Upcoming Spring and Summer Events

Garden Work Party Friday, July 19th, from 7:30 to 9:30 am

Leafcutter bee on Mexican Hat

We had a small turnout at last week’s work party and we need more help. We’ll be weeding, raking paths, and cutting back plants that are protruding into pathways.

Please note we are starting a half an hour earlier than usual.

Please bring gloves if you have them. We’ll have tools available, too.

We will reschedule if it is raining.

Native Plant Sale, Saturday, August 17

Poster for native plant sale

August 17th, 2024: Our big event of the summer will be the Native Plant Sale in the parking lot across from Gough Park. We plan to have five local native plant growers lined up to sell their plants to the public. Visit our Native Plant Sale page for more!

Garden Work Parties

Work Parties, announced by email, are held in the Silva Creek Botanical Garden periodically during the growing season, and occassionally at other times of year.

Fall and Winter Events

BCI Talks Bats at the Zócalo, June 23rd

Rachel Burke of Bat Conservation International (BCI) will give a talk on nectivorous bats at the Whiskey Creek Zócalo on Sunday, June 23rd, at 1:00 pm. She will explain the threats facing the nectar-feeding bats that migrate through our area and why our agave-planting efforts are so important.

 She will also explain a new citizen science project we can participate in. As some of you have noticed, in August and September when no agave are in bloom, nectar-feeding bats may visit our hummingbird feeders. By collecting eDNA samples for BCI, we can help them determine the species that are present and the timing of migration. With enough participation, BCI could also an idea of numbers. Rachel will have some eDNA kits to give out. Come learn more about this fascinating citizen science project.


Evening Programs

For further details or to view past programs click here: Programs page.

Monthly evening programs are offered on the third Friday of the month (September – April or May) at 7 p.m. Some programs will be hybrid and some via Zoom only – see below. In person meetings will be held at Harlan Hall, room 111. Gila Native Plant Society members will receive a Zoom link by email; any others interested may request a link from gilanative@gmail.com. All are welcome. Tune in soon to see our scheduled programs for the fall.

Field Trips

Field trips will be organized as opportunities arise and announced by email. Check our field trips page to see information about past field trips here: http://www.gilanps.org/events/field-trips.

Past Events

Gila Wilderness Centennial, Late May through Early June, 2024

We’re joining the celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Gila Wilderness by offering three field trips and a presentation. You can read about the hikes on our field trips page and read about the presentation below.

Pollinators, Native Plants: A Two-way Street, Saturday, June 1, 6:30 – 7:30 PM

Location: Open Space Brewery, 11990 US-180 Santa Clara Armory, Santa Clara, NM.

Agapostemon native bee

Join us for a presentation that explores the vital relationships which exist between native plants and their pollinators. Of course, native plants depend on pollination services from bees, butterflies, moths, and others, but the pollinators also depend on native plants to produce pollen for their young, food, building materials, etc.  In this presentation we will delve into examples of the two-way interactions which have evolved between these two important components of a functioning ecosystem, illustrated with the amazing photographs of Elroy Limmer.

Don Graves taught biology in the community colleges of northern Minnesota for thirty years. Elroy Limmer has been taking amazing photographs of the natural world since he was a boy.

Dark Skies in New Mexico

Immediately following the pollinators’ presentation, Jon Holtzman, professor of astronomy at New Mexico State University and chair of the State Council of the recently formed New Mexico Chapter of DarkSky International, will speak about the threat to dark skies in New Mexico and around the world, as light pollution continues to increase. Light pollution is reversible, however, if reasonable principles of good lighting are adopted and followed. In this presentation, we’ll discuss the nature of light pollution, some of its adverse effects, principles of good lighting, and some of the tools we can use for improvement. We’ll also describe the formally designated DarkSky places in New Mexico and highlight some opportunities for expansion of New Mexico DarkSky places.

Sunday, May 19, noon. Annual Picnic at the Gomez Peak Picnic Pavilion.

Please bring your best potluck offering to share and your own plate, glass, and utensils (including a serving utensil if needed for your potluck contribution). Beverages and hot dogs with their fixings will be provided.

Give Grandly, Saturday, May 4, 2024

The Gila Native Plant Society participated in Give Grandly 2024, the big annual fundraiser for local nonprofits – 65 organizations this year!

The in-person event took place on May 4th and was a great success. The 65 participating nonprofits took in, live or online, a grand total of over $253,000, and the Gila Native Plant Society garnered $3,665!

As you know, GNPS has developed a Master Plan to transform the Silva Creek Botanical Garden into an even better and more beautiful educational facility. The plans can be viewed on our website – www.gilanps.org – under “Botanical Garden.” We have allocated a significant portion of donations this year to implementing the Master Plan.

August 5th, 2023, 8:30 to 11:30 am: Tour of the Silva Creek Botanical Garden – Master Plan Explained
July 29th – 30th, 2023: Booth and activities for children at the Hummingbird Festival at the Mimbres Cultural Heritage Site
May 6th, 2023, at Main Street Plaza: booth for the Give Grandly fundraiser – www.givegrandly.org
April 22nd, 2023,: Booth and activities for kids at the Gila Earth Day Celebration, Gough Park
Saturday, September 24, 2022, 8am-12pm- Field Trip: Pollinators and Larval Host Plants of Signal Peak. Leader: GNPS President Don Graves, as part of the 18th Annual Gila River Festival.

There is an evolutionary bond between native plants and the pollinators that ensure not only their survival, but the survival of a whole host of ecosystem components. Thanks for joining us on this exploration of Signal Peak, from the bottom wet meadow to the coniferous forest at the top. Along the way, we experienced these pollinators and native plants in an attempt to better understand this fragile ecosystem.

Thursday, January 13, 2022, 5:15 pm via Zoom — A Joint Birds and Brews: Local Pollinators and Native Plant Hosts

Using the beautiful photography of Elroy Limmer, this joint SWNM Audubon/Gila Native Plant Society program will explore the lives of local pollinators from native bees to long-nosed bats.  Presenters Elroy Limmer and Don Graves of the Gila Chapter will discuss the variety of native plants necessary to attract pollinators and that act as host plants for the caterpillars that provide the majority of nutrition for our spring/summer fledgling birds.  You will come away with a whole new perspective on the world of life in your own back yard and learn how you can help promote the diversity of pollinators, native plants and birds right here at home.

Saturday, July 31, 2021 – We gathered to remember the life of Richard Felger

Last October, you will all remember, we lost a dear friend, a great botanist and an invaluable member of the Gila Native Plant Society. At that time the pandemic kept us from getting together to acknowledge how much he meant to us.

But this summer things were better, and we we held an outdoor catered picnic on July 31, 2021, to celebrate Richard’s life and amazing accomplishments.  GNPS members and Richard’s family, friends, colleagues and fans  came from Silver, from Tucson, and far beyond to share memories.