Holiday Portraits and Rare Plant Sale

December 7, 2012
Cactus sale and portrait fundraiser Saturday at Kaweah Oaks Preserve
Dec. 06

Kaweah Oaks Preserve will be hopping this Saturday as families dressed in their holiday best pose for portraits and a rare Christmas cactus sale takes place.

Both the portraits and plant sale benefit Sequoia Riverlands Trust, caretakers of this preserve located east of Visalia on Road 182.

Professional holiday portraits by CJHopper of PhotoMenage are by appointment only. Call now for an appointment as space is limited. Cost is $55 for the 20-minute photo shoot and one 8×10 print. To make an appointment, call CJHopper at 595-9691.

Sequoia Riverlands Trust is selling Christmas cacti collected by Andrew Frazier, SRT’s native plant nursery manager. This is not the typical Christmas cactus sold in nurseries. The sweet-scented, large blooms have cream colored petals with bright yellow highlights. They bloom at night about two nights a year in the spring and are called the Queen of the Night.

The bare-root cacti cost $5 to $25. Native plants and other cacti will also be available for purchase at the plant sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call Kelly Ryan at Sequoia Riverlands Trust at 738-0211, ext. 105 or email


Let Us Gather Seeds! – 2nd Annual Seed Gathering Contest

March 3, 2011

California poppy

The wildflowers are in bloom, lighting up the hillsides and roadsides with bold color. As we enjoy every day of this spectacular season, we’d like to get you thinking about helping us collect seeds to create even more beauty.

If you’d like to be part of painting the landscape with more color for the years to come, please keep your eyes on those flowers. Sometime in April, the flowers will eventually go to seed, and we’ll need your help gathering seeds to propagate at our native plant nursery.

Land stewardship is an important part of SRT’s mission. Throughout the year, we grow thousands of native flowers, shrubs and trees that we plant on our nature preserves to help replenish native plant populations.

Bush lupine

Help us scour the hillsides of your neighborhood and collect (legally) the following seeds for this effort: Lupinus albifrons or silver bush lupine, Cercis occidentalis or western redbud, and the state flower, Eschscholzia californica or California poppy. All three plants need to show brown seed pods before they are ready to collect. Please submit seeds to Sequoia Riverlands Trust (427 S. Garden St., Visalia). Label your submissions with the kind of plant, when it was collected and where it was collected (location is very important to keeping local plant communities local). We will then weigh submissions and announce the winner. The seed gathering winner will receive a free SRT membership (or gift membership for a fried) and their choice of an SRT merchandise item (t-shirt, hat, tote bag).

Since this year’s seed collecting contest coincides with the opening of Dry Creek Preserve and Homer Ranch, we will also recognize the winner at the grand opening of the preserves. The new nature preserves will feature a demonstration garden to educate our community about the water-saving beauty of our valley and foothill native plant species.

Wildflower Photography Workshop – April 10

March 23, 2010

Lewis Hill wildflower photographyJoin Pam Coz-Hill of Mike’s Quality Cameras for a wildflower photography workshop at Blue Oak Ranch in Springville. The class will focus on important aspects of close-up photography, especially applied to wildflowers. The class will begin at Mike’s Quality Cameras for a review of the types of cameras, lenses and accessories preferred by wildflower photographers. An emphasis will be placed on the crucial role of aperture, shutter speed and the resulting depth of field that enable creative control over photographic image making.

When: Saturday, April 10, 8:00am-4:00pm
Where: Meet at Mike’s Quality Cameras, 105 E. Main Street, Visalia, CA. The class will then carpool to Springville to take pictures.
Cost: $75
Other: Class is restricted to 15 people, so sign up today for this great class!

Check out a full course description. To view Pam’s cancellation policy, click here.

Download a registration form and return it to Pam Coz-Hill at Mike’s Quality Cameras.

Contact Pam for additional info: or by phone at (559) 733-3882.

1st Spring Lupine Seed Gathering Contest

March 1, 2010

Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT) is proud to present its first spring seed gathering event. We ask the public to help us gather seeds for the silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons), a beautiful California native that is an important food source for butterflies and other wildlife. In areas where development and/or cattle have reduced lupine populations, butterflies have also become more scarce.

As many of you know, Dry Creek Preserve is 152-acre former gravel quarry located just northwest of Lemon Cove. SRT has been replanting the preserve with native grasses, shrubs, trees and flowering plants, but we need lupine seeds to help the beautiful purple flower and native habitat flourish to its fullest potential. We will also be planting lupine at Blue Oak Ranch in Springville and Lewis Hill Preserve in Porterville.

We will award an embroidered button-down SRT shirt to the person or persons who collect the most seed (measured by weight).  Please gather seeds from the Three Rivers, Springville and Porterville areas (observing all laws regarding property rights – no fence-jumping, please) and make careful notes of the seeds’ place of origin (we will only replant seeds within 10 miles of where they were gathered so as not to affect local gene pools). Look for the flowers to go to seed sometime in late March. The blue flowers will fade and give way to a green seed pod, but they’re not quite ready. When the green pods turn brown, then they’re ready to be harvested. Please leave a few seeds on each plant so that local populations can re-seed themselves!

The window of opportunity for seed gathering is brief, so stay on the look-out. Monitoring lupine is a great excuse to pay more attention to nature and its marvelous cycles.

Please, no store-bought seeds.

We will propagate the fragile lupine seeds at our nursery, then replant as needed at the preserves, for the benefit of many species of wildlife. Any plants left over will be made available to the public at our fall plant sale.

Happy seed gathering!

Also, stay tuned to poppy seed gathering details, coming up next month.

Big Events for a Bright, Beautiful Spring

February 26, 2010

Here at SRT, we’re positively giddy about the bold beauty of spring that is about to dazzle our hillsides with vibrant life and color. As you’ve likely noticed, many trees are already blooming. And the green hills, freshly rained upon, glean a near iridescent green. Soon, the bright, young green oak leaves will begin to flourish upon sturdy branches that have stood as stark silhouettes against the winter sky. And of course, the radiant rainbow of wildflowers are preparing to make their annual appearance – brilliant purple bush lupine, radical orange poppies and coquettish yellow fiddlenecks, among many more.

For all of these reasons, ‘tis the season to celebrate nature.

And for all of these reasons, we have prepared a great menu of options to get you all outside to enjoy the season that makes our valley shine.

PHOTO CONTEST: “How do you view your landscape, through the seasons?”

SRT just launched a photography competition that asks all nature and/or photography enthusiasts to get out and express themselves through their own vision of the landscape.

We are interested in seeing the role that natural and agricultural spaces play in people’s lives. Each person has a different way of seeing the landscape, and we want photographs that exhibit your unique perspective. Ask yourself what you see when you look at an open field, an oak tree, a farm or a wild animal. What do you think about? What does that say about the role it plays in our community?

If this sounds fun and interesting to you, please send us an email at to receive a full list of contest details, rules and prizes. More importantly, you’ll be signing up to receive periodic updates about exclusive photography opportunities on SRT preserves and photography workshops. Don’t miss out on the spectacular season of spring wildflowers! However, we also encourage photographs taken from all four seasons of our ever-changing valley and foothill landscape, even photos you’ve previously taken.

Competition winners (22 in all) will have the privilege of seeing their photos displayed as part of the Arts Visalia exhibit in November 2010, in conjunction with the 2nd annual Kaweah Land & Arts Festival.

Please send us an email today to receive more info.

5K Earth Day Trail Run/Walk at Kaweah Oaks Preserve – 4/24/10

What better way to show your appreciation for your local landscape than to get outside and take a jog or a stroll along oak and sycamore-lined trails at Kaweah Oaks Preserve? Please join us for the first 5K Earth Day Trail Run at KOP. If you’ve been wanting to try out trail running, but were afraid of the hills, then this is the race for you. The 5K course will take you along two of the four flat dirt trails (Sycamore and Swamp Trail) that make up Kaweah Oaks Preserve’s 322-acre oak woodland. Along the way, don’t forget to say hello to the several species of birds and critters that happily make the preserve their home. The course is primarily flat and will be mostly single-track with some double-track trails. Medals will be awarded to all participants. Refreshments will be provided after the race. The race will take place rain or shine.

When: Saturday, April 24, 2010, 8:00 a.m. The preserve will open at 6:45 a.m. for event-day registration.

How: Sign up by April 15 for early registration: $20. Early registration ensures that you will receive a commemorative KOP 5K Earth Day Trail Run t-shirt in your requested size, as well as a finisher’s medal.

Registration after April 15 and on event day: $25.

While supplies last, participants will receive a race t-shirt and a finisher’s medal. Age group winners will receive eco-friendly prizes made by local elementary school students.

Download your registration form today!

Who: Sequoia Riverlands Trust, in conjunction with local business sponsors and the Visalia Runners Club, is putting on this 5K fun run to celebrate the beautiful natural resources that define our little piece of Earth here in the southern San Joaquin Valley. If you’d like to promote your business or organization as a race sponsor (in the amount of $100, $250 or $500), please view this flyer and contact

Annual Wildflower Walk at Lewis Hill Preserve – 3/6/10

lewis hill wildflower walk

Join us for a Saturday stroll and wildflower immersion experience at Lewis Hill Preserve. We will be taking a guided tour of wildflowers including the rare striped adobe lily (Fritillaria striata), a wonderfully fragrant flower with one-inch, white to pink petals and narrow red stripes. This is a unique opportunity to access Lewis Hill Preserve, which is only open to the public once a year for this spectacular guided walk. Bring your friends, bring your family!

When: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Who: Fletcher Linton, botanist for the Sequoia National Forest, will present this program about the unique geology that creates just the right conditions for the rare striped adobe lily.

Where: The preserve is located just north of Porterville. From Highway 190 in Porterville, exit at Plano, one-and-a-half miles east of Highway 65. Drive north four miles to the crest of the first hill. The preserve is on the west side of the road. Park along the roadway at the top of the hill. Carpooling is encouraged.

Bring: Water, snacks, layered clothing, sturdy walking shoes, sun screen, hat, binoculars, wildflower book (optional) and a friend. Dogs are not permitted at the preserve.

Cost: $10 for Sequoia Riverlands Trust members; $15 for non-members. Become a member that day and attend the walk for free! Memberships begin at $35 for an individual or $50 for a family.

More spring events can be found on our website. Stay tuned, we will be adding other exciting events!