Inaugural Native Plantpalooza & Eco Fest Draws Crowds of Plant Enthusiasts

Published by Anne Russell on

Board members Steve Johnson, Elayne Haggan, and Jerry Fehlman at the  COSF booth handing out native plants to donors.

On Saturday, October 1, COSF launched a live event as part of its popular Speaker Series: Native Plantpalooza & Eco Fest at Conejo Creek North Park. The first-year, free event, which was blessed with mild, sunny weather, featured beekeepers, butterfly experts, master gardeners, naturalists, and others. 

Attendees enjoyed presentations from a distinguished lineup including master gardener and herbalist Laura Pasetta of Wild Rootz, Growing Works manager Jenn Rodriguez, nursery manager and restoration volunteer coordinator for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Antonio Sanchez, and beekeeper Steve Savage

Exhibitors included representatives from the California Wildlife Center, Betina’s Butterfly Garden, the National Wildlife Federation, the Santa Monica Mountains Fund nursery, the Conejo Climate Coalition, REI, the Conejo Valley Audubon Society, Tierra Mia Plants, the National Park Service, Athens Services, Conejo Recreation & Park District, City of Thousand Oaks Sustainability Division, and local garden clubs. Many of the booths offered crafts and other eco-related activities for kids. 

The Coalition for Clean Air provided a grant to help fund the event, as did Comerica Bank.

Tiny Plants, which is affiliated with Growing Works, sold a variety of native plants, while the Santa Monica Mountains Fund and the National Park Service gave them away. COSF provided native plants free with a donation. All told, attendees took home hundreds of plants that will help fulfill the festival’s goal of getting more drought-tolerant natives into gardens to better support the Conejo Valley’s rich biodiversity. 

COSF and all those who participated or attended look forward to the return of the event in the fall of 2023! If you would like your organization to be represented with a free exhibitor space at the next event, please send us your contact info to be added to the mailing list at