance declining?

    Join research scientist Dr. Leslie Saul-Gershenz to learn about studies showing a decline in insect abundance, biodiversity, and biomass in Europe, Puerto Rico, and the United States--including California--and what we can do about it.

    IMPORTANT!
    * * * This is an online presentation that will take place via Zoom. You must register with Zoom (in addition to Meetup) in order to attend!
    Be sure to click the link under "Online event" next to the little video camera icon if you're signed in to Meetup (or the red "Attend online" button if you're not signed in) to register with Zoom and receive a link to the meeting. * * *

    Dr. Leslie Saul-Gershenz studies the impact on wild bee populations and species diversity of energy development in and near protected wild landscapes. Dr. Saul-Gershenz will discuss several recent studies that have documented a large decline in insect abundance, biodiversity, and biomass in Europe, Puerto Rico, and the United States, including California, looking at changes in insect populations over a 30-year period. Each study used different methodologies and pointed to different causes of declines. If time permits, she will also speak about her current bee study investigating the impact of utility-scale solar energy development in California’s deserts, and look at how activities outside protected areas affect protected areas like national parks and reserves. Insects, plants, and underground resources are inseparable within their ecosystems, and conservation management policies should encompass these complex relationships.

    Dr. Saul-Gershenz is a research scientist affiliated with the Bohart Museum of Entomology and an associate director of research at the Wild Energy Initiative of the John Muir Institute of the Environment, all at UC Davis. In addition to her work on the effects of energy development projects on bees, she also studies the chemical ecology, pollination ecology, and complex parasite-host interactions of bees and their parasites across the western U.S., including the Mojave Desert, the coastal sand dunes of Oregon, and eastern Washington.

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  • Field trip to Dotson Family Marsh/Point Pinole Regional Park

    Point Pinole Regional Park - Dotson Family Marsh

    This trip is limited to 10 participants. You must RSVP via Meetup to attend. All participants must wear masks.

    We will visit Dotson Family Marsh near low tide to check out salt marsh plants, which are relatively unaffected by the current drought. We will stay on the boardwalk for most of the trip, but wear shoes that you don't mind getting muddy or dusty (hats/sunscreen also recommended). We will be walking 2-3 miles on flat trails. If there is enough interest, we can proceed beyond the bayside trail to look at vegetation changes in the rest of the park. Bring $ for parking, etc.

    Directions: From 580 exit at Richmond Parkway and follow it mostly northwest for about 3.75 miles. At the intersection, turn left onto Goodrick Ave and follow it about a quarter mile to the end of the street. We'll meet where the street meets the open space.

    This group is sponsored by California Native Plant Society, East Bay Chapter. Visit https://ebcnps.org to find out more about the chapter or subscribe to our email newsletter.

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