California Native Plant Society - Orange County

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California Native Plant Society - Orange County

Chapter Meeting: April 2014

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Banning Ranch and Fairview Park: Conservation and Restoration

Speakers: Terry Welsh and Barry Nerhus

Date: April 17, 2014 (doors open 6:45 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)

Location: Duck Club, Irvine (Directions)

There are always plant related issues and efforts swirling around in Orange County. Here is a look at two local projects presented on the same night, one attempting to conserve a Banning Ranch and another to restore and improve Fairview Park.

BannTerry WelshTerry Welshing Ranch: Banning Ranch Conservancy has been involved in an effort to purchase and preserve the entire Banning Ranch as open space. In this first talk of the night Terry Welsh will update us on biological resources found in the Ranch, the Banning Ranch Conservancy's recently released Vision Plan, and a discussion of the Banning Ranch Conservancy's recent legal victory reversing the City of Newport Beach's 2012 approval of the proposed 1375-home development planned for Banning Ranch. There will also be an update of recent issues before the California Coastal Commission that have significance for Banning Ranch.

For the last 15 years Terry Welsh, M.D., has led the effort to preserve the entire Banning Ranch as open space. He formed the Sierra Club Banning Ranch Park and Preserve Task Force in 1999, and has served as president of the Banning Ranch Conservancy, an independent 501c3 non-profit land conservancy, since 2008. The mission of the Banning Ranch Conservancy is clear: The Preservation, Acquisition, Conservation, and Management of the entire Banning Ranch as a permanent Public Open Space, Park and Coastal Nature Preserve.



OCCNPS Native Plant Garden Tour 2014

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You’ve waited a whole year to get another peek at the gardens that are making news around the state—the ones with beautiful and water-saving California native plants! Once again, OC-CNPS is sponsoring a free, one-day self-guided tour of gardens featuring all or mostly native plants all around Orange County. The date of this year's garden tour is Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 10am to 4pm.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to visit gardens that are not open for public viewing, gardens that in addition to their unique design also attract native birds and butterflies. These gardens are living proof that California native plants can be integrated successfully into the home landscape.

QUESTIONS?  Email or call 949-370-3303.







Conservation Report: March/April 2014

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PARKS FORWARD: OC is home to 7 units of the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR):

- 5 State Beaches: Bolsa Chica, Huntington, Corona del Mar, Doheny and San Clemente. Each of these is each relatively small in acreage, has little or no connection to any wildland area, and is very popular with the beach-going public.

- 2 State Parks: Chino Hills and Crystal Cove (which also has beaches). Both these units have considerable natural acreage that is an important element in OC wildland preservation and connectivity.

San Onofre State Beach/Park is just over the line in San Diego Co., but OC enviros consider it part of OC. It has the very popular Trestles surfing beach, as well as considerable natural acreage that is an important element in OC/SoCal wildland preservation and connectivity.

In 2012, facing a budget crunch, the DPR planned to close 70 of its 280 parks statewide, including Chino Hills SP. But a series of embarrassing revelations showed that DPR had accumulated about $53 million total in a couple of secret funds, while deferred maintenance costs had risen to exceed $1 billion.

These troubles prompted the launch, in 2013, of the volunteer Parks Forward Commission (PFC), charged with analyzing and overhauling the park system to make it more sustainable over the next century. The PFC’s website,, contains much background, information and commentary on the factfinding that PFC has been doing.


Native Gardener's Corner: March/April 2014

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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 are listed in the order received.

Our question for this Newsletter is “How have you made your yard more bird friendly?”

Bob Allen - “I plant Salvias. When they go to seed, the birds arrive in flocks to eat the seeds. The bushtits and goldfinches especially like them.”

Ron Vanderhoff - “Two bluebird boxes, a wren house and two water pans do it, in additions to an array of native plants. Ribes and Penstemons for the hummers.”

Trude Hurd - “I have made my yard more bird friendly by listening to what the birds want! Most important is clean, shallow, moving water. I have two shallow bird baths and one rock fountain that are constantly used for drinking and bathing. Next is a variety of California natives and fruit trees, (including leaving a dying peach tree that the Nuttall’s Woodpeckers love.) I left an area of bare dirt to wet in spring when the Black Phoebe needs mud for her nest under the neighbor’s eaves. I don’t use any poisons that harm wildlife, so there is an abundance of birds, butterflies, native bees, 2 lizard species, and even slender salamanders. It’s the birds’ yard and they are letting me enjoy it!”

Curt Craft - “Hands down the best feature in my garden has been the bird bath. All kinds of birds use it and often multiple species a the same time. Keeping it fresh and clean is a priority.”


2014 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):


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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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