Urgently Seeking Chapter Secretary

CNPS-SLO is looking for a board member/volunteer to keep us organized and on track. We need to fill this very important position starting in January2012.

The chapter Secretary must be able to:

  • Attend eight boardmeetings per year (October through June except January)
  • Take minutes at those board meetings
  • Distribute draft minutes by email to the members of the board well in advance of the next board meeting
  • Make corrections and additions as needed
  • Keep copies of the final minutes approved by the board

If you would like to participate in your local California Native Plant Society chapter and believe you can be of service, please call Susi Bernstein (805) 349-7180.

Opening the World through Journaling

Opening the World through Journaling

CNPS Curriculum – Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts

by John Muir Laws and Emily Bruenig

Our parent organization, CNPS, is offering a spectacular curriculum for children that works in a multitude of settings from school yards to CNPS events, to camps and family outings. It is geared primarily towards children age 8 and up, meeting grades 3 through 7 standards but it is easily adaptable for teenagers and adults.

Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts, a curriculum written for CNPS by John Muir Laws and Emily Brueunig, teaches children to become keen observers of the natural world by drawing and writing about the plants and animals in situ. In a set of nested exercises, students use games to gain confidence in drawing and writing as a way to gather information. Later, they employ these skills to put together a field guide, make treasure maps, and to write short stories and poems.

“Keeping a field journal develops and reinforces the most important science process skills; observation and documentation. All other parts of the process of science depend on these skills. We assume that we are naturally good observers, but learning to really see is a skill that must be learned and developed. Journal activities tie directly to the State of California science framework content standards and the visual and performing arts framework content standards.” –John Muir Laws

CNPS would like to know who uses the material and how it is used for grant and goal purposes and will send you a request to evaluate the curriculum after using it. For this reason, the curriculum is available only from the CNPS website (link). *This project is funded to date by the JiJi Foundation

Please leave a comment below if you have used this curriculum. Everyone would love to hear about your experience! Thank you.

John Muir Laws

Educational Resources

Contribute to our website


ANTA – Atascadero Native Tree Association


Planting for the Future – provided November 2010

Using tree mitigation funds the city of Atascadero and the Atascadero Native Tree Association (ANTA) have planted over 1000 native trees and shrubs on about 15 acres of city property. There are now eight planting sites – Paloma Creek Park, Heilman Grove, Las Lomas open space (blue oak), Stadium Park at Pinal (blue oak), Adobe Springs and three creek reservations.

Atascadero has a native tree ordinance. Mitigation, either in the form of payment into the tree fund, replanting or dedication of open space easements, is required when native trees are removed for development. The fund doubled in size during the recent housing boom. Unfortunately this meant many trees were removed. On one project alone more then 1000 oak trees were taken out and over 1300 more were impacted.

To better understand the condition of our native forest a tree inventory was completed and paid for from tree mitigation funds. The inventory became a practical possibility with the advent of GIS and digital aerial photography. One finding was that Quercus lobata or valley oaks and Quercus douglasii or blue oaks were not regenerating. If a site supported either of these trees they were our first choice for planting. Along the creeks we also planted Platanus racemosa, California sycamore, as they also are not regenerating. Initially we planted only trees but soon decided to add shrubs for wildlife habitat and to introduce people to a larger variety of native plants.

The California Conservation Corps does the initial site preparation and planting. They also do subsequent removal of weeds. All plant materials have gopher and browse protection. We experimented with a new wire mesh gopher basket. Planting was easier but the basket rolled to ground level and the gophers hopped right in. Also the gophers seemed to prefer sycamores and chewed off the roots around the basket. We lost a lot of the sycamores.

If water was available on site the existing irrigation system was expanded. The city contracted with a water truck to water the other sites. Two sites with heavy infestations of yellow star thistle have been sprayed. We do hand pulling within the browse protection, and weed whack to and around the plants. One site can be partially mowed with a tractor.

Two years ago we contracted with a nursery used by the forest service to grow 2000 local blue and valley oaks from acorns. Most of these were given to Atascadero residents. The nursery also experimented with some bare root stock using valley acorns. Thinking the success rate might be low we planted three bare root seedlings per gopher protection. In most cases all three seedlings survived and grew like weeds. We had expected the seedlings to be ready for Day of the Oak but Mother Earth had her own schedule and we had to revise the give-away date.

On the Las Lomas open space easement we had to replant 40 blue oak that were on a downhill slope because one of the residents thought the trees would block her view.

Atascadero covers 26 square miles and is a city within a native forest. Its topography of hills, valleys and seasonal creeks supports a variety of oak trees. We have become aware of how many trees it takes to make a forest and how much work it takes. Our one thousand trees and shrubs is a very small contribution to the regeneration of our forest. – Joan O’Keefe


Nurseries and Sources for Native Plants

Nurseries and Sources for Native Plants

CNPS-SLO holds our annual Native Plant Sale the first Saturday of November

The Nipomo Native Garden also holds an annual Native Plant Sale

Nurseries in San Luis Obispo county:

(Call for confirmation of times open to public)

Las Pilitas Native Plant Nursery 3232 Las Pilitas Road, Santa Margarita 805-438-5992 (Retail Fri & Sat)
Growing Grounds Farm Wholesale Nursery 3740 Orcutt Rd, San Luis Obispo 805-543-6071 (Retail 3rd Tues of Month)
SAGE Ecological Landscapes, 1301 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos, CA 93402 (805) 574-0777
Clearwater Color Wholesale Nursery 2335 Jacaranda Ln, Los Osos 805-528-4458 (Wholesale only)
Native Sons Wholesale Nursery 379 W. El Campo, Arroyo Grande 805-481-9636 (Retail 2nd Sat in April)
West Covina Wholesale Nursery 165 W. El Campo, Arroyo Grande 805-481-7626 (Wholesale only)

Nurseries outside of our county:

(Call for confirmation of times open to public)

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 1212 Mission Canyon, Santa Barbara 805-682-4272 (classes)
Matilija Nursery 8225 Waters, Moorpark 805-523-8604
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden 1500 W. College, Clairmont 909-625-8767 (classes)
Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery 10459 Tuxford, Sun Valley 818-768-1802 (classes and seed sales)
Tree of Life Nursery 33201 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano 949-728-0685

If you can’t find what you are looking for, ask your nursery to order it for you

Additional Sources

You may also find California Natives at these local sources

BenJoy Nursery 2168 Lopez, Arroyo Grande 481-7488
Cherry Lane Nursery 436 Traffic Way, Arroyo Grande 489-1809
Miners Ace Hardware 186 Station Way, Arroyo Grande 489-9100
Miners Ace Hardware 9370 El Camino Real, Atascadero 466-0270
Bay Laurel Nursery 2500 El Camino Real, Atascadero 466-3449
Windmill Nursery 925 W. Hwy 246, Buellton 688-3993
Cambria Nursery and Florist 2801 Eton Rd, Cambria 927-4747
Los Osos Valley Nursery 301 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos 528-5300
Miners Ace Hardware 520 Highway 41, Morro Bay 722-2233
Nipomo Old Town Nursery 323 W. Tefft, Nipomo 929-1084
Whispering Tree 110 Norris, Orcutt 937-3808
Farm Supply 675 Tank Farm, SLO 543-3751
Miner’s Ace Hardware 2034 Santa Barbara St., SLO 543-2191

Do you have a nursery or source for California Natives that isn’t listed here? Or an update to this information? Please enter a comment below and we will update this page …

Native Plants for School & Urban Gardens

Native Plants for School & Urban Gardens


By Betsey Landis

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society


August 2011

This book is written for teachers and school garden educators and planners. Anyone can download all or parts of the book for free from CNPS Chapter websites. However the book may not be printed and sold without the express permission of the Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter of CNPS. We have discussed printing small special orders but we do not plan to do any more printing of the book in the hundreds or thousands.  I understand what I have written on those first two pages is a type of “creative commons” copyright.  -Betsey Landis  (the author)

Download Here

Because of the size of this book, we have created four separate PDF files for viewing on the web and for download:

Section I

Section II, part a

Section II, part b

Section III

Table of Contents

California Native Plant Society Teachers Resources

Please Add Your Comments

Have you used this resource for your school or public garden? Please share your experience in the comments below …

Fall Plant Walk at La Purisima Mission

Saturday, October 22, 2011 9:00 am

Fall Plant Walk at La Purisima Mission

Charlie Blair will be leading a tour of fall-blooming plants of the Burton Mesa Chaparral. Come and see what is out at this sometimes forgotten time of the year.

Meet at 9:00 AM, east end of Burton Mesa Blvd (1550 E Burton Mesa Blvd.) in Mission Hills at the Community Service District Office.

From the north, take the Constellation Rd. off-ramp from SR 1, heading left, then turn right on Burton Mesa Blvd.

From the South, Burton Mesa Blvd. can be accessed from either Harris Grade Rd. or Rucker Rd.; again turn right.

Call Charlie Blair 733-3189 for details.

Stadium Park

Sunday, October 23, 9:30 am

Stadium Park, Atascadero Field Trip

Join ALPS (Atascadero Land Preservation Society) members for an autumn outing in the north County.

Located on Pine Mountain within the city of Atascadero, this park is a jewel in the middle of the city. The park has well established Gray Pine and Blue Oak woodland as well as the Bill Shepard Native Plant Garden with 70 natives listed in the garden. Another interesting area, Adobe Springs, will also be visited.

Meet at 9:30 am in the parking lot of the Plaza del Camino Center (on the south side of Rite Aid) at the corner of Highways 101 and 41.

Total time at the two sites will be 2.5 to 3 hours. The trail at Stadium Park is 1.5 miles with a few hundred feet elevation gain; the hike to Adobe Springs is short.

Bring adequate water, snacks, and dress in layers for the weather; a hat and sturdy shoes are advised.

For additional information contact Bill Waycott at (805) 459-2103 or bill.waycott@gmail.com.

Native Plants Field Trip - Stadium Park Atascadero

Dedication of the Bill Shepard Native Garden by the ALPS organization, May 2010

Field trip report: Visit to Atascadero area: Stadium Park and Adobe Springs, 23rd October 2011

Ten CNPS members joined members of the Atascadero Land Preservation Society (ALPS) at Stadium Park.

Bruce Bonifas introduced us to the organization and the excellent Bill Shepard Memorial Garden. The garden has a plant identification map and is nicely laid out, so we recommend a visit (plant list available at: http://www.supportalps.org/BillShepardGarden_brochure.pdf). The garden was once a favorite cruising area for off-road vehicles and was “rescued” by ALPS. Mike Orvis, John Goers, and Doug Chisholm of ALPS took us on several trails in Stadium Park.

We climbed gently sloping trail up the southwest facing side of Pine Mountain among blue oaks and gray pine and then chamise, redberry, and black sage. There were a scattering of late season flowers and very fine views in all directions.

We returned through the natural bowl that has been a setting for events and concerts but is still relatively undeveloped. We then drove to an ongoing ALPS project, the Adobe Springs which are adjacent to Traffic Way and northeast of downtown. It is marked by a small island of willows and dogwoods supported by perennial springs and seeps. We ducked through the thick understory to find the largest spring which had an impressive flow. The spring was used by early homesteaders, and some of their original European grapevines still exist today. ALPS intends to keep this area in a natural state, but all their attention is now being directed to the “Three Bridges Project” on land they have obtained along Highway 41 west of town.

For more information about the ALPS organization: http://www.supportalps.org/ALPS/Welcome.html


Nipomo Native Garden Annual Plant Sale

Sunday October 2nd, 9:00am – 3:00pm
Parking Lot — Corner of Osage & Camino Caballo in Nipomo

Talk with members of the Nipomo Native Garden regarding appropriate plants for your specific landscaping needs, transplanting tips, and propagation techniques.

Visit their web site for a list of plants that we expect to be available. http://www.nipomonativegarden.org

  • Approximately 1500 California native plants grown by our supporters
  • Plants, Hats, T-Shirts, & Used Gardening Books for Sale
  • Newsletters, Membership and other Information Pamphlets

All proceeds go to supporting the Garden.

DIRECTIONS: From the 101 Fwy. in Nipomo, go weston Tefft to Pomeroy. Turn right at Pomeroy to Camino Caballo. Turn left onto Camino Caballo and right onto Osage, and continue up to the parking lot and sale.




How to Attract Wildlife with California Natives

Put on by San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 PM – 3 PM

How do you attract wildlife to your garden with California natives? You’ll need to come Sunday, September 11 to hear Penny Wilson Nyunt tell you how. Penny literally grew up in her parents’ California native plant nursery, Las Pilitas. She graduated from Cuesta and CalPoly in Biological Sciences and has written for various gardening publications and websites. Although she grows and sells plants, she vehemently claims to not be a gardener. Instead of changing your environment to suit your plants, she believes it is easier and more environmentally friendly to choose plants that grow in your environment. There are plenty of choices since California has around 6000 native plant species. This fundamental idea gives her the basis for creating beautiful, easy landscapes with high wildlife value.

SLO Botanical is located at 3450 Dairy Creek Road, San Luis Obispo,California 93405. You can reach them at (805) 541-1400 for more information.

Indulge Your Senses in the Native Garden

Put on by San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

Sept. 10, 1 PM – 3 PM

SLO Botanical is very excited to have Carol Bornstein, acclaimed author and horticultural expert from Santa Barbara, come and give her expert advice on native plants of California. Carol is a horticulturist, instructor, and garden designer. For 30 years, she has been an advocate for sustainable, regionally appropriate landscaping. While Director of Horticulture at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, she managed the living collections, retail nursery, and plant introduction program and selected several new cultivars. She continues to seek out exceptional plants for California gardens and to share her knowledge of plants native to California and other Mediterranean regions through her writing, teaching, and design work. Her book, Reimagining The California Lawn, is the Item of the Month for September at our Eve’s Garden Shop; be sure to check it out!

SLO Botanical is located at 3450 Dairy Creek Road, San Luis Obispo,California 93405. You can reach them at (805) 541-1400 for more information.