Thanks to our very dedicated volunteer, Steve Rosenthal, of the CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter, videos from our conservation conference last January are now online. You can view them on the Santa Clara Valley Chapter’s You Tube page. There are 71 videos in all, ranging in topics as varied as the conference sessions themselves – from conservation efforts in California and Baja, efforts to “clean up” the native nursery trade, lichens, rare plants, public policy, restoration, climate change, environmental justice, and more.


photo credit: Ecowatch website


According to Lowe’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report, “Lowe’s is committed to regularly reviewing the products and information we offer customers and we’re taking the following actions to support pollinator health:

  • Including greater organic and non-neonic product selections
  • Phasing out the sale of products that contain neonic pesticides within 48 months as suitable alternatives become commercially available
  • Working with growers to eliminate the use of neonic pesticides on bee-attractive plants we sell
  • Encouraging growers to use biological control programs
  • Educating employees and customers through in-store resources such as brochures, fact sheets and product labels”

This looks like it either could be one of those entrapment-type of interviews, or an early April Fools joke. I had to watch it twice before I started to believe it might actually have happened. My brother-in-law sent me the link to this article, with an embedded video at Huffington Post: “Monsanto Advocate Says Roundup Is Safe Enough To Drink, Then Refuses To Drink It

The Monsanto advocate, Dr. Robert Moore, does seem t make some odd statements. I wonder if we saw the whole interview, unedited, it might be less sensational.

Monsanto’s rebuttal restates this: it isn’t appropriate to drink any concentrated substance such as dishwashing liquid, shampoo or Roundup.

one of Maria's illustrations, courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library site

one of Maria’s illustrations, courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library site

Today is the birthday of Maria Sibylla Merian, born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1647. She was a VERY early explorer and explainer of botanical end entomological processes. I had never heard of her until I read about her at the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s blog site, where they write, “Maria’s illustrations were important and revolutionary for a number of reasons. The observations and evidence they displayed helped overturn the prevailing theory of the time that insects spontaneously generated from mud. Additionally, Maria drew her subjects from life in their natural environments. Most naturalists of the day illustrated species from dead, preserved specimens, which contributed to a lack of knowledge about the true life cycle and origin of insects. Finally, Maria also portrayed the host plant for the species she studied and even illustrated the damage the insects left on the plants.”

So, there we have it! The early days of exploring how insects and plants interact. I love the idea that she helped verify that insects do not simply spring up from the dirt. But what really captured my attention was her work to figure out that certain plants played a key role in the lifecycle of specific insects. This is something that, hundreds of years later, we are just scratching the surface on.



Jens Jensen

image courtesy jensejensenthelivinggreen.com


Deirdre Kennelly, our CommunicationsDirector, passed along this interesting item:
The film Jens Jensen The Living Green, will be screened in  Los Angeles on April 27th, with Earth Day.
Jens Jensen pioneered the use of native flowers and plants in his designs for midwestern parks and became known as the Dean of Landscape Architects. Today his story resonates on a high level as cities struggle to deal with expanding populations and decreased green space, water and many issues here in California.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

The City of Encinitas Proclaims California Native Plant Week! Thanks to Betsy Cory and Dave Varner, members of the San diego Chapter, the City of Encinitas worked up a very nice proclamation in honor of our annual native plant celebration.

Click on this link to see the proclamation full size: 2015-03-11_City of Encinitas Proclamation_Native Plant Week

Alicia Funk

Last Tuesday, the Bear Yuba Land Trust recognizedAlicia Funk during its annual Oak Tree Bash: Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony in Grass Valley.

The Land Trust honored Alicia with the William Nickerl Award for Conservation Leadership. How does this sound for a glowing testimonial: “I’ve known Alicia for many years and have seen how her passion for our local natural environment has really captured her imagination,” said BYLT Executive Director Marty Coleman-Hunt. “She has turned that passion into action by becoming our local expert on culinary and medicinal wild, native plants and traditional uses by indigenous peoples. She has advocated for our understanding and the use of them through tours and talks, lectures, writing and now filmmaking. This award recognizes exactly these qualities among people like Alicia in our community.”

Many of you will know that Alicia is the founder of the Living Wild Project and co-author of “Living Wild — Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of California” which is near and dear to our heart because some of the proceeds of each book come directly here to us at CNPS. Buy the book at our website, if you don’t already have it!

Congratulations to Alicia, and read the whole article here.


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