California Native Plant Society - Orange County

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California Native Plant Society - Orange County

Chapter Meeting: June 2015

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Chapter Celebration

Orange County's Wildlands in Verse and Image
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015
Speakers: Thea Gavin and Chuck Wright

For our Chapter Celebration, we have a special treat! Poet-naturalists Chuck Wright and Thea Gavin know you don't have to be in a National Park to be completely awed by surrounding beauty. They have spent many years roaming the sage-scented hills of Orange County, being inspired by the flowers, scents, and creatures, and writing about what they dicover. With images sparking ideas for poems (or a poem prompting the need of a photo) both of our authors have also become excellent photographers (as you will see). With this celebration of places, plants, and creatures of our local willands, Chuck and Thea hope you will be inspired to get out and fall even more in love with the wild landscapes of Orange County.

Thea Gavin is a native of Orange County, where she continues to hike and write about the wild beauty she encounters on her barefoot advetures. When not wandering the trails, she enjoys teaching writing at Concordia University Irvine. Recently she began restoring a forgotten corner of the campus into an ecosystem garden of fruits, vegetables, and native plants—the Heritage Garden. An active member of our chapter, as well as a volunteer naturalist with the Irvine Ranch Consevancy, Thea is currently working on an anthology of nature writings about Orange County. Her poems and essays about the West have been published in a variety of anthologies and literary jounals, and after serving as National Park Service Artist-in-Residence at the Grand Canyon in 2011, she has returned as often as possible to hike and write.

Chuck Wright taught kindergarten and first grade students for 34 years and has been happily retired for 13 years, spending time volunteering in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, the Heritage Garden at Concordia University Irvine and the Friends of the Library at the University Park Library, Irvine. He seeks to inspire others to become active stewards of our natural landscapes.

In addition to our speakers, we’ll offer a nature/bird walk at 6PM, opportunity drawings and a silent auction, and a potluck hospitality table. For the always fascinating Review of the Year, Celia Kutcher needs your great photos of 2014-15 chapter activities— ooh-ahh plant shots from field trips, garden tour, people doing things at plant sales, field trips, outreach events, school gardens, etc Please ID event, date, people, plants, and send as plain jpgs, 72dpi, 1MB or less, to  

For the potluck, we’ll supply the drinks, utensils, and paper goods. If you’re coming early, bring an appetizer —if late (ie. not for the walk) bring something dessert-ish..

Enjoy with us this special celebration of the year’s achievements.

Conservation Report: March/April 2015

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BANNING RANCH:  The California Coastal Commission is bringing an enforcement action against Banning Ranch’s landowners for unpermitted habitat destruction an oil field activity. The matter is expected to be heard at the Commission’s March 11-13 meeting in Chula Vista.

ACTION NOW: Especially if you live in Newport Beach or Costa Mesa, contact for the exact date, time, and location, and plan to attend. A large turnout will tell the Commissioners that the public doesn't want massive development on Banning Ranch.

1. Madrona Litigation:
Hills For Everyone's et al (which includes CNPS) opening brief was filed with OC Superior Court on Dec 22, 2014. Brea/Madrona's reply brief was issued Feb. 12; our reply to their reply is due March 16. Oral arguments are tentatively scheduled for July 10th; stay tuned to

2. Esperanza:
This project is in unincorporated land near Yorba Linda, so the County of Orange governs its land-use decisions. The OC Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the project on Jan. 14. The project is scheduled before the OC Board of Supervisors, March 10 at 9:30 AM. More info:


Native Gardener's Corner: March/April 2015

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Native Gardener’s Corner—Members’ Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

This column is a regular newsletter feature offering chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives.Answers listed in order received.

Our question for this Newsletter is:

“How do you control snails and slugs in your garden (and other chewing, slurping critters) or do you find the need?”

Ed Kimball - “I use decomposed granite for mulch and snails seem to avoid it.”

Nancy Harris - “Don't need to control as I think an opossum lives under our front deck and cleans up every night. Love the critters. Ducks will also eat snails, but they can be very messy if you get what I'm saying!”

Ron Vanderhoff - “I haven’t seen a snail or slug in years. I’m a big believer that where these fellows are a problem the garden is almost always being overwatered. I have a theory that water conservation and snail/slug counts have an inverse relationship.”

Laura Camp - “No snails or slugs in my garden since I planted natives and stopped watering!”


2015 Field Trips

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Almost all field trips are free and open to all, but read the trip outlines to be sure they fit your needs and physical abilities. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, appropriate trail shoes, a camera, a notepad and lots of enthusiasm. A copy of the recently published Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mts. by Robert Allen and Fred Roberts is also very helpful. If you have other field trip suggestions or would like to lead or assist with a field trip, we would love to hear from you. Please email

Important – always check this website for current trip information.

Rain cancels – check this website after 7 pm the evening before the trip for final weather and trip updates.

   Upcoming trips (click on a trip to expand entry and see details). Past trips are at the end:


Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains

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Wildflowers of Orange County and the Santa Ana Mountains
Robert L. Allen and Fred M. Roberts, Jr

Paperback, 500 pages

Laguna Wilderness Press, July 2013

Free shipping!

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

Books will be shipped promptly.




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Our newsletter is published six times a year and is the best source of information about current activities. The newsletter also contains useful and fun articles.


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