Wildflower Show

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Michelle Geary with students
The Wildflower Show Returns on Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM

The California Native Plant Society- Santa Clara Valley Chapter will showcase the plant biodiversity of Santa Clara, San Mateo, and surrounding counties. The free event will feature a variety of native wildflowers and plant exhibits, lectures, workshops and tours. This year’s show will feature a “Bringing Biodiversity Home” theme. The lecture series and workshops will offer the opportunity to learn about how to support biodiversity in our back yards through lectures and workshops focused on habitat gardening, supporting a diversity of species, how to document wildlife through photography and local community science projects. Expert botanists, gardeners, biologists, and students will be on site to interact with the public and answer questions. A selection of native plants, native plant art, books, jewelry and other related goods will be available for purchase.

The keynote speaker this year is Bart O’Brien, author of California Native Plants for the Garden. His talk will showcase the value of native plant gardening in supporting and building biodiversity. The lecture series will have several talks on how to promote a diversity of species, from bees to birds through habitat gardening.

The event will also showcase two Bioblitzes – community events designed to engage the public in citizen science by documenting biodiversity. Participants will have the opportunity to discover the surprising plants and animals that make West Valley College campus their home! Join Dr. Merav Vonshak, founder of BioBlitz.club, for a short BioBlitz where you will learn how to make nature observations with your phone or camera and how to use iNaturalist to track, identify, and learn more about what you saw - all while contributing to community science! A Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitz launch and SOD packet station will also be available for people who would like to participate in the 2024 SOD Blitz.

Participants will also be able to take tours of the Vasona Creek Restoration Project and the Biology Department Moon Garden. The Vasona Creek tour will showcase the native plants and landscapes and the restoration project of Vasona Creek, which runs through the middle of campus. Learn how the riparian corridor of the creek is being restored with native, drought tolerant plants and innovative storm water management techniques. The WVC Biology Department, co-host of the event, will lead a tour of the Moon Garden, showcasing habitat gardening with native plants with a focus on nocturnal ecology and dark sky design.

Music at the event will be provided by Bill Walker of Friday Jazz Happy Hour and the West Valley Jazz Ensemble. Children’s activities include a scavenger hunt.

The West Valley College campus is located at 14000 Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga. The show will be located in the Biology wing of the Science and Math buildings, which parallels Allendale Avenue. Free parking in lot 2 during the event. See campus map. The event and parking are free to the public.

Lecture Schedule
Event Time Presenter
Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Bioblitz Kickoff 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Matteo Garbelotto Lab
Creating Habitat and Beauty in Your Garden with Native Plants 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Bart O’Brien
Gardening for Biodiversity 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM John Kehoe
Gardening for Birds 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM Ann Hepenstal
Workshop Schedule
Students on tour
Event Time
Wildflower arrangement
Madeline Morrow
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Botanical Photography with Your Phone
Valentina Lau
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Moon Garden tour
Leticia Gallardo and Molly Schrey
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Vasona Creek tour
Scott Ludwig
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Macrophotography and West Valley College BioBlitz
Merav Vonshak
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Music Schedule
Event Time
Bill Walker | Jazz Keyboardist 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
West Valley Jazz Ensemble 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Last Updated 3/26/24