Bryophytes Part 1: Our Common Mosses

Native Plant Study Group

Bryophytes Part 1: Our common mosses

Wednesday February 5 from 6:30 – 9pm

WWU Biology Building Room 249

Don’t you wish you had more plants to ID in the wintertime? Well, if you can get familiar with the bryophytes you’ll have plenty to keep you busy! This week, Katrina will get us started with bryophytes by providing an overview of moss anatomy, terminology to help with identification, and a sampling of the most common and easily identified moss species of our region. Take advantage of this opportunity to use the microscopes in the biology lab — it is hard to identify mosses without them.

A Prudent Approach to Prunus

Native Plant Study Group

A prudent approach to Prunus: Understanding Washington’s plums, cherries, and laurels

Wednesday January 29th from 6:30-9:00 PM

WWU Biology Building Room 249

The forests of Western Washington are home to a couple native cherries, and a handful of esoteric ornamentals that are increasingly showing up in wild places. This week’s Native Plant Study group will examine the identifying characteristics of the Prunus genus and try and sort out confusing common names. We will study photographs, herbarium specimens, and fresh winter twigs.

Protecting and Restoring our County Lands

The next Koma Kulshan chapter meeting is on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 7:00 pm in the Sustainable Living Center (upstairs above the ReStore at the corner of Broadway and Meridian in Bellingham).

Nick Saling will discuss Whatcom Land Trust’s conservation strategies and point out our stewardship activities and restoration efforts that will reveal the wealth of flora and fauna that we have on our lands. He promises some video clips scattered throughout the slide show to help demonstrate our county’s biodiversity.

Nick works with the Whatcom Land Trust as Director of Stewardship. Since graduating from the WWU Biology program, he has also been a Washington Conservation Corps Supervisor for the Department of Ecology and served with the U.S. Peace Corps doing coastal resource management work.

Explore Wetlands, Learn About Fire & Fungi

The Koma Kulshan chapter has two wetland field trips scheduled for October. The first, on October 13, will be a late-season plant exploration on a new Whatcom Land Trust property near Glacier. The second, on October 20, heads to the wetlands around Little Cranberry Lake near Anacortes. Details are on the Field Trips page.

Chapter meetings this fall cover fire ecology and fungi, two disparate forces that interact with our flora and have major impacts on the landscape.

On October 16 John Marshall will show us how fire has changed Washington’s landscape.

On November 20 Kira Taylor will discuss the role fungi play in the plant community.

Details are on the Chapter Meetings page.

Get High on Summer Field Trips in the Mt. Baker Area

The Koma Kulshan chapter’s summer field trips all take advantage of long days and high mountain vistas as we explore the flora around Mount Baker.

Trip descriptions are on the Field Trips page.

You’ll find we’re planning visits to Goat Mountain, Chowder Ridge, the Scott Paul Trail, Lake Ann (the one by Mt. Shuksan), Ptarmigan Ridge, and a Cryptogam Ramble scheduled for the Damfino Lakes Trail (if the road is repaired).

Chapter meetings will resume on Wednesday, September 18.

2013 Introductory Plant Walks

Join our fun, informal walks and get familiar with plants native to Whatcom County. Sponsored by the Koma Kulshan Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, these introductory plant identification walks feature an easy pace and will each last a couple of hours. The walks will focus on a variety of habitats, with your expert guide introducing you to common trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants native to our area. Tidbits on ethnobotany, wildlife use, gardening with natives, and other interesting plant related facts will be shared. People of all ages and experience levels are welcome. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes that may get wet. Each walk stands alone, or attend them all to get a free mini-course on plant identification. For more information contact: Vikki Jackson at 319-6988 or via email at

Spring Plant Walk at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve

Day/Date: Sunday April 28th
Time: 1:30 to 3:30 pm
This week is Native Plant Week and the walk is sponsored by the Whatcom Land Trust and the Washington Native Plant Society. The forest floor at Point Whitehorn is carpeted with small wild-flowers in the spring. Join us for a walk and learn about the flowers, shrubs and trees of this forest on the edge of the sea. The walk will take us to the beach. At this time you may choose to linger on the beach or return to the cars.

Cost: free! No registration required, just show up at the meeting spot.
Location: Meet at the Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve Park. Directions: take the Grandview Road exit on I-5 head drive West on Grandview to the end, turn L (south) on Koehn Rd. and you will soon see the parking lot on the left. Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve Google Map

Hidden Forest Foray

Day/Date: Wednesday, May 8th
Time: 6:00 p.m. to dusk
Explore the plants of the Sehome Hill Arboretum, a “secret” natural area in the heart of Bellingham with guidebook author and Arboretum board member Mark Turner. Sehome Hill was logged in the early 20th century and is now developing a mature second-growth forest. We’ll look at trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and a vine or two. Learn what’s native and what’s not.

Cost: free! No registration required, just show up at the meeting spot.
Location: Meet in the parking area at the top of Arboretum Drive (off Bill McDonald Parkway). Sehome Arboretum Google Map

Backyard Habitat Fair Padden Lagoon Walk

Day/Date: Saturday May 18th
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Join WNPS at the Backyard Habitat Fair. We will walk from the fair area down the City Greenways trails around Padden Creek to see a variety of fun native plants. Make sure to stop at the fair before the walk to purchase some native plants.

Cost: free! No registration required, just show up at the meeting spot.
Location: Fairhaven Green. Meet at the stage at the Fairhaven Village Green (map).

Sprout Walk – A Family Plant Walk at Tennant Lake (Hovander Park)

Day/Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Time: 2pm to 3:30pm
This walk is designed for children 4-6 yrs old with adult guardians. Plants are hard at work for you every day! Explore plants together and discover shapes, textures, and colors.
Maximum 10 children

Cost: free! Contact Monika Lange to register contact her at
Location: Meeting Point: Tennant Lake Interpretive Center (Fragrance Garden) Google Map


Day/Date: Thursday, May 30
Time: 6:00 p.m. to dusk
Enjoy an evening walk investigating native plants in the urban environment. We will follow the Native Plant Teaching Trail in Maritime Heritage Park along Whatcom Creek and learn about the plants, their names, and uses in native Salish tradition. The walk will be led by anthropologist Allan Richardson, co-author of Nooksack Place Names.

Location: Meet at the Environmental Learning Center on West Holly Street at Maritime Heritage Park in downtown Bellingham. Google Map

Wild Foods of Chuckanut Bay

Day/Date: Thursday, June 13th
Time: 6:00 p.m. to dusk
Learning plants is fun when you can eat them too! The picturesque forests along the beaches of Chuckanut Bay are rich with wild edibles. Trip leaders Abe Lloyd and Katrina Poppe will share identification tips, traditional Native American plant uses, and their favorite recipes for enjoying nature’s bounty. Rubber boots are recommended.

Cost: free! No registration required, just show up at the meeting spot.
Location: Meet at the end of Fairhaven Ave in Chuckanut Village (Driving South on Chuckanut Drive, turn Right onto 21st Street and then Right again onto Fairhaven Ave). Google Map