Online  Resources
At A Glance

A wide variety of online resources about coastal prairies is available. Links include information from other organizations, as well as products developed by the Coastal Prairie Enhancement Feasibility Study, notably the Grassland Management Skills Curriculum.

Quick Links on This Page

bulletSpecies Identification

bulletKey Publications Available On-Line

bulletEducational Materials

species identification

Field Guides and Keys

bulletEstero Americano Preserve Herbarium Book (6 MB PDF). Scanned images of forbs and grasses found on Sonoma Land Trust's Preserve in the Estero Americano near Bodega Bay. High resolution (88 MB PDF) document available from:

bulletVisual identification of European oat (Avena barbata), Ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus) and Rattail fescue (Vulpia myuros) Available from:  Elkhorn Slough Coastal Praire Training Program Archived Workshops. 2005.

bulletDistribution of Native Grasses of California. Beetle AA. 1947. Hilgardia 17(9):309-357. This classic article on the distribution of native grasses in California has range maps for most species including coastal prairie grasses from Marin and Sonoma Counties. Available from: California Native Grasslands Association .

bulletGrass Manual on the Web. Manual of Grasses for North America and Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volumes 24 and 25 . (Published 2007 and 2003). Available from: Utah State University, Intermountain Herbarium .

bulletNRCS PLANTS Database. Standardized information from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.

Identification help

bulletHow to Use Field Guides and Floras. Flora of North America. A single page PDF fact sheet with explanations on terms and organization used in field guides and floras. Also offered in PowerPoint format. Available from Flora of North America.

grassy hilltops

Visual guide to characteristics of broadleaf plants. Illustration with permission from: UC IPM 2010

bulletVisual Guide to Characteristics of Broadleaf Plants. UC Integrated Pest Management (IPM) website illustration with clickable links that take you to pictures and characteristics of each plant part. Available from: UC IPM On-line.

bulletVisual Guide to Characteristics of Grasses. UC Integrated Pest Management (IPM) website illustration with clickable links that take you to pictures and characteristics of each plant part. Available from: UC IPM On-line.

north coast species lists

bulletEstero Americano Preserve Herbarium Book (6 MB PDF) . Scanned images of species found in coastal prairie on the Estero Americano Preserve in Sonoma County. High resolution (88 MB PDF) document available from:Sonoma Land Trust.

bulletMarin County Plant Lists. Links to eighty comprehensive plant lists from various Marin County locations. Available from: California Native Plant Society, Marin Chapter.

bulletSonoma County Plant Lists. Links to eighty comprehensive plant lists from various Sonoma County locations. Available from: California Native Plant Society, Milo Baker Chapter.

bulletSpecies Lists for Angelo Coast Range Reserve (Eel River). This UC Berkeley based website has species lists for plants, mammals, lizards, birds and more. The plant sections are divided into families. Each species has a link to Calphotos and a link to the First Edition of the Jepson Manual on-line. The Angelo Coast Reserve is one of 35 sites in the University of California Natural Reserve System.

bulletVascular Plants of the Fairfield Osborn Preserve (Sonoma Mountain). Checklist of all vascular plants on the 410 acre Sonoma State University Field Station & Nature Preserve located at the top of Sonoma Mountain.

bulletVertebrates, Insects and Lichens at Fairfield Osborn Preserve (Sonoma Mountain). Species lists and other information for the 410 acre Sonoma State University Field Station & Nature Preserve located at the top of Sonoma Mountain.

bulletBodega Marine Reserve Species Lists for vascular plants, lichens, mammals, bees, birds, ants and more from Bodega Marine Reserve, Bodega Head and Bodega Dunes in Sonoma County.

bulletPoint Reyes National Seashore:

Photos of coastal prairie plants

bulletEstero Americano Preserve Herbarium Book. Scanned images of forbs and grasses found on Sonoma Land Trust's Preserve in the Estero Americano near Bodega Bay. Low and high resolution options available from:

bulletIllustrations of Native Grasses of the United States. A collection of native grass illustrations from the Manual of the Grasses of the United States by Hitchcock, 1935, revised by Agnes Chase, 1951. Available from: California Native Grasslands Association.

bulletCalPhotos. A collection of a quarter of a million photos of plants, animals, fossils, people, and landscapes from around the world. A variety of organizations and individuals have contributed photographs to CalPhotos. Various contributors maintain copyright. Follow the usage guidelines provided with each image. Available from:

bulletWeed Photo Gallery. From the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, photos often include seedlings along with mature plants, plant parts, flowers and seeds. Each gallery has a tutorial with illustrated plant parts. Available from:

bulletCoastal Prairie Habitat Photos in Sonoma County California State Parks. From O'Neil B. 2006. Presentation: California State Parks [presentation]. In: Sonoma-Marin Coastal Grasslands Working Group. 2006. Identifying Conservation and Research Priorities for Coastal Prairie in Sonoma and Marin Counties [workshop]. 2006 Nov 6; Bodega Marine Lab, Bodega Bay, CA.  13 p. Available from:

bulletReny Parker’s Wildflower Photos. Searchable by county, common name, or scientific name or view a small gallery of wildflower photos from her field guide Wildflowers of Northern California’s Wine Country & North Coast Ranges. Available from:

key Publications available online

bulletCoastal Prairie Ehhancement Feasiblity Study 2014. Kraft K, Luke C, Olyarnik S, Jeffrey DI, Solomeshch A, Koltunov A.

bulletA manual of California vegetation. Sawyer JO, Keeler-Wolf T, Evens JM. 2009. Sacramento CA: California Native Plant Society Press. 1300 pp. Available from:

bulletNorthern coastal scrub and coastal prairie. Ford L, Hayes GF. 2007. In: Barbour MG, Keeler-Wolf T, Schoenherr A, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California. 3rd ed. Berkeley CA: University of California Press. p 180-207. Available from: Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training ProgramThis is an update of the classic publication by Heady, Foin, Taylor, Barbour, and Barry in the 1977 first edition.

bulletHistorical Works of California Native Grasses and Grassland Management. California Native Grassland Association. This bibliography charts important research and papers on California's native grasses and grassland management from the earliest papers by Sampson to the present. Available from: California Native Grasslands Association.

bulletThe Value of BC’s Grasslands: Exploring Ecosystem Values and Incentives for Conservation. Wilson, SJ. 2009. Available from: Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia.

bulletGrasslands Brochure with information on BC grassland types, wildlife and history. From the Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia. Available from: Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia.

educational materials

grassland curriculum: management skills training

bullet Grassland Management Skills Curriculum is designed to teach students how to manage grasslands. Materials were developed as part the Coastal Prairie Enhancement Feasiblity Study and are meant to be used in tandem with the information provided on this website. The currculum targets learners at high-school level and above and has been field tested as a 1, 2, and 4-day trainings with college students, land owners, and agency biologists. Curriculum is modular, allowing teachers to pick and choose from activities targeting a wide variety of topics including species identification, disturbance ecology, and management skills.

learn About Grasslands

bulletExplore California's prehistoric flora and fauna at the Page Museum, La Brea Tarpits. Learn about California’s cultural history, geology, and diverse prehistoric flora and fauna including extinct birds, herbivores (mammoths, mastodons, huge ground sloths, western horses, ancient bison, dwarf pronghorn, camels) and carnivores (the Dire wolf, short-faced bear, American Lion, sabertoothed cat, and more) in the interactive Prehistoric Timeline and the Return to the Ice Age booklet (PDF, 30pp.).

bulletThe Children's Butterfly Site.The Children's Butterfly Site has learning activities (coloring pages, life cycles, anatomy, etc.) about butterflies and moths. A link on the left side of the page allows you to search for a list of species in your county (Opler, Paul A., Kelly Lotts, and Thomas Naberhaus. 2010. Bozeman, MT: Big Sky Institute.

bulletGreat Plains Grasslands. Learn about the world's large grasslands, especially the Great Plains. Links from this site include "Flora and Fauna" where you can learn about Great Plains amphibians, birds, fish, reptiles, mammals, insects, woody plant and more (Great Plains Nature Center, Wichita KS.

bulletSeeds in Curriculum. A handful of seeds: Seed-saving and seed study for educators. This publication presents an introductory seed-saving curriculum for K-6th grade, linking to California state academic Content Standards.  Focusing on gardens, the thirteen botany lesson plans are adaptable to all seed plants. There are suggestions for incorporating local plants important to Native Americans into lessons. Page 68 has a small section on California Coastal Prairie which describes a restoration program at Salmon Creek School in Sonoma County where sixth graders collected seeds and established study plots in a prairie restoration project at their school. (Poles TM. 2010. Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. 91 pp).

bulletBotanical Lesson Plans. Flora of North America website provides botanical lesson plans for middle and high school students. Lessons include how to collect and identify plant specimens, plant diversity and distribution, learning the importance of plants to everyday life by creating an illustrated journal of native edible and medicinal plants an more. Available from:

bulletCNPS Education Program offers educational resources and programs, workshops, and conservation projects for all ages, levels of knowledge, and enthusiasm. Within this section of our website, you will find resources, volunteer opportunities, student research support, and cool projects for teachers, naturalists, scouting groups, and students of all ages including the Nature Journaling Curriculum listed below.

bulletCNPS Nature Journaling Curriculum. The 2nd Edition Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts, is written for CNPS by John Muir Laws, Emilie Lygren, Emily Breunig, and Celeste Lopez. Although geared primarily towards children age 8 and up, it also meets California state standards for grades 3 through 7 and works just as well for teenagers and adults. Click on the "Education" tab at the top of the CNPS website and select "Nature Journaling curriculum."

bulletDon't Let a Tick Make You Sick! Lyme disease prevention for kids including a crossword puzzle to test their knowledge. Part of the Lyme Disease Prevention Tool Kit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Games and Activities

bulletPlant Key Game. “Dichotomous from Top to Bottomous.” Cultivate your students' 8th Intelligence—Naturalist—with a fun dichotomous plant key on the Golden Gate National Recreation Area website. Follow the clues!

bulletShasta's Sticky Situations. Shasta the young wolf meets with other prehistoric animals including a pronghorn, bear, eagle, bison, and finally a mammoth who saves him from the sticky tar pits. Most of the action takes place in southern California grasslands (Copyright 2003 The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Foundation. All Rights Reserved).

bulletBuild-a-Prairie Game. Play the Build-a-Prairie game by selecting grasses, wildflowers, insects, animals, and birds to populate your short-grass or tall-grass prairie. Use the Field Guide to the Prairie to find out more about life on the Great Plains prairie (On the Prairie. 1998. Distance Learning. University of Minnesota. [c1998; updated 2002 May 23; cited 2013 Jan 9].

bulletIn Our Own Backyard (IOOBY). Sponsored by LandPaths and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. The IOOBY program includes four theme-based visits to the property throughout the year, each one focusing on one of the following natural history topics: Discovery and Exploration, Watersheds, Habitat, and Stewardship.