Monthly Archives: January 2016

January 2016 News and Notes from WNPS

Botanical Rambles wishes you a happy new year and offers you this capacious—but nowhere near exhaustive—list of things to do and learn.


Washington Native Plant Society News

The WNPS Office Welcomes Visitors.

Located in Seattle’s Magnuson Park, the office is generally staffed Monday–Thursday, 9:00am to 4:30 pm, and by appointment, Friday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Please call ahead (206-527-6310) to confirm availability, especially if traveling a distance.

Denise Mahnke is the WNPS Business Manager, and she can be reached at Barrie Moss is the WNPS Office & Program Coordinator, at

WNPS State Board of Directors Meeting.

On October 17, 2015, twenty one directors attended the state board meeting of Washington Native Plant Society at the Cedar River Watershed Educational Center near North Bend.

The board elected the state officers for 2016: Clay Antieau, president, Wendy McClure, vice-president, Don Schaechtel, secretary, and Rob Smith, treasurer. Denise Mahnke, the society’s new Business Manager, introduced herself to the board. She is a naturalist with particular interest in water issues, fish, birds, and plants. She brings extensive managerial experience to the position.

The board established an ad hoc committee that will identify the most up-to-date plant lists in each area. These will be converted into spreadsheets to standardize formatting and ease updating.

Jim Evans, who formerly worked for The Nature Conservancy, is under contract with WNPS to contact chapters and explore the possibility of establishing local native plant stewardship training programs. These training programs would likely involve distance learning as well as traditional class room gatherings. The 2016 goal is to establish 3 pilot programs.

WNPS Photo Contest for the 2017 Calendar

Consider entering your best shots of Washington’s native flora in the WNPS Photo Contest. Twenty-six winners will be selected by a volunteer committee for the annual calendar. The calendar is a fundraiser for the local chapters around the state. One winning photograph will also be featured on the Native Plant Appreciation Week 2016 poster. A few copies of the 2016 WNPS Calendar are still available.

You may submit up to five of your best photos. The photo contest is open to all WNPS members, both amateur and professional photographers.

Photo contest deadline is March 14, 2016. Find out more here.


Donna Lucas Honored

Donna Lucas was given the 2015 Special Service Award by the Washington Association of Conservation Districts at their Annual Meeting December 1 in Spokane. The award was presented for her outstanding contribution and achievement in assisting the Benton Conservation District with the creation and implementation of the Heritage Garden Program. The Heritage Garden Program is a joint venture between the Columbia Basin chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society and the Benton Conservation District.

Northeast Chapter honors its 2015 Student Research Grant Recipients

Jarrett Cellnii, Eastern Washington University “Climate Effects on the Relationships between Invasive Annual Grasses and Biological Soil Crust”

Gwen Bode, Eastern Washington University, “An Analysis of the Above-Ground Biomass Vitamin Content of Claytonia lanceolata, a Wild-Foraged Food”

Mailea Miller-Pearce, Washington State University, “The Influence of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition on Plant-Insect Interactions at Mount St Helens National Monument, Washington”

Central Puget Sound Chapter Awards for 2015

2015 CPS Professional of the Year: Michael Yadrick
Michael is one of the three ecologists for Seattle Parks. He is the Central Puget Sound chapter’s main contact with the parks department. He has collaborated with WNPS since at least 2012 and is very supportive of our stewardship efforts. He is very honest, funny and cares about native plants. He is open and generous with negotiating a contract with WNPS and believes in our mission and abilities.

2015 CPS Member of the Year: Joy Johnsen
Joy Johnsen has demonstrated passion and commitment to the mission of WNPS whether through leadership, service, or assistance above and beyond expectations. Her work on both the 2015 Spring and Fall plant sales has been tireless, efficient, and dedicated. She’s been an excellent leader— consistently coming to meetings well-prepared, writing detailed reports to keep everyone informed and up-to-date, and always showing much patience when recruiting and training new members. Joy has also been helpful in contributing her support to some of the first Eastside Branch programs. In addition she is an active steward, managing and working on her restoration site.

2015 CPS Steward of the Year: George Macomber
George has worked alongside Ann Stevens in Ravenna Park. He is a 2011 WNPS Steward but has been volunteering for longer than that. George is very knowledgeable and works with neighbors. He is quiet (although witty) and doesn’t speak up about his knowledge unless you ask him. In addition, George has reorganized the chapter nursery, keeps the inventory up to date, and provides the plant information for the plant sales.

WNPS Chapter News

The Future Of the Salal Chapter

We were saddened and shocked to hear that the Salal Chapter recently and suddenly lost its vibrant chairperson, Susan Alaynick, after a short illness. The December 2015 edition of the Potent Teller contains remembrances by Fayla Schwartz, Ann Dursch, and Lucie Johns.

Brenda Cunningham has agreed to serve as Interim Chair until a replacement can be nominated and elected by the members. Lucie Johns will continue to take care of newsletters and communications.

The Salal Chapter’s vital involvement in the its Native Plant Garden and nursery will continue. The garden is located at the NW Research and Extension Center at 16650 State Route 536 (Memorial Highway), west of Mount Vernon. Questions can be directed to Brenda at

WNPS Chapter (and friends) Activities

Take a look at this lengthy list of programs and field trips. The hosting chapter is listed, along with a link for additional information. Always a good idea to check with the chapter for more details!

January 26, 2016

Round table discussion and brainstorming session on public outreach to promote awareness and appreciation of our irreplaceable native plant heritage. Northeast Chapter

February 4, 2016

Native Plant Identification Workshop, Nelson Salisbury, Central Puget Sound Chapter.A free plant identification workshop is offered before each Central Puget Sound chapter meeting. While the workshop is oriented primarily toward beginners, anyone who wants to work on improving keying skills or their familiarity with the northwest flora is welcome.

February 4, 2016

The genus Erythronium in Western North America, Ed Alverson, Central Puget Sound Chapter

February 8, 2016

Floristic Surprises in the Blue Mountains, Mark Darrach, South Sound Chapter (Olympia)

February 10, 2016

Puyallup Historical Fish Hatchery, Patty Carter, South Sound Chapter (Tacoma)

February 11, 2016

Social and Slideshow: Alpine Plants of the Pasayten Wilderness with Presenter Therese Ohlson, Retired Botanist, US Forest Service, Wenatchee Valley Chapter

February 12, 2016

Heart Lake,10:00 am–12:00 noon. Offered by The Friends of the Forest, in the Salal chapter newsletter.

February 13, 2016

Catherine Creek Photo Shoot featuring grass widows weather permitting; 9-10:30am  No pre-registration required. Suksdorfia Chapter

February 17, 2016

Examining the Bee’s Knees: Hidden Gems in the Corbicula, Beth Skoff Koma Kulshan Chapter

February 18, 2016

Wild Plants and Wildlife in British Columbia and the Yukon—A Photographic Travelogue, Mary Kiesau, Methow Conservancy

February 19, 2016

NW Flower and Garden Show. Eager for spring? Come see the NW Flower and Garden show with WNPS members. Meet at the ticket booth (tickets are $18) at 9:30 am on Friday, February 19. Along with all the beautiful garden displays, our itinerary will include a trip to the WNPS booth. At noon we will break for lunch either at the show or at a nearby restaurant. Contact: Susan Dawson

February 19, 2016

Suksdorfia All Member Slide Show (postponed from December due to weather). Suksdorfia Chapter

February 21, 2016

Snowshoe Outing, with Mark Turner, Koma Kulshan Chapter,

March 3, 2016

Native Plants and Birds, Dennis Paulson, Central Puget Sound Chapter

March 3, 2016

Native Plant Identification Workshop, Nelson Salisbury, Central Puget Sound Chapter

March 5, 2016

Annual Cryptogamic Ramble with Fred Rhoades, Koma Kulshan Chapter

March 9, 2016

Mount Rainier Institute – Training Tomorrow’s Environmental Stewards, John Hayes, South Sound Chapter (Tacoma)

March 11, 2016

Pine Ridge Loop 10:00 am–12:00 noon. Offered by The Friends of the Forest, in the Salal chapter newsletter.

March 12, 2016

Lily Lake Trail with Jim Duemmel, Koma Kulshan Chapter

March 14, 2016

Mothers of Nature: Women Conservationists of Washington, Dee Arntz, South Sound Chapter (Olympia)

March 16, 2016

Forest Giants and Champion Trees, James Luce Koma Kulshan Chapter,

March 19, 2016

Lacamas Lake Hike, weather permitting (Alternate Catherine Creek), Suksdorfia Chapter

April 2, 2016

Grasses Hike with leader Bob Hansen, Suksdorfia Chapter

April 2, 2016

Early Leaves and Flowers (maybe) with Jim Davis, Koma Kulshan Chapter

April 7, 2016

Native Plant Identification Workshop, Nelson Salisbury, Central Puget Sound Chapter

April 7, 2016

The Moss Flora of Washington, Judy Harpel, Central Puget Sound Chapter

April 11, 2016

Myco-heterotrophs: The Fungal Connection, Andy MacKinnon, South Sound Chapter (Olympia, The Evergreen State College)

April 13, 2016

Washington’s Channeled Scablands, John Soennichsen, South Sound Chapter (Tacoma)

April 20, 2016

MeadoWatch: Exploring the link between climate change and wildflower phenology, Dr. Hille Ris Lambers, Central Puget Sound Chapter (Bellevue location)

April 24–30, 2016 Native Plant Appreciation Week

April 24, 2016

Jerry Igo Memorial Plant Show in Mosier,  Suksdorfia Chapter

April 29, 2016

Native Plant Journaling with Robert Michael Pyle Part of Joy Markgraf’s Wild About Nature Series at the White Salmon Library. Suksdorfia Chapter

May 5, 2016

Forest Giants, Robert Van Pelt, Central Puget Sound Chapter

May 5, 2016

Native Plant Identification Workshop, Nelson Salisbury, Central Puget Sound Chapter

May 9, 2016

An Introduction to Mosses, Lee Ellis, South Sound Chapter (Olympia)

May 11, 2016

The Society of Ecological Restoration (SER) Northwest Chapter—Protecting and Restoring NW Ecosystems, Rolf Gersonde, South Sound Chapter (Tacoma)

May 13, 2016

Grass ID Hike with Rick Shory, 11:00 am–2:00 pm

Grass Recognition Program, 8:00–9:00 pm Suksdorfia Chapter

May 13–15, 2016

Botany Washington, Fort Worden, Port Townsend, WA

May 21, 2016

Conboy Lake Hike with a focus on wildflower families. Suksdorfia Chapter

June 2, 2016

Native Plant Identification Workshop, Nelson Salisbury, Central Puget Sound Chapter

June 2, 2016

Historical and Current Fire Regimes in eastern Washington: How Did We Get Here?, Paul Hessberg, Central Puget Sound Chapter

June 17–19, 2016

WNPS 2016 Study Weekend will be jointly sponsored by the Central Washington and Wenatchee Valley chapters and based in Leavenworth with a Wenatchee Mountains theme.

June 18, 2016

Lookout Mountain, Washington, Suksdorfia Chapter

July 23, 2016

Tentative Mount Hood Meadows Hike with Heidi Venture, Suksdorfia Chapter

September 16, 2016

Suksdorfia Annual Meeting, Suksdorfia Chapter

Opportunity to comment

WDFW seeks comments on 10 land acquisition proposals

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is inviting public comment through February 12, 2016, on 10 proposals to acquire land for fish and wildlife habitat and public recreation.

Proposed acquisitions include lands in Walla Walla, Snohomish, Lincoln, Kittitas, Klickitat, Grays Harbor, Thurston and Pacific counties. Information on the properties is available on WDFW’s website at The webpage also includes information on previous land acquisition projects.

Written comments on the proposed acquisitions may be submitted via email to or by mail to Lauri Vigue, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.


NOTE: All these trainings are imminent. If you are interested, register now!

Sound Waters 2016

Sound Waters, a “one day university for all” is February 6, 2016, in Langley, WA. This event has been bringing together people passionate about life in Puget Sound since the early 1990s, and now attracts 600+ people yearly. No prior knowledge is required to attend—just an interest in learning about and taking care of the amazing place that is Puget Sound. For more information and to register, visit:

ecoPRO Training & Exam

The ecoPRO training in sustainable landscape management is open to all individuals interested in advancing their knowledge. Trainings will be held every Friday in February: February 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2016, in Olympia. Visit to learn more.

Master Docent Classes at Lake Sammamish State Park

Become a certified docent for Lake Sammamish State Park Interpretive Programs. In February 2016, Lake Sammamish State Park will offer training sessions for volunteers interested in co-leading and assisting with interpretive programs alongside Lake Sammamish State Park Rangers. Find out more at

Forest Stewardship Coached Planning

An online forestry class for Western Washington landowners starts January 26, 2016 and runs through March 8, 2016, with a Saturday field day on March 5.

Natural beauty, wildlife, investment, family ties, privacy, and peace and quiet, are some of the many reasons people value their forest property. Whatever your values are, this comprehensive university-based forestry class will help you get the most out of the land you love. Whether you have just a few acres of woods or a large forest tract, if you have trees on your property, this class is for you. Learn more at:

National Wildlife Federation Habitat Stewards Training

Habitat Stewards Training empowers people to become stewards to help create, preserve, and restore wildlife habitat. As a steward you will learn invaluable information about how to help our native plants and animals thrive in the Pacific Northwest. Training will be Thursdays, February 11, 2016 through March 3, 2016 from 6:00–9:00pm, with two field sessions on Saturdays February 20 and 27). For more information, see the flyer.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering looks good on you

An article in the Atlantic recently covered how great volunteering is for your body and overall health, as shown in a study from  the Harvard School of Public Health. Read: The Physiological Power of Altruism.

Staff the WNPS booth at the 2016 Flower and Garden Show

The 2016 NW Flower & Garden show is coming up February 17–21, and the Central Puget Sound chapter is organizing volunteers to host the WNPS booth. This is a great opportunity to promote the value and beauty that native plants add to the home garden and to our environment, to meet other members of WNPS, and to talk to a variety of like-minded people. An added perk is that when you volunteer you receive free admission to the Garden Show for the day(s) you serve in our booth. Please sign up on the Doodle poll and select dates and times convenient for you.

Staff the WNPS booth at the King Conservation District Community Fair and Bare Root Sale

March 5, 10:00am– 4:00pm 1107 SW Grady Way, Renton. The Central Puget Sound chapter needs volunteers for this event in two- or three-hour shifts, as well as people to help with booth set-up and take-down. This is a great event! Many people attend who are very interested in native plants. You will have some good conversations and an excellent opportunity to share information. To sign up, contact

Staff the WNPS booth at the Central Washington E3 Winter Fair

The WNPS Central Washington Chapter will have a booth at the this event sponsored by the Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN) in Ellensburg on Saturday, January 30, 2016. The event showcases local organizations, companies, agencies, and individuals that support and enhance the community’s economic, environmental and educational sustainability. Please contact Keyna Bugner,, if you would like to help with the booth.

17th Annual Get Intimate with Shrub-Steppe!

The event is tentatively scheduled for May 21 or 28, 2016. The Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN) is looking for help with planning and promotions, or leading a field trip. Please contact Jill Scheffer,

Elwha Revegetation Project

The Matt Albright Native Plant Center would love to see you at the nursery near Sequim during their volunteer drop-in days on Mondays and Wednesdays between 9am and 4pm. We are busy harvesting seed from our seed increase field, and starting to sow herbaceous perennials; and of course we are still busy transplanting thousands of growing seedlings into larger pots. Phone or email if you have questions: 360-565-3047 (Macy House), 360-683-0757 (nursery) or e-mail

Grant Opportunities

WNPS Education Grants

The Education Committee encourages educators throughout Washington to develop projects about native plants and plant habitats for their classes. Teachers who have been granted awards can serve as mentors for other teachers hoping to do similar projects in their school districts. Education grants are also available for projects linked to gardens, museums, parks and other public displays of or about native plants.

Grants for WNPS members, funded by WNPS member contributions, are available for education projects that further the goals of the Society. See examples of past projects and further guidelines here. Please contact committee chair Fayla Schwartz if you have any questions.

Education proposals are reviewed by the Education Committee twice annually. Deadlines for submission are May 15 and November 15 each year.

Northeast Chapter Student Research Grants

The Northeast Chapter is soliciting student research proposals from graduate and undergraduate students in the northeastern Washington area who are doing research focused on native plants in the Northwestern US and adjacent regions of Canada. Up to $500 may be granted to worthy proposals. Funds may be used for purchase of supplies and to defray travel costs associated with conducting the research. Funds may not be used for salary or for travel to scientific meetings. More information at see the Northeast Chapter Student Grant Page.

South Sound Chapter Conservation and Education Grants

The South Sound Chapter awards grants for conservation and education projects. Individual grants are a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $500. Funded projects must further the WNPS mission to:“promote the appreciation and conservation of Washington’s native plants and their habitats through study, education, and advocacy.” The annual award cycle for grants begins each year on January 1. Applications received by March 1 will be evaluated and awards will be announced by April 1. Note that available grant funds are not always exhausted during this period, so be sure to check with the grant committee following April 1. Funds may still be available! For more information, see the South Sound Chapter Grants Page.

Central Puget Sound Chapter Stewardship Grants

Since 2003 the Central Puget Sound Chapter of WNPS has awarded grants to help support projects that promote restoration and protection of native plants and their habitats, or that contribute to the education and understanding of their importance. These grants will again be available this spring for members of WNPS. Past stewardship grants have been awarded for public habitat restoration, native plant educational gardens in schools and native plant demonstration gardens. Stewardship grant applications are due April 15th each year, and the Chapter announces the awards by June 1. For more information, see the CPS Stewardship Grants Page.

Plant Sales

Salal Chapter Native Plant Sale

Saturday, April 30th, 2016, WSU Research Center, Salal Native Plant Garden, Mt. Vernon, WA

 Central Puget Sound Chapter Native Plant Sale

Saturday, April 30, 2016, Details available February 1st

South Sound Chapter Spring Native Plant Sale

Saturday, April  23, 2016, Capital Museum Coach House, 211 21st Ave SW, Olympia.

Conservation District Sales

Here is a list of conservation districts that often offer plant sales. Some pre-order deadlines have already passed or are coming up soon. Act now if you want to get plants from your local conservation district this year!

Phew. Well, I’m just about exhausted. What have I missed? Tell us about other events, activities, trainings, news, kudos, etc., in the comments below!