Members’ meetings

East Bay CNPS Members’ Meetings are great for:
* Learning about native plants (and wildlife) and their habitats
* Virtually visiting beautiful and interesting places
* Being inspired by conservation challenges and success stories
* Meeting nice people who share your interests

Our meetings are always free and open to everyone, members and nonmembers 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 or Orinda Community Center, which are 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).

Members’ Meeting
 Carrizo Plain, March 2017, photo by Dagmar Collins

Save the Superbloom: How extraordinary years can help us to save extraordinary places
Speaker: Dan Gluesenkamp, PhD
Wednesday, September 27, 7:30 pm
Location: Garden Room, Orinda Public Library (directions below)

This past spring Californians were treated to a spectacular season of wildflowers. While not every part of California experienced a Superbloom, many were blessed with flowers that drew the attention of the world. Newspapers across the nation featured stories about the bloom. Broadcasters ranging from Korean television to Netflix made trips to out-of-the-way California wildflower destinations to document them for their viewers. This excitement was driven by a confluence of events; climatic conditions provided California some beautiful blooms, and political circumstances gave all of us the need to see beauty, resilience, resistance, and hope.

This talk will focus on the 2017 Superbloom, its flowers, the frenzy, and the broader significance. Yes, there will be photos of incredibly beautiful flowers. There will also be pictures of industrial-scale solar farms and pot-growing fields, where flowers once flourished. Finally, there will be a discussion of the CNPS Important Plant Areas (IPAs) project, an ambitious endeavor that deploys scientific data and citizen science to identify the most important parts of California and ensure that we do everything possible to save them for the future.

Dan Gluesenkamp (shown in the photo below) is Executive Director of the California Native Plant Society and works with CNPS staff and chapters to protect, understand, and celebrate California’s native flora. Dan earned his PhD at UC Berkeley, and previously worked as Executive Director of Calflora and as Director of Habitat Protection for Audubon Canyon Ranch’s 30 preserves. A co-founder of the California Invasive Plant Council and of the Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN), in 2009 Dan discovered a presumed-extinct Franciscan manzanita plant growing on a traffic island at the Golden Gate Bridge.

East Bay CNPS membership meetings are free of charge and open to everyone. This month’s meeting takes place in the Garden Room of the Orinda Public Library at 26 Orinda Way (in Orinda Village). The Garden Room is on the second floor of the building, accessible by stairs or an elevator. The Garden Room opens at 7 pm; the meeting begins at 7:30 pm. Email or call 510-496-6016 if you have questions.

Directions to Orinda Public Library at 26 Orinda Way

From the west, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda/Moraga exit. At the end of the off ramp, turn left on Camino Pablo (toward Orinda Village), right on Santa Maria Way (the signal after the BART station and freeway entrance), and left on Orinda Way.
From the east, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda exit. Follow the ramp to Orinda Village. Turn right on Santa Maria way (the first signal) and left on Orinda Way. Once on Orinda Way, go 1 short block to the parking lot on the southeast side of the two-story building on your right. There is additional free parking beneath the building as well as on the street.

From BART (4 blocks): Exit the Orinda station, turn right and cross a pedestrian bridge, then cross a second pedestrian bridge on the left. Go 1 short block on the sidewalk to the third pedestrian bridge. Go 2 blocks on Orinda Way to the Orinda Library.

Next Month’s Program

Heath Bartosh—Northern California Black Walnut: A tree with many stories
October 24, 7:30 pm, Garden Room, Orinda Public Library