Volunteer Native Plant Gardens in Porterville

The Tule River Native Plant Demonstration Garden Project planted seventy-eight native plants on November 9, 2019. The Project hosted a workday at which three gardens were planted.

The Burton School District Garden volunteers planted thirty-four plants in root baskets. All eight species were California Native Plants and were selected to flourish in our climate with minimal irrigation once established. The volunteers moved rocks into place, completed the cleaning of the garden site, built root baskets to protect each plant from gophers, and using the training provided by the project, carefully planted thirty-four native plants.

The Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society volunteers added fourteen plants to the garden they had started on November 2, 2019. Alta Peak volunteers also removed seven trees that had died from various causes over the years prior to the groups adoption of the site.

Jesse Bejarano with the help of other group volunteers planted thirty plants in root baskets. His garden design includes sixty-one native plants and was designed as a scent garden.

Volunteers from the three groups plus the Tule River Parkway Association contributed 106 combined hours of labor. This was the biggest single day of planting yet at the project.

The project has garden sites ready to adopt and encourages local groups or families to participate. The project supports the gardens with all needed plants and equipment through a grant partnership with US Fish and Wildlife and the City of Porterville.

The next planting day is Saturday, November 30, from 9 am to noon.
Meet at the Jaye Street parking lot on the south bank of the Tule River at the Jaye Street Bridge.

Cathy Capone — 559-361-9164
tulerivergarden@gmail.com

[photo via Cathy Capone]

 

Annual Native Plant Sale — October 5, 2019

Presented by the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 9 am—2 pm
Three Rivers Arts Center
41763 North Fork Dr., Three Rivers, CA 93271

Bush lupine photo from Melanie Keeley

Because autumn is the best season to plant California native plants, we will once again be bringing to you a wide assortment of beautiful, hardy native plants! More than anyone, our chapter members realize that native plants succeed and thrive in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Well-chosen drought tolerant native plants are survivors, having adapted to this sometimes unforgiving climate. These plants fit both aesthetically as well as physiologically. Each bit of created habitat as well as protected wild lands provide critical food and shelter that sustains the varied wildlife dependent on it.

CNPS members receive a 10% discount on plants and 20% off book purchases. Join HERE.
Pre-Order Plant Sale Forms (for members only) and deposits are due September 14, 2019.
Send pre-orders with deposit to: Alta Peak CNPS, PO Box 217, Three Rivers, CA 93271.
Plant order pick up will be on the day of the plant sale—Saturday, October 5, 2019 after 9 am.

Download pre-order form.

We appreciate your support!

*Please Note: Native plants will also be available for purchase at the Annual Foothills Festival on Saturday November 2nd at River Ridge Ranch in Springville.

 

Chapter Field Trip on April 13 at 9 am

Wishon Fork out of Springville

This field trip will be a 4.5 mile round trip, with an elevation gain of 1000 ft, moderately strenuous four hour wildflower hike on a dirt road up to the forebay of the Tule River at the Hydroelectric Complex at the junction of Hwy 190 & 208. We expect to see a great wildflower display, and an opportunity to view the regrowth of a recently burned area.

Meet at Springville Community Park in Springville on Hwy 190 at 9:00 am. Bring at least two liters of water and a bag lunch. Chapter field trips are open to everyone.

For more information, contact Cathy Capone 559 361 9164 or cathycaponemail@gmail.com

Upper Tule River, photo from Cathy Capone

DIY Clinic: Landscaping with Native Plants on May 18, 2019

Offered by the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS)

Saturday, May 18, 2019 from 9-2 pm

with California native plant specialists,
Melanie Keeley, CA Native Plant Horticulturist & Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP Botanist

Cathy Capone, Alta Peak Chapter Horticulture Chair and Garden Ambassador

Held at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, location details given with registration

Design your native plant landscape with the help of local experts at this spring workshop on landscaping with drought tolerant native plants. Participants will be treated to an informative, colorful presentation that will highlight the benefits of using native plants in the residential landscape, including principals of landscape design, and how to best combine native plants for compatibility and extended blooming in your landscape.

Following the presentation, participants will be provided drafting supplies and will additionally be given printed handouts and resources to refer to. Students will then be guided by Cathy and Melanie who will help in the selection and arrangement of the best native plants for your situation, giving you a low water, low care garden design of your own.

Native plants can be used to create any style in your garden – from cottage style to formal. You choose the design that suits your house, esthetic, and garden requirements. Design the garden to complement your home and your taste, using California climate-adapted native plants which require a lot less water and maintenance. Switching to native plants saves on water, fertilizer, pesticides, time and effort.

Spring is a perfect time to design a garden. You will have time, ahead of the fall prime planting time for native plants, to prepare your landscape for the change to a low-care, low-water use, pollinator friendly garden.

Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited.

CNPS Members — $55, $45 (early-bird special, enrollment by May 1)
Non-members — $75, ($65 early-bird special, enrollment by May 1)

Contact Melanie Keeley at 559-799-7438 to register.

Native garden photo from Cathy Capone

California Native Plant Week — April 13-21

Did you know that California has more native plant species than any other state in the nation? California’s incredible plant life makes it not only one of the most beautiful places on Earth but also among the most important contributors to the world’s biodiversity. That’s why, in 2010, the California State Legislature designated the third week of April to be California Native Plant Week. 2019’s celebration is April 13-21.

Now, we celebrate this important week each year with a wide variety of events up and down the state, including guided hikes, lectures, native plant sales, garden tours, and more!

When you save plants, you save everything else. That’s the message behind this year’s CA Native Plant Week campaign. Native plants provide vital habitat, food, and ecosystem services for pollinators, wildlife, and humans alike. And every plant matters, especially in California, one of the world’s global biodiversity hotspots. Help us spread the word online with hashtags: #NativePlantWeek #CNPS #bioDIVERSITY. Visit the CNPS campaign landing page and see listings for our many local chapter events around the state.

Tejon in bloom, photo by Nick Jensen, CNPS Southern California Conservation Analyst.

Tejon Ranch in Southern California is under threat by the Centennial development – a proposal to place a city of 55,000 people here despite high wind, fire, and earthquake risk, and the irreplaceable loss of some of our last pre-European grassland habitat.

Citizen Science Field Workshop—March 23

Saturday March 23, 2019 from 9am-12
Tule River Parkway in Porterville

Enjoy the native vegetation along the Tule River and learn how to use Observer Pro, a smart phone app, which provides a platform in which to upload plant observations to CalFlora. The group will meet in the Jaye Street parking lot just south of the Jaye Street Tule River bridge. Cathy Capone will give a brief presentation on CalFlora, the website where the Observer Pro observation data is stored. She will then take the group on a walk in the riparian forest, while demonstrating and coaching participants to input their observations.

To find the location, enter the parking lot while traveling south on Jaye Street immediately after you pass the bridge railing. Bring water and wear sturdy shoes. Event will be held rain or shine. There are no bathrooms available at the event. The walk will be on a paved path with the option to walk into the natural areas for close observations. The walk is under a mile in length and includes an elevation gain of less than 50 feet.

To make full use of the training, log in to calflora.org and register as a contributor. Then download the Observer Pro app to your phone. There is no charge for the workshop or the app. Cathy Capone is an officer of both the Tule River Parkway Association and the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

For more information, contact her at 559 361 9164 or tulerivergarden@gmail.com

Native Landscape Planting Guide

With help from Calscape, the Alta Peak Chapter has chosen some native plants that could work well in our local landscaping projects and home gardens.

Here are the pdf files:

Native Landscape Planting Guide to read online HERE.
(note: it may take extra time to load pdf file.)

Native Landscape Planting Guide to print as a hardcopy HERE.
(note: print both sides on one sheet of 11×17 inch paper and fold in half.)

Tule River Parkway Workshop in Porterville on Feb 23, 2019 from 9-11 am

Cathy Capone will be leading a citizen science project to document the plant populations along the Tule River Parkway path in Porterville. Part of the Tule River Parkway Association’s plans to preserve and restore the Tule River riparian corridor is to document the existing vegetation, both good and bad.

Cathy will be using and demonstrating the use of Observer Pro to document locations of plants along the paved paths. Observer Pro is an application for smart phones that allows you to quickly and efficiently report wild plant occurrences. This application makes it easy for you to report the species name, date, and location of over 10,000 California native and non-native plant taxa. You can also add a photograph to a report and share it with others later to confirm identification. Your reports are transmitted wirelessly to the Calflora database, where you can edit them and see them on a map.

Download the app Observer Pro before the walk if you want to learn on your own device. Meet at the trail entrance lot off Jaye Street.  Enter from southbound lanes just south of Tule River Bridge rail. Easy walk 1 mile, no elevation gain. Wear closed toe shoes, bring water, no restrooms are available.

For more information, email tulerivergarden@gmail.com or call Cathy Capone at 559-361-9164.

Tule River Parkway Walk in Porterville — January 19 from 9-11 am

Alta Peak Chapter Horticulture Chair, Cathy Capone, will lead this walk, designed to highlight the native vegetation along the Tule River and to discuss plans to enhance the area. The walk will be on an easy, flat, paved trail that is wheelchair accessible. The walk is free and open to the public.

The Tule River Parkway Association, in cooperation with the City of Porterville, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and the Alta Peak Chapter are working to preserve and restore the Tule River riparian corridor in Porterville. The plan is to develop the Tule River Parkway path for public use and to install eighteen native plant landscape gardens. Alta Peak Chapter has pledged to adopt one of these gardens and looks forward to participating in the restoration of the natural riparian landscape.

Wear closed-toed shoes, bring water, and make not that no restrooms are available. Meet at the Tule River Parkway in Porterville on Jaye Street, just south of the bridge over the river. Access is from the south bound lane only- no left turns are allowed at that location, so north bound traffic should make the first available U-turn on Jaye Stree.

Call Cathy Capone at 559-361-9164 or email at tulerivergarden@gmail.com for more information.

26th Annual Springfest Home and Patio Show — February 8-10, 2019

Alta Peak Chapter will be joining other horticulture-related booths in the Garden Center area of the 26th Annual Springfest Home and Patio Show at Visalia Convention Center. The Chapter will be there to spread the word about native plants and their uses in the personal garden landscape. Find books about native plant gardening and identification, California wildflower posters, and some native plants.

Hours: Fri 11-6 pm, Sat 10-7 pm, Sun 10-5 pm

Contact Barbara Brydolf at bbrydolf@gmail.com for more information.

We will need help from Chapter members at the booth during the open hours and for set up and take down. Contact Barbara to sign up.

Chapter Fall Program: “Explore Calflora’s Native Plant Database”

Friday, October 19, 2018 at 7 pm

“Explore Calflora’s Native Plant Database”
presented by Cynthia Powell, Executive Director Calflora

St. Anthony Retreat, Mission Room 
43816 Sierra Dr (Hwy 198), Three Rivers

Learn about new Calflora tools for Calflora users. Calflora’s plant database hosts over two million plant occurrences, some of which have come directly from Alta Peak members. Powell will go over Calflora’s new plant photo project, planting guide, population monitoring tools, email alerts, and speak more generally about the uses of Calflora for CNPS chapters. She would also like to know how Calflora can better serve the Alta Peak Chapter and to answer any of your questions.

After 3 years as Calflora’s GIS Project Manager, Cynthia is now Calflora’s Executive Director. She graduated with her MS in GIS in 2010 forecasting Mokelumne River water supply based on MODIS remote sensing snow pack images. She’s been examining what was under that snow — plants — ever since. She now coordinates all Calflora programs, research, outreach, and advocacy, as well as fundraising and management.

The Calflora Database is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information about California plant biodiversity for use in Education, Research and Conservation.  Calflora is structured as a digital library to fulfill the following objectives:

  1. to serve as a repository for information on California wild plants in electronic formats from diverse sources, including public agencies, academic institutions, private organizations, and individuals;
  2. to provide this information in readily usable electronic formats for scientific, conservation, and educational purposes;
  3. to serve public information needs related to scientific study, land management, environmental analysis, education, and appreciation of California plant life.

Calflora relies on contributors for the information it provides; the website reflects the work of many individuals and institutions.

Field Trip Saturday, October 20, 2018

Join Cynthia Powell for a hands-on plant data collecting field trip for Calflora.
Meet at 8:45 am at Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building on Hwy 198.
Actual field trip location TBA, in the foothills. Field trip will go to around 2 pm.

from Alta Peak Chapter President, Barbara Brydolf: Did you ever go to a place and look around you, wondering what all those plants are? I certainly have. And I have friends who, mistakenly thinking I’m a plant expert, send me photos of plants to identify. Fortunately, there is a great website and app, called Calflora, for finding out exactly that. Calflora is a nonprofit organization that catalogs California plants by location, genus, common name, and a host of other search terms. I use it more than any other resource to anticipate what I will find in a certain place, and to identify a plant I don’t know. Calflora has catalogued thousands of plant records from all over California, and continues to add information through citizen science, which means that anyone can contribute to the knowledge of what grows here. Our own Mary Merriman, with her Rare Plant Surveys, has made contributions to this site. Calflora is a rich tool, and I know that there are many features that I have not used, not to mention the phone app I haven’t even downloaded yet. That’s why I’m excited that Cynthia Powell, is coming here to Tulare County to give a talk about using the website and app, and to lead a hike the following day. I hope you can join us for this unique opportunity to learn more about native plants!

photo: Lewis Hill Preserve near Porterville CA © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

From calflora.org:

What is Calflora?
Calflora is 1. a website you can use to learn about plants that grow wild in California (both native plants and weeds); and 2. a nonprofit organization responsible for providing this service. Calflora is run by the team described below. Information in Calflora comes from many sources: public agencies, non-profits, scientists, private donors, and you!
Find Out About a Plant
You can enter the common or scientific name of a plant to find out about it. Or, use the name wizard to just enter part of a name and have the wizard make suggestions. The result is an illustrated table of plants that match the name you entered. Click one of the plants in the table to learn the details about that plant — in particular, where it’s been observed in California.
Try it out!
Find Out What Plant Observations Have Been Made…
by a certain person, of a certain plant, in a certain area, or during a certain time period. The application that does this is called Observation Hotline. The observations that match your criteria are displayed as colored icons on a Google Map. Click on an observation to see photos and other details.
Try it out!
Find Out What Plants Grow in a Place
You can also choose a place and get an illustrated list of the plants that grow there. The application that does this is called What Grows Here?. You define “here” by picking a place on the map, or by choosing park boundary, place name, etc. Refine “here” by zooming in and out of the map, or drawing a polygon. Then click SEARCH to get an illustrated list of plants known to grow “here.”
Try it out!

There’s a lot more to Calflora than these basic tools — you can learn about Calflora’s more advanced features at the top of this page, where you will find links to many web applications concerning California plants.

Annual Native Plant Sale on Oct 6

Chapter Native Plant Sale

October 6, 2018 from 10-3 pm

Three Rivers Arts Center

Go east on Hwy 198 to Three Rivers, turn left at Anne Lang’s Emporium.
Look for the first building on the left on North Fork Drive.

Alta Peak Chapter is back again with its tremendously popular, annual fall plant sale.
Make sure to come early for the best selection.

Choose from over 100 different types of hard-to-find native plants!

While California’s native plants have graced gardens worldwide for over a century, few of the landscapes designed for our state’s gardens reflect the natural splendor for which California is famous. By gardening with native plants, you can bring the beauty of California into your own landscape while also receiving numerous benefits. In a garden environment, native plants do best with some attention and care, but require less water, fertilizer, pruning, less or no pesticide, and less time to maintain than do many common garden plants. The plant sale features high-quality native plants from Intermountain Nursery, which are better suited to the local climate than plants from the coastal nurseries.

Chapter members will receive a 10% discount on all plants and can pre-order plants.

Download plant pre-order form for members. • LINK HERE • Deadlne is September 22.

The chapter needs many volunteers to help with set-up on Friday at 10:30 am
and/or during the plant sale on Saturday from 10 – 3 pm.
If you wish to volunteer, please contact Melanie Keeley at 559-799-7438 for more information.


DIY Native Plant Landscape Design Clinic

Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 9-2 pm
College of the Sequoias in Visalia

presented by Melanie Keeley,
Native Plant Specialist, Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks
and Cathy Capone, former owner of Cal Natives Nursery in Porterville,
Alta Peak Chapter Horticulture Chair

More details and registration information • LINK HERE

 

 


DIY Native Plant Landscape Design Clinic on Oct 27

Saturday, August 27, 2018 from 9-2 pm
College of the Sequoias in Visalia

presented by Melanie Keeley,
Native Plant Specialist, Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks
and Cathy Capone, former owner of Cal Natives Nursery in Porterville,
Alta Peak Chapter Horticulture Chair

With California’s unpredictable precipitation, it is time for new landscape style that will work in this hot, arid climate. California native plants use a fraction of the water that typical garden plants do, while being attractive and colorful as well. Designed for native plant novices, this class will help you learn practical applications related to 1) ditching your lawn, 2) tried and true native plants, 3) combining native plants for maximum color and effect, and 4) how to design your own drought tolerant native garden. Once a landscape plan is in place, the landscape can be installed in manageable steps. This class provides a great opportunity to transition from a high care, water indulgent garden into a natural, sustainable low water use, beautiful garden.

Registration Fee CNPS Members – $45, Non-members – $60

Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited.
Call Melanie Keeley at 559-799-7438 to register.

By joining the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society during the clinic, 
you will be eligible to pre-order your chosen native plants prior to our October 6, Annual Fall Plant Sale at a 10% discount.


photo of CA native annuals in the garden by Melanie Keeley

Giant Sequoia National Monument Field Trip on July 21

July 21, 2018 from 8 -3 pm

Lead by Barbara Brydolf, Alta Peak Chapter President

Come explore a Giant Sequoia Grove in the Sequoia National Monument above Springville. In the heat of summer, find shelter under the canopy of the giants. We will explore either the Wheel Meadow Grove above Camp Nelson or the Black Mountain Grove near Mountain Aire. We may see mountain misery (Chamaebatia foliolosa), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), Hartweg’s wild ginger (Asarum hartwegii), and could see California tiger lily (Lilium pardalinum), stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea), scarlet bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius), and Scouler’s St. John’s wort (Hypericum scouleri).

Meet at the Springville Veterans Memorial Park, on the right side of Hwy 190 between Gifford’s Market and the Fire Station in downtown Springville. We will carpool and caravan up the highway. Expect as much as a five mile hike over varied terrain and elevations around 4500-5500 feet.

Bring lunch and water. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for sun and mosquitoes.

For more information, contact Barbara Brydolf at bbrydolf@gmail.com or 559-359-2827.

photo via Valley Public Radio
fron an episode of Here and Now with Ezra David Romero,

Big Meadow Wildflower Field Trip on June 23


Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 8:30 am – early afternoon
Lead by Mary Merriman, Alta Peak Chapter Rare Plant Chair
and Denise Griego, Alta Peak Chapter Secretary

Explore the high altitude flora of Sequoia National Forest Hume Lake District, located between Giant Forest and Grant Grove. Big Meadow has the highest altitude with accessible roads in Tulare County. Its subalpine flora is dominated by lodgepole pine, white/red fir forest on exfoliated granite. 
It will still be late spring there! We may find a few relatively rare plants, such as Tulare County buckwheat and Sierra bleeding heart and we may find several kinds of monkey flowers although they are more unpredictable in dryish years. Wet meadows hide many floral treasures throughout the season. Shady stream banks harbor a variety of shrubs.

From Three Rivers area, meet at the Veterans Memorial Building on Hwy 198 at 8:30 am for carpooling. Try to bring the fewest number of cars possible. From Visalia area, we will be taking the shorter route up Hwy 180 through the Kings Canyon entrance. If you are coming from Visalia area, contact Mary Merriman at 559-679-9152 or marymtnspirit@gmail.com for directions up Hwy 180 or for ride-sharing, especially if you do not have a park pass. There is now a $35 entrance fee to the National Parks, so be sure to bring your annual or senior pass.

Meet on the Big Meadow road at 10:30 am at the first parking lot (map link here). There is only one way to turn at the Big Meadow Road but it has a fairly small sign. About 1/4 mile up the Big Meadow road, there is a gate (which will be open) and large parking lot on the right with an outhouse where we will start. We will mostly be driving or walking with no significant hiking but plenty of uneven ground so wear sturdy boots. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, layered clothing (mornings can be cool), field guides and a lawn chair for lunch.


Big Meadow photo by Denise Griego

 

Native Tree Planting along the Tule River Parkway

Saturday May 12, 2018 from 8 am – 12 noon

Sponsored by the Tule River Parkway Association, Noon Rotary of Porterville, City of Porterville,
Porterville Unified School District and Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Help is needed to advise teams of high school students as they plant 23 or more native trees along the Parkway path, including valley oak, California sycamore, western redbud, and Fresno ash. Please wear sturdy shoes and wear sun protection. If possible, bring a shovel to share. Water will be provided.

Meet at at the Sears parking lot on Jaye Street just south of the river in Porterville.
For more information, and to sign up, please contact Cathy Capone at cathycaponemail@gmail.com or 559-361-9164.

[photo of redbud branch in bloom © Cathy Capone]

March 25 Field Trip: Fire Effects in Blue Oak Woodland

Sunday, March 25, 2018 from 9:30 – 12:30 pm at the River Ridge Ranch in Springville

Gary Adest of River Ridge Institute, Alta Peak Chapter President Barbara Brydolf, and forest experts Nina Hemphill and Ernie Garcia will lead this field trip to see how the Pier Fire has changed blue oak (Quercus douglasii) woodland on the lower slopes of Lumreau Mountain. We will explore the effects of the fire on soil, vegetation, and wildlife, and discuss the function of fire in the landscape. Expect to see wildflowers on this walk.

Meet at 9:30 am in the lower parking lot of River Ridge Ranch, located at 37675 Balch Park Rd, on the east side of the road, 1.6 mi. north of the White Barn in Springville. The walk will be moderately strenuous, approximately 5 miles, with a 1000’ elevation gain. Bring lunch and water and dress appropriately.

[photo credit: River Ridge Institute]

Native Plant Landscape Plans for Tule River Parkway

Tule River Parkway Association Meeting
March 13, 2018 at 5:30 pm
Porterville Historic Museum (located at 257 North D Street in Porterville)

The Tule River Parkway Association (TRPA) invites anyone to attend this meeting, who is interested in preservation and restoration of the Tule River riparian corridor. TRPA will discuss partnering with the City of Porterville to submit a grant proposal to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The proposal will include plans for development for public use and for the installation and maintenance of eighteen native plant landscape gardens along the Tule River Parkway path. A landscape plan with specific native plants, to be planted in the cool months only, will be part of the grant proposal. Public input is welcome. The Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society enthusiastically supports this project.

For more information, email tulerivergarden@gmail.com or call Cathy Capone at 559-361-9164.

[“California Wild Rose” photo © Cathy Capone]

Adaptation of Plants, Animals and Humans to Wildfires: What to Expect Following the Pier Fire

Alta Peak Chapter events are free and open to the public.

Saturday, February 24, 2018  at 7pm (social time starts at 6:30)

Chapter Winter Program
“Adaptation of Plants, Animals and Humans to Wildfires:
What to Expect Following the Pier Fire”

with Dr. Jon Keeley, fire ecologist/research scientist for the United States Geological Survey
and adjunct professor UCLA

Springville Veterans’ Memorial Building on Hwy 190

Wildfires are a necessary part of the ecology of many wild landscapes in mediterranean-type climates across the globe, promoting healthy wildlands and biodiversity. After an explosive fire year in California, many questions arise as humans more commonly move into areas that are subject to burning. Dr. Keeley will provide an overview of the fire history of Sierra Nevada forests and shrublands, describing interesting ways plants and animals have adapted to survive wildfires. This talk will touch on important issues related to the wildland-urban interface, as well as the future in an era of global change.

Saturday, February 24, from 1-4 pm
Field Trip: Pier Fire Area

before Winter Program in Springville

Led by Jon Keeley and Barbara Brydolf, this field will be mostly driving along Hwy 190 above Springville with stops at various overlooks, and a short hike on steep terrain (this could be skipped by people who want to go on the excursion, but are unable to do the hike).

Meet at the Springville Veteran’s Memorial Building at 1 pm to caravan and carpool. Carpooling is encouraged, as pull-outs along Hwy 190 are limited.

After the field trip and before the program, join Chapter members for dinner at Nuevo Mexicali III restaurant in Springville, located at: 35258 Hwy 190.

Annual Native Plant Sale

The Alta Peak Chapter will hold its annual native plant sale on October 7, 2017, from 10-3 pm at the Three Rivers Arts Center on North Fork Drive. Chapter members will be admitted at 9 am for an earlybird opportunity to select plants. Also, Chapter members can pre-order plants at a 10% discount. Download pre-order form HERE.

Join the California Native Plant Society as an Alta Peak Chapter member at cnps.org

DIY Native Plant Landscape Design Clinic

Plant photos by Melanie Keeley, from left to right:
yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica)
deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens) and Idaho bluegrass (Festuca idahoensis)
Douglas iris (Iris douglasiana)


Saturday, August 26, 2017, from 9-2 pm
Instructors: Melanie Keeley and Cathy Capone
College of the Sequoias in Visalia
(exact room will be given at time of registration)

Registration Fee: CNPS Members – $45, Non-members – $60.00
Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited.
Call 559-799-7438 for registration as well as questions.

The traditional garden of expansive lawns, and lolly-popped shrubs are a thing of the past. With California’s unpredictable precipitation, it is time for a new model that will work in this hot, arid climate. California native plants not only use a fraction of the water that typical gardens do, they are attractive and colorful as well. In this class, designed for native plant novices, we will help you learn

  • how to ditch your lawn
  • the best tried and true native plants
  • how to combine them for maximum effect
  • help you to design your own drought tolerant native garden.

With a plan in place, you can landscape your garden in manageable steps. It’s an opportunity to transition from a high care, water indulgent garden into a natural, sustainable low water use, beautiful garden.

By joining CNPS at this time, you’ll be eligible to pre-order native plants for the Annual Fall Plant Sale (October 7) at a 10% discount.



Native Plant Garden at the CAL Fire Station in Three Rivers, California
Created and supported by the Redbud Garden Club, maintained by firefighters

 

“Caring for Kaweah”
 A River Stewardship Program

The expansion of the invasive plant, Spanish broom, along the Kaweah River in recent years is cause for concern and has captured the attention of those who are considering doing something about it.  In fact, a growing list of individuals, private businesses and organizations, throughout Tulare County have begun planning the launch of “Caring for Kaweah,” a long-term project aimed at river stewardship.

Removing Spanish broom along the Kaweah River by Ginger BradshawRemoving Spanish Broom on September 24 near Sequoia National Park
photo by Ginger Bradshaw

The first of several proposed projects will focus on broom removal and was planned for National Public Lands Day (NPLD).  On September 24, 2016,  volunteers cut, pulled, and removed broom starting in Sequoia National Park and working downriver.  Considering that we rely on the Kaweah River for so much — water, recreation, relaxation, inspiration in addition to commerce, we are pulling together and giving back to keep our river healthy, free, wild, and beautiful.

Many Three Rivers locals and visitors have probably appreciated the colorful spring beauty of the non-native Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) blanketing the edge and creeping up the banks of the Kaweah River. Unfortunately, broom, a native to mediterranean-type climates, is aggressively invasive in our region because the insect pests and pathogens that would normally control its spread in its native range, are not present here. Due to the lack of natural control, it is rapidly becoming dominant in the river corridor, obscuring river views, and cloaking white sand, gravel, and smooth granite boulders under dense scrubby thickets. Recognizing the plant’s capacity to considerably alter the enjoyment and ecology of our Kaweah River watershed goes a long way to temper appreciation of its flowers.

Spanish broom, like other invasive species expanding into the river corridor, poses a significant threat to wildlands throughout California and is quickly becoming a thriving monoculture along the Kaweah River. One needs only to glance at the river in spring to note the extent to which it has spread. Bushes up to 10 feet tall now block views along lengthy river stretches. As broom grows, its vast root system usurps precious water, trapping sediment, altering river flows and obstructing river access to humans and animals alike. Unlike the native willow, sycamore, and alder it is displacing, it provides little in terms of shade. Its alkaloid-containing leaves and seeds are of little value to wildlife. stands of broom pose a significant fire hazard in this land of continual drought.

To participate or get more info, contact Jenny Kirk at jenny_kirk@nps.gov, or call (559) 565-4232. She will provide you with meeting location information for future outings.

Spanish Broom, invasive plant by Melanie KeeleyInvasive plant—Spanish Broom
photo by Melanie Keeley

The Flora, Fauna and Controversies of the Sepulveda Basin

Chapter Fall Program

A World Class Urban Restoration Project
The Flora, Fauna and Controversies of the Sepulveda Basin
Presented by Steve Hartman

Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 7 pm

Social time and doors open at 6:30 pm
College of the Sequoias – Ponderosa Lecture Hall
(Free Parking in Lot #4 on NE Corner of Campus)
915 S Mooney Blvd, Visalia, California


Author and dedicated conservationist, Steve Hartman is a dynamic speaker, who is a native of Van Nuys, and has spent more than three decades watching the native flora and fauna return to the Sepulveda Basin. He has served on the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area’s Steering Committee (sponsored by L.A. City Recreation and Parks) since its inception. He has also served on numerous conservation and restoration projects throughout the state. He is currently President of the Board of Directors for CNPS

In 1990, the City of Los Angeles set aside the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve to protect native plants and animals. Over 200 species of birds have been seen in the basin. Many birds, attracted by the water, gather here in the fall and winter.

photo © Steve Hartmanphoto © Steve Hartman


Thousands of native plants have been planted in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve. Many other plants have volunteered — meaning grew on their own from seeds, underground shoots, or from broken pieces of plant that rooted and took hold. While certain native plants have volunteered (coyote bush, mulefat, California walnut, elderberry, western ragwort, and mugwort), many non-native plants have also taken advantage of disturbed soils or the remoteness of certain areas to invade, and in some cases, threaten to take over the landscape. There are approximately 100 native California plants found in the Wildlife Reserve, and probably an equal number of non-native plants and weedy species.    Since the Reserve is located in a flood control basin that does indeed flood, weed management will be an ongoing practice: every time the Basin floods, every weed seed (and native seed as well) in the upper Los Angeles River watershed gets caught in the Basin. As the flood waters recede, a one-half to one-inch layer of silt is left, covering up every portion of the
Basin that was flooded. This silt layer is the perfect example of exposed disturbed soil, the kind of condition that weed seeds are highly adapted to and thus can easily germinate…that is, if the seeds are also exposed to light. So weed management will be a continuing effort in the Basin.

There are scant historical records depicting the habitat of the Sepulveda Basin before it was dammed in the 1940’s. While the soft-bottomed portion of the Los Angeles River has always been a “wildlife area,” it wasn’t until the late 1970’s when the Army Corp of Engineers began to revegetate the east portion of the Sepulveda Basin with California native plants. Since then, the 200-acre Wildlife Reserve was established and the Bull Creek Ecosystem Restoration Project was completed. Alas, in December of 2012, the Army Corp destroyed 43 acres of wildlife habitat.

Located in the San Fernando Valley near the intersection of the 101 and 405 Freeways, the 2,000-acre Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area is a flood control basin managed by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks. Features include two parks, an 80-acre sports field, an archery range, three 18-hole golf courses, Balboa Lake with boat rentals and fishing, the Balboa Park and Sports Center, playgrounds, a velodrome, bike paths, hiking trails, tennis courts, a Japanese garden, an off-leash dog park, a premiere wildlife preserve, and the only unpaved stretch of the Los Angeles River.

Fun learning about native plant landscaping….

Report from Barbara Brydolf and Denise Griego

The Alta Peak Chapter held a fun and successful landscaping workshop at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia on Saturday, August 27. Taught by Alta Peak Chapter native plant horticulture experts,  Melanie Keeley and Cathy Capone, the workshop focused on techniques for converting lawns and more thirsty landscaping into drought tolerant native plantings. While many Mediterranean plants around the world are grown successfully in our area, they don’t have the conservation and habitat values that our native plants provide. In at time when many animal species are in decline, providing habitat for insects, birds, and other animal species is more important than ever. Additionally, many native plants originating from outside our area or grown elsewhere and brought in, fail to thrive in our hot, arid climate.

A favorite part of the workshop was a slideshow presented by Melanie, where she showed us her favorite plants that have done well in the local area. For example, she mentioned a barberry, Berberis aquifolium ‘Compacta,‘ a low growing plant successful in dry shade. In addition to being a good plant for under our native oaks, the plant in different seasons is attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies (flowers) and other birds (fruits). Fall foliage color change is an added bonus. Another favorite mentioned was St. Catherine’s Lace, Eriogonum giganteum. Although a California native not from our local area, it has proven successful here and provides an extraordinarily long season of bloom.

Part of the workshop consisted of the nineteen participants using plans and photos of their own yards to design new landscaping. People did a lot of sharing of their own situations with the hopes they had for their new gardens. It was exciting to hear all their ideas and challenges. A side bonus was that the workshop attracted twelve new CNPS—Alta Peak Chapter members, including two who came all the way from Fresno! The timing is perfect for participants to order plants for their projects from the upcoming Alta Peak Chapter annual native plant sale coming on October 1, 2016.
Happy Planting!
swallowtailonsalviaclevelandii
Swallowtail butterfly enjoying native Clevland Sage (Salvia Clevelandii)
photo by Melanie Keeley

Sources for native plant horticulture tips…from the CNPS State organization
Gardening with Natives: cnps.org/cnps/grownative
Calscape Native Plant Data Base: calscape.org

Long Meadow Field Trip in Sequoia National Park

June 25, 2016, at 12 Noon
All Chapter field trips are free and open to everyone.

Long Meadow in Sequoia National Park © Elsah Cort
photo by Elsah Cort

Take a stroll with National Park Service Plant Ecologist, Erik Frenzel around Long Meadow (in the Wolverton area). Long Meadow is at 7,250 ft elevation, two miles north of the General Sherman tree in Giant Forest. This is one of the most gentle and botanically lovely walks in the front country of Sequoia National Park. The trail is flat to moderately sloping for less than two miles, looping around the open Long Meadow, with shaded portions that dip into the surrounding upper mixed conifer forest. Along the way, the group will catalogue the plants that are discovered and learn about the ecology of the meadow.

For directions, it’s best to follow the park map that is given at the Ash Mountain entrance station of Sequoia National  Park. Be prepared to pay $30 entrance fee if you do not have an annual pass. The Wolverton turn off is two miles north of the General Sherman Tree. The drive to Wolverton from then entrance station to Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park takes about 45-60 minutes.

Meet at 12 noon on the deck of the Wolverton snack shop (closed) that overlooks the meadow, where we will gather for lunch (bring your own). The guided walk will begin after lunch, around 12:30 pm.  This is a field trip for all ages and is open to everyone. Bring sack lunch, water, hat and sunscreen.

If possible, please RSVP to Ginger Bradshaw, by email at gingerbradshaw936@gmail.com
or by phone at 559-827-7604.

DIY Native Landscaping Workshop

Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 9 am-12:30 pm
College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA*
Presented by:
Melanie Keeley, Native Plant Specialist, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Cathy Capone, former owner of Cal Natives Nursery in Porterville

NativeLandscape © Melanie Keeley
photo by Melanie Keeley

The traditional garden of expansive lawns, lolly-popped shrubs, and sporadic trees is a thing of the past.  With California’s unprecedented drought, it is time for a beautiful new model.   California native plants not only use a fraction of the water that typical gardens do, they are attractive and colorful as well.  In this class, designed for native plant novices, we will help you learn 1) how to ditch your lawn, 2) how to select tried and true native plants, 3) how to combine them for maximum effect and 4) how to design your own drought tolerant native garden.   With a plan in place, you can landscape your garden in manageable steps. This is a great opportunity to transition from a high care, water indulgent garden into a natural, sustainable low water use, beautiful garden.

Registration fee:  CNPS members – $40, Non-members – $50
Note: By joining the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society at this time, you will also be eligible to pre-order native plants, at a 10% discount, prior to our October 1 Annual Fall Plant Sale.

Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited.
Call 559-799-7438 for registration, as well as questions.
*Directions to location will be given at time of registration.

Field Trip and Rare Plant Treasure Hunt on Lewis Hill Preserve

Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 10 – 1 pm

Co-Sponsored by the Sequoia Riverlands Trust
and the Alta Peak Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Field Trip Leader: Fletcher Linton, Sequoia National Forest Botanist

Lewis Hill Preserve © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

The open grasslands and blue oak woodlands of the southern Sierra Nevada foothills provide critical habitat for many native plants, along with two exceptional rare wildflowers at Lewis Hill Preserve. In 1994, the Hawkins family donated this property north of Porterville to the Kern River Research Center. Six years later, the title transferred to the Tule Oaks Land Trust, which later merged with Sequoia Riverlands Trust.

Enjoy the rare opportunity to visit this property which is mostly an annual grassland with many varieties of wildflowers that are blooming this time of year including golden stars (Triteleia ixiodes), and Ithuriel’s spear (Triteleia laxa) and two rare plants, the exquisite and fragrant striped adobe lily (Fritillaria striata) and the San Joaquin adobe sunburst (Pseudobahia piersonii). Both of these rare species are very difficult to find anywhere else in Tulare County. On the way up the hill we will put markers down where we find these elusive flowers. Alta Peak Chapter Rare Plant Team leaders, Ann Huber and Mary Merriman, will be on hand to assist in documenting the sighting of these rare plants on the CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt survey forms to be turned into the State Office of CNPS.

The walk is moderate in difficulty due to the rocky ground and steep hill (700 ft), but only about one mile round trip. Bring water, snacks, sun hat and sunscreen as needed. CNPS field trips are free and open to the public.

At the end of the walk Sequoia Riverlands Trust participants can enjoy flying the kites in the breezes found on the top of the hill. Bring your own kite.

Directions: Going South on Highway 65 (towards Porterville), turn left at the Strathmore exit. Travel east several miles and turn right (south) at Avenue 256.  Lewis Hill is near the top of the grade on the right. Park along side of the road.

For more information contact Ann Huber at 559-561-4562.

Wildflowers on Lewis Hill Preserve © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Lewis Hill Preserve © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

All photographs © Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Chapter Winter Program on February 6, 2016

“A Botanical Exploration of the Tule River South Fork Watershed”
presented by Jessica Orozco, graduate student in botany at Claremont Graduate University

February 6, 2016 at 7 pm,
Doors open at 6:30 pm for meet and greet time

Springville Veterans Memorial Building on Highway 190 in Springville
Link to map for location.

Tule River Drainage © Jessica Orozco[photo © Jessica Orozco]

Jessica Orozco has spent the past three years exploring the area south of Springville, within the drainage of the South Fork of the Tule River, including the Tule River Indian Reservation, carefully documenting her wanderings and vegetation surveys with color slides. The Tule River Indian Reservation was established in its current location in 1873 in the ancestral land of the Yaundachi Yokuts people of the Central Valley. Leaders of the Tribe, and those responsible for managing these tribal lands, have offered Orozco support as she has surveyed the area as they understand the mutual gain from her botanical explorations.

The slide program will describe vegetation that includes oak woodland, grassland, chaparral, riparian areas that changes seasonally along the river and temporal streams, as well as coniferous forests and Giant Sequoia groves. This is a special, and mostly unexplored place, with a river that drains mountains with giant Sequoias, foothills that lie adjacent to and beyond Cow Mountain, and includes the entire Tule River Indian Reservation. Slate Mountain is the eastern boundary of the lands, and to the west, Lake Success takes water from the three forks of the Tule River.

Slate Mountain is an ideal place for a floristic study because it represents a botanical black hole.  Access to the area by botanists has been previously limited as is the case with many tribal trust lands in California.  Poorly documented plant diversity on tribal lands, including the Tule River Reservation, speaks to the need for collaboration between Native American communities and interested plant and animal biologists. All benefit from exchange of knowledge, working together towards an improved understanding of the California flora.

As a graduate student in botany, Orozco’s interests lie in the floristics of the California flora. She is also interested in researching the relationships between people, culture and plants and how anthropogentic forces have influenced plant selection and  distribution of species. She is currently a Director-at Large for Southern California Botanists and is a student representative for botany on the graduate student council at Claremont Graduate University (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA). She currently a recipient of the Ford Fellowship and CNPS research grant.

For more information, call 559-561-1907.
See jessicaorozco.wordpress.com

Tule River © Jessica Orozo

Tule River Indian Reservatin © Jessica Orozco

photo © Jessica Orozco

[all photos © Jessica Orozco]