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Colorado Native Plant Master: North Cheyenne Canyon Park

June 22, 2023 @ 8:30 am - July 6, 2023 @ 12:30 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 22nd, June 29th, and July 6th from 8:30AM-12:30PM. 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: 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.


Allisa Linfield is a Colorado Native Plant Master and is on the Board of Directors for Friends of Cheyenne Cañon, a non-profit organization that partners with the city to steward North Cheyenne Cañon Park. She is a graduate student at Colorado State University researching Colorado native plants and she is the Horticulture Program Coordinator for CSU Extension in El Paso County.

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.

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. There will be two free Zoom classes taught by Lenore Mitchell covering Basic Botany and Plant Families offered by CSU Extension in Jefferson County in April which you can register for at the link below, to satisfy this requirement.

Basic Botany, April 4th from 9 am – 12:30 pm

Plant Families, April 11th from 9 am – 12:30 pm

https://secure.rec1.com/CO/jefferson-county-open-space/catalog (found under NPM Single day)

If you register for this NPM course after the pre-requisite classes have occurred, a recording of the prerequisite classes will be sent in the confirmation email.

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 8:30am sharp. On the first day, please arrive 15 minutes early.

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 allisa.linfield@colostate.edu with questions.


June 22, 2023 @ 8:30 am
July 6, 2023 @ 12:30 pm


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