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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.

Donations in support of the activities of the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society in pursuit of its mission are much appreciated.

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Calendar of Chapter Events

upcoming membership meetings

upcoming field trips

upcoming restoration events

Native Here Nursery

Your resource for plants that grow naturally in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Native Here Nursery is on Facebook.

Conservation Blog
April 4th
On 29 March 2016, our chapter’s Conservation Committee gathered at a volunteer’s private home to discuss current native plant conservation issues in the East Bay Area. Here is an outline of our main topics: Antioch, CA: Vineyards at Sand Creek…
April 1st
On 19 February 2016, our organization participated in an Environmental Advisory Council hosted by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker. About thirty representatives from other conservation and land management organizations, park districts, municipalities, and no…
February 18th
A brief update on the Meeting of the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Commission, taking place at Tracy City Hall, regarding planned expansion project into the Tesla area, as proposed by Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA): On Frid…

Foothill penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus).  Photo by Bill Hunt.

East Bay Chapter newsletter

Click here for the June 2016 issue of the East Bay Chapter newsletter, the Bay Leaf, in html format.

Launch of the Database of Rare, Unusual and Significant Plants of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

The Unusual Plants Committee is pleased to announce that, starting March 6, CNPS members and the general public will be able to access and search the Chapter’s database of Rare, Unusual and Significant Plants of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Click here to request access to the database. This is just in time for the beginning of the field season, and we hope it will be of great assistance to amateur and professional botanists alike.

This database represents over 26 years of research and monitoring of locally rare and statewide rare plants by both the Rare and Unusual Plant Committees and their volunteers. It includes 1,014 plants with almost 18,000 observation records from a myriad of sources including CNPS volunteers, local botanists, herbaria records, etc.

Because the East Bay is very much of a melting pot for California vegetation, there are a great many plants that have very limited distribution in our two-county area. In 1989 the Rare Plant Committee started looking at the local flora in terms of local rarity, and by 1992 they had identified 658 taxa that had 5 or fewer locations in the East Bay. A database was set up to track these “Unusual and Significant” plants, and research and monitoring have continued ever since.

Many of you are familiar with the report of the same name that was produced periodically from 1992 through 2010 for 8 editions. That report was a great success and became an invaluable tool for land managers, planners, agencies, conservationists, and others.

In 2010, however, our focus changed to putting the database on-line so that those professionals and amateurs, as well as the general public, could search for a greater variety of data, and data that might be more specific to their various projects and endeavors.

The Unusual Plants Committee has spent almost 5 years making changes and improvements to the database so that it will be user-friendly for multiple users. It can be searched for species or observation records, with 36 different search fields, such as location, rarity, habitat, blooming periods, etc. A “How To Use The Database” section is provided to assist users in learning how the database works and how they can find the data they seek.

 Users will also be able to add their own observations to the database, and these will be reviewed and checked for accuracy before actually being added into the database. These observations can be added at home by computer, or while still in the field on an Observation App for android phones, which was generously produced for our Chapter with donated time from the staff of CalFlora.

We hope that the on-line database will be of great help and enjoyment to professionals and amateurs alike.

Dianne Lake, Chair, Unusual Plants Committee

Myrtle Wolf Scholarship Fund of the California Native Plant Society, East Bay Chapter: Application Notice and Guidelines for Grant Proposals

The Myrtle Wolf Scholarship Fund honors the late Myrtle Wolf (1913-2012), a longtime Oakland teacher, who on retirement, devoted herself to California’s native flora. She was a member of the California Native Plant Society for over 30 years, where she worked on the fundraising annual plant sales and promoted the use of native plants in the California landscape. She was made a Fellow of CNPS in 1987. She was also a supporter of the UC Botanical Garden, where the library was named for her in 2000.

The review committee will consider proposals from students at East Bay colleges and universities for the study of California Native plants. Projects may involve taxa from anywhere in the state, but all else being equal, preference will be given to projects involving taxa that are native to the East Bay. Both biological and horticulture projects will be considered. (“East Bay” means Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.)

read more

2016 Conservation Analyst Appeal

The Conservation Analyst Fund supports a half-time professional Conservation Analyst and the Conservation Committee. The Conservation Analyst assists the chapter’s Conservation Committee by reviewing Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs), attending planning meetings, writing letters to agencies, making site visits and much more. Most of the fund will be salary and benefits for our future hire, as our former analyst, Mack Casterman, has accepted a full time job. Funds may also be used to support the all volunteer Conservation Committee to attend workshops and conferences. 

At the moment the fund stands at $33,000—well on the way to our goal of $40,000. We rely on members and friends to donate to the fund, which has successfully supported three half-time professionals over the last ten years. 

To donate click on the Paypal button below or write  a check to “CNPS”, put "Conservation Analyst Fund" in the line on the bottom left and mail it to the chapter’s address: EBCNPS, P.O. Box 5597, Elmwood Station, Berkeley CA 94705. All donations are tax-deductible. 

It is wonderful to see so many familiar names among the donors who have given generously and repeatedly over the past 10 years. We wish to thank all of you who have contributed so far!

Delia Taylor, Funds Development Chair 

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, deliataylor@me.com.  You may also order the book online by clicking on the Paypal button labeled "Buy Now" and following the instructions.

Click here for a slideshow of the October 2015 Plant Fair.

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. Read more

Save Knowland Park


A bird’s eye view of the Oakland Zoo’s expansion site at Knowland Park. The area on the right side of the picture is rare martime chapparal. Photo copyright, Steve Whittaker

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 expansion.You can visit the Knowland Park Coalition website at saveknowland.org for up to date reporting. Please “like” Save Knowland Park on Facebook.



The video above explains how to use Meetup.com to find out about and participate in the actiivities of the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Click here for beautiful pictures of flowers and wildlife in the Mojave and Colorado deserts.

The flower in the banner at the top of the page is that of Grindelia hirsutula. Photo by Janice Bray.

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