Field Trips

Evergreen Woodlands on the Inverness Fire Road

Sunday, January 22, 2023 – 9:45 am to noon

Field trip leader: Carolyn Longstreth

Ceanothus gloriosus porrectus (Mt. Vision ceanothus) by Doreen Smith

Please sign up for this field trip by emailing Susan Schlosser. Susan will send you a link to the waiver.

This easy 2-mile walk will explore a pristine native landscape on the Inverness Fire Road. The route passes through a mixed evergreen forest of bishop pine, madrone and chinquapin with a diverse understory of huckleberry, Labrador tea, ferns and herbaceous perennials. Toward the end of the route, we will admire the low-growing Mt. Vision Ceanothus (Ceanothus gloriosus var. porrectus) and puzzle out the differences between Marin manzanita (Arctostaphylos virgata) and Eastwood manzanita (A. glandulosa).

Bolinas manzanita (Arctostaphylos virgata) by Vernon Smith

Both Mt. Vision ceanothus and Marin manzanita are rare throughout their ranges. Occasional views of Tomales Bay.

View of Tomales Bay by Doreen Smith

Meet the group at the large pullout on Sir Francis Drake opposite the Inverness Yacht Club (12850 Sir Francis Drake Blvd) at 9:45 to carpool to the trailhead.

Download the PLANT LIST


2023 Chapter Meetings Chapter Meetings

Chapter Meeting- 9 January 2023

Monarchs Make Their Home in Marin Again

by Ole Schell (Founder of the Bolinas Monarch Sanctuary), Audrey Fusco (SPAWN Nursery Manager and Restoration Ecologist), and Mia Monroe (Xerces Society Volunteer)

7:30 p.m. – Online Zoom Presentation
preregister HERE
Overwintering Monarchs

Monarchs breed and overwinter in Marin, regaining population support thanks to habitat enhancement and re-establishment. Ole and Audrey will examine several significant efforts to offer breeding options in our gardens, public spaces and overwintering support. They will highlight several recent efforts underway in Marin to provide healthy options for monarch butterflies based on the value and significance of native plants. Mia Monroe will provide a survey of population trends and an update.

Ole Schell with Sanctuary sign

Award-winning filmmaker, and farmer Ole Schell grew up in Bolinas on his father’s Niman/Schell Ranch, where the annual arrival of thousands of Western Monarch butterflies was a dependable autumn phenomenon. The alarming decline in this butterfly population has moved Schell to establish the West Marin  Monarch  Sanctuary on his family land in Bolinas. With extensive research, partnership with specialists, and a creative vision, Schell has planted hundreds of native plants and developed a program to support the butterflies and inform and inspire the public.

Audrey Fusco at Glenwood

Audrey Fusco created a school habitat garden program in conjunction with Charlotte Torgovitsky of Home Ground Habitat Nursery. The program, “Bringing Nature to School”, launched in spring 2020. This program supports the creation of native habitat gardens in schoolyards; the objectives are to provide students with opportunities for hands-on learning in nature and to improve habitat for wildlife. Six new monarch waystations have been created at schools in Marin County as a result of this program. SPAWN also works with local elementary school students to propagate native milkweed and nectar plants at their schools.

Mia Monroe

Mía Monroe is a Xerces volunteer conducting western monarch overwintering counts for a quarter of a century!  She is a National Park ranger in Marin and is part of the OneTam collaborative.

Calendar Chapter Meetings Events

Chapter Meeting – 12 December, 2022

“Pinnacles Jewelflower” – an undescribed species – and other botanical rarities of the Pinnacles
Guest Speaker: Amelia Ryan

Brief Business Meeting

Our December meeting is also our official Annual Meeting to elect a slate of officers for the 2023 Marin Chapter Board of Directors.

We have space on the board and call for additional nominations. If you are interested in serving, please contact Kristin Jakob at 650-608-1274.

The proposed slate for 2023 is as follows:

Co-President: David Long
Co-President: Kristin Jakob
Treasurer: Kate Wing
Recording Secretary: Woody Elliott
Eva Buxton
Paul da Silva
Ann Elliott
Carolyn Longstreth
Laura Lovett
Eddie Robertson
We need a quorum of 10% of Chapter members voting at the meeting, please attend and vote.

Featured presentation

“Pinnacles Jewelflower” – an undescribed species – and other botanical rarities of the Pinnacles
Guest Speaker: Amelia Ryan

7:30 p.m. – Online Zoom Presentation
preregister HERE

Though identified nearly 20 years ago as a probable new species, the “Pinnacles Jewelflower” has languished undescribed. At last, this species is in the process of being described. As an extremely rare endemic species, describing it is the first step to making sure it is preserved. Pinnacles has also been allocated funding to begin systematic surveys of this rare species. As of yet, however, we have only casual observations about the species and no idea of the sizes, number, and extent of populations. In this “preview” talk, we will look at what we know so far about this species, its characteristics, and its preferred habitat, and discuss the distribution and status of other similar species in the area. We will also cover some other interesting and unusual plants found at Pinnacles.

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Amelia Ryan

Amelia Ryan is a Vegetation Ecologist at the Pinnacles National Park.  She developed a love of plants growing up on 40 acres in western Sonoma County. This led her to study botany at UC Davis and later acquire a MS in Ecology from San Francisco State. She has been working in habitat restoration and resource management for over 20 years, having started at Armstrong Redwoods in the late 90s, then worked at Point Reyes National Seashore on several restoration and endangered plant projects for nearly 14 years before moving to Pinnacles National Park where she has been the Vegetation Ecologist for 5 years. She is a long-time member of CNPS and served on the Marin Chapter Board for 6 years.


Events Volunteer Opportunities

Ring Mountain Docent Program Starts Spring 2023!

by Stacey Pogorzelski

Become part of the first group of Ring Mountain Preserve Wildflower Docents. Join the Marin Chapter of CNPS and Marin County Parks with this fantastic opportunity to share your love of Ring Mountain’s unique ecology, wildflowers, and unusual serpentine grassland habitat with the general public, while also fostering stewardship of this Marin landmark.

Layia platyglossa Tidy Tips and poppies Ring Mountain Laura Lovett sm
Layia platyglossa (tidy tips) and poppies Ring Mountain by Laura Lovett

This opportunity will run weekends from April through mid-June 2023, with training in March. No experience is necessary, but familiarity with native plants is preferred.

Additional details and a formal sign-up will be available early next year. For more information and to receive notice of the registration website for the docent program, please contact Stacey Pogorzelski at


Potential docent activities

  • Walk, sit, or staff a table near wildflower hot spots during the main wildflower bloom period (April – mid-June).
  • Point out wildflowers (share names, interesting facts, etc.) and wildflower habitat, or assist visitors in finding wildflowers. We will train you!
  • Lead by example and educate about “leave no trace” and “stay on trails” ethics and wildflower viewing etiquette. Please note: volunteers will not be enforcing preserve rules
  • Take notes on commonly-asked visitor questions, visitor use patterns, and/or collect data on natural resources, (e.g., use iNaturalist to take observations).


Volunteer Requirements and 2023 Schedule

Docents will need to attend both virtual and in-person training. (We may be able to accommodate some missed training hours).

  • Virtual training: Tuesday evenings March 7, 14, 21, 28. In-person field training: Saturday April 1 (dates tentative)
  • April 2 – mid-June: Docents volunteer for at least three 2.5-hour shifts (mostly weekends, some weekdays possible)
  • Wear a docent volunteer t-shirt and hat that will be provided.

Dudleya farinosa bluff lettuce Ring Mountain Ann Elliott
Dudleya farinosa, bluff lettuce Ring Mountain by Ann Elliott

Volunteer qualifications

  • No experience necessary, but botanical, gardening or native plant familiarity is
    very helpful
  • Must have an interest in engaging with a variety of visitors
  • Willing to lead by example and communicate “leave no trace” and “stay on trails” principles and ethical wildflower viewing
  • Comfortable with rugged outdoor conditions
  • Happy working independently or with a partner or small group
  • Must have, and carry, a working cell phone (for emergencies)
  • Must be 18 years or older (unless accompanied by a guardian)
  • Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation