OfficersDesert Harvest

President: George Miller, 352-9019, goxfordm1844 “at”

Vice President: Tom Stewart, 881-6296, tstewart “at”

Program Chair: Jim McGrath, 286-8745, sedges “at”

Secretary: Salem Smith, salemwsmith “at”

Treasurer: Gary Runyan, 205-9953, npsnm.gjrshadow “at”

Chapter Representative: Bettie Hines, 298-8408, hines.bettie “at”

Field Trip Coordinator: Carol Conoboy, 505-897-3530 carolconoboy “at”

Membership: Ann-Marie Yaroslaski, 220-8158, marannyar at

Newsletter Editor: Vacant. We welcome any member with journalistic/editing/desktop publishing interests to try on this rewarding volunteer position. Contact George or Tom.

Community Outreach: Pam McBride, ebotpam “at”


Books: Carolyn Dodson, 268-7889, cdodson “at”

Communications: Gary Hoe, 505 296-3654, hoebeau “at”

Invasive Weeds Representative: Don Heinz, 565-1441, dhhbotany “at”

Publicity: Melissa Ewer, melissitah “at”

Refreshments Coordinator: Penny Hoe, hoebeau “at”

Habitat Gardening Facilitator: Virginia Burris, 255-6772, vburris1 “at”

Albuquerque Chapter Annual Report

2015 Chapter Report (PDF)

2014 Chapter Report (PDF)

2013 Chapter Report (PDF)

2012 Chapter Report (PDF)


Scheduled Events for 2016

All monthly meetings are usually the first Wednesday of every month at 7 pm in the multi-purpose room of the Museum of Natural History, 1801 Mountain Road NW. For more information on programs, contact Jim McGrath at 286-8745 or  Meeting places for field trips (codes A through H) are described in detail at the end of the schedule.  Field trip and field forum participants should bring water, hat, sunscreen, snacks or lunch, rain gear and appropriate clothing to deal with poor weather conditions.

Some field trips may be announced with only 1 week to a month notice and will appear in this listing as promptly as possible.  Spring field trips depend upon good winter and spring precipitation; therefore, such field trips may be scheduled when we know wildflowers will be present.

Please be aware that all field trip participants must sign the NPSNM liability release form before departure. Leaders should have forms available onsite for those who have not signed one previously this year. The number of participants on field trips is limited, and preference is given to members. Nonmembers should not show up for field trips unless they have attended the previous chapter meeting to learn details and for possible registration.

April 6. Meeting. “Creating Resilient Garden Systems by Blending Native Traditional and Locally Adapted Plant Varieties.” Karen Bentrup, garden manager for the Desert Oasis Teaching Gardens at Albuquerque Academy, describes the utilization of permaculture and regenerative agricultural techniques at the DOT Gardens.

April 9. Saturday Field Trip. Desert Oasis Teaching Gardens at Albuquerque Academy. 10:30 -11:30 a.m. Karen Bentrup, Volunteer Gardener/Farmer, will lead the tour. Meet at the Desert Oasis Teaching Garden on the campus of Albuquerque Academy High School (see item #30 on map at

April 16. Overnight Field Trip. Flora of Mahoney Park, Florida Mountains. Leader Gene Jercinovic. Overnight in Deming motel or camp at Rockhound State Park on Friday April 15; field trip led by Gene on Saturday April 16. CANCELLED. MAY BE RESCHEDULED DEPENDING ON RAINFALL.

April 23. Volunteer Day. Oso Grande Pollinator Garden. 9:00–12 noon. Planting and spring cleanup. Bring gloves, hat, planting tools, sunblock. Meet at the shade structure to the west of the pollinator garden. Park on Osuna. Directions: From I-25, east on Montgomery to Morris NE, then north 3 blocks to the park at Osuna NE.

April 30. Field Trip. Urban Desert Garden Tour. 9:00–12 noon am. Ann Harris Davidson will share the story of her garden in Four Hills Village. Organically run, the property demonstrates growing small gardens with little water and nurturing a native wildflower and grassland desert. Meet at this private property: 1006 Bernalillo Pl SE at 9:00 am.

May 4. Meeting. “An Introduction to the Medicinal Plants of Central New Mexico.” Herbalist, landscape geographer, and native plant conservationist Dara Saville will introduce us to a few of our local medicinal plants and the varied ecosystems that they inhabit. We will discuss the plants’ healing characteristics, extraction methods, and practical applications as well as uncover what we can learn by developing intimate relationships with them.

May 7. Saturday Field Trip. Bosque at Tingley Beach. 10 am–12 noon. Leader Dara Saville. An easy walk in the Bosque. Meet in the lot at the south end of all the fishing ponds located along Tingley Drive, south of Central.

May 14. Saturday Field Trip. White Sands Missile Range. David L. Anderson, CIV, White Sands Missile Range Leader. Meet at 0900 hours at Stallion Gate. Planned itinerary includes the Mine Site, Trinity Site, and stopping in the Poison Hills to observe gypsophiles. If time permits, we will enter the Wood Ranch Valley to observe fire effects and vegetation recovery. PREREGISTRATION with full name, phone number, email, transportation needs, to ( required by April 1. Carpooling in high-clearance vehicles is recommended. Meeting place G at 7:00 am. or at Stallion Gate at 9:00 am. May 21. Saturday Field Trip. Lower Sandia Wildflowers. 8 am — 2 pm. Explore one of the lower-elevation trails for spring wildflowers. Bring lunch, hat, sunscreen.  Moderately strenuous on uneven trail. Leader: George Miller. Meeting place A at 8:00 am.

May 28. Saturday Field Trip. Mesa Penistaja Mesa. 8:00 am — 4:00 pm. Leader Lenore Goodell. Mesa Penistaja BLM badlands is a feature of the Nacimento Formation about 20 miles west of Cuba. From Bernalillo (meeting at the northwest corner of the Home Depot parking lot on 550 north of town) the drive is about 1 hour to Cuba and another 45 minutes to start point. There will be a map available showing the route beyond Cuba. Bring water, lunch and sunscreen.

June 1. Meeting. “Sandia High School’s Coati Pond: Reconnecting New Mexico’s Teenagers with Nature and Our Native Plant Heritage.” Sandia High School Biology Teacher Jason Roback describes how his hands-on teaching facility helps connect high school students to nature.  He will provide an overview on many recent studies that suggest a stronger connection to Nature improves physical, mental, and emotional health, and how this connection is increasingly becoming tenuous with many students today as education focuses more on test scores and standardization.  Jason will present details on how he is attempting to reestablish this vital link with students by using his school’s new outdoor environmental classroom.

June 4. Saturday Field Tour. Sandia High School’s Coati Pond Outdoor Environmental Classroom. 9:00-11:00 am.  Sandia High School Biology Teacher, Jason Roback, Leader. The tour will showcase the overall ecological design plan of the pond area, demonstrations of various student lessons, exploration of the pond’s native flora, fauna, geologic samples, and the new greenhouse. Participants may receive free native plant seedlings grown by Sandia students! Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Sandia High School staff parking lot, 7801 Candelaria NE. The staff parking lot is accessed from Candelaria, just west of the baseball field.

June 11th. Saturday Field Trip. Oso Grande Pollinator Habitat. 9:00-11:00 am. In celebration of our two year anniversary of the completion of the pollinator habitat, Judith Phillips will give a short talk and, with Tom Stewart, lead a walk and share the successes of the diversity and placement of plants and the pollinators we find. Meet at the shade structure to the west of the pollinator garden. Directions: From I-25, east on Montgomery to Morris St. NE, then north 3 blocks to the park at Osuna Rd. NE (not a through street).

June 18. Saturday Field Trip. Carlito Springs Open Space. 8:30 am-12:30 pm. Join a walking tour of the resources and history of Carlito Springs and explore the native plant communities, life zones, and exposures of this 179-acre jewel in the Sandia mountains. See how we are building a comprehensive inventory of the plants, animals, birds and insects using I-Naturalist. Participants can record their own observations. We’ll discuss the history from homesteading to its acquisition by the county and look at the ponds, terraces, and buildings. The 2-mile loop trail passes through orchards, mixed conifers, and a small wetland. If you plan to extend your day after 12:00 pm, bringing additional water, snacks, and lunch. Leaders: Linwood Standley, Carlito Springs Cohort. Meeting place A.

July 6th. Meeting. “Adventures of a New Mexico Rare Plant Botanist. Field Botanist Jim McGrath describes his involvement with New Mexico rare plants over the past 15 years. Jim’s story includes the strategies, problems, successes and the rare plants found while performing rare plant clearance surveys in the oil and gas fields of northwest New Mexico. Jim also discusses other rare plants visited while leading rare plant field trips into other parts of New Mexico, most notably the Sacramento Mountains of central New Mexico.

July 9. Saturday Field Trip. 10 K Trail in the Sandia Mountains or an all day adventure to Quebradas. Leader, Jim McGrath. Specific location and details tba.

July 30. Saturday Field Trip. Valles Caldera National Preserve. 7:30AM-5:00PM. Trip: 9:30AM-3:00PM at Valles Caldera. Leaders: plant ecologist Martina Suazo and naturalist Mark Ward. Visit the high elevation grasslands and forests of the Valles Caldera and observe a variety of native wildflowers in bloom. The discussion will include wildfire impacts and ecological restoration activities on the preserve. Carpooling in high clearance vehicles is required. Limit 16 participants + 2 leaders. Preregistration is required ( Bring water, lunch, sun protection (hat/sunscreen/sunglasses), and rain gear. Meeting Place D (Far North Shopping Center at San Mateo and Academy. Park near Wienerschnitzel) at 7:30 am.

August. No monthly Meeting in August

August 13. Field Trip. “Red Canyon in the Manzanos.” This hike begins at Red Canyon Campground which is reached by turning south on Forest Road 253 at the southern edge of the small town of Manzano off N.M. 14. The trail follows alongside and crosses a small stream several times. We may make it to where the trail leaves the drainage at 1.71 miles onto a sloping plateau and just a little bit further to good views to the east, but we are usually so caught up with admiring wildflowers, that we rarely make it quite so far. In the past we have been dazzled by pine drops, Sandia alum root, birdbeak, harebell, Mexican hat, cut-leaf coneflower, dayflower, and rattlesnake orchid among many others. We’ll probably be back late afternoon, so bring lunch, water, rain gear, sunscreen. Meeting place  A at 8:30 a.m.

August 27. Saturday Field Trip. Magdalena Mts., Timber Ridge Field Trip. George Miller, Leader. Timber Ridge at 10,000-feet at the head of Water Canyon in the mountains south of Socorro yielded 40 species of flowers last year, so let’s try it again! The ridge hike leads through a meadow with views in all directions and into a ponderosa forest. We hope to see lots of species not often seen in the Sandias, including Toadflax Penstemon, San Mateo Penstemon (NM RARE), Scouler’s Catchfly, Rough Mule’s Ears, and Rusby’s Primrose. Moderately strenuous hike on uneven trail. Bring raingear, hat, sunscreen, lunch. Meet 8:30 a.m., meeting place G, Saver’s parking lot on Carlisle on NE side of Carlisle/Menaul intersection. Park behind Mattress Firm in SW corner of lot.

September 7th. Meeting. “The Wild Orchids of Arizona and New Mexico.” Ron Coleman, author and orchid researcher affiliated with the University of Arizona, discusses all of the native orchids in Arizona and New Mexico, covering blooming season, habitat, and distribution. Several of these orchids species are found only in Arizona and New Mexico. The talk is based on his 2002 book,  “The Wild Orchids of Arizona and New Mexico.”

September 10th. Saturday Field Trip. “El Malpais.” Pam McBride and Doris Eng. Details TBA.

September 22-25. Annual Meeting of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico in Las Cruces. Theme: Organ Mountains/Desert Peaks.

October 5th. Meeting. Retired  NMSU Professor Kelly Allred, speaker. Details TBA.

November 2nd. Meeting. “New Conservation Programs for New Mexico’s Native Plants.” Restoration ecologist Melanie Gisler provides an overview of several new initiatives underway by the Institute for Applied Ecology’s Southwest Program including: a regional native plant materials project to increase the availability and diversity of native seed for large scale restoration projects, a project to enhance native milkweed populations and other nectar species for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, a “Native Plants of New Mexico” ecoregional curriculum for high school students, and support for a new statewide conservation strategy for NM rare plants. She will share examples of similar projects from Oregon that will be adapted to New Mexico’s unique environment and landscapes. The collaborative roles of multiple local conservation agencies and organizations are stressed as these relationships are important to the story of success.

December 3, 4, 10 or 11, Annual Holiday Potluck. 11am-2 pm. Saturday. Pam McBride’s House, 5409 9th St. NW. Pam will provide some vegetarian posole. Everyone bring a dish to share. From I-25 going north, take the Comanche/Griegos exit. Go west to 4th street, turn right, go to the next traffic light at Douglas MacArthur and turn left. Go to 9th street and turn north. Our driveway is just past a small dirt road, Juanita Lane, on the left. The house is straight back. Park on 9th street and walk in.



A. SE corner of Smith’s parking lot at Tramway and Central.

B. NE corner of Wal-Mart parking lot on the east side of Coors about 0.25 miles north of I-40.

C. Albertson’s parking lot at Tramway and Academy. Park along east wall.

D. Far North Shopping Center at San Mateo and Academy. Park near Wienerschnitzel.

E. Placitas. Parking lot of grocery store in Homesteads Village Shopping Center. Directions: I-25 north from ABQ to exit 242 (second exit at Bernalillo).  Turn right and go east on Hwy 165 for about 5 miles to shopping center in Placitas on left.  To car pool to Placitas, meet at D.

F. Michael Emery Trailhead Parking Lot. Go east to the end of Spain Road (east of Tramway). At “T” intersection turn right and go 0.1 mile and turn left into parking lot.

G. Saver’s parking lot on Carlisle on NE side of Carlisle/Menaul intersection. Park behind Mattress Firm in SW corner of lot.

H. Los Lunas. SW corner of Home Depot parking lot by the tool sheds.  Directions: From ABQ drive south on I-25 to Exit 203.  Head east through 2 traffic lights.  Home Depot is on left.

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