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Colorado Native Plant Master: North Cheyenne Canyon Park

June 4 @ 8:00 am - June 18 @ 12:00 pm

A three week series of classes on native plant identification in the field. We will identify 40-60 plants throughout the course.

Schedule: June 4,11 and 18 from 8:00AM-12:00PM. Participants must attend all three classes for course completion.

Park Description: North Cheyenne Cañon Park is a city-owned park with over 1,600 acres. The park has two visitor’s centers and has many many miles of trails. Helen Hunt Falls sits near the top of the park and water from Cheyenne creek flows through the canyon. Imposing walls form either side of the canyon where sandstone and shale is marked by granite outcrops and peaks. Diverse and abundant plant life thrives in these varying ecosystems.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a field class. There are no bathrooms after we leave the visitor center. The terrain that we will cover in this course is steep with areas of loose gravel. We will cover 2-6 miles each day during the 4 hour class period. If you are concerned about the mileage, terrain, or footing, please consider signing up for our Garden of the Gods class later in the season.

We will introduce you to 40-60 plants, using family features and a botanical key to help identify species. Ecological relationships, human connections and the potential to use some of these plants in your landscaping will be discussed. In addition, we will emphasize understanding noxious alien plants and the challenge they present to our native environment.


Jan Berry completed her Colorado Master Gardener training in 2020 and her Native Plant Master training in 2022. She hikes and camps all over Colorado, in awe of the variety of ecosystems (and flora) we have in our state. She is working on incorporating more native plants into her landscape in downtown Colorado Springs.

Barb has a B.S. in Biology (1978 from San Diego State University). She became a Colorado Master Gardener in 2021 and a Native Plant Master in 2022. She loves to identify native plants and is currently attempting to create a native plant area in her backyard (in a space of 10’ x 40’) using seeds and plants.

Prerequisite: A basic botany class is suggested for those who would like to refresh their botanical knowledge and is highly recommended for those who have minimal background.

Basic Botany-April 4, from 4:00-7:00pm

Register in advance for this webinar:


Plant Families-April 11, from 4:00-7:00pm

Register in advance for this webinar:


Native Plant Master: Participants who pass three NPM courses will receive a Native Plant Master Certificate. This 12 hour class fulfills 1/3 of the 36-hour coursework requirement towards certification as a Native Plant Master. Courses should be taken in different months and/or vegetation zones. Learn more here.

Required Textbook: Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield. (The 2nd edition (2022) is preferred if you need to buy this book, but the 1st edition (2015) is OK because students will be given a list of changes between the 1st and 2nd editions for plants studied during the course.) Available through the Colorado Native Plant Society bookstore (https://conps.org/conps-store), local and online retail outlets, and the publisher (800-621-2736).

When/Where to Meet: Meet at the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center. Class will begin at 8:00am sharp. On the first day, please arrive at 7:45 at the Veranda behind Starsmore.

What to Bring: Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield; hand lens (10X or greater) available through https://conps.org/conps-store; daypack; bug spray; water; sack lunch; rain, sun, wind protection; personal restroom items. Consider bringing trekking poles if you think you may benefit from them.

Special Instructions: Please come prepared for moderate to strenuous walking on hot, cold, windy, snowy or rainy days. Class will meet regardless of weather conditions.

Location Address: 2120 S Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Contact Irene.shonle@colostate.edu with questions.


June 4 @ 8:00 am
June 18 @ 12:00 pm


Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center
2120 South Cheyenne Canyon Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80906 United States