2019 Plant Sale

2019 Plant Sale

Native  Plant Sale This Saturday

November 2, 9am-2pm

Pacific Beach High School (at Target Intersection), SLO

The Unique Flora of the Central Coast


On Feb 13, 10:15 AM Marlin Harms will present “The Unique Flora of the Central Coast,” a tour of SLO County’s wildflowers that will include noteworthy photos as well as some life history features of both familiar wildflowers plus less well-known endemic and endangered species. He will offer some locations to see wildflowers, some of which may be new to those who aren’t ardent CNPS field trippers.

Part of A Mind Walk series, Morro Bay Veteran’s Hall, 209 Surf St., Morro Bay. Free to Cent. Coast State Parks Assoc. Members, $3 for others.

CNPS Workshops and Professional Training

The Plant Science Training Program specializes in providing workshops for professional botanists, biologists, and ecologists to teach the skills and provide the tools and resources for conducting sound scientific surveys for rare plants, rare plant communities, vegetation, and wetlands. Discounted registration fees are offered to CNPS Members.

  • Mar 1-3 Vegetation Mapping Location: Redlands. Instructors: Julie Evens, John Menke, Todd Keeler-Wolf
  • April 4-6 Introduction to Plant Identification – Part II Location: Auburn. Instructor: Josie Crawford
  • Apr 18-20 Introduction to Plant Identification – Southern CA Location: Frazier Park & Tejon Ranch. Instructors: Nick Jensen
  • May 2-4 San Luis Obispo County Flora Location: San Luis Obispo County. Instructor: David Keil
  • May 17-19 Introduction to Plant Identification – Part I Location: Berkeley. Instructor: Josie Crawford
  • Jun 7-8 Rare Plant Survey Protocols Location: Redding, CA & Hog Lake, near Red Bluff, CA. Instructors: Heath Bartosh, Aaron Sims
  • Oct 3-5 Vegetation Rapid Assessment/Relevé Location: Bodega Bay. Instructors: Jennifer Buck-Diaz and Anne Klein
  • Date TBA Wetland/Riparian Plant Identification
  • Date TBA CEQA Impact Assessment

REGISTRATION: http://www.cnps.org/cnps/education/workshops/

Hoover Herbarium Update Winter 2017

Thank you again to everyone who made 2016 a huge success in the herbarium. Here is some important info about the herbarium this quarter:

  • The times this quarter are Thursdays 3 – 5 pm and Fridays 12 – 2 pm.
  • I now have the ability to pay for metered parking so please let me know if you’d like to use that option.
  • Dr. Paul Wilson is guiding us on a moss collecting hike on Feb. 11th and will be talking with us in the herbarium on Feb 10th during the volunteer session.
  • Last quarter, we mounted almost 1,000 new specimens. That was really incredible and thank you to everyone who helped manage the large number of students who were in there!
  • We also finished cataloging the Herbarium Library, and boy did we find some treasures. We are still in the process of refiling all the books.
  • Cathy and Jason are making progress on our lichens and mosses.
  • The SLO Voucher Flora Project is still happening and we are chipping away at that. All of our records can be searched here:
    • Plants: http://nansh.org/portal/
    • Mosses: http://bryophyteportal.org/portal/
    • Lichens: http://lichenportal.org/portal/

In other big news, our newest Botany faculty member, Dr. Dena Grossenbacher, has arrived to Cal Poly. She starts this quarter. She studies Mimulus and Clarkia, among other
wonderful plants. I’m sure you will all meet her at some point this quarter.

– Dr. Jen Yost

See also: Volunteer at the Hoover Herbarium

Volunteer at The Hoover Herbarium

Volunteer at The Hoover Herbarium

During the volunteer sessions at the Hoover Herbarium, people can take part in any number of activities. One of our primary responsibilities is mounting new specimens. This involves taking dried and pressed plants and glueing them to paper. When we mount plants, we do it in such a way that those specimens will last for hundreds of years. Each specimen is a physical record of what plants occurred where and when. Without this valuable information we wouldn’t know when a species goes extinct, expands or contracts its range, or where species occur. After mounting the specimens are databased and geo-referenced. Then they are filed into the main collection. We have over 80,000 specimens at the Hoover Herbarium.

herbarium plant sheet

A herbarium plant sheet, a important archive of our local flora

We are also working on a SLO Voucher Collection, which will contain one representative specimen for each species in the county. Volunteers look through our specimens and pick the one that should be added to the Voucher Collection.

Additionally, we are actively working on our moss and lichen collections. Volunteers can choose what aspects of the work they would like to participate in. Any and everyone is welcome.

The Hoover Herbarium is located on the 3rd floor of the Fisher Science Building (33) in rooms 352 and 359. Parking permits are required Monday through Thursday, 7:00 am through 10:00 pm; and Friday, 7:00 am through 5:00 pm. You can either buy a $6 day pass, a $4 3-hr pass, park in a metered space, or park off campus and walk in. I can pay for metered parking, but you’ll want to arrange that with me first.

Questions: email Jenn Yost at jyost@calpoly.edu.

– Dr. Jen Yost

See Also: Hoover Herbarium Update Winter 2017

Restoring Mission Creek

Restoring Mission Creek

The Mission Plaza riverwalk in downtown San Luis Obispo caters to thousands of central coast tourists and SLO community members every year. While SLO creek is widely admired, the riparian and creek bed vegetation leaves much to be desired. The City of San Luis Obispo Natural Resources Manager, Robert Hill, began to talk with the Executive Director of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) and Cal Poly Horticulture and Crop Science professor, Bill Waycott, about the possibility of restoration for the riverwalk. This initial talk led to the involvement of others on the project including: Freddy Otte, the City of SLO City Biologist, John Doyle, landscape architect for J. Doyle Landscape and Construction, and Cal Poly Emeritus professor and curator of vascular plants, Dr. David Keil. The group met once to begin making plans but, the project was slow-moving with each member having a tremendous workload to manage for their respective jobs. The passion for the restoration was present; the time for the project work was missing.

For the past two years, Freddy Otte has been a Mentor for the Watershed Stewards Program (WSP) at the San Luis Obispo Steelhead Initiative. At the mention of the need for help with the restoration project, Freddy mentioned the possibility of collaboration to one of the Region II Team Leaders for the WSP SLO Office, Allie Watts. The Watershed Stewards Program is an AmeriCorps program and a special program of the California Conservation Corps whose goal is salmonid habitat restoration throughout California. WSP aims to give young natural resource professionals the hands on experience with experts in fisheries, conservation, and environmental fields during their 10 ½ month service term. Each Team Leader and Member of WSP must complete a watershed restoration project to fulfill part of their program requirements. The SLO Creek Restoration project would be the perfect fulfillment for WSP and truly allow Allie to immerse herself in the SLO community.

After email introductions, Allie began setting up meetings with all the project leaders to put these plans into action. The SLO Creek Restoration project team met several times prior to the first volunteer day on April 27th, 2016. The team decided the first plan of action was to remove the many invasive species throughout the riparian area of SLO Creek from the footbridge near Chorro Street to Broad Street. In general, invasive plants have shallow root structures which cause erosion into the creek in rain events. They also outcompete native plant species which provide valuable habitat for native animals living there, have deep root systems that reduce erosion, and are drought tolerant plants. Common invasive species the team planned to remove included: Vinca (periwinkle), Agapanthus (), and Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven).

Allie, Freddy, Bill, John, and Martha Rutherford, CNPS member, became the core leaders on the team and worked together to recruit volunteers, procure tools and safety gear, and spread the word about the event. On April 27th, 2016, the team’s hardwork was rewarded when over 140 volunteers showed up to remove invasive plants at SLO Creek. The volunteers ranged from Cal Poly students, CCC corpsmembers, community leaders from CNPS and the Downtown Association to local community members and families. While invasive removal is an ongoing process, this volunteer day was an excellent step in the right direction for the health of the SLO Creek riparian area. The shock of bare riparian areas kept the team’s momentum high moving forward.

The following meetings focused on native planting plans. Dr. David Keil provided great insight into the appropriate native plants that would thrive in the conditions at SLO Creek. Using his list, the team decided to reach out to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) student chapter at Cal Poly to acquire a planting palette. Brandon Cornejo, ASLA member, took charge of the project and the team was supplied with a base conceptual planting map and palette to allow the native planting volunteer days at SLO Creek to begin. Using the ASLA map and recommendations from Dr. Keil, the native plants were purchased from local nurseries, Growing Grounds, Las Pilitas, and Clearwater Color, and donated by project leaders. On March 12th, 2016 the team hosted the first native planting volunteer day at SLO Creek. Around twenty volunteers consisting of community members, WSP members, and CCC corpsmembers came out to help plant eighty native species in the first round of planting restoration. All volunteers learned proper planting techniques and the importance of creating a bern around the plant’s base. The bern is essentially a channel around the plant that keeps water close, allowing it to sink in. The berns were especially important for the natives planted on a downhill slope to ensure runoff was not rolling into the creek.

Following the initial planting, Allie continued to hand water all the plants once a week for four months and monitoring their progress. About 70% of the native species planted on the first volunteer day survived. During these four months, the team continued to meet to discuss the plant’s progress, future planting volunteer days, and future signage for the creek. ASLA and Brandon were instrumental in delivering a large “Back to the Natives” planting sign for SLO Creek. This sign features educational information on native and invasive plants as well as photos of the plants. The final sign is set to be approved by the city in September or October of this year. Upon approval and after more restoration work is completed next year, two large signs will be printed and placed at either end of the project, near the footbridge by Broad Street and past the footbridge near Chorro Street. In addition to the large signs, small native plant signs will be placed near different plant species in the riparian area to help community members and tourists identify California riparian native plants. The goal for all of this signage is to help educate and enhance the visitors experience when walking near the creek.

After a four-month hiatus, the team scheduled another large native species planting volunteer day at SLO Creek. On July 23rd, 2016, around twenty volunteers consisting of community members and families, WSP members, and CCC corpsmembers came out to SLO Creek to help plant 108 more native plants and place bark mulch throughout the planted area of the project to help soak up water and prevent weed and invasive species growth. With one area of the project beginning to adapt to the native plant growth, the project team feels good about the current condition of the river walk but knows there is still more work to do. When asked why this project was so vital for SLO Creek and the city, Bill Waycott explained in saying, “The pristine landscapes of Coastal California are slowly being colonized by invasive plants introduced from other parts of the world. The banks of the perennial creek that flows through downtown San Luis Obispo is no exception. Local residents can make a difference in stemming the tide of invasives by learning what California native plants look like and opting to use them when planting an area. Our mild climate and abundant sunshine provide the opportunity for non-native plants to thrive, having negative consequences. Restoration of SLO Creek at the Mission Plaza will serve as an excellent example of the use of native plants to all who visit our city.” This project will take years to reach its full potential but, this team is all committed to this county and continuing to be a part of the SLO Creek Restoration team. Next October or November the team will be hosting another volunteer event to plant native species, remove some limited invasive growth, and place bark mulch throughout the second area past the footbridge near Broad Street. Moving forward the project team envisions, the removal of the sprouts and large Tree of Heaven near the creek, more volunteer days for native planting in the first area and the second, creekbed invasive removal and native planting volunteer days, and inputting the large and individual educational signage.

San Luis Obispo Creek July 23rd 2016 Volunteer Event

San Luis Obispo Creek July 23rd 2016 Volunteer Event

Running through the heart of downtown near Mission Plaza,  San Luis Obispo Creek is a vital part of our watershed that is in need of restoration. The Watershed Stewards Program (WSP) in partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Student Chapter at Cal Poly, and Growing Grounds will be hosting a volunteer event Saturday July 23rd from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm to remove invasive plants, plant native species, cover the area with tree bark and in the future, post educational signage along the creek between Broad and Chorro streets.

Read the full Press Release

Botanical Excursion Foray

Botanical Excursion Foray

The 21st Annual Spring Outing Botanical Excursion Foray, Retreat, and Escape to the Environment Brought to you by the new Bryophyte Chapter of the California Native Plant Society!

Friday to Monday, March 18-21, 2016 North Coast Range near Occidental, California

Founded in 1996, SO BE FREE is a series of West Coast forays started by the Bryolab at UC Berkeley, but open to all botanists. The main focus is on bryophytes, but we also encourage experts on other groups to come along and smell the liverworts. We welcome specialists and generalists, professionals and amateurs, master bryologists and rank beginners.

SO BE FREE is held each spring, somewhere in the Western US, associated with spring break at universities. Evening slide shows and informal talks are presented as well as keying sessions with microscopes. In addition to seeing interesting wild areas and learning new plants, important goals for SO BE FREE include keeping West Coast bryologists (and friends) in touch with each other and teaching beginners.

To see pictures and information from past outings, visit the SO BE FREE website (http:// ucjeps.berkeley.edu/bryolab/Field_Trips.html).

Early Registration Deadline is Dec. 15, 2015. Regular registration Deadline is Feb. 19, 2016

Flyer (http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/common/images/SBF21_announcement.pdf).

Rare Plant Program – Mona Robison

Rare Plant Program – Mona Robison

Dear SLO rare plant enthusiast:

SLO County will have a visitor from the CNPS state office, Mona Robison.  She was recently hired by CNPS to coordinate the State’s Rare Plant program (see attachment).  Prior to CNPS, Mona has had a rich and diverse involvement with CA native plants. (more…)

Mission Plaza – San Luis Creek Restoration Project

Mission Plaza – San Luis Creek Restoration Project

Earlier this year, SLO city officials approached CNPS with the idea of restoring the deteriorated riparian habitat, which runs through the downtown adjacent to the Mission Plaza, with California native species. Our local chapter has embraced this project with great enthusiasm. (more…)