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Please note:  Items with [PDF]
will require Adobe  Reader to view them.  If you do not have the program, you may download it from Adobe.

Prior presentation information
(topics that have either a link to a web site or where a copy of the  presentation has been made available)




Chapter Meetings
General Meeting Information


    (Please note location(s) of each meeting.  Directions to each location .)

         Wednesday, January 9, 2019 (Tacoma)  (7pm)

A fun evening of member sharing: trips, thoughts and botanical observations.  Coffee, tea and juice provided.  Bring a snack or treat to share.

Monday, January 14, 2019  (Olympia)  (7pm)
Walter Fertig

Stalking the Wild Umtanum Buckwheat: Adventures in Rare Plant Hunting in Washington

Walter Fertig, State Botanist for the Washington Natural Heritage Program in the Department of Natural Resources.

Walter was previously botanist for the Wyoming Natural Heritage Program, head of the vegetation program at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and assistant curator of the Arizona State University Herbarium.  He has a masters and doctorate in botany from the University of Wyoming.

Monday, February 11, 2019 (Olympia)  (7pm)
FEBRUARY 18, 2019 (OLYMPIA)  7pm

Donovan Tracy

The Mopheads of Mount Rainier, a Photographic Study of Anemone occidentalis

This talk will focus on the Western Anemone/Pasqueflower, a very popular flower, primarily because of the wonderful curious mopheads when it goes to seed.

Donovan is a volunteer with the UW Herbarium, and co-author of the wildflower guide,
Alpine Flowers of Mt. Rainier
, with David Giblin, the herbarium’s collection manager. He developed and maintains the website Flowers of Rainier ( which features over 250 species and 10 wildflower hikes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 (Tacoma)  (7pm)
Dr. Gary Chastagner
Turkish Delights—the Search for the Perfect Christmas Tree

Gary Chastagner, a noted WSU plant pathologist, with a PhD from UC Davis, has worked on bulb diseases, procedures for controlling the virus Phytophthora ramorum, and in recent years, Christmas tree diseases and post-harvest quality. He has been on a world-wide search for the perfect Christmas tree; ones that look good and hold their needles from harvest through the holiday season. He will share his search with us.

Monday, March 11, 2019 (Olympia)  (7pm)
Dr. Jerry Franklin
Biodiversity in Forests

Dr. Franklin is co-author of Conserving Forest Biodiversity, Creating a Forestry for the 21st Century, Salvage Logging and Its Ecological Consequences, and Towards Forest Sustainability. He's a great speaker and story-teller with a holistic approach to forest practices, the NW Forest Plan and related policies, global warming, fire management, threats to our forests by invasive species, and the status and treatment of northern spotted owls by taking out barred owls, plus more.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 (Tacoma)  (7pm)
Darren Strenge

Controlling Pytophrthora Ramora: A model program at Bloedel Reserve

Darren Strenge is the botanist at the Bloedel Reserve, a botanical garden on Bainbridge Island. He splits his time between caring for the moss garden and managing their pest and disease control program, including overseeing the ramorum blight control measures. Darren also writes gardening articles for the Kitsap Sun newspaper and West Sound Home & Garden magazine.

Al 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019 (Olympia)  (7pm)
Eileen M. Stark

Native by Design: Gardening to Invite and Support Biodiversity

Eileen Stark is the author of Real Gardens Grow Natives. She is the book’s author and main photographer. She is an ecological landscape designer, writer and photographer who provides consultations and design services in the Portland metro area.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 (Tacoma)  (7pm)
John Sullivan

Challenges for a Landscaper—the All Native Garden

John Sullivan will be talking about the challenges he faced in developing an all native garden. As lead designer for Olympic Landscape, a family owned landscaping company near Tacoma, John brings over 40 years of experience to landscape design creating beautiful, and unique outdoor living and gathering spaces and specially-themed gardens for homeowners.

Monday, May 6, 2019 (Olympia)  (7pm)
Special Program - Era of Mega Forest Fires by Paul Hessburg, PhD.
Recital Hall of The Evergreen State College
  (south on I-5 past Olympia. take exit 104 onto Highway 101. In three miles take the Evergreen State College exit. follow signs to Recital Hall)

Megafires—wildfires over 100,000 acres—has become one of today’s most pressing and complex problems. Communities, homes, businesses, even our lives and way of life are threatened. This presenta-tion is a 60-minute multi-media presentation and discussion based on the research of Paul Hessburg and his team. It provides a powerful look at what we need to do to change how forests are managed and what we need to do be prepared for the future.

The speaker Paul Hessburg, a Research Ecologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service, has studied historical and modern era forests of the Inland West for the last 32 years, and published extensively in leading national and international journals. His work documents large changes in forest conditions and how these changes, along with climate change, have set the stage for large and severe wildfires. For his significant contribution to fire and landscape ecology, Paul was awarded the Forest Service's 2017 Research & Development Deputy Chief's Distinguished Science Award. His recent book, Making Transparent Environmental Management Decisions, offers compelling and new insights into using modern-day decision support systems to plan for forest restoration.

This program is jointly sponsored by the South Sound Chapter, WNPS and the Masters Environmental Sciences, Evergreen State College. For the official trailer on this event see: Era of Megafires,

Unless we change a few of our forest and fire management habits in the US, we will lose many more beloved forests; some won’t recover in our lifetime. Paul Hessburg


Wednesday, May 8, 2019 (Tacoma)  (7pm)
Dr. Regina M. Rochefort

The Cascades Butterfly Project: Tracking Butterfly Abundances and Plant Phenology to Better Understand the Impact of Climate Change on Subalpine Ecosystems

Regina Rochefort retired from the National Park Service in April 2018, after 41 years. She was the most recently science advisor and plant ecologist at North Cascades National Park Service Complex; and prior to that, she was the Botanist at Mount Rainier and Everglades National Parks and a fire ecologist at Big Cypress National Preserve. She received her PhD from University of Washington while studying the effects of climate change on subalpine and alpine plant communities.

Meeting Locations:

Lord Mansion Coach House (formerly Washington State Capitol Museum)
211 21st Avenue SW
Olympia, WA 98501

Directions to the Lord Mansion Coach House: From Interstate 5 in Olympia, take Exit 105, following the "State Capital/City Center" route. Go through the tunnel, (get in the left hand lane) and turn left (south) onto Capital Way. Go one block past the stop light and Frog Pond Grocery store.  Turn right on 22nd Avenue.  The Coach House is on the right in the second block.

Tacoma Nature Center
1919 South Tyler Street
Tacoma, WA  98405

Directions to the Tacoma Nature Center: From Interstate 5, take State Highway 16 towards Gig Harbor. Look for the 19th Street EAST, exit and take it, which puts you onto South 19th Street. Travel to the first light, turn right on South Tyler, and then left into the first driveway at the Tacoma Nature Center.

General Meeting Information

South Sound Chapter presentations are held on the
second Monday and Wednesday of the month (October through May, in Olympia and Tacoma, respectively):

  • In Olympia, we typically gather at the Lord Mansion Coach House (211 21st Avenue SW).
  • In Tacoma, we typically gather at the Tacoma Nature Center (1919 South Tyler; 253-591-6439).
  • On occasion, however, our presentations are held at alternate facilities to accommodate larger audiences, so please be sure to note where each  meeting is held before you embark.

All meetings are open to the public and most are free of charge. Refreshments are typically provided by WNPS volunteers. We hope you'll join us for an evening of camaraderie and education about the world of native plants as well as the habitats that they create and sustain.

Outside of field trips and holiday gatherings, most meetings start at 7:00 pm. These "meetings" consist of a quick preview of activity announcements, but are mostly grounded in presentations that last 45 minutes to over an hour. Our topics are geared to attract and speak to neophytes and amateurs, as well as "dyed-in-the-wool" or otherwise committed botanists. We may be biased, but we think our presentations are top of the line!  

Members and the public are invited to attend all presentations.  For more information about our programs, please contact the Chapter Chair.

We hope to see all of you at the meetings!!!