Monthly Archives: June 2015

Just Because It’s June, June, June: News and Notes from the Washington Native Plant Society

Where Have You Been Rambling?

You may be forgiven for wondering if Botanical Rambles had rambled off in to the sunset, considering that the most recent post was May 6th! Your humble blog curator has been overly busy with her day job, notably helping to organize the 2015 Salmon Recovery Conference and then (trying) to catch up on many end-of-biennium tasks.

Road through trees and shrubs

Washington Park Loop Road
Photo from City of Anacortes

It hasn’t been all work. I introduced an out-of-town visitor to the pleasures of the loop road at Washington Park in Anacortes. She was impressed with the length of the plant list for the park, and even more impressed when I told her that the Washington Native Plant Society maintains an extensive collection of such lists and makes them available to everyone.

Have you been out and about? Tell us where you’ve been and what you’ve seen in the comments below.

What’s Happening in the Washington Native Plant Society?

It’s been a busy spring in the Washington Native Plant Society, too, with several transitions in process.

Office Transitions

Brick office building

Washington Native Plant Society office, Magnuson Park, Seattle

The Washington Native Plant Society is staffed with two part-time positions, an administrator and an office assistant.

As administrator, Elizabeth Faircloth served the society ably for over a year, before leaving in May to pursue other opportunities. I’ll miss our phone calls, her New Jersey perspective, and her emphasis on involving families in outdoor activities. Best wishes Elizabeth, and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

The office assistant, Barbara Harrell, occupies a position that is supported both by the state-wide Washington Native Plant Society and by the Central Puget Sound Chapter.

While the state-wide board of directors takes a look at how it wants to staff the society, Barbara will be managing the office and the most critical parts of the organization’s administration. Thank you Barbara and congratulations on this promotion!

Stewardship Program Transitions

two women filling out data form

Native Plant Stewardship Program: learning how to monitor restoration sites.
Photo from Washington Native Plant Society

This is an exciting time for the Native Plant Stewardship Program.  The program has trained over 500 stewards in the past 15 years, with volunteers logging over 111,000 hours promoting the awareness, appreciation, education and restoration of native plants in Washington State. The stewardship program has been active in the Central Puget Sound Chapter and the South Sound Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society.

A generous gift from the estate of Jane Titland by her husband John has made the expansion of the Native Plant Stewardship Program possible. Jane and John’s gift is allowing the Washington Native Plant Society to contract with a program manager to help additional chapters initiate and establish training programs for native plant stewards.

Jane, who passed away in June 2014, was a 2002 graduate of the Native Plant Stewardship Program. She volunteered many hours to restoration work in Redtown Meadow, Mt. Rainier, Luther Burbank, Madrona Woods, and Vasa Creek Parks.

Botanical Rambles honors the memory of Jane Titland and offers many thanks to John Titland for this gift. Thanks also to board members Bill Brookreson and Gary Smith, who are chairing the steering committee.

In Other News…

More great things going on.

Conservation Funding Available—Deadline July 1, 2015

two men leaning over in a field of golden paintbrush

Monitoring golden paintbrush.
Photo by Steve Erickson, all rights reserved.

Are you working on a conservation project benefiting Washington’s native plants that could use an infusion of cash? The Washington Native Plant Society Conservation Committee has $1,000 left to give out in 2015.

It’s a competitive program, and the evaluation team will be looking at a project’s impact and likelihood of success. Student projects and first-time recipients have an edge! For full details, take a look at the Conservation Grants page. Applications will be accepted through midnight of July 1, 2015.

Ferns and Fern Allies Identification Workshop, July 28-29, 2015

maidenhair fern

Maidenhair fern. Photographer: Ben Legler, all rights reserved.

With fronds like these, who needs anemones? OK—groan—but I love that line. Here’s a chance to study with two pre-eminent Northwest plant experts, Peter Zika and Ed Alverson, in a workshop sponsored by the Washington Native Plant Society and the University of Washington Herbarium, Burke Museum.

This workshop is geared for experienced botanists, both professional and amateur, who know their way around dichotomous keys and don’t freak out at technical botanical terminology (and trust me on this, the ferns and fern allies have terminology all their own!)

Peter and Ed will cover how the past 40 years of research have fundamentally changed the taxonomy and nomenclature of these plants (in other words, everything you know is wrong). After an introductory presentation, participants will dissect and key out specimens in the lab. The group also will go on an all-day field trip to the Cascades to practice in a field setting. Full details here.

Study Weekend 2015: Islands in the Sky—A North Cascades Adventure, August 14–16

Mt. Shuksan with Picture Lake, Heather Meadows area.

Mt. Shuksan with Picture Lake, Heather Meadows area.
Photo by Ellen Kuhlmann

The Koma Kulshan Chapter is hosting this year’s Native Plant Study Weekend. They invite you to come enjoy the North Cascades from the slopes of Mt. Baker.

They note that: “the complex geologic history of mountain building, glacial advance and retreat, and climatic factors has created a patchwork of isolated mountaintops…these “sky islands” are home to a unique flora of cold-adapted plants.”

The study weekend outings will be as easy as a stroll along a wheelchair-accessible path or as strenuous as a hike that breaks trail on a snow-covered slope. Other activities include workshops and evening slide presentations.

A full description, draft schedule, and registration information are available on the Study Weekend web page.