|California Native Plant Society|
The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) was formed in 1965 in the East Bay region. Today it is a statewide organization with thirty-three chapters. The East Bay Chapter covers Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The state organization and the local chapters work together to increase understanding of California's native flora and to preserve this rich resource for future generations.
The flower in the banner at top is that of Grindelia hirsutula. Photo by Janice Bray
Photographs of native plants and related activity
Native Here Nursery is on Facebook.
2014 Conservation Analyst Appeal Now Underway
We are entering our Chapter's ninth year of supporting a half-time professional Conservation Analyst! The funds needed, $40,000, are provided by Chapter members and supporters. We are asking for your generous contributions to this fund.
For two years, our Conservation Analyst, Mack Casterman, has provided indispensable support to the all-volunteer Conservation Committee. Mack is involved at all levels in our efforts to conserve our most valuable local native plants and the ecosystems they support. These efforts require specific knowledge about the locale and the plants, along with site visits, contacts with professionals and local citizens, document reviews and comments. Sustained effort is necessary. Some conservation issues on the agenda last for years, others demand immediate actions. We need to have Mack on the team to be as successful as possible.
Please contribute as generously as you can so we can keep Mack working with us. Mail a check made out to CNPS to California Native Plant Society, Box 5597, Elmwood Station, Berkeley CA 94705, or click on the PayPal button below.
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Calendar of Chapter Events
Plant Fair October 12-13, 20113 Photos by Joe Willingham
Chapter President Lesley Hunt congratulates Theo Fitanides.
Theo Fitanides Chosen to be New Nursery Manager
After conducting an extensive search and interview process this summer, the East Bay Chapter of CNPS is pleased to announce that Theo Fitanides has been hired to serve as the manager for Native Here Nursery, the chapter’s nursery dedicated to growing local native plants from Alameda and Contra Costa counties. A search committee composed of Shirley McPheeters, Elaine Jackson, David Bigham, Laura Baker, John Danielsen and Lesley Hunt received many applications for the position and interviewed a number of outstanding candidates. The chapter would like to thank all who applied and especially those who were interviewed.
Theo is a 2010 graduate from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in Biological Sciences and has worked with the BLM, organic farms, National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hawaii, Terra Verde Environmental Consulting, and The Watershed Nursery. This summer, Theo was a community crew leader for the Student Conservation Association serving at-risk youth to foster a love of the environment and land stewardship. His recent activities included volunteering with the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden and the East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden as well as Native Here Nursery.
The combination of Theo’s interest in native plants and environmental stewardship makes him well qualified for his new position. At Native Here Theo will work with our volunteers to propagate local native plants for retail customers, restoration efforts, public agencies and annual plant sales and events.
Theo will be working with Charli Danielsen during this fall to ensure that a smooth transition takes place for our customers and volunteers whom we depend upon for our success. Charli, who is retiring from management of the nursery after over 20 years as the nursery‘s founder, hopes to spend more time with family (grandchild), to work in her garden and become the nursery’s best customer!
Please join me in welcoming Theo to EBCNPS and Native Here Nursery!
Greetings East Bay CNPS!
Thank you for the warm welcome you are giving me as the new manager of your chapter nursery. I am delighted have been chosen to run the day-to-day operations. As you all know, Charli and John will be stepping down as full-time volunteer heroes and transitioning into normal volunteer hero mode. I have to somehow fill their shoes. I think they must each wear a size 19 wide. This task will only be possible because of the wealth of dedicated volunteers. Many of which have been with the nursery for countless years and all of which are absolutely integral to the EBCNPS nursery in its mission, and the broader State Mission, “to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants.”
Some notes from my first two weeks: 1) selling plants in our nursery is difficult. Margot is amazing. 2) We have a lot of really neat plants for sale. Come and buy them. 3) There are several good opportunities for growth. Let me just water and pot these million plants first. 4) The Plant Fair takes a lot of time and effort to produce. It is worth it.
I hope to meet and chat with several of you at the upcoming Plant Fair. Steve Toby is doing an excellent job organizing this year's event. I will be speaking about how to appreciate birdsong and attract a greater variety of native birds. Best wishes and thank you for this wonderful opportunity to pursue the East Bay Chapter's goal of protecting the native plants and plant communities of the East Bay.
Sign the Change.org Petition to Help Save Knowland Park!
A bird’s eye view of the Oakland Zoo’s proposed expansion site at Knowland Park – note the rare maritime chaparral in the right side of the picture. photo Copyright, Steve Whittaker
Your help is needed to save Oakland’s largest city park – Knowland Park – from an unnecessary and destructive zoo expansion project! Despite pleas by a wide range of conservation groups to modify their project, Oakland Zoo executives have pushed forward with plans to bulldoze and build on rare wildlife and plant habitat, putting in danger threatened species like the Alameda Whipsnake, and the wide variety of wildlife that call Knowland Park home. Knowland Park is a critical piece of EBCNPS’s “Foothills of South Oakland” Botanical Priority Protection Area due to its acres of remnant native grasslands as well as a stand of rare maritime chaparral. Both habitats will be heavily impacted by the Zoo’s proposed development plan.
Please follow this link to join the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, the Friends of Knowland Park and the Center for Biological Diversity in calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect this park from the zoo’s destructive expansion plan!
To follow along with our work to save Knowland Park, please “like” us on Facebook and share this info with your firends and neighbors. You can also visit the Knowland Park Coalition website at saveknowland.org for up to date reporting on the ongoing efforts to gain permanent protection for this wonderful park. Knowland Park has been referred to as Oakland’s best kept secret, but we are hopeful that with your help it won’t stay a secret much longer.
Click on the button below to make a donation to Save Knowland Park.
Rescue Tesla Park's natural treasures
Buttercups (Ranunculus californicus) in Tesla Park. Photo by Mack Casterman.
Friends of Tesla Park
Visit the Friends of Tesla Park web site, to learn more about the Friends' efforts to prevent destruction of 3,400 acres of eastern Alameda County native habitat, and to get involved.
As a Friend, EBCNPS supports establishing Tesla Park as a non-motorized low impact historic and natural resource park and preserve.
Also visit the State Parks web site announcing the first public meeting regarding development of the General Plan and EIR Scoping public workshop for the expansion of Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area.
Click here to access two videos that provide an early opportunity to listen to State Parks and Recreation Deputy (DPR) Directors (Chief Deputy Director Aaron Robertson, and Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division Deputy Director Christopher Conlin), along with the senior staff counsel, Kathryn Tobias, for DPR, who are testifying before State Senate, and State Assembly, subcommittees regarding a particular "Reappropriations—Capital Outlay" in the DRP annual budget request.
Those who are familiar with the issues surrounding OHMVR program, specifically the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, which is one of the focal points of these two hearings, might want to reflect on how those staff viewpoints, opinions, and positions, compare to your own experiences, insights, and opinions about the OHMVR Division and mission.
All viewers can gain knowledge of how budget requests, once in hearing, are discussed and decided in each subcommittee.
The hearing provides an opportunity to hear the public's testimony before the subcommittees. Of particular note are statements by several people on behalf of the Friends of Tesla Park, including that coalition's chairperson, and coalition representatives from the Sierra Club California, and the California Native Plant Society.
Note also that the item under consideration in these two meetings became known to the Friends of Tesla Park only days prior to the scheduled hearings, which created an urgent need to become familiar with the item and to prepare statements to address it.
Your impressions, comments, experiences are invited. Please send them to our EBCNPS Conservation Analyst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Guidebook to the Botanical Priority Protection Areas of the East Bay is now available online. Click here to access this marvelous resource, which includes a beautiful interactive map.
For twenty years amateurs and professionals concerned with the East Bay flora have found Barbara Ertter’s Annotated Checklist of the East Bay Flora an indispensable resource. Now Dr. Ertter and restoration ecologist, botanist and photographer Lech Naumovich have produced a second edition incorporating a wealth of new information. The book is available at Native Here Nursery and at the East Bay Chapter membership programs. It may be ordered from Delia Taylor, email@example.com. You may also order the book online by clicking on the Paypal button labeled "Buy Now" and following the instructions.
The East Bay Chapter of CNPS wants to keep track of rare and endemic native plants and plant communities in the East Bay. Within our catalogue of native plant species there is an abundance of rarity: from Mount Diablo endemics to Pleistocene relicts; narrowly distributed taxa to peripheral populations; and species that have suffered extirpations from changes in vegetation composition resulting from the introduction of non-native plant species or directly from human development. Based on the CNPS Inventory of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants of California, a total of 127 of these plant species are currently known from our Chapter area. These species are separated into five categories of rarity: