The Hoover Award
The Hoover Award was established by the San Luis Obispo chapter in 1974 to recognize a person that has made significant contributionto the success and well being to the SLO chapter of CNPS.
The selection is made at a meeting of the past recipients, and the award is generally presented at the annual banquet.
In Recognition of Distinguished Service
Matt Ritter joined the chapter shortly after arriving at Cal Poly to teach botany. He was assigned to teach a course on California native plants and their communities to prospective elementary school teachers. Finding the subject fascinating, and needing a teaching aid, he wrote and photo illustrated the picture book Plants of San Luis Obispo: Their Lives and Stories.
He encourages his students to attend our Chapter meetings in the many botanic courses he teaches, and instills in many an appreciation of both native flora and field work.
Early on Matt accepted the Chapter vice presidency, which is a difficult and time consuming job as it encompasses the role of program chairman. It is Matt we have to thank for the high quality of our speakers, and the large number who have come to us from outside our county. These speakers, including himself, have made several fine presentations.
Our wealth of speakers comes in part because Matt is highly regarded in the academic community. He is a contributing author to the second edition of The Jepson Manual, and to the Flora of North America project. He is also editor-in-chief of Madroño (the journal of the California Botanical Society). Matt was a Kenan Fellowship awardee at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, and teaches for the Organization of Tropical Studies in Costa Rica.
As well as authoring numerous academic papers, his book A Californian’s Guide to the Trees among Us has national distribution.
Matt has lead several field trips into our native habitats, grasslands and urban treescape. Following the tradition that a CNPSer is only truly happy when their face is buried in a plant key, he and Dr. Keil have run premeeting keying exercises that have been enormously popular. He chairs the City of San Luis Obispo TreeCommittee.
The Chapter has long supported a student scholarship program. Matt volunteered to look after the program,
— Dr. Dirk Walters: Chair, Hoover Awards Committee
In the world of gardening with California native plants, one never knows when they will be captivated by its magic. It was in the late 1990’s, as Bill was walking his dog through Pismo State Beach, Oceano Campground’s Native Plant Garden, and meeting Jack and Grace Beigle, that he became aware of the possibilities of gardening with native plants. It started by Bill asking lots of questions. One thing let to another and Bill eventually joined the “Garden Gang” on Tuesday mornings and in Grace’s words, “He was enthusiastic!”
Bill has now contributed countless hours to the development of the garden. He has also worked on the removal of non-native invasive species and on
Bill’s enthusiasm for gardening with native plants was brought to a new level around 2002, when Bill signed
Bill’s garden at his home in Arroyo Grande is a beautiful oak woodland in the middle of the city, where Bill’s knowledge of California native plants is evident everywhere and he has generously shared his garden on many CNPS Garden Tours.
Bill has also made additional contributions to our chapter by propagating, cultivating, and delivering native plants to our November Plant Sale and helping out at our monthly meetings, our annual pot luck banquet and at work parties through the county. Thank you for your contributions to the SLO chapter of CNPS.
Marlin Harms’ quiet enthusiasm and wondrous photographs are vital both to conservation and appreciation of our county’s wildflowers. Marlin’s photographs are featured prominently throughout “Wildflowers of San Luis Obispo” including the cover photograph of a Calochortus venustus display at Laguna Lake. Typical of Marlin’s enthusiasm was his effort to locate and photograph missing subjects for that book. Marlin is never content with just a pedestrian image, he wants to improve and highlight each species with his art and he is helping germinate the Chapter’s next big publication, a guide to the Carrizo wildflowers.
Marlin has played a behind-the-scenes, but vital role in the successful conservation campaigns preserving so much of our county. His photographs of Hollister Peak, the Sur Sur Ranch, the East West Ranch, and the Palisades property in Los Osos presented to foundations, Congress, and the Legislature generated the excitement and support for those conservation victories. Additionally, Marlin has contributed plants he has grown from seed to our annual plant sale for more than 15 years, quietly supporting our chapter’s centerpiece fund-raiser.
The honoree of the Hoover Award is George Butterworth. The Hoover award was presented at CNPS-SLO’s January, 2010 banquet in recognition of George Butterworths distinguished and unstinting contributions to our county’s flora, including –
2008This year it is our privilege to present the Award to Heather and Jim Johnson. Heather and Jim moved to this county about 10 years ago. In short time, they became acquainted with San Luis Obispo’s “organizational landscape,” transferred their CNPS membership to our chapter, and jumped right in.
Their mark on our chapter has grown steadily through the years. With Heather’s knowledge and artistic vision, and Jim’s attention to detail, the local chapter continues to blossom.
2007Lauren Brown is the 2007 recipient of the Hoover Award. Lauren first came to notice of the chapter people when she consented to be our Chairperson of our newly formed committee on the control of aggressive exotics ❨weeds❩. This she did by becoming our liaison with several local governmental agencies responsible for weed control. We soon notice that she was helping out all over the place.
Lauren served as the Chapter President for two years and she did a fantastic job. She masterminded the Chapter’s hosting of the State Board Meeting last fall. As President of the Chapter, Lauren was also our Chapter representative to the State CNPS Board. The State Board is large and most of the Chapter attendees attend and then go back to their chapters without much state involvement. The State Officials thought enough of Lauren’s work on the Board that she was asked to run for state office.
|2006John Chesnut, this year’s recipient of the Hoover Award has made significant contributions in all three important functions of our statewide society: our scientific authority represented by our Rare Plant and Vegetation programs; our Conservation program, in which we fight for proconservation actions of government and the private sector and oppose destructive activities; and, our Education programs that involve public field trips, horticultural programs and other forms of public outreach.|
2005This Hoover award recipient has enriched our chapter in many ways. Her enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and love of native plants, especially those of San Luis Obispo, are shared and appreciated by everyone that has met with her, be it a first-time field trip attendee or one of our botanical experts.
|2004Larry Vierheilig was given the Hoover Award. The list of Larry’s accomplishments is impressive, including work with Nipomo Native Garden, Dunes Forum, Dunes Collaborative and People for Nipomo Dunes. He worked with the Land Conservancy of SLO County to identify and preserve special places in the Nipomo area. For over two years Larry wrote monthly native plant gardening articles for the Adobe Press; subsequently he donated them to the SLO Chapter for publication in the Obispoensis. He rescued hundreds of native plants from the corner of Pomeroy and Willow (Ceanothus Corner) for use by the community and established a permanent preserve at Knollwood Estates development for the endemic population of Pismo clarkia, Clarkia speciosa ssp. immaculata at Knollwood. For his contributions to CNPS Larry is very deserving of this award.|
|2003Susie Bernstein was honored with the Hoover Award at this year’s Annual Banquet. As Education Chair for our chapter, she has shared her infectious enthusiasm for plants and people. For several years, she has been helping with Creek Day, Bob Jones Trail Day and the Farmers Market booth. Her major focus has been assisting the seventh grade science teacher at Los Osos Middle School to develop a plant curriculum. She has taught the students about plant communities and native plants, and how to grow them.|
|2002Charlie Blair received the Hoover Award this year at the Annual Banquet. Thanks to Charlie’s enthusiasm and leadership the Lompoc area has a CNPS subchapter. Charlie is the one who organizes field trips, finds monthly speakers and attends chapter and state board meetings. We are fortunate to have such an energetic and knowledgeable person in our chapter.|
|2001The Hoover Award was presented to Eleanor Williams at the Annual Banquet. Eleanor was honored for her long time service to the San Luis Obispo Chapter of CNPS. She has served as committee chair for field trips and membership committees and as CNPS representative to the Pine Pitch Canker Task Force. In the field she has lead Wild Flower Weekend hikes, worked with the C.C.C. on creek side vegetation restoration, volunteered at the Plant Sale every year, and staffed the information and sales booth. She is currently working with the docents maintaining the demonstration garden at Montano de Oro. Thank you, Eleanor, for giving so much to CNPS!|