Field Trips

Our meetings are always free and open to everyone, members and  non-members alike. We meet at 7:30 pm on the fourth Wednesday evening of the month in January-May and September-November, with a slight adjustment in the schedule to avoid Thanksgiving week. Most of our meetings take place at the Orinda Library, which is centrally located in our big, two-county chapter area.

We welcome your ideas for topics or speakers (some of our best programs have come from members’ suggestions), so please feel free to contact Programs chair Sue Rosenthal with your ideas ( or 510-496-6016).

Sunday, April 8, 9:30 am. Fire recovery and succession at Sugarloaf State Park. Join Ann Howald and Milo Baker chapter on this trip to scope out fire followers in the burned areas of this local mountain outside of Santa Rosa. You’ll need to bring your favorite plant key or befriend someone from Milo Baker chapter–because this area just burned, this trip will be to find plants rather than vibe them out from an established list. Bring lunch and water for this hike of about 5 hours. You can direct further questions to Betty Young at or call (707) 595-1463.

Directions to Sugarloaf State Park Meetup points east and west are as follows: From Santa Rosa and points west: Meet Betty at the east end of the Park & Ride lot under Highway 12, across from the fairgrounds. From the East Bay, pick up 101 north from either 580 or 37, drive north through part of Santa Rosa until you reach the exit for Highway 12. From points east of Sugarloaf: Meet Ann at the Kenwood Deli, 8910 Sonoma HIghway in Kenwood. If you take 80 and then 37 to Highway 121 to reach Sugarloaf Park, then Kenwood Deli will be closer. If you want to meet at the Sugarloaf parking lot, bring $8 or your state parks pass, and look for Milo Baker folks just beyond and to the left of the entry kiosk. Take 580 west to the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge. Next, take 101 northbound to Highway 12 in Santa Rosa, and then east to the turnoff for Sugarloaf State Park.

Sunday, April 22, 2 pm, David Margolies will lead a trip to Sunol Regional Park. The walk will take the Canyon View Trail to Little Yosemite and return along the fire road. Meet at the bridge near the visitor’s center. The walk is about two miles long and will take about two hours, with several hundred feet up and down. We will see and identify wildflowers and trees. There should be many wildflowers, including two Calochortus, wind poppies, gilias, goldfields, and more. There is a parking fee.

Saturday, May 5, 4 pm, Janet Gawthrop will lead a beginner-oriented plant walk at Hillside Natural Area in El Cerrito. We will be looking for the Oakland star tulip population, but there are many other species of native plants here. We will start from the recently acquired open space next to Madera Elementary School. For the car-haters among us, you can get up the hill to Madera School by taking the AC Transit #7 bus from El Cerrito del Norte BART