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  • Scholarships

    2015-2016 Student Research Scholarship Applications are Available

    The Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society has a scholarship program for students doing research on native plant or plant community conservation in Central and Northern California.  Scholarships may be awarded to graduate students or undergraduate students. 

    Applications are due April 3, 2015 and will be awarded May 15, 2015. 

    The announcement and applications are available on our chapter website at:

    Thank you CNPS Board for supporting the scholarship program for another year and thank you Steve for posting on the website on short notice. 

    We will be contacting graduate and undergraduate educators at universities and colleges in Santa Clara County and Central California.  A notice will also be provided to Carol for the newsletter.  Please feel free to pass on to professors or students you know.

    --Scholarship Committee


  • School Gardens

    The Santa Clara Valley Chapter brings members with native plant expertise together with local schools, teachers, and PTA members interested in establishing outdoor classroom gardens with native plants as an aid to instruction about botany, biology, and ecology. The chapter maintains a discussion forum of educators and parents interested in school gardens and exchanging ideas and notes. Sign up below to join this mailing list.


    Sign up below to join the CNPS-SCV Education discussion forum.
    Your email address:


    Outdoor Education

    Natural Areas and Native Gardens

    Local Educational Resources

    Peterson Middle School Nature Area, 1380 Visalia Avenue, Sunnyvale

    Originally planted approximately 30 years ago, the Nature Area contains well established native plantings from eight biological communities; grassland, pond, swamp, redwood forest, riparian community, deciduous forest, chaparral and bog. TeacherThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. established the two-acre science study area in 1970 and recently established a new pond area. Mr. Osborne is a mentor teacher who has developed curriculum materials and labs for the Nature Area. Peterson Middle School is located in Sunnyvale, within the Santa Clara Unified School District.


    Hacienda Science Magnet, 1290 Kimberley Drive, San Jose

    Originally planted in 1971, the one-acre Outdoor Classroom is used to introduce children to the natural sciences and horticulture. The Outdoor Classroom was initiated by teacher Edy Young, her husband Joe, and parents. Teacher Carolyn Flanagan has been responsible for programs since Edy's retirement. Beginning in 1992, the San Jose Water Company, the corporate Adopt-A-School partner of Hacienda Science Magnet School, parents, and some 30 Bay Area businesses completely renovated the Outdoor Classroom. These renovations included the construction of new ponds and a stream, a programmable irrigation system, and a 625 square foot covered outdoor study area with benches and tables. Biological communities represented in the Outdoor Classroom include redwood forest, oak woodland, chaparral, grassland, streamside and pond habitats. Hacienda-Valley View School is a K-5 school in the San Jose Unified School District.


    Cheeseman Environmental Study Area at De Anza College, corner of Stelling & McClellan, Cupertino

    The Cheeseman ESA, located next to the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies on the southeast corner of the De Anza College campus, is a lush natural garden containing some 400 species of plants representing 12 California natural communities. In addition to the native plant communities, there is a waterwise native plant display at the entrance.


    Native Hill, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills

    Begun in 1982 by former faculty member Robert Will as a teaching aid for students, this small patch of land has grown under the care of CNPS members to house 170 species of native plants.


    Dan Lairon Elementary School (formerly Seven Trees School), 3975 Mira Loma Way, San Jose.

    The school garden started with a few plants in about 1997. It has slowly evolved into an extensive wildlife habitat and pollinator garden. The students have so much fun helping maintain the garden while observing the critters that visit our school paradise. Many of the school’s classes tour the garden throughout the school year to marvel at and learn from the wonderful things our garden has to offer. There are many habitat plants like elderberries and toyons that also provide berries for birds. The garden also contains dozens of different kind of flowering plants that provide nectar sources for pollinators throughout the year.



    Oak School Native Plant Garden, 1501 Oak Avenue, Los Altos

    The quarter-acre Native Plant/ Creative Play Garden was completed in August 2005 and features California native species such as redwood, incense cedar, big leaf maple, western sycamore, western redbud, valley and coast live oak, and buckeye trees and an extensive array of bushes, grasses and flowers representative of several California Native Plant communities. With meandering paths, boulders, a sand play pit, play area, a redwood amphitheater, and an old fashioned hand-pump and dry creek bed, this is a popular play area during recess as well as a valuable educational garden used for the study of ecology and habitats. The garden and neighboring redwood trees also provide an official Western Bluebird Trail and features cavity nester bird boxes, which are monitored each spring by students. The boxes have been used by many bluebird and chickadee families!


    To add your school or a favorite outdoor education site, please contact Nora Monette: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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