California Native Plant Society
San Gabriel Mountains Chapter

Events and news


Both members and visitors are welcome at our regular meetings, held at Eaton Canyon Nature Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month except July, August, November, and December. The meetings are preceded from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. by social time and informal plant identification.

Thursday, May 25, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Conserving plants on a changing planet, with Evan Meyer: It is no secret that a large portion of the world’s biodiversity is in an extremely
perilous position. The variety of threats facing wild organisms requires a corresponding variety of solutions. One of the most critical threats, the loss of habitat, can be addressed through the preservation of wildlands (in-situ conservation). But this alone cannot protect rare species from extinction. Ex-situ conservation seeks to protect individual species by maintaining and augmenting their populations outside of their natural habitats. Join Evan as he describes examples of how these efforts are being carried out in Southern California and discusses his belief that preserving biodiversity for future generations will require creativity, humility, and adaptation to the realities of a changing planet.

Evan Meyer is the Assistant Director at the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to this, Evan was the Seed Conservation Program Manager at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Conservation gardening, citizen scientists, and the fight to save our flowers: It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine! with Dan Gluesenkamp: For over 50 years, the California Native Plant Society has protected our native plants and celebrated California’s wild gardens. During those decades, the human population has doubled and conservation in California has been dramatically transformed. Against all odds, a dedicated community of plant lovers, using a growing diversity of conservation tools, has somehow managed to save most of the plants and places that make California special. As we look to the future, we see continued population growth, as well as new threats, and wonder how to save California for the future. Dan Gluesenkamp will speak about plants, places, projects, and engage in a discussion of how to learn and work together to make a real and lasting difference.

Dan Gluesenkamp 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 Ph.D. at UC Berkeley studying the ecology of native and invasive thistles. He previously worked as Executive Director of the Calflora Database, and as Director of Habitat Protection and Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch’s thirty preserves. He is a co-founder of the California Invasive Plant Council and of the Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN), and in 2009 discovered a presumed-extinct Franciscan manzanita plant growing on a traffic island near the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Pot Luck Supper 6:30 p.m., Members' Slide Show 7:30 p.m.: Bring your favorite dish to share at the pot luck. And please bring your own utensils. The slide show is an opportunity to show your favorite native-plant-related photographs.

For the slide show, please select one to twelve photos that you would like to share. If you can, please identify the plants in each photograph with common names and/or botanical names, or the group can help identify them. And please tell us where you found them.

Files can be JPG or other image formats, preferably at full resolution. Or, if you prefer, you can create your own PowerPoint or OpenOffice slides and send them.

Details of how and when to submit your photos will be announced nearer the date.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017, 7:30 p.m.: Program to be announced:

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Past programs of our chapter: See the Past Events page.

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Email notification: If you wish to be notified by email of upcoming field trips, please click here to subscribe to our email list.

Leaders: Each outing has one or more appointed leaders. It is not necessary to contact the leader beforehand in order to participate. All you need to do is turn up for the event.

Eaton Canyon Plant Walks

Plant walks are held on the second Sunday of each month except July and August.

Meet in front of Eaton Canyon Nature Center at 9:00 a.m. Then go on a leisurely walk, about 2 hours, through the native plant garden that surronds the Center and into the nearby wild areas. The walk is different each time — what's leafing out, flowering, in seed, etc., determines what your leade will talk about — and different leaders bring drifferent points of view.

Current plant walks:  

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 09:00

Sunday, December 11, 2016, 09:00

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 09:00

Sunday, February 12, 2017, 09:00

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 09:00

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Field outings for 2017

We sponsor outings on occasional Saturdays throughout the year. The walking ranges from easy, typically on wide fire roads, to moderately strenuous, such as on forest trails. If a convenient place is available nearby, we love to picnic afterward. Weather is unpredictable; snow, rain, fire and ice cancel.

Important note: The chapter does not advertise all field trips in the newsletter. Instead we have two levels of field trip, those with dates known well ahead to places expected to be good regardless of the season; and spur-of-the-moment trips organized with 1 to 2 weeks of notice, based on seasonal conditions and notified via this web site, email, and Facebook. This gives us more flexibility in finding wildflowers in bloom or fall color at its peak.

Saturday-Sunday, April 29-30, 2017: Tejon Ranch Conservancy: Plans are under way for an overnight field trip on the weekend of April 29-30, 2017 to Tejon Ranch Conservancy, the 270,000-acre reserve in the Tehachapi Mountains. The following weekend, May 6-7, is being held as a backup in case of rain on the first weekend. This will be a docent-led tour of this enormous area of biodiversity during the peak of spring blooming. If you are unaware of this spectacular place, check it out at

Each participant must fill out a sign-up form — click here to download the form. Completed forms should be sent to John Thompson, Preference will be given to members of the CNPS San Gabriel Mountains chapter and other CNPS members. A wait-list will be maintained. Also, the Conservancy requests a $40 donation per person.

Plans call for a full day Saturday, beginning early, then overnight accommodations either at a nearby motel or at a primitive campsite on the ranch, and an additional half day of botanizing on Sunday. The trip is also open to those who wish to participate only on Saturday.

Details about camping and motels will be furnished in March, at least one month before the trip, along with details about appropriate clothing and logistics. Please be aware that Tejon Ranch is a remote backcountry area: you cannot enter or leave as you please; distances and travel times can be significant; weather and temperatures can be challenging; and no pets are allowed. The location is about 75 minutes' drive from the Pasadena area. Travel on the Ranch will be provided by the Conservancy, so participants do not need to bring their own special vehicles.

NOTE: This field trip is fully subscribed.

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Sat.-Sun., May 6-7, 2017: Rare Plant Treasure Hunt near Elizabeth Lake: The Rare Plant Treasure Hunt (RPTH) is an ongoing program of the CNPS begun in 2010 to obtain up-to-date information about many of California's rare plants. The program relies on participation from chapter members throughout the state. The RTPH event on May 6 and 7, 2017, is jointly sponsored by the CNPS state office, the environmental consultants WRA, Inc., and our CNPS chapter. It will focus on studying a new area, not previously explored, near Elizabeth Lake. All chapter members and others are invited to participate. The leader is Catherine Curley of the CNPS state office. For further details, send email to Catheringe at

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Saturday-Sunday, May 13-14, 2017: Bryophytes at Buckhorn and at CSULA: In conjunction with the CNPS Bryophyte Chapter we have a pair of events on this weekend. Leader: Paul Wilson

1) On Saturday, May 13, 2017, come to a hike at Buckhorn Campground. We will have a handout with photos. Meet 8:00 a.m. at the base of Highway 2 just north of the exit off the 210 Freeway at La Cañada Flintridge to car pool. Bring an Adventure Pass for parking, water, and food if you plan to eat.

2) The next day, Sunday, May 14, at 10:00 a.m., we will have a follow-up microscope session at Cal State University Los Angeles, Annenberg Science Complex, La Kretz Hall, Room 344.

You are welcom to attend either or both of these events. For event updates, see

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Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10:00 a.m.: Upper Manzanita Trail from Vincent Gap to Dorr Canyon: Difficulty: Moderate. Round trip approx. 5 miles. Elevation loss and gain approx. 1000 ft.
Co-leaders: Jane Tirrell and Helena Bowman

This trail is part of the High Desert National Recreation Trail that connects mountain and desert habitats. We will go as far as Dorr Canyon depending on the wishes of the group; the Manzanita Trail ends at Big Rock Creek near Southfork Campground. The object of this walk is to see the California flannel bushes, Fremontodendron californicum, in bloom.

There are many other interesting plants along this trail as well as some unique geology; the trail runs along the trace of the Punchbowl Fault (see the web page by Tom Chester and Jane Strong for a detailed description: ) Bring lunch and plenty of water.

Directions to Vincent Gap: Take California State Route 2, the Angeles Crest Highway, from either La Cañada (about 52 miles) or Big Pines near Wrightwood (about 5 miles) to the large parking area at Vincent Gap. A restroom is available and an Adventure Pass is needed. The Manzanita Trail descends from the north side of the highway.

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Past outings/field trips of our chapter: See the Past Events page.

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Statewide and other CNPS chapter events

CNPS 2016 workshops: The CNPS 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.

Further information:
Schedule, description, registration: CNPS workshops and training web page

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Our chapter becomes involved in projects from time to time. Some recent projects include:

Lily Spring Area Survey: Click here for the Lily Spring Area Survey page.

The Paintbrush Quest: A survey of Castilleja gleasoni, our chapter logo. Click here for the Paintbrush Quest pages.

Millard Canyon Project — a fundraiser in support of Altadena Foothills Conservancy

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Next board meeting: See the Our Chapter page. Everyone is welcome.

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Our 2016 Plant Sale

Held in early November, the next sale is on November 5, 2016, at Eaton Canyon Nature Center. See the Plant sale page for details.

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PlantRight 2017 Spring Nursery Survey: PlantRight works to stop the sale of horticultural invasive plants in ways that are good for business and the environment. Their Annual Spring Nursery Survey extends from February through June 2017. Volunteers to assist in this survey are invited to sign up. To find out about the survey, click here. A webinar for traning volunteers will be held on Wednesday, February 22, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The webinar will be available subseqeuntly as a recording. Everyone is welcome to view the webinar, whether or not planning to take part in the survey. Click here to access the Webinar & Training Registration page on the PlantRight web site.

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Volunteer opportunity: Sunland Welcome Nature Garden: The Sunland Welcome Nature Garden, a volunteer native plant garden on Sunland Boulevard at the 210 freeway, is a showcase of local native plants. Stop in and smell the flowers, visit the garden's Facebook page, or contact the garden's instigator Roger Klemm at for more information or to join in the next workday.

Southern California Botanists: See their Field Trips and events page (click here.)

Natural Sciences Section of Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, 2015 outings: For their current schedule, please see their web site (click here.)

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Click here for the past events page.

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