When Jane Medley graduated from Cal, she went on a backpacking trip to Yosemite. She stayed over 40 years! In retirement, Jane returned to her native Marin and began exploring many local areas she had not visited in her early days, joining both Marin CNPS and Marin Audubon Society (MAS). As field trip coordinator for MAS and Book Sale Chair for Marin CNPS, Jane is a gem in the jewel string of women environmentalists in Marin. Jane MedleyJane Medley

While in Yosemite National Park, Jane wore a number of hats, from radio dispatcher to ranger in Yosemite Valley, Tioga Road, and Big Oaks. She enjoyed living in such scenic areas as Yosemite Valley, Wawona, El Portal, Foresta, and Hodgdon Meadow. On her days off she found plenty of fun things to do outdoors! Sometime during her long and various careers, Jane managed to get married and raise three sons! 

After her retirement from the National Park Service, Jane returned to her roots in San Rafael. Besides exploring Marin natural areas, she renewed her passion for books. Eventually she pursued her educational interests further, becoming a Reading Specialist. When Marin CNPS advertised for a book salesperson in 2014, Jane responded amiably. She followed in the footsteps of environmental pioneer Phyllis Faber.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, book sales at Chapter Meetings have come to an abrupt halt, but Jane is currently filling online orders for both the updated Plant Checklist for Point Reyes National Seashore and Marin Flora.Medley Linder KellyAnn Linder and Brad Kelly display Point Reyes National Seashore Plant Checklists recently purchased from Marin CNPS through Jane Medley (middle)

In the spring of 2015, she enrolled in a College of Marin Field Botany class taught by Paul da Silva. She was promptly intimidated by botanical terminology but absorbed knowledge and skills and loved the class. Jane still considers herself a beginner botanist and seeks the help of experts when the identity of a specimen remains elusive to her.

Stay-at-home orders during the pandemic made botanizing with others impossible, so Jane created her own plant ID project. She is identifying trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses at McNears Beach County Park (within walking distance from her home). In the process, Jane has become better acquainted with many of Marin’s non-native species! She even bought a microscope for viewing specimens (yet admits she still has not entirely mastered its use).

Jane insists that through her volunteering with Marin CNPS and MAS she gets much more than she gives, such as meeting many interesting people, making new friends, and learning from Marin’s finest botanists. Needless to say, Jane looks forward to the resumption of birding fieldtrips and botanizing with others on CNPS field trips.