New Board Member Michelle Gillian

Board Member Spotlight: meet Michelle Gillian, our new Chapter Secretary!
Michelle recently stepped up to volunteer as our chapter secretary. She is a native of Santa Barbara and traces her early love of native plants back to a week-long 6th grade science camp near Lake Cachuma. “There were plant walks and crafts with naturalists named Snakeman and Elderberry; I still remember learning about poison oak and oak galls.” A few years later, she went back as a high school senior cabin leader – twice.
In the intervening years, she ended up raising a family in South Carolina. But with a major life-change on the horizon 5 years ago, she decided to move back to Santa Barbara. Then one of her associates gifted her an herb walk at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for the holidays, rekindling her interest in native plants. Shortly thereafter, she started teaching herself how to paint – in watercolor and pastel – and has been painting plants and landscapes ever since. She is particularly fond of Dudleyas, stating “I love the variation in them, and wanted to contribute to public awareness of these vulnerable plants”.
We are excited to have Michelle on our board!

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