Check for Future Meetings - CNPS and community
Saturday, April 4th - 2015 Spring Native Plant Sale! Details below...
El Dorado County and Our Native Plants
El Dorado County lies on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. Along the edge of the Great Valley, some grasslands contain vernal pools with a succession of spring-flowering annuals, while the lower foothills have areas of gabbro and serpentine soils which support special endemic plants, and the rivers and streams have lush riparian woodlands with a number of different species of shrubs and herbs. To the east of Pollock Pines we enjoy the Eldorado National Forest which offers a wide variety of destinations, from drought-tolerant foothill and montane chaparral to subalpine above 9000 ft in the Desolation Wilderness, to the shores of the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe. Our Chapter covers lands west of Echo Summit, while the Lake Tahoe Chapter covers the Tahoe basin.
We offer field trips (during Spring and Summer) to many areas, and you are invited to attend. You don't need a science background to participate; most of our members are not formally trained botanists, simply people who enjoy learning about our native vegetation. If you want to start learning about native plants and why they need protection, CNPS is for you. Meetings are geared toward local concerns and can be enjoyed by even an absolute beginner. If you're a new county resident, this is a nice way to get familiar with the neighborhood.
The California Native Plant Society is a state-wide organization dedicated to protecting the native vegetation that is too often seen as "in the way" when it comes time to bulldoze for a development! By joining, you will be getting to know the plants and learning their importance; then you too can contribute to the well-being and happiness of the community; be sure to read the following comment by Willis Jepson...
VERNAL POOLS: California's Vanishing Gems
Tues. Mar. 24, 2015
Vernal Pool expert Carol Witham will explore the short-lived, weird-looking, fascinating fauna that evolved millions of years ago in small wet depressions in California's grasslands, resulting in dazzling swaths of tiny flowers that change from week to week through the two or three month vernal pool season. This virtual tour of California vernal pools will answer questions such as "What makes a vernal pool?" and "Why are they found almost only in California?" Vernal pools from throughout the state will be explored. Call 530-748-9365 or email eldoradocnps(at)gmail.com for more information, or visit our Events page at www.facebook.com/ElDoradoCNPS.
7pm, Bldg C, 2850 Fairlane Court in Placerville.
Our meetings are held at the Planning Commission Room, Building C of the County Government Center, 2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville. If approaching from Highway 50 on Fair Lane, turn left at the top of the hill onto Fairlane Court and drive down the hill to the large parking lot in front of Building C. The Planning Commission Room can be entered from the right side of the building's atrium.
Our meetings start at 7:00 p.m, the fourth Tuesday of Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, and Nov. Chapter meetings are free and the public is always invited to attend. Meetings usually include a show-and-tell about one or more seasonally notable plants, announcements of upcoming chapter events and projects, and the speaker presentation. Refreshments are available. We hope that you will mingle and meet interesting new friends who share an interest in plants and the natural places of the surrounding foothills.
(Photo: Carol Witham surveys a Sacramento Valley vernal pool. Courtesy of Carol Witham.)
Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Workshop w/ Danny Slakey, Rare Plant Botanist
Fri. Mar. 27 Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Workshop with Danny Slakey, rare plant botanist with the state office of CNPS. Dan will introduce us to CNPS's Rare Plant Treasure Hunt program that El Dorado Chapter will be participating in this year. Some species in El Dorado County (the Pine Hill 8, for instance) are known to be rare, while others are being researched for possible "rare" or "threatened" status. Dan and Annie Walker will discuss local rare plant survey needs, briefly go over the survey forms and methods, and organize small groups of hunters, which will include a botanist. While no previous experience in similar surveys is necessary, an interest in learning some plant identification is a plus. If you are interested in joining this citizen science project contact agastache(at)att.net or alicecantelow(at)gmail.com to reserve your place for the workshop.
9am to 11am (with some voluntary GPS & field review after)
Bethel-Delfino Agricultural Building, Placerville (A "fragrance-free" building, please.)
Upcoming El Dorado Chapter CNPS Field Trips
Contact the trip leaders by the Wednesday prior to the hike to let them know you will be attending. You can also request a plant list.
Mar. 29 (Sun.) Deer Creek along Railroad Tracks, Latrobe
Meeting Time and Loctation: Meet at 10am. From El Dorado Hills, drive south about 5 miles on Latrobe Rd. till you drive over bridge over Deer Creek. Park on west side of road in a dirt pullover-in view of railroad tracks.
Duration: Flexible. Half day or longer. People can stay as long as they like.
Description: Railroad tracks, a few trestles, some nice pastures. Deer Creek with its old mining mounds greened over with grasses and forbs, and its tall cottonwoods. A small vernal pool is always worth a check, but the dry winter is not encouraging for a good show The Odontostomum hartwegii was last year's grassland prize and may be the better bet. The creek is a real gem.
Level of Difficulty: Easy, but requires walking on track in places.
Bring: Drinking water, food, and appropriate clothes for the weather. Wear hiking shoes.
Contact: Tal Blackburn, nblackburn(at)zetabroadband.com, 530 417-6885.
(Photo of lupines blooming beside old railroad tracks over Deer Creek between El Dorado Hills and Latrobe, 2013. Photo (c) 2015 Tripp Mikich.)
April 12 (Sun.) Deer Creek Hills Preserve Hike, Rancho Murieta9am - 1pm. Details to come. Chapter members only! May include restoration area and surprisingly good wildflowers. Hike will be lead by Sacramento Valley Conservancy docent.Contact: Tal Blackburn, nblackburn(at)zetabroadband.com or 530 417-6885
April 23 (Thurs.) Codfish Falls Trail, North Fork of the American River, Ponderosa Way, Placer County
Meeting Time and Location: Meeting in Cool at the Holiday Market at the intersection of 49 and 193 at 8:30 am and at the Raley's Parking lot, 13384 Lincoln Way in Auburn at 9:00 am.
Duration:4 to 5 hours
Description:This trail provides excellent views of the river and ends at an impressive 40 foot waterfall. In this riparian woodlands ecosystem there are many species that will be in bloom. A fuller description of this trail is in the book, American River Canyon Hikes by Jim Ferris, Michael Lynch and Sheila Toner.
Level of Difficulty: Easy, but trail narrows at times with steep drop-offs to the river.
Bring: Hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water, lunch and sturdy shoes and hand lens(optional). Plant list will be provided. Dogs must be on leashes.
Contact: Diane Cornwall dancingwildflowers(at)me.com (530) 888-1404
April 25 (Saturday) Stevens Trail, North Canyon Way in Colfax, Placer County
Meeting Time and Location: 8:30 am at Holiday Parking Lot, intersection of 49 and 193 in Cool, or 9:00 am at Raley's, 13384 Lincoln Way in Auburn, or at the trailhead at 9:30 am.
Description: It is 3.2 miles to the river and about one and one half hours down and 3 hours back up with over 1000 feet change in elevation. The wildflower displays are very beautiful with many colors and species. Beautiful views of the North Fork of the American River are around very bend. A full description of the trail can be found in the American River Canyon Hikes by Jim Ferris, Michael Lynch, and Sheila Toner.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate up and down, narrow in places and some steep drop-offs.
Bring: Water, lunch, bug spray, hat, sun-screen and sturdy shoes. Hand lens is a good option. Plant list is available. Dogs must be on leashes.
May 30 (Saturday) Lake Clementine Trail, North Fork American River, Placer County
Meeting Time and Location:We will carpool from the Holiday Market at the intersection of 49 and 193 in Cool at 8:30 am and the Raley's parking lot, 13384 Lincoln Way in Auburn at 9:00 am. You can also arrange to meet us at the trailhead. There is a fee for parking at the trailhead.
Description:We will be looking for the blooms of the Oval-Leaved Viburnum (Viburnum ellipiticum) which only blooms for two weeks. There should be many other wildflowers along the trail. The hike begins at the far side of the Old Foresthill Bridge and we will go 1.9 miles to near the dam face waterfall at Lake Clementine. Dogs must be on leashes.
Level of Difficulty: Easy, except for areas where trail narrows due to washouts.
Bring: Water, snacks, bug spray, hat, sun-screen, and sturdy shoes. A hand lens is optional. Plant lists are available.
Contact: Diane Cornwall dancingwildflowers(at)me.com 530 888-1404
June 27 (Saturday) Near Carson Pass, Alpine County
Stay tuned for details. Location will be whichever spot has the most incredible flowers at that time!
Sign up for Chapter Email Alerts!
Our next sale will be April 4, 2015 (9 am to 1 pm). It will take place in front of County Government Buildings A and B at 330-360 Fair Lane, Placerville. These buildings are directly across the street from the Main El Dorado County Library. The sale will feature California native grasses, flowering perennials, shrubs and trees. Some plants are deer-resistant, and many are drought-tolerant once established. Check out our Spring Plant Sale List. This list is a reasonably (not perfectly) accurate look at what plants we expect to be selling. It will give you time to study up and decide what meets your needs. Whether your soil is heavy clay or serpentine, whether you live in Folsom or Pollock Pines, we can help you choose native plants that will fit your landscaping needs. Fall is the best time to plant natives so that they grow a large root system during the rainy season and can eventually become rain-ony plants needing no supplemental irrigation during the dry season. Growing this deep root system generally takes two or three years, until the plants have at least doubled in size.
We also offer a wonderful selection of books about growing and landscaping with natives, botany basics, and field guides for all aspects of natural history. Our excellent weed exhibit uses pictures and live plants to inform folks about the plants we DON'T want to encourage. Free written information will be available concerning topics ranging from Wildlife-Friendly Gardening to Rare Plants of the Pine Hill Preserve.
For more information about native plant advantages and resources, please click here.
Follow the Example of Willis Jepson..."A scientific interest in at least certain features of our natural environment, as for example the trees, shrubs or herbaceous plants, directs one to useful and agreeable intellectual activity. Accurate and detailed knowledge of even a small area lifts the possessor out of the commonplace and enables him directly or indirectly to contribute to the well-being and happiness of his community."
-Willis Jepson, Trees of California, 1921
Our logo flower is the Pleasant Valley mariposa lily, Calochortus clavatus var. avius, a member of the Lily family that was once so common in the Pleasant Valley area of Placerville that people would dig them up for home landscaping. Now they are listed as 1B: Rare, threatened, or Endangered and can only be found in a dispersed population on the Eldorado National Forest, at one location in Placer County, and in eight small occurrences in Calaveras County. (Click on the thumbnail photo to open an enlarged photo.)
Chapter board meetings are held to discuss business items concerning the chapter and its activities. Please note that a decision was made to reduce the number of board meetings to six per year, coinciding with the months of the meetings. Board meetings will be held on the third Tuesdays in January, March, April, May, June, July, September, October and November. Meetings are held at the El Dorado County Office of Education, 6767 Green Valley Road, Placerville. The meeting rooms are in the B complex (opposite the main office behind the flag pole), usually in B-1 or B-3, at 6:30 pm.
Copies of the minutes from board meetings can be requested from the Chapter Secretary or Chapter President.
Finding little information available for forest locations with access for wheelchairs? Here a few suggestions about places worth a visit for those who want to go see wildflowers, birds, or just get a breath of fresh air and enjoy a few hours in a forest. Take a look...