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Theo Fitanides


SOD Was Just the Beginning: Coping with Invasive Pathogens in the Nursery, the Garden, and the Wild

Speaker: Theo Fitanides, Manager of Native Here Nursery

Wednesday, March 25, 7:30 pm
Location: Garden Room, Orinda Public Library (directions below)

Since the second discovery of Phytophthora tentaculata (a root rotting “water mold,” relative of Sudden Oak Death) in California, this time in an SFPUC restoration outplanting, the restoration community has been re-thinking its pathogen management practices. Native Here Nursery Manager Theo Fitanides will give a brief background on these root rot “plant destroyers,” before discussing in more detail the steps that native nurseries, restoration practitioners, and gardeners can take to help reduce current threats and fend off future threats. The mood of the talk will be hopeful, amid the harsh realities of invasive species.

In Fall of 2013, Theo took over management of the CNPS East Bay chapter’s Native Here Nursery. The nursery is dedicated to growing locally-sourced plants for local gardeners and land managers who want to provide co-evolved plant material for restoration, whether it is in a private backyard or Mount Diablo State Park. Theo earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and has worked in landscaping, nurseries, conservation, and consulting. He is currently a member of the California Native Nursery Network (CaNNN) steering committee, which is helping to organize an effective local response to these new threats to our wild lands.

East Bay CNPS membership meetings are free of charge and open to everyone. This month’s meeting takes place in the Garden Room of the Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way (in Orinda Village). The Garden Room is on the second floor of the building, accessible by stairs or an elevator. The Garden Room opens at 7 pm; the meeting begins at 7:30 pm. Email sr0433@yahoo.com or call 510-496-6016 if you have questions.

Directions to Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way:

From the west, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda/Moraga exit. At the end of the off ramp, turn left on Camino Pablo (toward Orinda Village), right on Santa Maria Way (the signal after the BART station and freeway entrance), and left on Orinda Way.

From the east, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda exit. Follow the ramp to Orinda Village. Turn right on Santa Maria way (the first signal) and left on Orinda Way.

Once on Orinda Way, go 1 short block to the parking lot on the southeast side of the two-story building on your right. There is additional free parking beneath the building as well as on the street.

From BART (4 blocks): Exit the Orinda station, turn right and cross a pedestrian bridge, then cross a second pedestrian bridge on the left. Go 1 short block on the sidewalk to the third pedestrian bridge. Go 2 blocks on Orinda Way to the Orinda Library.

Upcoming Meetings

April 22, 7:30 pm
Aleta George: Poet Ina Coolbrith’s Love of California Wildflowers

May 27, 7:30 pm
Bart O’Brien, Director, Regional Parks Botanic Garden