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CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter Field Trips

IMG 7822 dee stella ken pinnacles 640pxChapter field trips are free and open to the public.  Field trips are oriented to conservation, protection and enjoyment of California native plants and wildlife.  A list of past field trips and reports can be found here.

 Many other upcoming chapter activities are listed in the Blazing StarYou can also find many of our chapter field trips and other activities on our Meetup Group.  Signing up on Meetup allows the trip leaders to send notifications in case of changes or cancellations.

 In our region it is important to be prepared for hiking on rugged and steep terrain, wide temperature ranges and rapidly changing conditions at any time of year.  All participants should wear sturdy footwear and carry sufficient water, sun protection, food, clothing layers, personal first aid and other supplies you may need.  Cell service is mainly restricted to cities and major highways. On your way to an outing do not rely solely on your phone. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a particular field trip, please contact the trip leader in advance.


Sun Sep 22 9am-noon First Day of Fall Beginner’s Bird and Plant Identification Walk @ Lake Cunningham Park (San Jose)

Do you love being outdoors? Do you want to deepen your appreciation of nature by learning the names of birds and plants around you? As fall begins, join us for the third walk of its kind this year: a beginner’s bird and plant identification walk through Lake Cunningham Park. Lake Cunningham is a major destination for waterfowl and migratory birds, and its native garden is home for many resident birds for its habitat value. On this walk, Vicki Silvas-Young will show you how to identify the common birds of our area, as well as the native plants they depend on for food, shelter, and nesting places. Difficulty Level: The distance is 4 miles round trip on a level path. Notes: Bring a hat, water, your bird and plant list, and binoculars. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

The park is located at 2305 S White Road, San Jose. Meet at the Marina building at 9am. The Marina is on the western shore of the lake, next to Raging Waters, at the opposite end of the park from the main entrance on White Road. In Google maps, search for "Lake Cunningham Marina" to be directed to the Marina. Parking fee is $6.

This plant walk is organized jointly by the California Native Plant Society, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, and the Open Space Authority, and is open to all. Space is limited. RSVP through (“California Native Plant Society – Santa Clara Valley Chapter”) or the OSA Events page (

Sun Sep 22 10am-2pm Data Collection with Calflora at Edgewood (Redwood City)

Join Calflora's Cynthia Powell and our field trip chair Joerg Lohse for a rigorous and hands-on data collection hike, following up on Cynthia's September 20 program.

Install the Calflora Observer Pro app on your smartphone before the field trip to be ready to record info.Bring lunch and water for the day. For more information, contact Joerg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Directions: We’ll meet at 10am at the Bill and Jane Lane Education Center in Edgewood Park and Preserve, located at 10 Stage Coach Road in Redwood City.



Wed Jan 1 10am - 1pm Año Nuevo State Preserve New Year Hike (San Mateo County)

Join us as we celebrate a Chapter tradition of welcoming the New Year with a walk and picnic at Año Nuevo State Preserve on the San Mateo County coast. Trevlyn Williams, a docent at this preserve, will lead the hike together with Joerg Lohse.

The preserve is located south of Pescadero on Highway 1, just north of the Santa Cruz County line. This year, we will meet at 10am in the Franklin Point Trail dirt parking lot at the north end of Año Nuevo State Park. Franklin Point is the botanically most interesting area of Año Nuevo State Park. Parking is free there. Latecomers will find us on the Franklin Point trail in the coastal prairie. We’ll enjoy ocean views, coastal prairie (Ambrosia chamissonis, Ericameria ericoides, Artemisia pycnocephala, Potentilla anserina, ...), dune (Abronia latifolia, Abronia umbellata, Heliotropium curassavicum, Leymus mollis, ...), and sea cliff (Dudleya farinosa, Jaumea carnosa, ...) vegetation, raptors, songbirds and maybe marine mammals.

Franklin Point is 3 miles south of Pigeon Point Rd (the lighthouse); if you reach the Costanoa Lodge turnoff on the east side of the road, you've gone 0.7 miles too far south. Take care not to go to the main entrance of Año Nuevo State Park this year. Note that there are no bathrooms at Franklin Point. Stop at Gazos Creek if are are driving from the north. If you are coming from the south, Waddell Beach is a possible bathroom stop.

As this is a day to have fun at the beach with fellow Chapter members, the ending time and depth of botanical discussion may be extended depending on participants.

Bring binoculars and layers of clothing for variable conditions including wind, sun and fog. Extreme weather cancels. For more information, contact Field Trip Chair Joerg Lohse at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wed Jan 8 7pm-8:30pm Field Trip Planning Meeting - PCC (Palo Alto)

We will be scheduling the remainder of the spring and summer field trips, plus any field trips we may want to have for the rest of the year. With more knowledge of the winter weather patterns, we may make plans for away trips.

All are welcome to join in the discussion. For further information contact Field Trip Chair Joerg Lohse at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Directions: The Peninsula Conservation Center is located at 3921 E Bayshore Rd in Palo Alto. From Hwy. 101 take the San Antonio Rd. exit and head north. Take the next left onto East Bayshore, which will curve left then right. Take the next right onto Corporation Way. The entrance to the PCC parking lot is the first driveway on the left.

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