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Saturday, November 10, 2018 06:00pm
Contact Chapter President Madeline Morrow at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the Chapter phone at (650) 260-3450

Mount Umunhum:
A Botanically Significant Summit

a Photo Tour by Ken Hickman

Join us for our favorite get-together of the year: the annual potluck dinner and election meeting, followed by our annual Butner Family Memorial Lecture. The evening is devoted to native plant appreciation, Chapter business, and delicious food. It’s the party of the year – don’t miss it!

At 3,486 feet, Mount Umunhum is one of the highest peaks of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and also one of the most mysterious. Overlooking the Santa Clara Valley, the mountain has views that extend to Monterey Bay and even the Sierra Nevada on a clear day. The summit is the former site of the Almaden Air Force Station, which was closed and off-limits to the general public and curious botanists for years. But in September 2017, after 60 years and extensive restoration by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this iconic “hummingbird rest” and its unusual geology and flora opened to the public and took up the mantle as a must-see destination.

Ken’s program will showcase the flora and fauna that he and botanist John Rawlings documented on hikes and with camera traps during a survey of Mount Umunhum’s summit, canyons and new trails during the 2014-2017 restoration. The flora includes 290 native taxa, with eight CNPS Ranked, one State Rare, and over 20 Locally Rare species. Come learn about Umunhum’s uniqueness, and see why this “new” summit is a true gem of our Chapter and region!

Ken Hickman is a naturalist and wildlife scientist with a specialty in camera trapping, and a Chapter member with a love of botany. He’s been building high-quality camera traps and conducting wildlife surveys throughout California for over eight years, working for a number of public agencies.

The evening begins at 6pm with our annual potluck. Bring your favorite dish, whether it be a salad, main dish, dessert or beverage; it always works out that we have just the right amount of everything! A label identifying your dish will be helpful. Be sure to bring a plate, drinking glass, and eating utensils for yourself, as well as a bag in which to take home unwashed dishes.

If you can help with setup, please arrive at 5pm to set up chairs and tables. The potluck feast will begin at 6pm, followed by the program at 7pm. We appreciate your help with cleanup at the end of the program.

We will have a LARGE selection of used books for sale which have been donated by our long-time Chapter members, including Sally Casey. We will also have a silent auction of high-quality books and other items which will help raise funds for the Chapter. To donate books or other items, drop off boxes labeled “CNPS Auction” at the mailboxes in the PCC at 3921 E. Bayshore Rd. in Palo Alto during business hours on or before Wednesday, November 7, or contact Judy Fenerty at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CNPS general meetings are free and open to the public.

Location Shoup Garden House, 400 University Avenue, Los Altos
Directions: From I-280: take the El Monte exit east. Turn left (north) on University Ave., just before Foothill Expy. The Garden House is 0.6 mile ahead on the left (west) side of the street. From Hwy. 101: take the San Antonio exit west/south. Go 3.5 miles. At the 3rd stoplight after crossing El Camino Real (Edith/Main), bear right on to Main St. (not sharp right into Edith). Continue on Main until it crosses Foothill Expy. and turn left immediately onto University Ave. Bear right; the Garden House is 300 feet ahead on the right.
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