Marin Chapter California Native Plant Society
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Volunteer Opportunities with Marin CNPS
Growing Natives! lend a hand at the Marin CNPS Native Plant Nursery
One of the things I love about propagating plants is the challenge of getting ‘difficult’ plants to grow.
With some species it’s just a question of waiting long enough for the germination process to start; other times various techniques are employed to jump-start the process. Not infrequently, it’s a combination of both; I try to keep accurate notes on what worked, what didn’t, and a record of the time involved.
We just potted up the tiniest of bulbs; each one less than an eighth inch in diameter, and with one little grass-like leaf attached. These were Triteleia laxa, which I started from seeds collected in my meadow in 2008. They will need to grow on for several more years before the bulbs become substantial enough to offer for sale.
We’ve started Hound’s Tongue (Cynoglossum grande) from seed; it takes three months to germinate in the greenhouse, and several years after that to build up the tap root that sustains this beautiful perennial wildflower. We grow them in ‘cone-tainers’; gradually potting up to bigger sizes, until we have a large, vigorous plant in a tree-pot. In the past I’ve grown Hound’s Tongue on for five years before it’s ready for sale.
We’ve also had success starting two ‘difficult’ Salvias from seed. I found a product called ‘smoke paper’, and pre-soaked the seed in water with a piece of this paper. Germination occurred within a few weeks, and then two months later we potted tiny seedlings of Salvia apiana and S. spathaceae into two-inch pots. These small pots are set on a capillary mat, which help ensure consistent moisture to promote good root growth. These plants won’t be ready to sell until the fall.
Come help us propagate! Each session is fun and educational. We work in the shade under a canopy; where the tree frogs also like to hang out, and where we have a good view all the bird life in the area. We’re all volunteering our time; sharing good energy, our love of California natives, and tips and ideas for their culture in the garden. As an added bonus, volunteers helping with propagation often take home choice plants for their own garden!
Following is a schedule of work days and times:
Tuesdays, 1 to 3 p.m. :
March 4 and 18
Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. :
March 13 and 27
Come to Green Point Nursery, 275 Olive Ave. at
the corner of Atherton Ave. in Novato. No need to
bring anything; we have gloves and tools on hand,
all necessary supplies, and lots of grow-power!
looking forward to sharing in the abundance of plants
propagated here at Green Point!
firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 892-9148
Save Native Plant Habitat at Point Reyes
“Third Thursday Weeders”
Would you like to help improve plant habitat with your own two hands?
Join the “Third Thursday Weeders” -- a collaboration of the Marin chapter of CNPS and the
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin -- to tackle invasive weeds that threaten important plant habitat
in the Point Reyes National Seashore.
The Weeders meet regularly on the third Thursday of
every month, either in the Seashore or at other sites in
West Marin. The location of each work party is set in
consultation with Seashore staff. Over the past two years, we have removed infestations
of iceplant, veldt grass, European beachgrass, perennial
pepperweed, cape ivy and Napa star-thistle. We
have a good time and it’s highly rewarding to see the
native plants making a comeback in these areas!
To sign up and receive notification of upcoming meeting places, please send an email to Ellen
Hamingson at Ellen_Hamingson@nps.gov. Be sure to let
Ellen know whether you plan to attend so we’ll know to
wait for everyone before heading to the work area.
Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks, warm and
wind-stopping layers, sturdy shoes, and work clothes.
For more information, contact Carolyn Longstreth at
email@example.com or (415) 669-7514. Hope to
see you there!
Habitat restoration at Samuel P. Taylor State Park
2014 is the fourth year for our Marin CNPS collaboration with Samuel P. Taylor State Park
and the San Geronimo Valley SPAWN organization (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network).
This group, the Zen of Weeding Volunteers, meets the second Friday and second Sunday of
every month from 1 to 3pm. Bring gloves and get a free parking pass when you volunteer.
We meet just before 1pm at the far end of the picnic area.
We are thrilled to have completed our first restoration planting. On January 18 with
the help of SPAWN staff and volunteers, 16 of us planted 37 native plants all grown
from local seeds or cuttings and donated by the SPAWN nursery. This site at the mouth of Unicorn Canyon is on the south side of the Cross Marin Trail just past the campgrounds. Already this year, 17 different
volunteers have pulled 23 bags of weeds from this area of the park.
Park environmentalists have expanded our weeding areas from our original project at
Devil's Gulch (See CNPS native plant list for that area). Our list of exotic invasives
has grown to about 10 although we focus mainly on Myosotis latifolia, or forget-me-nots.
Our goal is an invasive free park. We want all the campers and visitors to Samuel P.
Taylor Park to discover a more pristine native habitat.
Bring your friends, neighbors and families to join in this great project. We guarantee you will have fun and get hooked on weeding the woods.
Contact Nancy Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to attend, need more info or want notice of other work parties at Taylor Park.
More Volunteer Opportunities in Marin County:
Mt. Tam - Marin Municipal Water District
Point Reyes National Seashore
Marin County Parks
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Save the Bay
Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary
Audubon Canyon Ranch
Other Volunteer Opportunities Bay Area:
California Academy of Sciences
San Bruno Mountain Watch
SPAWN" (The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network)
Every Saturday, 10am - 1pm, Creekside Habitat Restoration
Join us as we plant, prune, remove invasives, and improve endangered coho
habitat in the San Geronimo Valley! Its a wonderful opportunity to learn
more about salmon and share rewarding experiences with like-minded folks
of all ages while restoring our local ecosystem.
Location varies, please visit SPAWN"S upcoming events for more details!
Every Friday, 10am - 1pm, Native Plant Nursery Day
Come out and help SPAWN volunteers at our very own Native Plant Nursery!
We cultivate beautiful plants destined for restoration sites throughout
the valley - everything from native blackberries and grasses to majestic
redwoods and Douglas fir. Be a part of transforming creekside habitat from
the ground up!
Mt Tam Watershed Volunteer Opportunities
To pre-register or for more information about MMWD volunteer events,
call 415-945-1128 or email.
Please call the morning of the event for rain cancellation notices.
It could be raining on Mt. Tam. but sunny 10 miles away or vice versa!
close-toed shoes and long pants, dress for variable weather and bring a reusable water bottle.
We will provide breakfast snacks, water, tools, parking passes and inspiration!
- Mt. Tamalpais Trail Crew Generally the 1st Saturday of
See our online map for this and
all event locations:
SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 9 AM - 2 PM TRAIL CREW: MATT DAVIS TRAIL
Join MMWD's Trail Crew to help us cut back vegetation,improve drainage and tread, and repair damage from the recent rainstorm.
Meeting time & location:Meet at 9 a.m. at the parking lot at the head of Gravity Car Fire Road, below the Throckmorton Fire Station
above Mill Valley. Volunteers will be shuttled to the site in our brand new four-wheel drive van!
Future Trail Crew Days: April 5, May 3
- SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 9 AM - 12 PM TURTLE OBSERVER TRAINING
Become a trained Turtle Observer and you will monitor and record behavior of the native western pond turtle
around Phoenix Lake and Lake Lagunitas. The required orientation includes a hike around Lake Lagunitas,
a discussion on turtle biology, and methods for engaging the public. Volunteers will monitor turtles from March through
May on their own schedule. Volunteers can be as young as 8 years old if accompanied by an adult.
Pre-registration required as space is limited. call 415-945-1128 or email.
- Mt. Tamalpais Habitat Restoration Generally the 3rd Saturday
of each month
(Drop-ins and families encouraged)
SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 9 AM - 1 PM
CANYON AND MOORE TRAILS
Help with French broom removal along Moore Trail and stay for "cowboy chili" at noon compliments of Marin Stables!
Meeting time and location: 9 a.m. at Marin Stables at the end of Wood Lane in Fairfax. Driving from downtown Fairfax,
turn onto Bolinas Rd. Go ½ mile and turn left onto Porteous Ave., then turn right on Wood Lane following it all the way
to the end into the stables parking lot.
Saturday, March 22, 9 AM - 1 PM
BALD HILL BROOM BUST
Join Marin County Parks and Marin Municipal Water District for our annual Bald
Hill Broom Bust. Removing invasive broom gives native plants and trees a better
opportunity to thrive, improves habitat, reduces fire fuel load and enhances the
beautiful views. This project is suitable for ages 8 and up.
Ranger chili lunch at noon!
There are several moderately strenuous hikes or rides one could take to get to
the work site. A bike group typically meets at San Anselmo Coffee Roasters in the
morning to ride to the site (please call to get details). A guided hiking group
will leave Deer Park at 8:30 a.m.
Everyone will meet at 9:00 a.m.
at the intersection of Yolanda Trail and Worn Springs Fire Road.
Driving directions to Deer Park: From downtown Fairfax, turn onto Bolinas Rd.
Go ½ mile and turn left onto Porteous Ave., following
it all the way to the end into the Deer Park parking lot.
See our online map for this and all event locations:
Future Habitat Restoration dates:
April 19, May 17
Point Reyes National Seashore Volunteer Opportunites
At Point Reyes Seashore, we have a very great need for volunteers.
There are thousands of known species here, 131 of which rare, endangered, or threatened.
Nearly 20% of the State's flowering plant species are represented on the peninsula and
over 45% of the bird species in North America have been sighted here. That's a lot of plant
and wildlife to protect, and plenty of habitat to restore. That is why we need you to come
and lend a hand. This great and beautiful planet we call our home belongs to all of us and
therefore everyone must do his or her part to maintain its vibrance, diversity and health.
The greatest opportunity we will ever have to save our planet's ecosystems is right here,
right now. Come to Point Reyes and fulfill your sense of stewardship and express your love
for the environment. A volunteer will find few places more beautiful, captivating or rich
in diversity than Point Reyes National Seashore.
Habitat Restoration Program
We meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 9am every second and last Sunday of the month.
Come as often as you would like. All help is welcome. Bring a lunch and water! We usually end at 1pm and eat lunch
together. Tools are provided.
There are scheduled dates we do not meet. Email or call ahead to make sure the group is meeting
the day you wish to volunteer. As always, the workday will
occur only if at least four participants confirm attendance by the preceding Thursday.
Please join me on Sunday, March 9, meeting at 9:00 a.m. at the Bear Valley Visitor Center
and from there,
heading out to Estero Road for a final pre-bird-nesting-season push on Scotch broom removal.
Our visiting NCCC AmeriCorps team has removed over 11,000 broom plants since late January, primarily along the
Estero Road corridor. We have worked down to the Home Ranch gate and over to the Christmas tree farm,
on both sides of Estero Trail and from the road up to the first ridge. The zone that remains is the first
hilltop (closest to Sir Francis Drake), where HRP initiated work in 2007. We should be able to clean up
this area and the adjoining ridge on our March 9 workday.
For this workday to happen, I need confirmation of participation from at least four volunteers
by Thursday, March 6.
As always, please bring sturdy shoes, extra warm layers, water, and lunch. Tools and gloves will be provided.
We will work until 1:00 p.m, and, weather permitting, have lunch enjoying the views on site.
-Ellen Hamingson, Restoration Biologist Point Reyes National Seashore
e-mail or phone 415-464-5196 or fax 415-464-5183
Future HRP workdays are currently scheduled for the following Sundays:
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Volunteer Opportunites
The Golden Gate National Parks Volunteer Program
is a cooperative parkwide effort of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service,
and the Presidio Trust.
We need your help! Come out and lend a hand while enjoying the scenic landscapes of the
Golden Gate National Parks. Whether it be protecting endangered species habitat, restoring
historic features, improving trails, or caring for native plants in one of our nurseries,
you'll get to explore beautiful areas of the park, make a lasting impact on the
protection of your national park next door, and meet new people in your community.
Volunteer opportunities are available throughout Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo County.
Individuals and groups of all ages are welcome.
For more information, contact us at: (415) 561-3044 or email@example.com.
Marin County Programs:
California Academy of Sciences Volunteer Opportunites
The California Academy of Sciences is looking for volunteer plant mounters to prepare California botanical specimens for research.
Plant mounters glue dried plant specimens and accompanying labels onto acid-free paper.
We will provide training in the techniques used at CAS. Once adept, volunteers can schedule
their time here on weekday mornings.
Volunteers will need good manual dexterity, good eyesight, the ability to sit for long periods;
it helps to be free of plant allergies. You do NOT need a science background to participate.
We are asking for a regular time commitment of at least 2.5-3 hours, one morning per week.
Volunteers may come more often if their time permits.
New to CAS? Please call or email Rosalind Henning; 415-379-5111, firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions? Please call or email Rebecca Peters: 415-379-5392, email@example.com
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