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Central Puget Sound Chapter Programs

Welcome to CPS Programs

The Central Puget Sound Chapter holds its monthly programs
on the Westside and Eastside on a rotating basis.

When in Seattle, meet the first Thursday of the month.   Start at 7:30 PM.
When in Bellevue, meet on the forth Tuesday of the month.  Start at 7:00 PM.

A free plant identification workshop precedes Seattle meetings.  Start at 6:00 PM. 

Please check the listings below for details. 

Tuesday April 25
Richard Ramsden
"Seeking Western Wildflowers"

Tues. April 25 7:00 pm
Bellevue Botanical Garden, Aaron Education Center
12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005

Richard Ramsden will provide an examination of wildflowers in their native habitats from roadsides to mountain peaks of Washington. Native species discussed will include many rare or rarely seen. Their unique qualities will be highlighted as well as suggestions on where to see them this spring and upcoming summer. The program is intended for everyone with an interest in native plants: beginner or advanced, hiker or gardener.

The speaker is a longtime member of WNPS. Besides travelling extensively throughout Washington to seek out wildflowers in their native habitats, he also cultivates many in his Seattle garden and nursery. His photos have been included in many articles and books on western natives and his talks on this topic have been shared with groups from Vancouver BC to Portland OR.

Refreshments, Public Invited, Admission is free.


Spring Programs







April 25

Richard Ramsden

Seeking Washington Wildflowers

Bellevue Botanical Garden


May 4

Linda Vorobik

Flora of New Zealand

Center for Urban Horticulture


June 1

David Giblin

Revision of Hitchcock & Cronquist



June 13

Nancy Kartes

BBG Present and Future

Bellevue Botanical Garden

 *Driving Directions -- click on the links below for directions to each venue.


Center for Urban Horticulture

Bellevue Botanical Garden


Recent programs

Thursday, March 2
Peter Stekel
"Best Wildflower Hikes in Western Washington"

Rainier Meadows Photo Credit: Mary Ingels

March 2, 7:30 pm
Mountaineers Headquarters in Magnuson Park,
7700 Sand Point Way NE
Cascade Room

We enjoyed a perambulation through some of Western Washington's premier wildflower habitat - surprising and not - and known, little known, or somewhat forgotten gems of landscape. There will be plenty of photos, hints on not only where to go for wildflower displays but when to go to see the best. Peter Stekel will also walk you through the history of botanical exploration in our region, what and what not to bring on hikes, and attempt to navigate you through the roiling and confusing waters of trail permits.

Peter Stekel is an award-winning writer with over 700 magazine and newspaper feature stories published since 1991. He is author of one other hiking guide, BEST HIKES NEAR SEATTLE (FalconGuides). He has also authored two World War II aviation histories: FINAL FLIGHT - The Mystery of a WWII Plane Crash and the Frozen Airmen in the High Sierra (Wilderness Press) and BENEATH HAUNTED WATERS: Two World War II B-24 Bombers Lost in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains (Lyons Press).

Mark Darrach
"Floristic Surprises in the Blue Mountains"


Photo credit: Richard Droker

February 2, 2017
Mountaineers Headquarters in Magnuson Park,
7700 Sand Point Way NE
Cascade Room

The Blue Mountain Province is made up of several distinct mountain ranges (the Wallowa, Elkhorn, Greenhorn, Aldrich and Strawberry Mountains) interspersed by the valleys between them. Variability in the vertical terrain (the tallest peaks reaching almost 10,000 feet) and an interesting geologic history are in turn reflected by a diverse flora.  Mark Darrach has spent many a field season exploring the area and will share with us some of the floristic surprises the area has to offer.

He is a rare plant conservation botanist with the U.S. Forest Service, Umatilla National Forest, stationed in Pendleton, Oregon.  He is also a research associate with the WTU Herbarium at the Burke Museum in Seattle where he works as a plant systematics specialist focusing on the regional flora and the western U.S. in general.  He is the author of the Lomatium and Cymopterus treatments for the upcoming revised edition of Hitchcock and Cronquist, and is coauthor of the Lomatium treatment for the upcoming Flora of North America volume 13.

December 1:  Robert Efird and
his work developing an ethnobotanic
garden at Seattle University. 

Botany-Plant ID Workshop w/ CPS Botanists

Center for Urban Horticulture, 7:30 pm
3501NE 41st. Seattle WA

How can native plants be incorporated into the curricula of K-12 schools and universities in Washington State? What can the plants teach us? In his presentation, Dr. Efird will introduce the creation and use of Seattle University’s taqwsheblu Vi Hilbert Ethnobotanical Garden, and discuss his current project to promote the adoption of native plant gardens in Washington State middle schools.  This program will be extended with a tour of the SU Ethnobotanical Garden, lead by Dr. Efird, in the spring.  In a phrase from the Lushootseed culture, “The Earth
is our First Teacher”.

Rob Efird is an applied cultural anthropologist with a special interest in environmental education and collaborative research with community partners. He is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies in Seattle University’s Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social work and also has an Associate appointment in the Asian Studies Program and in Environmental Studies.  His Ph.D. in Socio-cultural Anthropology was completed at UW in 2004.  He also holds degrees from Yale and Harvard.  Dr. Efird’s current research is focused on children’s environmental learning both in China and here in the Pacific Northwest.  In addition to being an active volunteer on the Discovery Park Advisory Council, Rob also worked with the Seattle University grounds crew and the local Native American community to create the taqwsheblu Vi Hilbert Ethnobotanical Garden at Seattle University.

November 3: Tim Billo, Sword Fern Die-off in Seward Park: A Research Update

The sleuthing goes on!  For several years now, sword ferns in an area of Seward Park have been dying, and the problem is getting worse.  Dr. Billo will share the work to date to unravel this mystery.  He’ll review the multiple etiologies that have been explored and share the hypotheses the research team has developed.  He will also share the team’s plans for experimental work to test their hypotheses and to identify restoration solutions.  The need for extensive monitoring in Seward and other parks will be discussed.  Finally, Dr. Billo will place this challenge in the context of anthropogenic climate change and other human pressures.

Tim Billo is a Lecturer in the UW Environmental Studies Program.  He received his PhD from the UW Biology department in 2011. His undergraduate degree also, in biology, was earned at Williams College in Massachusetts. Over his career as a biologist he has worked on the ecology and evolution of birds and plants, in both tropical and temperate ecosystems. His current focus is on undergraduate education, including the facilitation of research experiences for undergraduates. His many course offerings include a philosophical summer course in the Olympic Mountains in which they ponder the role of wilderness in the Anthropocene, and among other things, spend time informally monitoring populations of Olympic Mountain endemic plants. Interested folks can learn more at his website: https://timbillo.wordpress.com/




Updated: March 28, 2017
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