California Native Plant Society

In Appreciation...

CNPS Recognizes June Bilisoly

An undaunted June Bilisoly in 1953, after driving her car off a muddy road in British Columbia.

June Bilisoly, long-term supporter of CNPS, passed away in November 2007 at the age of 77. Active in the Santa Clara Valley Chapter, June promoted local conservation and education activities. She helped to prepare the manuscript of Helen Sharsmith’s Flora of the Mount Hamilton Range of California, published by CNPS. June was also an enthusiastic participant in chapter field trips, including backpacking to Snow Mountain in Mendocino County.

Recognizing the threat of development on rare serpentine endemics—such as the 280 freeway—she and others helped start the Serpentine Protection League, dedicated to saving rare endemics on the San Francisco peninsula. This group first focused its efforts on preserving fritillaria that lay in the path of the freeway. Soon afterward, it targeted the threat posed to rare plants by the proposed golf course at Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve. This effort became the spark that led to the successful movement to preserve Edgewood.

June’s generosity and long-term commitment to plant conservation was also expressed in her will. She left a quarter of her estate to CNPS, or a total of $800,000. She believed that “plants cannot save themselves from human destruction; only people who care can.”

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