Director Bart O’Brien leading a tour of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden for East Bay CNPS
on the first full day of spring this year. Photo by Bob Case.

A Presentation by Bart O’Brien, Director of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden

Wednesday, May 27, 7:30 pm
Location: Auditorium, Orinda Public Library (directions below)

Our speaker this month, Bart O’Brien, is one of the rock stars of the native plant world. Bart returned from southern California to his central/northern California roots in 2013, leaving a 23-year career at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden to become the fourth director of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park. There was great excitement when he was chosen as the garden’s new director, and since his arrival he has been busy creating more excitement. Among his many accomplishments so far he has expanded the garden’s collection to include plants from Baja California, facilitated the installation of three beautiful new rock gardens in the southern California section of the garden, and initiated a successful fall plant sale (in addition to the garden’s traditional spring sale). He also participated in an expedition of Baja plant experts to the islands of that area and completed checklists of the flora and the rare, endangered, and endemic plants of northwestern Baja. Bart is known for his expertise in both native plant botany and horticulture, and he is in demand as a speaker on a wide range of topics. Tonight’s topic will be a surprise, but everyone who knows Bart knows it will be fascinating. Don’t miss it!

Bart has loved plants from before he was old enough to read or write their names. After earning an undergraduate degree in environmental planning and management from UC Davis and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard Bart worked in landscape design in Santa Clara County before becoming manager of Yerba Buena Nursery, Gerda Isenberg’s pioneering native plant nursery in Woodside. In 1990 he was hired as Director of Horticulture and Curator of the Living Collection at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, east of Los Angeles. He later became a Senior Staff Research Associate at Rancho and finally Director of Special Projects there. Since November 2013 he has been director of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden. He is co-author of three popular books on native plant gardening and the recipient of many awards.

East Bay CNPS membership meetings are free of charge and open to everyone. This month’s meeting takes place in the Auditorium of the Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way (in Orinda Village). The Auditorium is on the second floor of the building, accessible by stairs or an elevator. The room opens at 7 pm; the meeting begins at 7:30 pm. Email 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.

Summer Recess

East Bay CNPS programs will take a break for our summer recess during the months of June through August. Watch the chapter newsletter and website for announcements of our September meeting.