Trinidad Tidings: Changing of the guard at Native Plant Garden

The Trinidad Museum Native Plant Garden has served as a beautiful refuge for both botany enthusiasts and casual strollers since it was first nurtured by volunteers from impossibly rocky and clay soil starting in 2005, when Ron Johnson, Virginia Waters, Jill Mefford and their fellow gardeners began to plan the gardens with landscape designer Nancy Rehg. 

Garden chairman and museum board member Jill Mefford, who has lovingly cared for the garden for 16 years, is turning over the garden chairmanship and her spades, clippers, shovels and hoes to fellow volunteers Ingrid Bailey and Mary Spinas Kline. 

Jill is a Certified California Nursery practitioner. Through Wendy Wahlund, former owner of the historic A&L Feed in McKinleyville, Jill earned the certification, which involved identifying over 400 plants, learning the chemistry of fertilizers and soil amendments and much more. 

Jill worked with Singing Tree Gardens for more than 10 years while she, with the other garden volunteers, turned an acre of land, where Caltrans had disposed of quantities of dirt excavated during the early 1960s construction of Highway 101, into the gardens we enjoy today. 

The Native Plant Garden received an award from the California Garden Clubs in 2017 at a large Town Hall recognition ceremony and also received an award from the City of Trinidad as "Best Native Plant Garden" the following year. 

Jill broke her arm recently, but even in a cast, she continued to prune the climbing rose in front of the museum and carry on with garden duties around the museum. A grateful community applauds her dedication.

Some of the plants showing signs of spring blossoms are wild ginger, twinberry, trillium, iris, several varieties of violets, adder's tongue, cow parsnip, and seaside daisies.

In other Trinidad Museum news, the county lifted some coronavirus restrictions, so the museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Go to for the latest updates or call (707) 677-3816 for museum information.

Trinidad Coastal Ambassador Training

Trinidad Coastal Land Trust invites participation in the Trinidad Coastal Ambassador Training program. Be an ambassador for coastal stewardship, conservation and education. 

The program will introduce participants to TCLT work, from leading stewardship workdays to guiding educational walks. The three-week program will combine Zoom sessions with field trips to coastal properties. 

The schedule begins Thursday, March 11 with a Zoom session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. followed by a Trinidad Head walk on Saturday, March 13, a Zoom session on Thursday, March 18, a Pilot Point walk on Saturday, March 20, another Zoom session on Wednesday, March 24, ending with a Scenic Drive tour on Saturday, March 27. Space is limited. Email [email protected] to register.

Bilingual Birding

Join naturalists Daisy Ambriz and Natalia Sojka for a bilingual birding walk led in both English and Spanish on Sunday, March 21 from 9 to 11 a.m. 

The leaders will cover the songbirds of the forest along the Elk Head Trail and the seabirds seen from ocean bluffs. 

It's a moderate, flat, 1.5 mile long trail. Binoculars optional. There will be a spotting scope to share. COVID-19 precautions will be in place. Registration is required by emailing your name and contact information to [email protected].

Email Patti at [email protected].


Related posts