Newsletter 2005 September – October

California Native Plant Society

Orange County Chapter

September/October 2005




Chapter Meetings



Southern California Botanists Symposium

Field Trips

Action Opportunities

Employment Opportunity

Local Walks

Help MAD Plants grow

The Want Ads

Preparing for fall…

There is no season such delight can bring,

As summer, autumn, winter, and spring.

—William Browne, 1591 – c.1645

Yet autumn is the season most anticipated by native plant gardeners for it is during the cooler and possibly wetter months that we can focus once more on refreshing and revitalizing—or establishing—our gardens. The Orange County Chapter prepares for the fall planting season by offering native plants for sale at a convenient central-county location—the UCI Arboretum at Jamboree and Campus in Irvine. Tree of Life Nursery, which each year adds to its plant list, supplies most of the plants. Chapter members with gardening experience are on hand to answer questions and assist with selection. The date to remember is Saturday, October 15.

One of the best ways to make decisions about what to put into the native garden is to visit an established one. There is no better than the extensive plantings at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. They are offering a class on designing a native plant garden on Saturday, September 24 from 9 AM to 1 PM. The cost is $42 for garden members, $50 for nonmembers. Visit for more information and to see the full selection of classes and events. Or call Rachel Kau-Taylor at 909.625.8767 ext. 224 to register for the class.

Another way to get ideas for the native garden is to join us on September 15 when the knowledgeable and entertaining Dan Songster will take us around the calendar with native plant color.

Personally, I can hardly wait!

Sarah Jayne, president



Sep 1……………….. Board Meeting

Sep 9 – 11 Chapter Council Mtng

Sep 15…………… Chapter Meeting

Sep 17………… Crystal Cove Walk

Oct 6……………….. Board Meeting

Oct 15……………………… Plant Sale

Oct 20…………… Chapter Meeting

Oct 22…………… SCB Symposium

Weed and Seed:

Thurs 10-1……………. UCI Arboretum

Any day, 8:30-noon……. Fullerton Arb

3rd Sat………………………. Bolsa Chica

Chapter meetings are held at the Irvine Ranch Water District headquarters at 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine. Doors open at 7 PM and the meeting begins at 7:30. Wildflower posters and a wide variety of books are available at the meetings.
Directions: From the Santa Ana Freeway (I 5) exit on Sand Canyon Road west. Pass Irvine Center Drive. Turn left at the next light onto Waterworks Road, then left into the IRWD parking lot. From the 405 exit east on Sand Canyon/Shady Canyon, turn right on Waterworks and left into the parking lot.



September 15 (Thursday)—Year Round Color with Natives

Speaker: Dan Songster

Of course our southern California flora is generous with its color, including striking foliage, bright fruit and berries, and the flowers of nearly every shade imaginable. The trick is having something interesting and eye-catching involved in your landscape throughout the year! Join us on a calendar tour in our native landscapes where Dan will show how natives can produce color and interest for twelve straight months!

Dan is the co-director of the Golden West College Native Garden, which he tucks into his rare spare time as Head Groundsman there. He is on the state CNPS Horticulture Committee and former president of the Orange County Chapter. Many of the plants Dan will discuss will be for sale at our chapter plant sale October 15, at the UC Irvine Arboretum. The sale will be open to members only from 9 AM to 10 AM, !0 AM to 3 PM for the general public. Come early to get the best selection!

October 20 (Thursday)—You Might Be a Wildflower Fanatic if….

Speaker: Bob Allen (with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy,“You might be a redneck if…”)

  • You own more wildflower field guides than shoes.
  • You plan your vacations around wildflower blooming times and hot spots.
  • You talk your kids into attending college in good wildflower-watching areas—and promise you will visit them often.
  • Your neighbors refer to your carefully designed bug- & bird-friendly wildflower garden as “the local weed patch.
  • You forget your spouse’s birthday, but you can easily describe fifty wildflowers and draw them from memory.
  • It takes you four hours to take a thirty-minute hike.
  • You select the location of your retirement solely by its easy access to trails and wildflowers.
  • You have Acorn Naturalists’ field guide order-line on your telephone’s speed dial.
  • You went to great lengths to ensure that your child’s first word was “Lupine.”
  • The highlight of your social life is the monthly meeting of the California Native Plant Society!

With many fine photos and humorous dialog, Bob Allen will illuminate the passion of the typical California Native Plant Society member. Bob is a co-author of a soon-to-be-published guide to the wildflowers of Orange County and has spent countless hours searching for and photographing our local flora. Also known as “Bug Bob”, he is an expert entomologist.




My Favorite (or one of them…)

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is high on my list of all-round great plants. In nature it is generally a large shrub; in the garden it can be trained into a small tree or an informal hedge. It is fairly fast-growing, often shooting up to a possibly-gangly 8 feet or so in four or five years from a five-gallon can. It then fills out into a solid landscape element, and may be 15 feet high and wide if left to grow naturally.

Toyon leaves are evergreen, long, narrow, shiny dark green and clean-looking year-round. The leaves are edged with small, stiff teeth, leading to another of its common names: California Holly. It is said that abundant Toyon were growing at a new town site near Los Angeles many years ago, hence the new town was named Hollywood.

In early summer, Toyon bears large flat clusters of many small white flowers. These mature by early winter into small, bright red fruits, leading to another common name, Christmas Berry. There is also a yellow-fruited form. The flowers attract butterflies and other nectar-feeders, the fruits are a favorite of many birds. The fruit’s flesh is edible though mealy and kind of blah-tasting.

Toyon is a common shrub in much of California and into Baja, in coastal sage-scrub, chaparral, oak woodland, and mixed-evergreen forest. In Orange County, it tends to be found on north- and east-facing slopes and in ravines. It likes full sun to part shade, and does not need, but will take some, summer water.

Toyon is a member of the Rose Family, Rosaceae. Examination of the flowers reveals the family’s tell-tale characteristic hypanthium, a bowl-like structure to which the petals and stamens are attached. The fruits are pomes, like apples and pears (also members of the Rosaceae). In fact, “hetero-meles” is Greek for “different apple.”

Toyon has everything! Good landscape form, good looks year-round, flowers, fruit, drought tolerance, wide adaptability. All this makes it one of my favorites!

—Celia Kutcher

After the Plant Sale…

You come home from the plant sale with a lot more plants than you’d planned. And then the schedule heats up and there’s no time to get them in the ground or the Santa Anas blow and it’s too hot to plant. What to do?

Keep plants in pots in a wind-protected, lightly shaded spot and water them moderately, about once a week (more often for 4-inch pots) as long as the weather stays hot and dry. If the weather cools, cut back to light watering, every ten days to two weeks.

To help plants establish, especially if planted while the heat’s on, it’s important that their roots stay moist but not swamped.

1. Thoroughly water the plant an hour or so before planting so the root ball is thoroughly wet—but not falling apart soggy—when it goes into the ground. If the root ball has gotten very dry, soak the plant, container and all, in a bucket of water for at least an hour, then let it drain awhile before planting.
2. Once the plant is in the ground, properly planted high and basined, water gently to fill the basin, let it soak in, then fill the basin again. The plant should then not need watering for at least a week.

If you planted without wetting the root ball first and now the plant is looking droopy, put the hose end on the root ball (but not right next to the stem) and let it run at a slow drip for a couple of hours, or even overnight. This will thoroughly re-wet the root ball. Just filling the basin won’t help much, because once container soil becomes dry, it needs direct application of water to get wet again. The foregoing applies to newly planted plants. Once their roots are out into native soil, basin irrigation works fine.

Once your plants are in the ground, continue watering lightly every ten days to two weeks until it rains. It’s a good idea to break down the basins at this time to avoid puddles around the plants in case of a heavy rain season. Do supplemental watering during the winter and spring growing season only if a hot, dry month intervenes between rains. Taper off on any watering in late spring when native plants want to start their summer dormancy. The plants most likely won’t need any water during the summer, and thereafter will be able to do nicely with just rainfall.

Happy Planting!

—Celia Kutcher

Note: Some plants that come from regions other than Southern California Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral communities do need summer water. Be sure to check the information on the plant label that gives water and sun requirements. On the other hand, a few plants absolutely detest summer water (see below). Watch out for those, too. The Ed.

And what if a Santa Ana wind comes up after planting?

Newly installed plants do not have an established root system with which to tap into moisture in the surrounding soil. They may need a little nursing to get through a hot spell, especially if they are baking in a southern or western exposure.

Here are four things to try:
#1: Slow water loss through foliage by keeping the plant cool. A bit of shade cloth stretched and stapled between two simple stakes on the southwest side helps cool the plant.
#2: Keep the ground beneath the plant cool with an insulating layer of mulch. This makes it more difficult for root rot pathogens to threaten the plant since you will probably have to…
#3: water the plant. Even if this is a Fremontodendron, which hates summer water and usually responds by dying, take the chance by watering early in the morning or in the cool of evening on the coolest of the hot days. It will probably die anyway if you don’t.
#4: Do some research on your plant placement. If it is from an Oak understory or Riparian habitat, chances are it could have been placed in a partial shade situation. It is not too late to move the plant to a more suitable part of the garden.

—Dan Songster

The preceding two articles were previously published in the Nov/Dec 1999 newsletter. The Toyon article appeared in the Sep/Oct 1999. The Ed.



SAVE THE DATES! Two upcoming meetings offer OCCNPS conservation activists some great training and information as well as a rare chance to rub elbows and compare experiences with fellow activists.

CNPS STATEWIDE CHAPTER COUNCIL MEETING, SEPTEMBER 9 – 10, in San Clemente, includes three conservation sessions:

  • Friday September 9, 5:45 – 9 PM, Conservation Conference Part 1 will cover Visioning and Planning and include a short session on Legislation.
  • Saturday Sept. 10, 10 AM – noon, workshop/discussion on how CNPS’s conservation framework works at the chapter level (i.e. in the trenches).
  • Saturday Sept. 10, 1 – 5 PM, Conservation Conference Part 2 will cover Forestry and Exotics issues and a panel discussion on Habitat Conservation Plans.

All sessions are free, and all OCCNPS-ers are welcome. Lunch, $7, and dinner, $20, are optional. To register, contact Sarah Jayne before September 7.

RESOURCE CONSERVATION CONFERENCE, SEPT. 16, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM. The Local Government Commission, the Institute for Local Government, and Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks and its Orange County Green Vision Project are jointly presenting “Resource Conservation: Successful Strategies and Funding Opportunities for Creating Healthy Communities,” at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. Registration is $55: see for more info and to register.

GREAT EARTH WALK, Sept. 24th,in conjunction with National Public Lands Day. Go to to sign up, pledge and/or sponsor a walker (or more than 1!) for a walk on one of several designated trails in OC or beyond.


ALISO/WOOD CANYONS: Voices of Wilderness (VOW), a coalition of Laguna Beach environmental and community groups, continues watchdogging the Montage/Athens Group’s campaign to sell its revised plan to Laguna Beach. The previous plan included extending the existing small golf course, just outside the Wilderness Park’s southerly boundary, up Aliso Canyon to about the middle of the park. Montage/Athens Group has been polling Laguna Beach residents and community groups on what all would like to see in the revised plan, but has seemingly avoided polling known environmentalist individuals and groups. VOW has called them on this. As a result, VOW is arranging a meeting in mid-September at which a Montage/Athens Group representative will poll environmental groups—including OCCNPS. Stay tuned! Contact:

BOLSA CHICA: Help fund the ongoing restoration of the marsh! The Golden West Pops will headline a concert on Sunday October 16, 1:30 p.m., at Huntington Beach Central Library Theatre. Tickets, $25.00 per person, are now on sale. Seating is limited, order your tickets today at or!

DANA POINT HEADLANDS: Sierra Club and Surfrider are regretfully ending their Headlands lawsuit. The judge’s opinion that their likeliness to prevail at trial was weak (since–without the Preliminary Injunction–work on the site would continue until the actual trial in late fall at the earliest), the reality of the ongoing work on site, the lack of financial resources sufficient to continue, and the need to put resources into a similar battle in the much larger tollroad/Trestles situation, led to the decision. They are sorry to see this end without getting to the legal question that they had pursued for the last 3 1/2 years: is the Coastal Act worth the paper it’s printed on? But there is no momentum to continue a very uphill battle toward a likely loss.

EAST ORANGE: On Sept. 13, the Irvine Company’s proposed project for almost 4000 homes, located on both sides of the 241 tollroad at Chapman Avenue/Santiago Canyon Road, goes before the Orange City Council. This 1500-acre development would be adjacent to, and impact severely, both Irvine Park and Irvine Lake. The entire area is surrounded by large tracts of land donated by the Irvine Company to be permanently set aside from development. These lands are part of one of the most biologically important open space areas in the entire state.


  • City of Orange,
  • Irvine Company
  • Orange Hills Task Force

CHINO/PUENTE HILLS: The Conservation Biology Institute’s report, recommending that the 3,000-acre Shell-Aera land and most of the City of Industry land in Tonner Canyon be saved for conservation purposes, is available at; follow the link from the home page. Studies like this–documenting the natural resource values of the Puente-Chino Hills—assist Hills for Everyone’s supporters in Sacramento as they seek to include funding in pending legislation. And they are succeeding: funding to buy the Shell-Aera land is included in the proposed Resource Bond Act (Senate Bill 153) to be heard soon before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

RANCHO MISSION VIEJO/SAN MATEO CREEK: Great News!! On August 16, the County of Orange approved a settlement agreement between defendant Rancho Mission Viejo and plaintiffs Sierra Club, NRDC, Endangered Habitats League, Sea and Sage Audubon and Laguna Greenbelt. This ends a lawsuit filed last year by these conservation organizations, after the county’s approval of the Rancho Mission Viejo development plan. The settlement significantly improves the protection of habitat, water quality and wildlife. Key goals that were achieved for protecting important natural areas on the ranch:

  • Development “bubbles” from middle Chiquita Canyon, site of a large gnatcatcher population, and from the San Mateo watershed were removed. The only remaining “bubble” in the San Mateo watershed is 500 acres located at the TRW site at the southern end of the property. (Development there will proceed only after studies have been done regarding arroyo toads in the area.) As a result of these removals, there will now be an intact block of habitat, totaling about 9,300 acres, connecting the Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy and the San Mateo Wilderness Area. The entire San Mateo watershed will now remain intact and undeveloped.
  • The settlement restricts uses in the 9,300-acre open space—75% of the Rancho Mission Viejo property—to existing and some historic uses, such as low-impact ranching and farming. This is a very important improvement—under the county-approved plan open space protections were less restrictive and subject to future modification.
  • The agreement stipulates that Cristianitos Road, which is the border between the Land Conservancy and most of the 9,300 acres, cannot be used for public access to any future development on the TRW site.

The agreement does not reduce the quantity of houses and commercial developments. Nor does it preclude extension of the 241 toll road through the site. Contact:

Many, many thanks to all who wrote a letter, attended a hearing or otherwise fought for Ranch preservation!

San Mateo Creek and San Onofre State Park: The EIR for the 241/tollroad extension is expected in early fall. Meanwhile: despite years of the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) telling the public that no public funds would be used for the tollroads, they recently got $8 million in federal transportation funds for construction of the 241 tollroad extension (from Oso Parkway to I-5). The federal (= taxpayers’) money will “allow the government that runs the toll road to issue less in bonds, helping keep down the cost of tolls” said a TCA spokesperson.

SADDLEBACK CANYONS: Great News!! On June 30 the Court of Appeals issued its opinion reversing the county’s approvals of the 600-acre SaddleCreek/Crest development in Trabuco Canyon! The developer’s petition for a rehearing was also denied. This is an incredible victory for preservation of natural resources in the Foothill/Trabuco Specific Plan area. OCCNPS was part of the environmental coalition that brought the suit and the appeal.

TRABUCO DISTRICT, CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST: A number of issues continue to threaten OC’s backyard mountains:

Forest Plan: The Forest Service’s Preferred Alternative for the new Forest Management Plan is still due to be released in September. Open Houses will be scheduled to present the plan and get public comment.

Major Investment Study (MIS): The MIS, to find one or more solutions to the 91 corridor traffic mess, seems to be steamrollering along. The latest:

  • On July 16, the study was narrowed down to 3 multi-pronged choices; the intent is to adopt a specific plan by December.
  • Metropolitan Water District is interested in joining with OCTA to build a 14-mile tunnel that could hold six traffic lanes and a water pipeline 14 feet in diameter. The pipeline would bring water from Lake Mathews to the vicinity of the 241/133 interchange. A pipeline around the mountains would be 80 miles long.
  • The recently passed federal highway bill contains $15.8 million to study the project. Up to $3 billion more may be needed to do it.

Morrell Canyon/LEAPS: See

For more detail on any of these Trabuco District/Santa Ana Mountain issues, see or contact to subscribe to the Santa Ana Mountains Task Force e-newsletter.

WATERSHEDS: Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) is working on Special Area Management Programs (SAMPs) for several OC watersheds. Currently:

San Diego Creek: It seems likely that various revegetation projects will arise under this SAMP that are naturals for OCCNPS input.

San Juan Creek: Some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) (= various local environmental groups) are getting organized to have input into and see that environmental interests are included in the SAMP now underway. Several EIR-type documents regarding this will be ready for public comment this fall.

Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair

[Contact Celia at if you can take on responsibility for monitoring an area near you]



The 31st annual SCB Symposium will be held from 9 AM to 4:30 PM on Saturday, October 22, 2005 at the Ruby Gerontology Center, CSU Fullerton. The subject will be Tools for Plant Conservation and a variety of topics under that heading will be offered. Though the presentations are generally directed to botany professionals, most are thoroughly accesible to non-professionals. In fact, it’s a great place to meet and greet the native plant community of Southern California. Our chapter will have a table there selling books and such at the breaks.

The registration ($35 before October 15, $45 after that) includes a year’s membership in SCB. Visit the SCB website at for more information on the symposium and SCB.

Send registration fee along with name, address and email to:
Southern California Botanists, Department of Biology
California State University, Fullerton
Fullerton CA 92834
Please make checks payable to SCB



Lunch and Liquids:

Exegesis on Field Trip Announcements

—by Charlie Blair, San Luis Obispo Chapter

Lunch, liquids, sturdy shoes, and windbreaker advised. Camera, hand lens, binoculars, and nature books suggested.

Most chapter field trips include or are prefaced by statements similar to the above, or at least they should be. Is this statement “vain repetition” or “boilerplate” or does it have meaning for what our field trips stand for? I for one feel that this terse, dry phrase speaks volumes about what fieldtrips can mean to our Society. Field trips are a valuable part of our education and outreach efforts. This is where as members, we learn more, and, in turn, share this interest and joy with the public at large.

“You may talk of gin and beer

When you’re quartered safe out here,

And called to penny fights at Aldershotit.

But when it comes to slaughter,

You do your work on water,

And you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of him that’s got it!”

This opening stanza of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Gunga Din” emphasizes the importance of adequate hydration, although under conditions harsher than most CNPS adventures. It tells people that the trip may be vigorous, and shows our concern for their health and enjoyment. Sturdy Shoes and windbreaker implies the possibility of rough terrain and changing conditions, especially true on the coast or in the mountains. It also says that this is not a “walk in the park”, but a trek to remote, less well-known areas where new and interesting plants, birds, or other features may be found.

The camera and hand lens recommendation is obvious. Opportunities abound for interesting pictures, possibly material for a future slide show, or just nice “happy snaps”. There are often small “belly flowers” that need magnification to appreciate the beauty of these tiny gems. But binoculars? We don’t look at just plants. Interesting birds often cross our paths in these remote areas. We saw a California Condor (#25) on a recent trip. There can be interesting distant terrain features to be enjoyed. Is that red or yellow cluster in the distance a new or rare plant, something we have already seen, or colorful litter? Nature Books reminds us that we come along to learn and discover as well as enjoy.

Lunch. One of the real joys of field trips is the camaraderie of sitting around with friends both old and new along some bubbling brook, atop a high peak, or just a comfortable spot along or at the end of a trail, and sharing lunch and the day’s adventures. To me this is one of the payoffs of the effort. I often include a picture of this luncheon fellowship in my presentations. This is where we can insert the “and enjoyment” of California Native Flora.

Please keep these thoughts in mind when you are planning or enjoying your next and future fieldtrip.

Note: There are no chapter field trips planned for the rest of the year. Any ideas? Contact the Field Trips Chair.



UCI Arboretum: Time To Prep For Fall Planting

A planting session or two are being planned in the California Collection later this fall. Planting time is when the Thursday Weed Warriors reap the benefit of all the heavy-duty weeding we’ve done all spring and summer: putting new plants into well-weeded ground and helping them get established before next spring’s onslaught of new weeds.

In preparation for fall planting, we’ll be weeding plants in the nursery that will be going into the ground this fall. Weeding in the nursery is a good activity for those late-summer days when it’s too hot to be in the sun. And there’s still the last of the weeds to be vanquished in the areas to be planted. Every weed removed before it goes to seed means 10,000 fewer weeds next year!

Join us on Thursdays, 9:30-1:30. Feel free to come & start work at 8 AM, & quit when it gets too hot. Hat, gloves, water, sturdy work shoes, sunscreen are advised; bring your favorite weeding implements if possible.

Directions: from 405, go south on Jamboree to Campus Dr. Turn left on Campus, then immediately right on the unnamed campus service road. Turn left into the Arboretum gate, park free on the gravel behind the greenhouse.

Fullerton Arboretum

Chris Barnhill welcomes you to come anytime to work in the native plant section of the Fullerton Arboretum.

The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Nursery

Robert Lawson, Volunteer Nursery Manager

Shipley Nature Center

For directions and information visit

Santa Ana Park Naturalist Programs Calendar

To volunteer or request information, please call 714.571.4288 or email

Bolsa Chica Stewards

We are at the reserve every 3rd Saturday of the month—rain or shine—from 9 AM ‘til noon. October through April we focus on planting hundreds of natives and during the summer months we tend to the new plants and do other projects on the mesa. Anyone interested who would like more information is welcome to call Kim Kolpin at (714) 717-6304 or

Upper Newport Bay

Please join ROOTS for ecological restoration volunteer opportunities in the Upper Newport Bay each Wednesday at our Native Plant Nursery on Shellmaker Island from 9 AM – 11 AM or Saturdays September 10 and October 22 from 9 AM – noon.

Contact Project Coordinator Matt Yurko to confirm project dates, times and directions.

Thanks for volunteering in the Upper Newport Bay!

Matt Yurko, Project Coordinator
Upper Newport Bay Restoration and Education Program
California Coastal Commission
600 Shellmaker Road
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949-640-0286 (phone) or 949-640-1742 (fax)



The Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach is currently hiring for two positions:

Grounds Coordinator: The Environmental Nature Center—a 3.5 acre outdoor classroom displaying 14 native California plant communities—is looking for a self-motivated and professional individual to serve in the role of Grounds Coordinator. The Grounds Coordinator is a full time position that is responsible for the development and implementation of all site maintenance and grounds enhancement activities. Knowledge of California native plants and prior botanical or nature center experience in a related position preferred. Please send resume to: Bo Glover, Executive Director, 1601 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663 or call (949) 645-8489 for additional information.

Naturalist: The staff at the Environmental Nature Center is in the process of planning for September, when we will assume direction and management of our school program. Naturalists are needed to teach natural science and social science programs, Monday through Friday. “Part time” schedules are available (i.e. M-W-F or T-Th). Typical hours are from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM. Pay is $10 – $14 per hour, depending on experience. The Naturalist is responsible for teaching outdoor science and social science education programs to small groups of children. Knowledge of California plant and animal life, and California Native Americans highly desirable. Experience working with children in an educational setting preferred. Please send resume to: Lori Whalen, Program Director, 1601 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663 or call (949) 645-8489 for additional information.

Thank you!

Lori Whalen, Program Director

Environmental Nature Center




Crystal Cove State Park

Guided Backcountry Walks take place every Saturday and Sunday. Meet at 9 AM at the El Moro Visitor Center. Parking is $10. Plant walk 3rd Saturday of the month.

The Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy

For information about events, reservations, and directions, contact Laura Cohen or Michelle Thames at 949-489-9778. Visit the website at

Laguna Coast Wilderness:

The park is open on Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 AM to 4 PM. Maps are provided for self-guided tours. Special topic docent-led tours are offered periodically. Parking is $3. Call 949.494.9352, for more information. Website:

Irvine Ranch Land Reserve

For walks in the Northern and Southern Reserves call The Nature Conservancy at (714) 832-7478.

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park:

The Orange County Natural History Museum is located at the entrance to the park. Call (949) 831-2790 for more information.

Thomas Riley Regional Park:

For more information call (949) 728-3420.


Help MAD Plants Grow!

Last year, Helen de la Maza, Orange County Chapter member, brought CNPS Orange County and Inside the Outdoors (OC Dept. of Ed.) together. The result was the MAD Plant program. Remember? The program uses native plant themes to present California life science curriculum to 3rd graders. The wonderful ITO folks said this was great, and oh-by-the-way, we need two more sets of supplies and materials. Two more sets so that three schools (and multiple classes per school) can receive MAD plant instruction on the same day. WOW!

Christiane Shannon recognized the potential of the program when she first heard about it. She sold, and many of you purchased, young plants and cuttings from her home nursery. She donated all proceeds to the initial program. Thank you Christiane!

Will you help support creation of the next two sets? Any amount is useful and valued. Donations of $25 or more will receive a certificate of appreciation for supporting native plants and local education through the MAD Plant program. Any funds collected over the cost of materials will be donated directly to the Outdoor Science Foundation earmarked for MAD Plants scholarships. As with most contributions to CNPS, your donation for MAD Plants is tax deductible under regulations for 501c3 organizations.

Please mail contributions to CNPS Orange County, P.O. Box 54891, Irvine CA 92619-4891, or bring to a chapter meeting. For more information, contact Sarah Jayne or Brad Jenkins. Make checks payable to OC CNPS.

Thank You!

Brad Jenkins, Treasurer

PS Just in case you forgot, MAD stands for Move, Adapt, or Die. 😉

Visit for more information on the program


Volunteer Job Openings
If this looks like a job ad, you are right.
The scope of CNPS Orange County activities is growing again with opportunities for responsible volunteers. Hours are flexible, a wide range of skills will benefit the chapter, and an interest in native plants is the primary requirement.
Open Positions
1. Thursday morning UCI arboretum workers (See newsletter or Celia Kutcher)
2. Conservation monitors (Rancho Mission Viejo or other areas)
3. Marketing (what excites members; attracting new members)
4. Legal counsel (what are the terms and steps of legal proceedings)
5. General volunteer
6. Additional Potential Positions: graphic artist, book sales assistant, liaisons to local environmental groups, speakers, outreach booth staff, computer programmer, education materials developers, photographer, assistant website developer.
A. Work in nature and/or for the benefit of nature.
B. Work with the state native plant society.
C. Strengthen your knowledge of native plants or share your knowledge with others.
D. Work with people active in local education, horticulture, and conservation issues.
E. Work part-time and flexible hours.
F. Apply your under-used skills.
G. Gather experience for resumes.
H. Socialize and meet new people.
I. Raise people’s understanding of the benefits of native plants.
J. With proven experience in the chapter, members can apply for opportunities at the state level.
Contacts: To express interest in a position or for more information contact,
Brad Jenkins ( or Sarah Jayne (