Members make a difference
See the About us page for more information about the chapter and its activities and links to the chapter’s newsletter. The main areas of the chapter’s activities appear below.
The California Native Plant Society (“CNPS”) is a statewide non-profit organization founded in 1965 by people with an interest in California’s native plants, and whose mission is to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants.
The Monterey Bay chapter of the California Native Plant Society (“MB-CNPS”) was founded in 1966 to further the preservation and conservation of the native flora and plant communities of Monterey and San Benito counties. Our goal is to increase understanding, appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of California native plants in their natural habitats through scientific activities, education, conservation, horticulture and stewardship.
Membership in the chapter is open to anyone interested in native plants. Both members and non-members are welcome to join us in activities such as general meetings with lectures, restoration workdays, and most field trips.
CNPS – Monterey Bay Chapter is pleased to feature new volunteer opportunities aimed at the restoration of our native ecology and preserving the integrity of our natural resources. Multiple events will be hosted throughout the Spring 2020 season, suitable for all ages and interest levels.
California State Parks, Return of the Natives, and CNPS – Monterey Bay will host several outings to restore native habitat on public lands, from Fort Ord National Monument, Garrapata State Park, Soberanes, and Fort Ord Dunes. We encourage you to explore more about upcoming volunteer events on our Stewardship page.
These include the general meetings and regular field trips. They also include the annual Wildflower Show (one of the largest of its kind in the world) and the annual Native Plant Sale. It also has an active Gardening with Natives section.
The chapter has since its inception been actively involved in conservation issues including some, particularly those affecting environmentally sensitive areas like Fort Ord and the Del Monte Forest; these have been ongoing for many years and are still active.
Since its creation, the chapter has been concerned to extend its knowledge of the local plants, and to make that knowledge publicly available through the publication of books, the creation of websites devoted to the local flora, and by various other means.
Bluff Lettuce (Dudleya farinosa)
Poaching of succulents
The summer and fall of 2018 saw large-scale poaching of succulents (especially Bluff Lettuce (Dudleya farinosa)) from our public lands to be shipped overseas for sale. Please contact the authorities if you see it happening. Click here for more information.
The problem is continuing – as can be seen from this article in the Monterey County Herald on 8th February 2019.
Spring Wildflower Sightings
With the public health and safety concerns of Spring 2020, the outdoors is still (mostly) open for responsible recreation and conscientious enjoyment. Since our Annual Spring Wildflower Show was moved online, enthusiasts continue to contribute to our chapter postings by bringing more ‘virtual’ bits of nature to us. Here is a collage of the “Usual Suspects” seen at Garland Ranch Park, photographed by David Laws on April 16, 2020.
2019 has been spectacular superbloom year. Parts of Southern California such as Antelope Valley enjoyed some extraordinary displays of poppies and the Carrizo Plains has experienced some outstanding displays of Monolopia, Great Valley and other Phacelias, and Owl’s Clover. Monterey County does not have the same great expanses of wildflower locations as areas like the Carrizo Plains, but there have been some fine displays, especially in the southern parts of the county. Some highlights include the following:
- Fort Hunter Liggett — Goldfields (Lasthenia sp.) along the Nascimiento–Fergusson Road, Common Blennosperma (Blennosperma nanum) at the Jolon entrance to FHL, Sky Lupine (Lupinus nanus) and Pink Owl’s clover (Castilleja exserta)
- Hames Valley (Jolon–Bradley Road) — Baby Blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii), Douglas’ Fiddleneck (Amsinckia douglasiana), California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica)
- Highway 25 (north of Highway 198) — Monolopia sp. starting to cover the hillsides and displays of mixed Monolopia and Great Valley Phacelia (Phacelia ciliata) along the roadsides
- Fort Ord — Some of the vernal pools have seen glorious displays of the rare Contra Costa Goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens), Hickman’s Popcornflower (Plagiobothrys chorisianus var. hickmanii) and Dwarf Brodiaea (Brodiaea terrestris)