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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 .)

         February 9, 2015  (Olympia)  7PM
Tom Burke: The Flora and Fauna of Churchill

Join biologist, Tom Burke, as he shares his experience on spring and fall visits to Churchill Manitoba. During these trips, Tom was able to see many birds, wild flowers and even a few mammals that we don't see here in the NW. The flora, as well as the fauna in the area is fascinating, as is the history of the area. Some of Tom’s photographs include beluga whales, an arctic fox, willow ptarmigan, and the beautiful Lapland Rose-Bay (Rhododendron laponicum). Now retired after working with the USFS and Washington Department of Wildlife for 30 years, Tom supports various agencies as a consultant on inland mollusks.

February 11, 2015  (Tacoma)  7PM
David Droppers: Gardening for Butterflies in the Puget Sound Region

David Droppers has been studying butterflies and moths for over 10 years. His primary interest is reaction to populations after management actions. An all-around naturalist, he has put his skills to work for the National Park Service, Forest Service, and Woodland Park Zoo, among many others. David will discuss the basic biology and ecology of butterflies and what makes gardening for them in western Washington particularly challenging. With an emphasis on native plants,  he will also discuss what plants and techniques will maximize your chances of filling your yard with butterflies. 

March 9, 2015  (Olympia)  7PM
Pat and Dan Montague: Natives in the Yard – Our Personal Journey

Today the landscaping around Pat and  Dan Montague’s home near Olympia is awash in native plants. Their beautiful yardscape is a product of many years of working with, and learning about, native plants. Dan and Pat will show pictures of their landscaping, and discuss what has worked for them and what has not. Their talk will feature valuable tips and insights into tackling natives in your own yard. Dan and Pat are long time members of the South Sound Chapter and volunteer regularly for the South Puget Sound Prairie Landscape Working Group.

March 11, 2015  (Tacoma)  7PM
Ben Legler:
 Revising “Flora of the Pacific Northwest”

In 1973, Leo Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist published “Flora of the Pacific Northwest”, with illustrations by Jeanne Janish. Advances in both taxonomy and knowledge of NW floristics require a revision of this outstanding work for it to remain the standard against which other regional floras are measured. Ben Legler, Collections Manager at the University of Washington Herbarium since 2002, will present background information regarding publication of the original Flora, why a new Flora is needed, and an overview for how the current revision project is being conducted. This important project is supported by WNPS.

April 8, 2015  (Tacoma)  7PM
Julie Combs: Early Detection of Invasive Species

The first line of defense against an invasive species is preventing its introducion into the environment in the first place. However, should an invasive species appear on the landscape, early detection and rapid response (EDRR) efforts increase the likelihood that it will be removed before it becomes widespread. Dr. Julie Combs of the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council (PNW-IPC) will discuss the PNW-IPC Citizen Science Program and the incredible difference EDRR volunteers are making to document and control invasive plants on public lands.

April 13, 2015  (Olympia)  7PM
Donovan Tracy: Photographing Wildflowers in Mount Rainier National Park

Virtually in our backyard, Mount Rainier National Park has long been considered one of the best places on earth to view and photograph wildflowers.  Photographer Donovan Tracy has developed his skills through hundreds of days in the field and will share what he’s learned photographing at Mt. Rainier Park. Techniques covered in his presentation are suited both for novice photographers to serious amateur photographers who desire to more thoroughly study and photograph plants in their natural environment. Donovan will also review a wildflower hike featured on his web site.

May 11, 2015  (Olympia)  7PM
Peter Goldmark: DNR Activities, Natural Areas, and Challenges

Peter Goldmark will present a overview of the many activities and natural resources he manages as the Commissioner of Public Lands. This includes responsibility for the largest fire department in the state, protection of 12.7 million acres of private, state-owned, and tribal lands from wildfires and management of 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands that generate nearly $35 million per biennium. Commissioner Goldmark will also touch on some of the challenges facing the Department of Natural Resources in sustaining Washington’s natural resources in the face of budgetary constraints.


May 13, 2015  (Tacoma)  7PM
Kevin Head: The Alpine Trail in Switzerland

The Alpine pass route crosses Switzerland from Sargans near to Liechtenstein to Monteux bordering Lac Leman. The distance is near to 350 km and takes 20 days to cross over 14 alpine passes. The route passes the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and stays in idyllic towns throughout the journey. Kevin Head, photographer extraordinaire, did this trip; with his wife, Julia Brayshaw, last summer and will present slide of the route and wildflowers of Switzerland.


Meeting Locations:

Washington State Capitol Museum Coach House
211 21st Avenue SW
Olympia, WA 98501

Directions to the Washington State Capital Museum: From Interstate 5 in Olympia, take Exit 105, following the "State Capital/City Center" route. Go through a tunnel, (get in the left hand lane) and turn left on Capital Way. Follow the brown and white "State Capital Museum" signs to 21st Avenue. Turn right on 21st Avenue and proceed two blocks. The museum is on the left in a stucco mansion.  We meet in the carriage house in back of the mansion.

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 Washington State Capitol Museum (211 21st Avenue SW; 360-753-2580).
  • 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!!!