2020 was a year of many difficulties, most of which were a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (I am going to stay away from politics here.) Many people were directly affected by the virus infecting themselves, their family or friends, including some of our members.
In order to minimize the role of CNPS in the spread of the virus, we moved our program meetings on-line and cancelled all in-person activities, such as field trips, Eaton Canyon plant walks, and our November plant sale. We did enjoy the Zoom programs that we had, but they do not afford the face-to-face interactions of regular meetings.
The growing availability of vaccines provides hope of return to normal, but we know that this will not happen for quite some time. So, we expect to stick with online meetings and avoid field trips for much of 2021. We had announced a tentative date of March 6 for our deferred plant sale, but we needed to cancel the sale on that date. We are still hopeful about having a sale in November.
We are planning to produce chapter T-shirts featuring local native plants, and, in preparation for that, we announced a design competition. The response was great, and a lot of artists submitted some beautiful designs; the creator of the winning artwork will be announced soon. We hope to have T-shirts with that design available for sale this Spring.
The chapter’s board of directors has recently drafted, approved, and published by email a statement on Diversity and Inclusion. You can find the statement at www.cnps-sgm.org/diversity. We are now forming a committee to address the issues outlined in our statement and would like to include others, especially from minority communities. If you would like to participate or to contribute your ideas, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do hope that you will continue to participate in our programs. I also recommend that you get outside as much as you can (safely) to enjoy your own private field trips. Being out in the natural environment goes a long way to improve our mental health, and it is fun. This Spring, if you can get to even a small part of the San Gabriel Mountains that was burned in the Bobcat Fire last year, you should be rewarded by seeing the beginning of a remarkable recovery, especially in the chaparral areas. I highly encourage you to do so.