Heaps Peak Arboretum

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Heaps Peak Arboretum

Volunteers are always
welcome at
Heaps Peak
Each year more
than 100,000
forest visitors benefit
from ROWIA's
activities and
you can be a part
of the team.




We are looking forward to another year of activities at the Arboretum as well as in the mountain communities. On October 30, we had our Annual Meeting at which we elected the Board of Directors for 2018. In addition to me, the board members that are continuing are Sandra Koos, Elaine Shaw, Florence Shotts, and Ken Witte. Our new board member is Christine Smiley. Christine has lived in Running Springs for many years, and she has attended almost all of our board meetings, so we were happy that she agreed to have official status as a board member. Looking back at 2017. Here are some of the highlights.


One of our biggest accomplishments was having field trips for all 5th graders in the Rim School District in May. Students were divided into two groups. While one group walked the trail,the other group participated in a learning game about what an Arboretum is. This was coordinated by Tim Barany. Thank you, Tim!


Both of our plant sales were successful in May and in September. The one in September was somewhat different from other years, mainly because we didn't have a lot of people lining up before we opened the sale at 9 AM. However, there was a steady stream of buyers and we sold out by about 10:30!


A really BIG thing that happened this fall was that the Arboretum was featured on a PBS program called Hidden Hikes which aired on KVCR in October.  The program was designed to introduce 4th graders to the forest, and a scavenger hunt for 1hings that can be found in 1he Arboretum. However, no squirrels were found - probably sleeping in that morning?


We also had a request from Warner Brothers to give permission for them to use our wildflower poster in a pilot starring Melissa McCarthy called Amy 's Brother. Itwas to be used in a classroom scene. Unfortunately, we don't have any information about when it might be shown.


Finally, Iam putting out a plea for volunteers, especially those who will give a few hours on weekends to staff the Information Booth. The hours are 11AM to 3 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Contact Elaine Shaw if you are interested and she can fill you in on the details. Call her at  909-867-7187 or e-mail her at shawqltr@gmail.com.

Gloria Anderson, President

Work at the Arboretum


A big thank you to Ellie Maitre and Michelle Belangar for pruning the garden area, it will be spectacular in the spring. Darrell and Sybil Phillips took 26 bags of pine needles from the Arboretum. Pine needles smolder if they are set on fire and take a very long time to decompose as seen in our recycle bin. A volunteer can try to begin this process,but will need a source of green waste such as grass clippings.


Caltrans has installed 8-foot snow poles along the front of the Arboretum that are strung with yellow caution tape to see if we can discourage the public from snow play. There are two boxes at the entrance that have maps indicating where to safely play in the snow. The second weekend in January the traffic was backed upthrough Running Springs to get to Snow Valley.


The Sequoia Trail on the north side has a new split rail fence complements of Robert Tyo's Eagle Scout project and has also been widened with tripping hazards removed. Parents with baby buggies and other challenged visitors have commented on the improvements. Richard Parker, our volunteer from Fontana, has put up different types of bird houses and has tried to slow the erosion from Highway 18 drainage that goes through the Arboretum. The first rain this year was intense at the Arboretum. Have a look at how high it breached the barrier.


Still on the radar is to remove some of the fuels on the west side of the Sequoia Trail near SkyPark and some of the fallen dogwoods and knob cone pines. ROWIA is supporting repaving the trail and getting water back into Switzer Park. The brochure that Ethan Morales did for his Eagle Scout project is very popular.


The Arboretum is having nearly 1,000 people a week with well over 100 on each weekend day.Your financial support helps to continue our efforts to introduce many first-time visitors to our jewel of the mountain.


If you haven't been to the Arboretum or Switzer Park for a while, please come back to visit. We also appreciate your feedback either by filling out the form at the bulletin board at the Arboretum or online by clicking on Google Maps for the Arboretum.


Dr. Kenneth Witte, Vice President.


The information booth at the Heaps Peak Arboretum is open most weekends from 11:00 - 3:00 weather permitting. The dedicated volunteers are: Cori Edwards, Sandra Koos, Trysta Schwenker, Christine Smiley and Tim Wilcox. They greet and field questions from visitors, sell merchandise, inform visitors of self-guided and naturalist-led tours and direct visitors to other natural sites in the forest. The volunteers help travelers enjoy the Arboretum and find their way to their next desti­ nation.It is pleasurable and rewarding to meet first-time visitors as well as friends that come often to the Arboretum.


We are always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in being a volunteer even if you only can give four hours once a month please contact

Elaine Shaw at 909-867-7187,or shawqltr@gmail.com.


Botanical Corner


Plants at Heaps Peak Arboretum attract many species of butterflies and insects. Inthe spirit of education, Or.Kenneth Witte, Vice President of Rim of the World Interpretive Association is working on signage to give visitors an opportu­ nity to learn more about our butterflies. The original idea came

from Dr. Robert V. Dowell, UCLA etymology professor whose collection is on display at the UCLA Conference Center. The following is a sample of butterflies with the classification of the butterfly, Robert's description and the YouTube link for further information.Iwould take the time to view the video as there is much surprising information. Your feedback is welcomed.


The Alfalfa Butterfly is the most common medium sized yellow butterfly in the area. They are found everywhere around Lake Arrowhead, where the adults avidly visit flowers . The cat­ erpillars eat plants like vetch and clover. There are other less common yellow butterflies in the area that look like the alfalfa butterfly including the female CaliforniaDogwood butterfly. They can only be identified after catching them.





This is the California Dogface, the California state butterfly. The male and female are distinctly different. The male gives off flashes of iridescent purple when in flight. The female is pure yellow and looks like the attalfa butterfly. Both sexes fly rapidly and commonly visit flowers. The caterpillars eat false indigo. This is a rather common butterfly in the area.





The California Ringlet. This small drab butterfly is found in areas where native grasses grow. The caterpillars eat the grasses. These are weak flying butterflies that do visit flowers. There are several generations each year.In some areas, these butterflies can be quite common.





The California Sister. This isacommon butterfly of the area. The adults are seen flying around oak trees. The caterpillars eat the oak leaves. The California sister has probably the most beautiful under wing coloration of any butterfly in the region. The California sister looks similar to the Lorquin's admiral, but it is larger with a brown ground color and flies in drier habitats.






Dr.Kenneth Witte, Vice President





Our annual spring plant sale will take place Saturday, May 26th, starting at 9:00 a.m. For your information, the line begins to form around 8:30 a.m. A postcard will be sent out closer to the sale date with additional information.



We are pleased to announce the implementation of our Rim of the World Interpretive Association (ROWIA) scholarship program. Our mission is to foster a better understanding of the natural history and resources of the San Bernardino Mountains. To that end, we asked the applicants to take their area(s) of interest, apply it to the interpretive experience within any area of geology, conservation, forestry, ornithology, botany or any other applicable field of study. Our scholarship application requested Rim High seniors to develop an innovative and interpretive experience for the public in the Arboretum or on the internet.




































































































































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