California Biodiversity “Day” in the Wilderness Park

Thanks to everyone who participated in California Biodiversity Day at the Wilderness Park on September 11, and thanks to the Park Rangers, who set up their canopy for us! During the official California Biodiversity Days, Sept. 4 – 12, seventeen new observations were reported to our iNaturalist project, including 14 taxa, of which 11 were identified to species.

Here are a few that were observed:

Telegraph Weed (Heterotheca grandiflora)

Telegraph Weed growing up Johnson’s Pasture Road on the “loop”. © Peri Lee · some rights reserved
Telegraph Weed – flower detail. © Peri Lee · some rights reserved

Telegraph Weed was the species most commonly reported in the Park during California Biodiversity Days. Its bright yellow flowers on tall stems (sometimes more than 5 ft) are a common sight in the Park in late summer and fall. It is a pioneer native species, growing along roadsides and in other disturbed sites.

The origin of the common name is hazy. Some think it’s because the tall, slim stalks stick up like telegraph poles. Others have suggested it’s because it readily colonized the areas disturbed by telegraph pole installation.

Threadleaf Groundsel (Senecio flaccidus)

Threadleaf Groundsel next to Palmer-Evey Mountainway. © travisbbotany · some rights reserved

Another late summer and fall bloomer, Threadleaf Groundsel’s bright yellow daisy-like flowers rise about the mass of pale gray-green threadlike leaves that give the shrub its common name. Many different bees like to visit Threadleaf Groundsel.

Small Carpenter Bee (Ceratina sp.)

A Small Carpenter Bee on California Aster (Corethrogyne filaginifolia) next to the Cobal Canyon Trail.
© Nancy Hamlett · some rights reserved

Small Carpenter Bees are related to the large carpenter bees you may have seen around your house, but they are much too small to be able to bore into wood to make their nests; instead they make their nests in the pithy stems of plants.

Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides)

A Woodland Skipper nectaring on Cliff Aster (Malacothrix saxatilis) next to the Cobal Canyon Trail.
© Nancy Hamlett · some rights reserved

Woodland Skippers are common in chaparral in the late summer and fall. The larval host plants are grasses, but the adults nectar on a wide variety of plants.

You can see all of the Biodiversity Day observations here.

We’re back! Second Saturdays have resumed

The City of Claremont has lifted the restrictions that prevented the Friends from holding Second Saturday events in the Park. We had a “soft open” with a few volunteers on July 10, when we were visited by Claremont Mayor Jennifer Stark, and a regular Second Saturday event on August 14.

The second Saturday volunteer program is a collaboration of the Friends of the Wilderness Park, CHWP Rangers, and City Staff.  On the second Saturday of each month, for four hours Friends’ volunteers:

  • Answer questions about the Park.
  • Provide directions (with a map that visitors can photograph).
  • Remind visitors to take adequate water for themselves and their dogs.
  • Give water and/or refillable water bottles (or a drink from a dog bowl) to those in need.
  • Remind visitors to keep dogs on leashes and not play music out loud. 
  • Hike the loop, picking up trash and answering questions along the way.

We are always looking for volunteers for Second Saturday, so if you’re interested, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Vicki Salazar at, or if you’re in the Park, stop by and say, “Hi”.

A bagful of trash collected by some of the the Friends on the August 14 Second Saturday. ©Greg Glass.

Saturday sights

March 9th was the Friends’ Second Saturday program, and we saw lots of folks enjoying the Park, including some large groups:


Some folks recorded the sights with photos:


The recent rains had swelled the seasonal stream near the entrance, making entering the Park a bit tricky. One pup wore booties:


While mountain bikers just powered through:


Leaviong hikers to carefully pick their way across the rocks in the stream:


Sometimes with a little help from their Friends:


We hope you’re out enjoying the Park! If you’re there on a second Saturday, please say, “Hi,” or, even better, come volunteer with us!

Scenes from Second Saturday

December 8 was a lovely, clear day for the Second Saturday program. Here are a few scenes, including the greeters and trash picker-uppers, a thirsty dog, a tarantula, and a new invasive plant – Brassica fruticulosa (Mediterranean Cabbage or Twiggy Turnip).

Remember to Volunteer in December!

Please join our team Saturday December 8th 2018 at the Claremont Wilderness Park!

Our Second Saturday of month volunteers will greet visitors to the park, provide maps/directions and reinforce desirable park behavior  Hike the Loop! Volunteers are welcome to hike the loop, pick up trash and assist park visitors with information along the way.

  • Two shifts (6:30-8:30 AM and 8:30-10:30 AM) at the Main Gate.
  • We meet for a brief information and safety training session at the Euro Café (Mills and Baseline) at 6:15 or 8:15 and then carpool to the entrance.  Volunteers will receive free T-shirts on the second day they volunteer!

Let us know which shift you are available to volunteer on December 8th and if you are interested in future opportunities.  We look forward to hearing from you.

For more information about volunteering contact:

  Vicki Salazar   Email:


 Meg Mathies