7 September 2015 — The Importance of Native Plants


If, after enjoying this week’s program, you don’t happen to have a specific comment to add, please remember to “vote” in the poll at the bottom of this page, to indicate your attendance. Thank you!


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 — 7:00pm to 10:00pm — SIXTH ANNUAL DANCE FOR THE CHILDREN, in support of The Rotary Foundation’s PolioPlus Fund and continuing the eradication of polio, Arthur Murray Sherman Oaks, 4633 Van Nuys Boulevard, just south of the 101 in Sherman Oaks.  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 — 12:30pm to 2:00pmOur FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for September! Special Guest Speaker: Rotary District 5280 Governor D.J. Sun, making his Official Visit to our Club.  We gather in The Fireplace Room at Denny’s, 5525 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. (Meeting reminders: Inspiration, Todd; Pledge, David; Four-Way Test, Brenda; Rotary Minute, Reed; Mini Craft Talk: Yoko.)  BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING will be held by conference call on a different date. REMINDER TO DIRECTORS: As part of the Official Visit of the District Governor, the Board will meet in The Fireplace Room at 11:00 a.m. with D.J. Sun and his team.  The Board of Directors meeting itself will be a conference call during the preceding week, TBA.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15 — LUNCH AND DINNER — SAVE THE DATE for a tasty fundraiser to support ESTADO 29, an orphanage in Mexico long supported by our Club Member Jorge Vazquez and two friends of his in another local Rotary Club.  The generous owner of LOS GRINGOS LOCOS restaurant in La Cañada will donate 15% of what we spend (when we present the flyer we’ll have ready for you soon) any time on that date.  All of the proceeds will be used for the orphanage project to help the great kids.  More news soon!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 — 12:30pm to 2:00pmOur FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for October! Special Guest Speaker: Janet Higgins, local outreach director for Be The Match and the national bone marrow registry.  We gather in The Fireplace Room at Denny’s, 5525 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.  BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING in The Fireplace Room at 11:00 a.m.


We have launched our Clunkers4Charity fundraiser! If you know of anyone (yourself included) who wants or needs to donate a car for tax purposes, send them to our website…and to the Clunkers4Charity “Link” you see at the right side of this page. Funds we raise will go right into the community for our projects.













This month’s First Monday Program is provided by Club Member Linda Wehrli.

The Importance of Native Plants

With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency in January 2015 and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages.

Gov. Brown





Then in April 2015, Governor Brown announced the first ever 25 percent statewide mandatory water reduction in cities and towns across California.

The order included:

-Replacing 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with drought tolerant landscaping in partnership with local governments.

-Prohibiting new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, and ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

Last month, club member Dr. Jorge Vazquez educated us of the imminent El Niño weather conditions, giving us hope for drought relief in winter 2016. However, according to State Climatologist Michael Anderson, California cannot count on potential El Niño conditions to halt or reverse drought conditions. “Historical weather data shows us that at best, there is a 50/50 chance of having a wetter winter. Unfortunately, due to shifting climate patterns, we cannot even be that sure,” he said.

If tearing out your lawn and replacing water-guzzling landscaping is imminent, please consider first getting educated on a solution that will benefit not only your property, but the environment as a whole: Planting Native Plants.

Native Plants





According to the Theodore Payne Foundation (TPF) and the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), native plants use as much as 75% less water than non-native plants.

Native vegetation evolved to live with the local climate, soil types, and animals. This long process brings us several gardening advantages.

• Save Water:
Once established, many native plants need minimal irrigation beyond normal rainfall.

• Low Maintenance:
Low maintenance landscaping methods are a natural fit with native plants that are already adapted to the local environment. Look forward to using less water, little to no fertilizer, little to no pesticides, less pruning, and less of your time.

• Pesticide Freedom:
Native plants have developed their own defenses against many pests and diseases. Since most pesticides kill indiscriminately, beneficial insects become secondary targets in the fight against pests. Reducing or eliminating pesticide use lets natural pest control take over and keeps garden toxins out of our creeks and watersheds.

• Wildlife Viewing:
Native plants, birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and interesting critters are “made for each other.” Research shows that native wildlife prefers native plants.

Monarch Butterfly





• Support Local Ecology:
As development replaces natural habitats, planting gardens, parks, and roadsides with California natives can provide a “bridge” to nearby remaining wildlands.

Beautiful natural landscapes in California, including the scenic National Parks here, display authentic California flora. Your garden can, too.

Native Flowers





Non-native plants take over natural areas and smother native plants. They can do this because the natural pests, foraging animals, diseases or weather conditions which kept the plants in check in their homeland are absent here. These weeds deprive our wild animals of food and shelter. Many weeds belong to the grass, pea and daisy families, with jubata and pampas grass, broom, and Cape ivy as well known problems.

So, how do we determine which drought resistant plants are natives?

Long Story: Specimens, seeds, and drawings of new world plants were taken to Europe by early explorers over many years. Thus, American plants were included in ongoing botanical studies of the world’s flora. Also, the science of paleobotany allows scientists to compare fossil records with modern plants to understand which plants are native to an area.

Short Story: When in doubt, contact the TPF or CNPS. Their volunteers are glad to help advise.  You can find a Native Plant Database at: http://calscape.cnps.org/

Native Flower






Want to see some great landscaping ideas? Check out the TPF 9th Annual Native Plants Garden Tour: https://youtu.be/bWua1hDp-S4

We hope this program will get you thinking about native plants and noticing them around town.

TPF Logo





Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants
Facebook Page







California Native Plant Society

Facebook Page


The opinions expressed by guest speakers, or in advertisements that appear on external websites linked to this program, are those of the speaker(s) / websites / advertisers and not necessarily of the Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley or its members. No endorsement is implied. Programs are presented for informational purposes only.



6 responses to 7 September 2015 — The Importance of Native Plants

  1. Wonderful and timely information! My family is in the process of both adding more native plants to our yard and sharing what we learn with others so our friends, family members, and colleagues can get excited about California wild flowers and native plants. If you are interested in checking out numerous cacti and succulent varieties and will be in the Reseda area, you can swing by the California Nursery Specialties Cactus Ranch. Visit http://www.california-cactus-succulents.com for more information.

  2. It makes perfect sense to keep the plants where they belong. Did you know it is also better for our health to eat the food that was grown locally? I hope more people will quickly adapt the new way of living in California. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Linda!

  3. Thanks for a great program. The Payne Foundation is a great resource right in our own backyard.

  4. Thank you Linda for discussing this important topic. We are currently planning to change our backyard landscaping and the resources of the Payne Foundstion will be very helpful.

  5. Lots of great information. Thanks, Linda!!

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