|Forming Flowers: How Beauty and Function Evolve
Dr. Chelsea Specht
Wed., May 15
In the Creek
Meet at El Centro Trailhead
Sun., May 19
Sat., May 25, June 29
Sun., June 9
Marj Saunders Park
Mon., June 3
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Sat., May 18, June 15
Sat., May 18
Aquatic Insect Monitoring in Dimond Park
Sun., June 2
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Bird Monitoring (start at Sequoia Arena)
Sat., July 27
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Water Quality Monitoring
Contact Kimra to volunteer
Wed., June 12
Park Blvd. Presbyterian Church
SAVE THE DATE
Annual Meet & Greet Potluck
Wed., July 17 (evening)
in Joaquin Miller Park
For more information:
Founding board member Mark Rauzon offers up this definition of a watershed by John Wesley Powell for our reflection: "...that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community."
Read on for fun ways to participate in our community of watershed friends, and please mark your calendar for our Annual Meet & Greet the evening of Wednesday, July 17--details will be in the next newsletter.
Forming Flowers: How Beauty and Function Evolve
Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m.
Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave.
Dr. Chelsea Specht will discuss how flowers have evolved to display a diversity of form and function. Her current research projects involve tropical gingers, cycads, and several groups of amazingly beautiful California monocots. Download a flyer.
In the Creek Litter Clean Up
Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m.-Noon
Grand Re-Opening: Gallery of California Natural Sciences
Wear your grubbies and bring you own boots if you have them. Note that this event is not suitable for small children--12 and older only, please. Please RSVP to email@example.com
so we can have enough boots.
Oakland Museum of California
Friday, May 31-Sunday, June 2
See FOSC volunteers in action in 10 film vignettes at the new Friends of Sausal Creek exhibit.
High School Students: Apply Now to Be a Summer Intern
I N T H E C R E E K L I T T E R C L E A N U P
Successful Kick-Off (or, rather, Pick-Up)
We held our inaugural bimonthly trash clean up in Sausal Creek on March 17. Twelve volunteers led by three FOSC board members collected over 300 lbs. of garbage (10 large bags) from within and adjacent to Sausal Creek. One group of volunteers sporting rubber boots waded up Sausal Creek from El Centro Avenue to Leimert Bridge. According to FOSC Board Member Robert Leidy, "The idea is to get volunteers into the creek to remove garbage that otherwise might not be collected during more traditional bankside litter removal events. It is a very different and exciting experience for volunteers to actually walk in the creek while picking up litter." Among the items collected were 20-30 spray paint canisters used for "tagging" Leimert Bridge, along with a diverse assortment of plastics, paper, glass, and golf balls. Removal of the paint canisters is particularly important because if they rupture in the creek any remaining paint may threaten the health of Sausal Creek's wild rainbow trout and other aquatic organisms. To join our May 19 walk, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing New Board Member Steve Ritchie
We are delighted to welcome Steve Ritchie to the FOSC board of directors. Steve is the Assistant General Manager for Water of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. He manages an organization of about 900 people that operate the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, including managing the 60,000 acres of Bay Area watershed lands that San Francisco owns. He lives in Oakland and has supported volunteer work in the Sausal Creek Watershed through Boy Scout Troop 203 for more than a decade, including several Eagle Scout projects and numerous Creek to Bay Day work efforts. He has worked with water issues for all of his 36-year professional career, and with two children off at college, Steve was looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the community. FOSC seems to be just the place for that.
Earth Day 2013
Thank you to the more than 250 volunteers who helped in the Sausal Creek Watershed on April 20 and 21. A huge thank you to all of the site leaders and crew leaders who skillfully led folks in picking up trash; removing invasive, nonnative plants; and getting the last of the riparian native plants into the ground this planting season. Kudos to FOSC Field Assistant Brenna Blessing for providing support for the sites and coordinating so many details. We greatly appreciate the generosity of these community partners for donating refreshments for the crowd of volunteers at Dimond Park:
View photos and video of Earth Day in Dimond Park.
Monterey Redwood Site: Happy 10th Anniversary!
One of my favorite things about working at various FOSC restoration areas is watching them change over time as the area cleared of invasives grows and as the natives we plant grow, mature, and start to produce flowers and fruit. I'm especially keen on the Monterey Boulevard Redwood site because I led the first workday there on Earth Day 2003. So it's the site's 10th anniversary!
Bravo to The Renaissance International School Lower Elementary 2 students for initiating a fundraiser to sell handpainted t-shirts so they could make a donation to FOSC. These stewards, who attend school on Dimond Avenue at the south end of Dimond Park, presented FOSC with a check for $380.22.
Congratulations to FOSC founder Kathy Kramer
for winning the Jefferson Award
Thank You to the Grantmakers
Our environmental education and restoration programming for 2013-2014 was boosted by the generosity of several funders in early 2013. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Alameda County Fish & Game Propagation Fund, Bonita Garden Club, JiJi Foundation, Mary A. Crocker Trust, and San Francisco Estuary Partnership Small Grants Program. Our work is made possible by the generosity of these entities and by individual contributions by community members...like you.
Megan Hess Lilla, our extraordinary restoration and nursery manager, has moved on to a new career position with the Land Trust of Napa County. All of us at FOSC, including the hundreds of volunteers and students that Megan interacted with over the past four years, are deeply appreciative of the many ways she helped us grow, prosper, and carry out the important work of our organization.
Megan and longtime FOSCer Fanny
Wherever one looks in the watershed you see the results of Megan's efforts. The native plant nursery has become a first class operation with Megan helping to organize and complete several important projects including the new shade structure, irrigation system, electric improvements, and plant tables. Fern Ravine is thriving as a result of the implementation of a management plan with new plantings, fencing, and education outreach on park user impacts on the understory. The Monterey Boulevard Redwoods restoration site has expanded, with native plants filling in where there used to be ivy. Large student groups brought in by Megan from buildOn, Student Conservation Association, CivicCorps, and EarthTeam were instrumental in improvements throughout the watershed. Numerous neighborhood groups and adopted spots were supported with plants, tools, and technical advice, and she began our ongoing series of quarterly crew leader trainings. Megan initiated our summer high school intern program, getting much needed work done during the usual summer lull and giving students the skill set to become crew leaders during the next school year.
Most of all, Megan brought a maturity and grace that allowed her to work with everyone in a caring and sensitive way that built confidence and a team spirit in the work we do. Because of her leadership skills, she was able to most capably get done all the daily demands and tasks that go into running a restoration, environmental education, and community-based volunteer organization. These personal skills touched all of us and endeared us to Megan. We are grateful to her, thankful for the gifts of her talents she shared with us, and happy for the next step in her career. Thank you, Megan, and best wishes from your FOSC family.
To subscribe to this e-newsletter, email
or call (510) 501-3672.