May 8, 2018 – Join Botanist Cynthia Gilbert, co-owner of Tarptent, and former BYLT board member Joe Byrne for this rare adventure into the heart of BYLT’s 652-acre Garden Bar Preserve on the Bear River. Just in time for Mother’s Day, participants will pass through six locked gates and forge across a creek into the heart of this beautiful, remote and rugged California landscape steeped with history.

“Our trip to the Garden Bar Preserve will take us into a classic Foothill Oak Woodland where we will see four to five species of oaks including Blue Oak, Gray Pine, and a variety of wildflowers including Lupine, Wild Carnation, Bridge’s Triteleia, and Caterpillar Phacelia. This majestic preserve is at peak beauty in the spring so we are fortunate,” said Trek Leader Cynthia Gilbert.

Spring is the best time to visit this gem with its rolling hills and oak woodlands, home to a working cattle ranch and Jim Gate’s famed Nevada County Free Range Beef. Located in the Southern reaches of Nevada County, Garden Bar includes blue oak woodlands, grasslands, over two miles of Bear River frontage and two miles of interior creeks, connecting a 9,000-acre conserved landscape on both sides of the Bear River.

The intact blue oak woodland addresses the stresses of climate change, reduces soil erosion and sustains water quality. It provides habitat for a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic species and is important for species migration.

Bring hand lenses, a camera, wildflower field guide and a picnic lunch for this incredible outing exploring the rich botanical spring blooms, big open spaces, and long distance views far from the busy world. Celebrated author and wildflower guide Julie Carville has signed copies of her book, Tahoe’s Spectacular Wildflower Trails, available as a special bonus with this trek.

About Cynthia 

Cynthia Gilbert’s love of plants and the environment started at a young age growing up in Southern California. She received a BA in Biology from Colorado College with an emphasis in plant systems. Her MS thesis at Oregon State University focused on strawberry fruit set and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture focused on rare plant biology and plant conservation.

Over the years she has worked as a science textbook editor, mentor and teacher to under-represented minorities at San Francisco State University in the sciences. She currently co-owns and works at internationally known lightweight backpacking company, Tarptent based in Nevada City with her husband Henry Shires. The couple has a 12 year old son Stuart and a rescue dog named Katie. The family enjoys daily walks along the canals of Banner Mountain, trips into the Sierra Nevada high country and Southern Oregon each summer.

“My husband and I support BYLT because we believe that conservation in the Sierra Foothills involves education but most importantly we need to maintain corridors of land and waterways for wildlife and flora for future generations,” said Gilbert.

WHO: Bear Yuba Land Trust
WHAT: Wildflowers of Garden Bar Preserve
WHEN: 8:30 am to 1:30 pm; Saturday, May 12
WHERE: Garden Bar Preserve on the Bear River

$30 Members, $35 Not-Yet-Members Guided Trip Only

$50 Members, $55 Not-Yet-Members Guided Trip includes signed copy of “Tahoe’s Spectacular Wildflower Trails”

Pre-Registration Required

Special Note: 4WD or AWD high suspension vehicles and willingness to carpool required for this outing

Register at

For more information, contact Laura at at 272-5994 x 211