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California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

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Sierra Azul Open Space (San Jose) With an Option for a Shorter Hike Ending at 12:30pm 
Sunday, May 07, 2023 10:00am

California’s plant diversity is among the greatest in the world and many of our native plants are suitable for landscaping. It is easy to see why: locally native plants have evolved in local soils and microclimates and fit perfectly in Bay Area gardens.

Join Arvind Kumar, Ashok Jethanandani, Stephanie Morris and Vicki Silvas- Young on this walk along Woods Trail to learn about the native plants local to our area. Arvind and Ashok are home gardeners in San Jose with a special interest in local natives. Stephanie is a landscape architect and past Gardening with Natives Committee chair. Vicki

leads many field trips for the Chapter, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and Open Space Authority.

This hike is particularly focused on native plants on the trail that work well in gardens (and are generally available at native plant nurseries). It is not a detailed plant taxonomy trip. Observing the microclimates, companions and mature sizes of locally native plants can be a fantastic way to learn more about native plant gardening.

This contour trail of the Sierra Azul range has gradual ascents/descents, and the north-facing aspect keeps it cool even on warm days. The plants are flourishing after this season’s extended rainfall, and many may still be blooming. Plan future additions to your garden armed with the knowledge of the many attractive shrubs, subshrubs, perennials, and annuals that grow naturally here.

The full-length walk is 5.6 miles (out and back), with 330 ft of elevation gain/loss. Dress in layers, appropriately for the weather. Bring a sack lunch and plenty of fluids.

For those wishing to take a shorter hike, we will also leave with the main group at 10am but we will turn back earlier and skip the lunch break, returning to the parking lot by about 12:30pm. The shorter trip is about 2.5 miles and is also perfect for families! Bring water and bring snacks if desired.

Directions: Take Hwy. 85 to San Jose. Take the Camden Ave. exit and go south. In 1.8 mi, turn right on Hicks Rd. After 6.3 miles, turn right on Mt Umunhum Rd. The parking lot is immediately on the right. In Google maps drive to pin “Sierra Azul Parking Lot at Jacques Ridge.”

We will meet in the lot at 10am and plan to return by 3 pm. (If the lot is full, find parking on the opposite side of Hicks Rd. in Almaden Quicksilver Park’s Wood Road lot and walk back.)

Location Sierra Azul Open Space (San Jose)
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Upcoming Events

Mon May 20 @ 8:00AM -
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Thu May 23 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
CNPS SCV Board Meeting
Fri May 24 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration
Fri May 24 @ 7:00PM - 08:50PM
Photography Group - Photo Sharing Meeting
Sat May 25 @ 8:00AM -
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Sat May 25 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
Fountain Thistle Work Party
Sat May 25 @10:00AM - 01:00PM
“Seas of Downingias” Vernal Pool Wildflower Tour
Mon May 27 @ 8:00AM -
Lake Cunningham Native Garden
Tue May 28 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Native Plant ID
Fri May 31 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Friday Edgewood Restoration