California Native Plant Society • East Bay Chapter • Alameda & Contra Costa Counties
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Open for business & volunteer help: Fridays 9 am-12 pm, Satur-
days 10 am to 2 pm, and now Tuesdays 12 pm-3pm
The CNPS 2009 Conservation Conference and workshops will be
held January 17 through 21 at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento.
The main goal of this conference is to identify and promote sci-
ence- and policy-based strategies and solutions to improve the
conservation of California’s native flora and natural landscapes.
The conference will focus on: 1) finding and promoting solutions
to the environmental challenges confronting California’s flora 2)
integrating the best science with the most effective public policies
to meet these challenges 3) pressing forward more and better re-
gional and statewide landscape-level conservation initiatives.
Field trip p. 6
Sunday, January 4, 2009, 2:00 pm. Field trip to Huddart County
Park, 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside (San Mateo Coun-
From Yard to Garden: The Domestication of America’s Home
Speaker: Chris Grampp
Wednesday, January 28, 7:30 pm
Location: Garden Room, Orinda Public Library (directions be-
While native gardeners might focus on their gardens’ habitat value
and vegetable gardeners see their spaces as production-oriented,
most of us would define the purpose of our gardens in aesthetic
terms. They exist to offer beauty — at the very least to cover bare
dirt with something green.
But American gardens have a history of deeper functionality that
continues to this day. In an engaging presentation illustrated
with historical as well as contemporary photographs, landscape
architect Chris Grampp will trace the history of the middle-class
household yard over the past 150 years. His presentation will
follow the American home garden through its three evolutionary
stages: first as an agricultural space related to the livelihood of
the family, then as an urban utility yard addressing household
needs prior to the advent of municipal services, and finally as an
outdoor family room.
Chris Grampp is a licensed landscape architect with experience
in residential, public, and commercial projects who has taught
landscape design at Merritt College for the past 22 years. He is
the author of From Yard to Garden: The Domestication of America’s
Home Grounds as well a number of articles on the social meanings
of domestic gardens.
Room of the Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way (in Orinda
Village). The Garden Room is on the second floor of the building,
accessible by stairs or an elevator. The Garden Room opens at 7:00
pm; the meeting begins at 7:30 pm. Please contact Sue Rosenthal,
510-496-6016 or email@example.com, if you have any
Directions to Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way
From the west, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda/Moraga exit. At the end
of the off ramp, turn left on Camino Pablo (toward Orinda Village),
right on Santa Maria Way (the signal after the BART station and
freeway entrance), and left on Orinda Way.
From the east, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda exit. Follow the ramp
to Orinda Village. Turn right on Santa Maria way (the first signal)
and left on Orinda Way.
Once on Orinda Way, go 1 short block to the parking lot on the
southeast side of the two-story building on your right. There is
additional free parking beneath the building as well as on the
From BART (4 blocks): Exit the Orinda station, turn right and cross
a pedestrian bridge, then cross a second pedestrian bridge on the
left. Go 1 short block on the sidewalk to the third pedestrian bridge.
Go 2 blocks on Orinda Way to the Orinda Library.
Wednesday, February 25, 7:30 pm (Orinda Library Garden
Wednesday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. (Orinda Library Garden Room)
Ralph and Lisa Shanks — Indian Baskets of Central California: Art,
Culture, and History
East Bay CNPS membership meetings are free of charge and open
to everyone. This month’s meeting takes place in the Garden
LETTER TO CHAPTER MEMBERS
Your CNPS chapter needs volunteers, as Charli Danielsen
noted in the December 2008 Bay Leaf, page 1.
Environmental work involves a broad spectrum of skills,
and requires varying amounts of volunteer time, to address
the issues which provide opportunities for CNPS to have a
Below, I identify some of the skills that CNPS can put to excel-
lent use on behalf of native habitat conservation.
If you have any one or more of these skills, the chapter can find a
suitable volunteer niche for you. Just email to volunteer@ebcnps.
org or leave a message at 510-549-0211, with your name and how
best to reach you.
Clerical skills such as note-taking and transcription. There
is always something going on that needs to be recorded in
order to share valued information more widely. If you have
an ability to capture this value on paper (or its electronic
equivalent), CNPS can use your time well.
Physical stamina. There are varied opportunities to put
your love of physical activity to work in the field. Invasive
plant species are a major detriment to conservation of native
habitats, and require ongoing monitoring to discover new
colonizations, to track the results of past "weeding" efforts,
and/ or to participate in removal of invasive plants from our
Artistic Flair. Beauty is in the eye of every CNPS member,
but the ability to render the beauty of our native habitats
and plants on paper (or T-shirts, or bumper stickers, or sew-
on patches, or . . .) is the realm of a few gifted souls. Help
us attract more members and resources through art (and its
Photographic skills. Photo documentation of habitat condi-
tions, for ongoing management and monitoring objectives,
provides a visual record of habitat changes through time.
Prolific reading capacity. Environmental documents needing
public review and comment (e.g., from CNPS) are both abun-
dant and voluminous. People who can tackle such documents
handily will find a ready outlet for their reading skills.
Public Speaking Experience. Public agencies involved in
formulating environmental policy and management plan-
ning are generally required to hold public hearings to receive
comments about their plans. CNPS is often involved in such
public commentary, but requires more volunteers.
Measurement and observational skills. Data is the corner-
stone of CNPS's ability to assess environmental conditions,
and to evaluate proposed land management plans. A lack
of data is the usual shortcoming that can be significantly
improved through volunteer contributions. The devil is in
Technical or scientific knowledge. Environmental issues
generally involve a broad range of matters that require per-
ceptive technical review and public comment. If you have
any such skill(s), ask us how they may be applied to CNPS's
Any policy, political, or legal skills. Environmental issues
also are impacted by public policy, politics and legal con-
straints and perceptions. If you are a "people person" who
likes to participate in these particular areas of activity, then
CNPS has volunteer opportunities for you.
Green thumb. Our CNPS chapter raises funds through its
plant sales — the plants are raised by our volunteers. If you
already have a green thumb, or want to tint your thumb a
vivid green, let us know.
Writing Skills. Useful for drafting documents, comments
on development proposals, letters to the editor of your local
newspaper, newsletter articles, etc.
Fund Raising. If you have fund-raising experience, or a back-
ground in development, then your volunteer efforts will be
well spent in CNPS.
But there are spirits of a yet more liberal culture, to whom no simplicity is barren. There are not only stately pines, hut fragile flowers, like the orchises,
commonly described as too delicate for cultivation, which derive their nutriment from the crudest mass of peat. These remind us, that, not only for
strength, but for beauty, the poet must, from time to time, travel the logger's path and the Indian's trail, to drink at some new and more bracing fountain
of the Muses, far in the recesses of the wilderness.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Chesuncook" (1858) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David
Thoreau, vol. 3, pp. 172-173, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
THE BAY LEAF January 2009
NATIVE HERE NURSERY
Native Here has new expanded hours through February. We’ll
stay open an extra hour on Saturdays, until 2 pm, and we’ll also
be open on Tuesdays from 12 pm-3 pm. The extra weekday hours
allow agencies, parks staff, and landscape professionals, as well
as home gardeners, more opportunities to buy plants during the
prime planting season. The Tuesdays hours will also allow us to
better accommodate requests for contract-grown plants.
We’re offering a special on certain trees. If you have a large yard
or are planting for a restoration project, we have a lot of trees
in 5-gallons containers. Buy one 5-gallon Cupressus sargentii, or
Aesculus californica and get the second one for $1. We offer the
same “dollar sale” on 1-gallon Quercus agrifolia and Quercus lobata
Volunteer opportunities and ways to help the Nursery
• Come buy plants throughout the winter. Plants emerging from
dormancy, such as soap root, Ithuriel’s spear, and larkspur, will
become available this month and later.
• Gregg is leading trips to collect seeds and cuttings on various
days. He lists the date, time and meeting place at www.ebcnps.
org/ seedtrips.html or you may call him at 510-223-3310 for more
information or e-mail Charli at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Volunteers are welcome at the nursery to help replenish our
stock. We’ll be seed sowing, transplanting, weeding, moving plants
Cupressus sargentii Photo by Janice Bray
around, watering, and doing other tasks. If interested, show up
when the Nursery is open or email us at email@example.com
to arrange other volunteer times.
We accept used pots during our open hours on Tuesdays, Fridays,
and Saturdays. We reuse some of them and put the rest in the bin
just outside the top gate. Anyone is welcome to take pots from this
bin to use for their own planting projects.
Featured Plants for January 2009
January only — buy one of the featured plants in a 5 -gallon con-
tainer at the regular price and get a second one for a dollar. The
two trees that we are featuring in 5 -gallon containers:
Aesculus californica (California buckeye) This summer-deciduous
tree has beautiful silver bark, large white flowers that attract
bees and butterflies, and large bright-green, palmately compound
Cupressus sargentii (Sargent’s cypress) This evergreen tree has
rounded, scaly twigs and in our area it is found growing in the
warmer chaparral areas of southern Alameda County.
Aesculus californica Photo by Janice Bray
• Fast growing evergreen tree reaches heights of 70 feet
• Needs good drainage and full sun
• Will grow in poor soils, serpentine, and in chaparral areas
• Drought tolerant once established
• Bark is dark gray to dark brown
• Cones are woody, 1 inch in diameter
• Riparian tree about 10 to 15 feet tall but may be shrub-like
in dry settings
• Loses its leaves in late summer
• Attractive in winter with white bark and dangling round
• Leafs out early in spring and produces many large creamy white
to pink flower spikes
THE BAY LEAF January 2009
Big Box Mentality Along the East Bay Shore
What do a baseball stadium, gambling casino, and power plant all
have in common? As it turns out, a great deal, ar least from the
point of view of the East Bay Chapter’s conservation program. The
A’s stadium in Fremont, the Russell City Energy Center (RCEC) in
Hayward, and the Point Molate casino in Richmond are all poised
to move in along the east shore of the San Francisco Bay near
remnants of some of the most sensitive native plant habitat. As
projects, they’re all part of the “newer, bigger, better” syndrome,
promising to bring wealth, employment, and salvation to these
bayshore cities bruised by the economy. At least that’s the pitch
both to the local city councils and to just plain folks like the rest
of us. Sound too good to be true?
Members of the Conservation Committee have attended public
meetings where the promised benefits of these projects have been
trumpeted. We’re there because these projects, if built, will have
major impacts upon some of the most precious remaining native
plant habitat along our shore. The proposed site for the A’s stadium
and ballpark village is immediately adjacent to the Don Edwards
Wildlife Refuge, home to special status plant and animal species
such as Contra Costa goldfields, California tiger salamander, and
tadpole and fairy shrimp — it also hosts important shorebird and
waterfowl habitat. We think it makes no sense to locate a mega-
stadium and housing project (3100 units) where the impacts from
air, water, traffic, noise and lighting pollution, the onslaught of
illegal off-roading, and the detritus of human occupation will de-
grade this sensitive habitat. After all, there’s a reason we call the
Don Edwards a refuge.
We came late to the controversy surrounding Calpine’s Russell City
Energy Center in Hayward — in part because public noticing for the
hearings has been notoriously poor — so poor that the ERA Appeals
Board has required the Bay Area Air Quality Management District
to re-open hearings on one of its air permits because the District
violated its noticing regulations. A local grassroots group called
us wondering whether we were aware that a huge 600-megawatt
power plant was proposed within 1500 feet of Cogswell Marsh on
the Hayward Regional Shoreline where 15 listed species make their
home. The plant will produce over 600 tons of various air emissions,
or more than a ton for every megawatt of power. Born out of the
Enron scare, the project is a textbook case of manipulation of the
environmental review process by the lead agency, the California
Energy Commission, which ignored recommendations from its own
staff not to approve RCEC. In some of the most amazing corporate
twists and turns, Calpine, the project applicant, shook off nearly
every promised mitigation and backed out of its commitment of
hundreds of thousands of dollars to the City of Hayward and the
East Bay Regional Park District. Incredibly, the US Fish and Wild-
life Service concluded that this project would have no significant
impacts on the adjacent salt marsh and waived a formal Biologi-
cal Opinion. The project is one permit away from full acceptance.
Now, with its foot in the door, Calpine has applied to the California
Public Utilities Commission to renegotiate its purchase of power
agreement with PG&E so that it can charge even more for the
electricity it will generate.
For many years, the East Bay Chapter has led field trips to explore
the remnant coastal prairie at Point Molate. There, small por-
tions of grassland and coastal bluff communities have held on in
areas where the US Navy left them to benign neglect. As East Bay
Chapter members know, for some time there have been plans to
build a giant casino, hotel, and housing complex at Point Molate,
guaranteed — according to the developer who presented his plans at
a meeting last month — to bring in a steady stream of high rollers
eager to leave their money at the gambling tables — money that
would revitalize the City of Richmond. Many of the members of
the public present at that meeting countered that what the casino
would bring would be blight, crime, snarled traffic, and a degraded
environment. We agree — the public’s interest would be best served
instead by protecting the point as open space. The Environmental
Impact Statement on the project is to be released within the next
What unites these three huge projects is the notion that somehow
they will bring prosperity to their host cities and to the region,
when common sense says otherwise. How cynical the claim that
their impacts can be reduced to less than significant when they lie
immediately adjacent to fragile wetlands. And how short-sighted.
Just this week the San Francisco Bay Joint Ventures Partners issued
a white paper on the impacts of climate change on the Bay. Among
its findings was the recommendation that shoreline cities hurry
to protect from further development the thin band of remaining
habitat between the Bay wetlands and the encroaching industrial
belt. As the Bay’s waters rise in response to global warming, there
must be some place for wetlands to rise as well. Otherwise, mud
flats, salt marsh, tidal ponds and sloughs and the teeming wildlife
that depends upon them will be lost. Seen in this light, the prob-
lem that lies before us clearly is not how to accommodate a new
ballpark, a casino, or a mega-power plant but where to find space
enough for the very web of shore life to hang on. The notion of a
boom economy has lost its cachet, replaced by a new reality. We
need strong medicine. Given the nature and magnitude of global
changes we are beginning to experience, the ratio of benefits to
costs of these big box projects is puny.
The boatmen appeared to lead an easy and contented life, and we thought that we should prefer their employment ourselves to many professions which
are much more sought after. They suggested how few circumstances are necessary to the well-being and serenity of man, how indifferent all employ-
ments are, and that any may seem noble and poetic to the eyes of men, if pursued with sufficient buoyancy and freedom.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Hemy
David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 220, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
THE BAY LEAF January 2009
It's a new year and your membership chairs are looking for
some new ways to enhance our membership column. One
idea that came to mind is to feature a member a month. If
you would like to be featured in this colurmi, please send
me a writeup of yourself, and your CNPS experiences. A
photo would help to capture your moment. We are open to
Electronic notification of up and coming events and available
volunteer opportunities is in the works. To be kept informed
and on the cutting edge of restoring our native plant species
and plant communities make sure we have your current
Have any questions about upcoming events? Interested in
getting more involved? Please don't hesitate to contact us.
firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-372-0687 or email@example.com,
Getting More Involved and Having Lots of Fun Doing It
Think Globally, Volunteer Locally
Brentwood— The Friends of Marsh Creek will be planting a
California Native Demonstration Garden in Creekside Park.
Contact Mary Grim 925-672-6522 x 113 or email marygrim®
Martinez— Help needed at the new Native Plant Garden at
the John Muir Historical Site Visitors Center. Join us on most
Monday or Tuesday mornings for an hour or so of general
clean up at our beautiful new garden. We have finalized the
Color & Garden Book and it will be available at the John Muir
Visitors Center for a $5.00 donation. Contact Elaine Jackson
at 925-372-0687 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Martinez — Strentzel Meadow is in the process of planning a
native butterfly garden and possible seeding of additional na-
tive grasses. If you would like to help, let me know, elainejx®
Mt Diablo State Park— Looking for volunteers to help restore
Mitchell Canyon's upper Mitchell Creek. It is mostly weeding
blackberry and periwinkle, some planting in the wet season
and irrigation when dry. Work is physically demanding,
ongoing every Wednesday 8 am-2 pm and the 3rd Saturday
of each month 9 am-3 pm. Contact Dave Caniglia at cani@
mindspring.com or 925-287-9733.
Pleasant Hill — Volunteers are always welcome at the Pleasant
Hill Adult Education Center Garden. Contact Monika Olsen
at 925-937-1530 or email email@example.com
Walnut Creek— Native demonstration garden on The Iron
Horse Trail in Walnut Creek near the Walnut Creek Intermedi-
ate. Contact Judy Adler, firstname.lastname@example.org
Many other communities have local watershed organizations
that provide excellent means to get involved with education,
restoration and, of course, meeting people from your town or
city who share your interests in native plants and their signifi-
cance for the Bay Area's highly diverse micro ecologies.
(Do you have or know of a local event coming up in your
neighborhood that would be a good location for CNPS to have
a display table? You can host it. Come on up to our Native
Here Nursery (during business hours) and pick up supplies
to pass out. Call us with any questions.
Please join us in welcoming those who joined in the October/
November time frame: Christine Alford, Britt Ascher, Shelly
Benson, Alastair Bolton, Adrienne Boyars, Alice Brock-Utne,
Hillary Cooper, Kevin Davey, Beth Ferree, Mike Gridley, Miao
He, Megan Keever, Belinda Lo, Paul Muniz, Betty Nelson,
Mary Shea, Cecile Shohet, Mardi Sicular-Mertens, Steve Toby,
and Charlotte Toothman. Please let me know if your name is
missing from the list.
Many thanks to all of you that have renewed your member-
ship throughout the year. May you enjoy many more years
Elaine Jackson & Carol Castro
If the moon looks larger here than in Europe, probably the sun looks larger also. If the heavens of America appear infinitely higher, and the stars brighter,
I trust that these facts are symbolical of the height to which the philosophy and poetry and religion of her inhabitants may one day soar.... I trust that
we shall be more imaginative, that our thoughts will be clearer, fresher, and more etheral, as our sky, - our understanding more comprehensive and
broader, like our plains, - our intellect generally on a grander scale, like our thunder and lightning, our rivers and mountains and forests, - and our
hearts shall even correspond in breadth and depth and grandeur to our inland seas. Perchance there will appear to the traveler something ... of joyous
and serene, in our very faces. Else to what end does the world go on, and why was America discovered?
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, pp. 222-223,
Houghton Mifflin (1906).
THE BAY LEAF January 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009, 2:00 pm. Field trip to Huddart County
Park, 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside (San Mateo County).
Meet in the parking lot just past the pay station.
Leader: David Margolies, 510-654-0283, 510-393-1858 (cell),
The walk: We will hike on the Crystal Springs Trail, where Scoliopus
higelovii (fetid adder’s tongue, Liliaceae) blooms in early January.
(In most locations outside botanical gardens, it blooms in late
January or early February.) This is a gentle trail, losing about 200
feet over about 1/2 mile to the creek. We will walk to the creek
and then return the same way. It is unlikely that there will be any
other flowers out this early, but the fetid adder’s tongue’s presence
tells us that the new flower season has started. Other plants out of
flower will also be identifled. The area is second growth redwood
and mixed evergreen forest.
ACTIVITIES OF OTHERS
Plant Medicine Circles
Towering over the East Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta, Mt. Diablo is one of the Bay Area's highest peaks, a
sacred mountain for the region's native peoples, and teeming
with biological diversity.
Indigenous and shamanic traditions view plants as intelligent
beings and sources of not only physical medicine and food but
also wisdom, perspective, and companionship. In the vessel
of nurturing ceremony, we will walk the land sharing stories,
songs, and direct visioning with the plants of Mount Diablo.
Consider joining us in to celebrate and learn from our often
overlooked green-blooded relatives.
Directions: Go to Woodside (if in the East Bay, cross the Bay
Bridge and get on 1-280 south; otherwise get on 280 south). Take
the 84 West/Woodside Road exit. Go west through the town of
Woodside. Soon after the main part of the town, take a right onto
Kings Mountain Road. The park entrance is on the right after a
few miles. Go past the pay station into the main parking lot. We
will meet there. Note that you must pay the parking fee even if the
station is not staffed (use the envelopes provided).
Note: There is poison oak in the park. Poison oak is dangerous
even when it has no leaves. Stay on the trail. It will probably be
muddy and may be raining. Be prepared. The walk will take place
rain or shine.
Monthly plant medicine circles are from 12 noon-3 pm on
the Saturdays, January 10, February 7, March 7, April 4, May
5 and June 6. Gatherings are open to all by donation ($25
suggested). Circles will be held in light rain, cold, and wind
and rescheduled for heavy rain or lightning. Locations on
the mountain will vary throughout the season. Be in contact
Contact: Daniel Poor, 650-248-8917, email@example.com,
THE BAY LEAF January 2009
THE WAYNE RODERICK LECTURES
at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden
Wildcat Canyon Road and South Park Drive (south Park Drive is dosed Nov.-March)
in Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, CA
(510) 841-8732 E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org www.nativeplants.org
Saturday mornings 10:30
Notice: Seating is limited. To be sure of a seat come early and save a chair.
Fremont Peak, Pinnacles, and the road to Neenach — Steve Edwards
Exploring the lava caps of the western Sierra Nevada — Larry Abers
Saving Mt. Diablo — Seth Adams
Seeing and saving all the endangered species of the GGNRA — Brent Plater
Smog is slow-release nitrogen fertilizer: implications for conservation of
California's biodiversity — Stuart Weiss
Exotic microbes, a real threat to California ecosystems — Matteo Garbelotto
Studies in the Yuba Pass and other parts of the Sierra Nevada — Bob Case
California geology from the ground up, part one — principles and travels
from Pt. Reyes south to the deserts — Steve Edwards
California geology from the ground up, part two — from the Delta to
Oregon — Steve Edwards
Don't forget: free tours of the botanic garden every Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 (when it's not
raining, when the garden is open, and, when we're not conducting our annual plant sale on the
third Saturday in April)
THE BAY LEAF January 2009
Board of Directors
Barbara Malloch Leitner
Bay Leaf Editor and Web-
Bay Leaf Assistant Editor
Bay Leaf Mailing
Regional Parks Botanic
Elaine P. Jackson
Native Plant Restoration
Native Here Nursery
Charli Danielsen Project
Janice Bray Liaison to
John GameSI 0-527-7855
Members at Large
I wish to affiliate with:
East Bay Chapter (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties)
Student, Limited income, $25
Individual, Library, $45
Household, Family, or Group, $75
Plant lover, $100
E-mail Benefactor, $600
Mariposa Lily, $1500
Mail application and check to: California Native Plant Society, 2707 K Street, Suite 1, Sacramento CA 95816
California Native Plant Society
East Bay Chapter
P.O. Box 5597, Elmwood Station
Berkeley CA 94705
Permit No. 2018
January 2009 issue