Sunday, March 15, 10:00 am, Seafoam Loop and Black Oak Loop at Kennedy Grove, El Sobrante: Gregg Weber will be leading this trip to a botanically rich area in El Sobrante. In the shady areas under bay trees, there is more plant diversity than you would expect, with many common natives, and some unusual ones. Under the oaks on the ridge there are whole different communities.

Both kinds of false solomon’s seal, trilliums, meadow rue, gooseberries, American vetch, shooting stars, cream cups, rein orchids, fritillaries, pipevine, madrone, Wight’s paintbrush, arnica, spotted coralroot, Indian warriors, ok, I have to stop now. This is a short 2.5 mile walk, with only a 400 feet elevation gain up to the ridge, and 150 feet elevation gain on Black Oak Loop.

Directions: From I-80, exit at San Pablo Dam Road and turn onto Castro Ranch Road in El Sobrante. From Orinda , take San Pablo Dam Road to El Sobrante, and turn onto Castro Ranch Road. Go two blocks on Castro Ranch Road, and then turn right onto Hillside Drive. Go about 1⁄2 mile to the end of Hillside Drive, and then turn left on Patra Drive and park near the trailhead. No entrance fees. Do not turn into the Kennedy Grove park entrance on San Pablo Dam Road.

Outdoor activities are inherently risky. As with all of this group’s events, by attending you agree to be 100% responsible for your own safety, health, and happiness.

Saturday, March 21, 10 am, Knowland Park field trip
Meet up with Janet Gawthrop to revisit plants in the zoo development shadow and elsewhere in the park. This will be a beginner level field trip, with a focus on plant communities of coastal prairie, maritime chaparral and oak woodland with minimal discussion of future development. You can just show up, or bring your hand lens and maybe Barbara Ertter’s Annotated Checklist of the East Bay Flora or Plants of the SF Bay Area, second edition, by Beidleman and Kozloff. The website www.calflora.org is an important resource for native plant identification and study.We will start with walking and talking at a general level, and then circle back for on-site keying sessions for all interested. E-mail janetgawthrop47@gmail.com to sign up and find out about the meeting site.

Sunday, March 22, 2 pm, David Margolies will lead a nature walk in Samuel Taylor State Park in Marin County. We will walk the Pioneer Tree Trail, through old and new growth redwood groves and mixed evergreen forest. Numerous flowers of redwood forests should be in bloom, including fairybells, fetid adder’s tongue, false solomon’s seal, and trillium. There are many species of trees besides redwood, including Douglas fir and California nutmeg.

Directions From the East Bay: take the Richmond-San Rafael bridge westbound. Once in Marin, take the second exit, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Stay on the boulevard across the county. You will pass through Fairfax and over the hill into the San Geronimo valley. When you pass the village of Lagunitas you will enter the state park. The picnic area is a mile or so on the left. Enter there, pay the entrance fee and park in the picnic area. Cross the stream on the bridge and meet in the group picnic area parking lot, where the Pioneer Tree Trail starts. The walk is two miles, with an elevation change of a couple of hundred feet. David Margolies can be contacted at 510-393-1858, divaricatum@gmail.com.