If native plants are your passion, we need you! We are starting a Master Gardener Native Plants Club. Activities will include locating and mapping sites of local native plant populations, seed collecting, establishing native plant community gardens and more! Interested? Fill out our online interest form or contact Heidi Kratsch at 336-0251 to sign up. 

The first meeting of the Reno-area Master Gardener Native Plants club was held on Monday, November 14th, 2011 from 2-4 p.m. at UNCE’s Reno office (4955 Energy Way). The inagural meeting of the Carson-area club has not yet been scheduled.

Meeting Agendas and Minutes:

[EXPAND November 14th, 2011 Meeting Agenda]

Master Gardener Native Plants Club

Monday, November 14, 2011, 2:00 p.m.



What is the purpose of the Native Plants Club? To investigate, test and promote the use of native plants in home gardens for water efficiency and creation of wildlife habitat.

How do we differ from the Nevada Native Plants Society? Our interest is in native plants that can enhance the beauty and function of our built landscapes. Whereas, the NNPS is “organized solely for educational, scientific and charitable purposes for the stimulation of interest in and the developing of an appreciation for native Nevada plants and their preservation,” we can take that a step further by bringing the most promising plants into our own gardens, trialing them for their ornamental attributes and creating demonstration gardens for the public. We aren’t a replacement for the NNPS, rather we can enhance their mission. There may be opportunities to collaborate with them on projects.

Some proposed projects:

  • Identifying native species with horticultural promise (start with no more than 10 at a time)
  • Mapping the location of significant populations of those species (will need permission if we want to collect seed)
  • Investigating propagation protocols for seeds of the plants of interest
  • Establish demonstration gardens (west side of Coop Ext building, C-scape, May arboretum, individual’s homes)
  • Create Extension fact sheets on those species
  • Others?

Who is interested in which project? (pass around interest lists)

Other topics of discussion

Next meeting:


[EXPAND November 14th, 2011 Meeting Minutes]

Master Gardener Native Plants Club

Monday, November 14, 2011, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Meeting Minutes

Present: Marsha Ross, Virginia Smith, Judi Kleidon, Kathie Kauffman, Kathy Randolph, Suzanne Adams, Kathi Linehan, Susan Lester, Jackie Aust-Giray, Cheryl Schumacher, Rachael Murphy, Jordan Lubek, Heidi Kratsch

Introductions: Everyone introduced themselves and described their experience/interest in native plants. Jordan Lubek is funded by a U.S. Forest Service grant to help with geospatial mapping of selected species.

What is the purpose of the Native Plants Club:

  • To select, propagate, test and promote native plants for use in home gardens for water efficiency and creation of wildlife habitat.
  • To map the locations of selected native plant species using geospatial technology.

How do we differ from the Nevada Native Plants Society:

Whereas the Nevada Native Plant Society is interested in plants native to Nevada, we are more broadly interested in Great Basin native plants that have demonstrated adaptive and ornamental qualities for water-efficient landscaping in western Nevada. For example, we may select species from any of the states in the Great Basin Ecoregion (Idaho, northwest Utah, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, northern California and most of Nevada) for our propagation, demonstration and educational activities. Our interests intersect with those of the Nevada Native Plant Society, and we will use them for guidance in collecting and identifying species (I and others will attend their meetings on a regular basis.)

Proposed projects:

  • Plant Selection committee: will select no more than 10 species for our club to focus our efforts on at any one time. We will add species as needed. Plant selection committee meeting set for Monday, December 12 at 2 p.m. All interested MGs are invited.
  • Native Plant Mapping and Seed Collection committee: this committee will travel to potential sites of the selected native species. Their aim is to find communities (at least 10 individual plants) that show good potential for seed harvest (permission to collect will be sought as needed.) Jordan will aid with collection of latitude/longitude/elevation data and use it to create a geospatial map of our collection sites. Activities to include:
    • Identify sufficiently large populations
    • Collect a voucher specimen (for pressing and plant id confirmation)
    • Collect data on latitude, longitude, elevation (some cell phones have GPS apps for this) and record the characteristics of the site, including associated plant species.
    • Some sites could be in individual Master Gardener landscapes (we’re not picky, we just want seed)
    • This committee will meet in spring.
  • Native Plant Propagation Committee: purpose is to research existing propagation protocols for selected plants, or to help me to test different methods of propagation for difficult species. Meeting time TBA.
  • Trial/Demonstration Garden Committee: The main trial/demonstration garden will be on the west end of the Washoe Co. Coop. Ext. building, but other gardens may be established at the May arboretum, Cscape in Carson, or any other spot (even individual master gardener homes). This committee will become active as plants become available. Meeting time TBA.
  • Native Plant Education Committee: purpose is to give talks and other forms of educational activities (tours, etc.) for educating the public on the value of native plants in home gardens.
  • Fact Sheet committee: this committee will work on compiling information on selected native plant species for publication as UNCE fact sheets.

Sign-up lists for the committees were passed around. Anyone not attending this meeting is free to join any of the above committees. Contact Heidi at kratschh@unce.unr.edu.

Other topics for discussion:

  • It was suggested to video conference our meetings to other sites so all can participate. I will investigate.
  • We need an acronym. “Master Gardener Great Basin Native Plant Club” may be too onerous to remember. Assignment for all: come up with a catchy acronym for our club.
  • It is expected that the purpose of this group will grow and evolve. One future goal is to eventually sell the plants we grow at our annual plant sale (that will take marketing efforts on our part).
  • Jordan mentioned recent efforts with tribal youth collecting native edibles. We may be able to work together on some projects with the tribe where we have common interests. I will speak with Randy Emm about this.
  • Due to lack of greenhouse space, Heidi will conduct propagation experiments on a Grow Cart in her office. But these plants will have to be moved as soon as they germinate and grow to seedling size to a greenhouse or cold frame – none is currently available.
    • Note: Immediately after the meeting, I received a fortuitous email from a faculty member on campus who teaches plant identification to students each fall. She is looking for a source of plants and has teaching space in one of the Valley Road greenhouses (primo space!) for growing native plants. So this may be our opportunity for growing plants to out-planting size.

Next meeting: I will send out a Doodle poll to come up with a day and time for our January meeting. When you get the email, click on the link and it will take you to the dates and times I put in. Click on the dates and times that will work for you and press “Enter.” If you have questions, please call me: 775-336-0251 or Ashley: 775-336-0231. Let me know if you would like to take advantage of our video conference capabilities. I can arrange it at a convenient Coop Ext location as long as a room is available.

Thanks to all for a productive meeting! [/EXPAND]