MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Native Plant Sale
Joaquin Miller Native
Sun., Oct. 16
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Show & Tell
with Michael Thilgen
Wed., Sept. 21
Seed Hike Fridays
Aug. 12 & 19
Sat., Aug. 13 &
Sat., Aug. 20 & Sept. 3
Wed., Aug. 24
Thurs., Sept. 8
Creek to Bay Day
Sat., Sept. 17
Sat., Aug. 27
Sat., Aug. 13
Thurs., Aug. 18
Sat., Aug. 13 &
Sat., Aug. 20
Restoration & Fundraising
Wed., Sept. 14
For more information:
Restoration & Nursery Manager
We are expanding the nursery's sunny growing area and need to build more tables. Contact Megan if you can donate redwood or pressure-treated
2 x 4's of at least three feet in length.
A donation of $60 enables us to buy the materials we need for one table. Thank you!
Thank you for subscribing to the new FOSC e-newsletter. We hope you will find the details on FOSC activities both informative and inspiring. There is much more that we could be doing throughout the watershed. Let us know how we can help you organize an activity with your neighbors: picking up trash, pulling invasive plants, learning about slow-the-flow techniques....We are your community watershed group. What do you want to make happen?
We hope you will participate in Oakland's Creek to Bay Day on Saturday, September 17. See the FOSC event calendar to get details about our workday sites. If you are interested in being a crew leader, please contact Megan.
Don't miss our Native Plant Sale on Sunday, October 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The line up for this year's workshops and guest speakers will be available on our website soon. Look for the available plant list in late September.
Now that the rains have finally ended, lawns and gardens need watering. Just be sure that you're not watering sidewalks, creating runoff into storm drains and creeks. Our drinking water is treated with chloramine, which is potentially toxic to our native rainbow trout. Excess watering can also lead to lawn chemicals or fertilizers being carried into our creeks.
Photo: Mark Rauzon
Whether the Black-crowned Night Heron was enjoying its freedom as an escapee from the Lake Merritt bird reserve or just flew in from Mexico, I'll never know. But the heron I spotted at Sausal Creek this morning (on the summer solstice) surprised me. I have lived in Glenview for nearly 15 years and although it's a common bird, I had never seen one there before.
I first saw the yellow-legged heron through the bay trees perched on a rock on the trail above El Centro Avenue about 1/10th of a mile before the Leimert Bridge. I kept my distance while it peered into the ivy-covered hillside then made an about-face and stood staring into the creek, presumably at breakfast. Several minutes passed before it flew into the creek bed where it rambled through the stream looking for food. Highly adaptable, these large birds eat anything from insects to frogs to small mammals. As I slowly approached, it continued to walk upstream, keeping a good 30-foot distance away from me. I noticed its elegant white plume dancing down its backside from the black crown. The plume stood out against the heron's dark blue wings and bright red eyes.
I passed the bird, still in the creek, as I continued up the trail. Upon my return, it flew away, and I caught a glimpse of its magnificent wingspread. To me, it says a lot for all the hard work done restoring Sausal Creek to its native state. Had the creek not benefited from the restoration, perhaps the heron might have landed elsewhere and I would have missed the privilege of seeing it in a riparian habitat. A huge thanks to all Friends of Sausal Creek.
-- Leanne A. Grossman, portfolio-of-passions.com
Note: As FOSC listserv members have heard, the Black-crowned Night Heron has been present in Dimond Canyon since at least May 17, and last year FOSC Restoration and Nursery Manager Megan Hess saw a juvenile in the area. The adult's continued presence is evidence that enough rainbow trout exist to keep it fed for at least a month. Join the FOSC listserv so that you can receive or send out messages on rare bird or native plant species spotted in the watershed.
|FOSC Establishes Endowment for Future Giving|
After several months of research and discussion, the FOSC board of directors passed a resolution in July to establish the For the Future Fund, an endowment that will help FOSC sustain itself and grow far into the future. "After 15 years, it's time to take this step toward ensuring the existence of FOSC in perpetuity," said Carl Kohnert, president of the organization. Donations and legacy gifts to the endowment will be invested and the earnings will help supplement FOSC's budget and ongoing operations. FOSC will continue to depend on annual grants, fundraising events, and individual contributions to meet its ongoing operational expenses.
To contribute to the endowment, or if you are considering including FOSC in your will or trust, please contact Board President Carl Kohnert via email or phone, 510-654-4062.
Thank you, Friends!
|Earth Day 2011
Dimond Park Broom Crew -- Visit our website to see more Earth Day photos.
Participating in the Dimond Park Earth Day Workday on April 16 inspired Laney College student Matthew Anderson to write this reflection on this special place.
Dimond Park As It Once Was
I have visited Dimond Park since I was around 10 years old and have been through the entire creek that runs through it many times. I explored it with friends as a means of passing time because all of us were poor. In the mid '90s the creek teemed with wildlife that my friends and I would catch, feed, or simply watch; this place was like a second home to us because we spent so much time there.
We would catch tadpoles and try to grow them into frogs. There were so many of them, all you would see was moving shadows in the shallow waters, while the deeper points held the large fish that were gold, orange, and white. Occasionally you would see snakes and other reptiles like lizards but they were much harder to find. Elusive rodents ran freely providing meals for the snakes and stray cats that dotted the surrounding woodlands. The amazing thing was there was little distance between where I lived and the creek, and yet the difference in wildlife was staggering.
One day at the creek we were attacked by a swarm of bees. The sound of them approaching was similar to a huge lawnmower, and all of us froze not knowing what was about to happen. The stings came from all directions: all you could see was a cloud of noise that engulfed anything it touched. I had to pull my brother out of the storm because he was immobilized with fear, but lucky for us we all made it out and none of us was allergic to bees.
Most days we had no problems just swimming, climbing, and playing in the tunnels that marked the trail. On one occasion, me and my friend walked a tunnel so long that it took us 20 minutes to see daylight again, and the entire time we looked up and saw manholes above at least 20 feet away. Out of all the tunnels, though, the main one we would frequent was the haunted tunnel, as all the kids would call it.
As the story goes, some clowns that were part of a performing troop that did shows at the park sometime in the early 1900s would walk by a certain tunnel on the way to their cars loaded with equipment from the show. One day a group of robbers lay in wait in the tunnel and held up the clowns at gunpoint. They then led them into the tunnel where no one could see and, after taking their money, killed them. It was said that the ghosts of the murdered clowns still roamed the tunnel, playing jokes on anyone that dared walk through.
A lot of kids would hide in the tunnel and make noises to scare other kids and remind them of the danger that was within. At some point the story stopped being passed on, and it was lost like many things that used to be in the area. Wildlife has changed and the people that visit have too, but the enjoyment and beauty can still be experienced. There is a resurgence in certain aspects that was missing in the park, and I'm glad to say I was able to help out; hopefully we can all keep up the good work and keep having fun at the good old creek, my former everyday hangout and a huge memory that will always have a place in my heart.
-- Matthew Anderson
Thank you to Matthew and the other 140 Earth Day volunteers at Dimond Park who removed a total of 30 cubic yards of invasive plants, mulched trails, and removed trash and woody debris from the creek. Volunteers were also hard at work at Barry Place, Beaconsfield Canyon, Bridgeview Trailhead, Fruitvale Bridge Park, Jingletown, Montclair Railroad Park, and Wood Park. We are proud of these watershed-wide efforts!
We greatly appreciate the help of EarthTeam, Student Conservation Association, and our volunteer crew leaders who helped the day run smoothly. A huge thank you to the local businesses who chipped in to feed volunteers at several of the worksites, including Arizmendi, Berkeley Bowl, Cole Coffee, Farmer Joe's, Noah's Bagels, and Trader Joe's.