Ynés Mexía

Ynés Mexía

Botanist

Ynés Mexía was a botanist and conservationist that advocated to protect the redwood forests of California. Born in Washington DC, she moved to Mexico after finishing school and lived there for about 30 years before moving back to the United States. She became a social worker in San Francisco but realized her passion for the environment. Mexía gave passionate speeches on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Save the Redwoods League and became an active member of the national park conservation movement. At the age of 51, she decided to pursue botany at UC Berkeley. In 1952, she traveled to Mexico and the rest of the Americas with Indigenous guides. She rallied for their rights and ended up collecting over 145,000 specimens over her 13-year career. A new genus and 50 species were named after her.

Learn more at nps.gov

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