JULY  |  AUGUST 2014   


In This Issue (Links)
Friend of the Month
Dragonflies and Damselflies
Summer Education Programs
Anna's Hummingbird
Dimond Canyon Fires
Volunteer Tasks
Events of Others
Mid-Year Appeal

Wed., July 16
6-8 p.m.
Beaconsfield Canyon

Butterfly 101 talk by Liam O'Brien
Wed., Sept. 17
7-9 p.m.
Dimond Branch Library



Creek Clean Up Walk

Sun., August 10

10 a.m.-noon

El Centro Trailhead, Dimond Canyon





Beaconsfield Canyon

Sat., July 26, August 30

9 a.m.-noon


Bridgeview Trail Ivy Removal 

Sun., July 13, August 10

10 a.m.-noon


Bridgeview Trailhead Native Bee Garden

Sun., July 20, August 17

10 a.m.-noon


Marj Saunders Park

Mon., August 4

11 a.m.-1 p.m.


Montclair Railroad Trail

Sat., July 19, August 16 

9-11 a.m. 


Wood Park

Sat., July 19, August 16

10 a.m.-noon




 Sat., July 12, 19, & 26,

August 9 & 23

1:30-4:30 p.m.




See event calendar for location

or join the seed hike Google Group


Sat., July 12 & 26,

August 23

10 a.m-noon


Thurs., July 17 & 24

10 a.m.-noon


Fri., August 15

10 a.m.-noon


Wed., August 20

10 a.m.-noon




   Sun., August 3

9 a.m.-noon


Wed., August 13
7-9 p.m.
Park Blvd. Presbyterian Church







For more information:

FOSC Calendar 


Michelle Krieg 

Restoration & Nursery Manager

(510) 325-9006


Alex Carter 

Education Intern 


 Kimra McAfee 

Executive Director

(510) 501-3672


Like us on Facebook









Photo Credits:

 Jane Hamrsky

Kathleen Harris

Michelle Krieg

Mark Rauzon

Jeff Stephens




Kimra McAfee

Sarah Nathe













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If you are shopping on Amazon.com, please follow this link to get 0.5% of eligible AmazonSmile purchases donated to FOSC.






Donate $50 and get a FOSC T-shirt. If you donate online, email coordinator@sausalcreek.org with your T-shirt size.

FOSC logo
For most adults, those long, lazy summer days are a thing of the past. But the extra hours of daylight still make summer a special season, with a chance to soak up some late rays in nature after a long day's work. Wednesday, July 16, is a perfect opportunity to enjoy such a blissful summer evening, sharing good food and company in the shade of Beaconsfield Canyon's rare black cottonwoods at the annual FOSC potluck. Please come celebrate the grand work of our watershed community! 

Meet and Greet Potluck
Wednesday, July 16, 6 p.m.
Beaconsfield Canyon
This summertime tradition brings together FOSC volunteers, board members, and staff, as well as leaders from other community organizations. Please bring a potluck dish to share, your own reusable place setting, and a picnic blanket or chair. The park entrance is adjacent to 2639 Beaconsfield Place (off Chelton Drive). Download a flyer.

In the Creek Litter Clean Up

Sunday, August 10, 10 a.m.-Noon

El Centro Trailhead (View map)

Trash and golf balls await you (42 lbs. of golf balls were hauled out during the May 18 clean up). Late summer is a great time to remove the garbage before the first flush takes everything into the bay. Wear your grubbies and bring your own boots if you have them. Note that this event is not suitable for small children--12 and older only, please. RSVP to Kimra so we can provide enough boots.

S A V E   T H E   D A T E
Native Plant Sale and Open House 
Sunday, October 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Joaquin Miller Native Plant Nursery (View map)
As our dedicated nursery volunteers well know, this festive event isn't really a fundraiser--it is a labor of love that reaches beyond our watershed community to share the benefits of gardening with native plants. In the coming weeks, hundreds of baby plants need to be transplanted and we have several projects in progress to spruce up the nursery. Nursery workdays are held every second and fourth Saturday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Check the FOSC event calendar for additional nursery workdays. If you have a group interested in volunteering, please contact Michelle. Thank you for your help!
Friend of the Month: Kathleen Harris 

You've seen her on the steep slope above Bridgeview Trail, teaching a group to make an ivy burrito. Or behind a FOSC outreach table, sharing her enthusiasm for the creek and its trails. But most memorable is seeing her where she is happiest--in the creek, collecting insects to identify and release.


Kathleen Harris is our intrepid and dedicated bioassessment team leader and Bridgeview Trail crew leader, but she's also ever ready to lend a hand with a field trip group (especially if she can share bugs with them!) or represent FOSC at an event. With her formal scientific background as a bench scientist and a researcher, Kathleen brings sound science to all the activities she leads, augmented by an enthusiasm that is contagious.


Thanks to Kathleen, our aquatic insect monitoring program is again conducted monthly (first Sundays). In January 2012, she initiated monthly workdays at Bridgeview Trail (second Sundays), and last year she added a standing workday on the third Sunday of each month to develop a native bee garden near the Bridgeview Trailhead. So, on the first three Sundays of each month you know exactly where to find, and help, Kathleen; see the event calendar for details.

Kathleen, you are an inspiration to the entire FOSC volunteer community. Thank you for the expertise, time, and passion that you give so freely and that contributes so much to our organization's efforts.

Dragonflies (and Damselflies) Underwater


If you attended Kathy Biggs' talk about dragonflies at FOSC's May 21 meeting, you learned a lot about these beautiful predators. Among the many interesting aspects is that over half their lives take place under water. The juvenile forms of dragonflies and their relatives, damselflies, are aquatic insects that live in Sausal Creek, hunting smaller aquatic insects among the rocks at the bottom of the creek.

Read more ...

School's Out, but Kids are Learning in the 'Shed

This past school year FOSC hosted 40 classes for environmental education and hands-on restoration field trips in the watershed. School may be out, but our work with local youth continues all summer through our partnership with the Oakland Parks and Recreation summer camps in Joaquin Miller Park and our high school summer internship program. We are grateful to have the help of Education Intern Alex Carter to lead our summer youth programs, thanks to the generous support of the Hillside Gardeners of Montclair and the Bill Graham Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. A shout-out to our team of high school summer interns who brave the July heat to keep the invasive plants at bay and help with transplanting at the nursery. 


Explore the Watershed 


Common Name:

Anna's hummingbird


Scientific Name:

Calypte anna


This time of year, you can spot the tiny Anna's hummingbird flitting from bloom to bloom in the Friends of Sausal Creek's native plant nursery, and at Joaquin Miller, William D. Wood, and Dimond parks. Though common in yards and parks in the lower watershed, they are not so easily observed for these small birds are quick! You might catch a fleeting glimpse of the male's ruby-red crown and gorget (throat feathers), or hear the whirring wings of a female as she zips by. Both sexes are an iridescent green with grey bellies and a black tail. Hummingbirds are early nesters; since we are now near the end of their nesting season, the birds that you see may be new fledglings. Watch closely, and listen too, and you just might hear the male's scratchy metallic call. For more information, see the Audubon page.

Dimond Canyon Fires

On June 13, two fires were discovered near the El Centro entrance to Dimond Canyon. On June 17, four more fires were found in Dimond Canyon, this time near Park and Estates drives, and north towards the Montclair Golf Course. The Oakland Fire Department, using methods specifically developed for urban/wildland interface fires, contained all the fires within a few hours. The investigation into the cause of these fires is still active. If you have information about the fires, or saw anything suspicious, call the Arson Squad directly at (510) 238-4031. Note that this is a non-emergency line. Please call 911 if you see an active fire.

Volunteer Tasks

FOSC's 20-year anniversary is coming up in 2016. Help us document our organization's journey and organize our old photos. 
We'd like to reprint our nursery demonstration garden plant identification signs with archival inks so they will last longer. 
Please contact Kimra at coordinator@sausalcreek.org or (510) 501-3672 if you can lend a hand to either task. Thank you!
Events of Others

Attend one of the outdoor summer talks at the Native Here Nursery amphitheater in Tilden Park (Saturdays, July 12, July 26, August 9, August 23, and August 30, 10:30 a.m.-noon).
Hike with SPAWNERS to learn about the geology and native plants of the Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve (Wednesday, August 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.).   
Mid-Year Appeal

Thank you to all who have responded to our mid-year appeal letter by making a donation. FOSC has received $3,971 in donations so far. We have been offered a matching grant for the first $5,000 we raise by August 1. If you haven't already done so, please help us make this goal and, in doing so, know that your gift will be doubled. Your donation is tax deductible and goes directly to projects and programs that support a healthier local ecology and richer, more vibrant native habitat.

To subscribe to this e-newsletter, email
or call (510) 501-3672.
Please help us maintain and expand our efforts in the Sausal Creek Watershed by making a donation today!

Donate online via PayPal or Network for Good or mail this form with your check made payable to:
Friends of Sausal Creek, P.O. Box 2737, Oakland, CA 94602
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