Small Wilderness Area Preservation (SWAP) will hold its 2019 Annual Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 at the Morro Shores Mobile Home Park Community Room, 633 Ramona Ave. Los Osos. Morro Shores is across the street from the Sweet Springs Preserve. The event will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. (doors open at 11:45 a.m.). Parking is limited; if possible, park on the street.

Speaker for the event will be Kristen Nelson, lead botanist for Terra Verde Environmental Consulting. She will talk about her plant survey of the Elfin Forest during the firm’s biological assessment of the Forest in 2018. During her illustrated presentation she will show how a biological assessment is conducted and will give examples of some of the formerly unlisted plant species that she discovered in the Elfin Forest.

A graduate of Cal Poly with a bachelor’s in Environmental Management and a master’s in Biology, Nelson has worked locally in environmental consulting for nine years. In 2017, she participated in a biological assessment by Terra Verde Environmental of the Waddell Ranch, a 154-acre area that was purchased by the City of San Luis Obispo, to add to the Irish Hills Natural Reserve. During the assessment, Nelson discovered a formerly unknown species of spineflower, a small plant with numerous spines. She and Dr. David Kiel of Cal Poly gave it the name Chorizanthe aphanantha or “Irish Hills spineflower.” It will soon be recommended for inclusion as one of California’s most rare plants.

A light lunch will be served at noon. Preceding Nelson’s talk, SWAP Chair Jan DiLeo will report on the year’s accomplishments and Treasurer Dave Bowlus will give a brief financial report. In keeping with California Secretary of State requirements, SWAP members will vote for Board of Directors candidates at this meeting. After Nelson’s presentation, there will be time for questions from the audience.