In This Issue (Links)
Donate at Peet's Dimond
Friend of the Month
Sausal Creek Rainbow Trout
Three-spined Stickleback
Austin Square
Kudos Korner

Upcoming Events
For locations, see event calendar


Raptors, Rats, and Riparian Areas
by Lisa Owens Viani
Wed., Nov. 19
7-9 p.m.
Dimond Branch Library



El Centro Trailhead

Sun., Nov. 16

10 a.m.-noon






Austin Square

Sat., Dec. 6

1-3 p.m.


Barry Place

Sat., Dec. 13

9 a.m.-noon  


Beaconsfield Canyon

Sat., Nov. 29, Dec. 27 

9 a.m.-noon


Bridgeview Trail

Sun., Dec. 14

10 a.m.-noon


Bridgeview Trailhead Native Bee Garden 

Sun., Nov. 16, Dec. 21

10 a.m.-noon


Dimond Park

Sat., Nov. 15, Dec. 20 

9 a.m.-noon


Marj Saunders Park

Mon., Dec. 1

1-3 p.m.

Montclair Railroad Trail

Sat., Nov. 15, Dec. 20

9-11 a.m.


Wood Park

Sat., Nov. 15, Dec. 20  

10 a.m.-noon




FOSC Native Plant Nursery

Joaquin Miller Park 


 Sat., Nov. 22,

Dec. 13 & 27  

1:30-4:30 p.m.





Aquatic Insect Monitoring  (email Kathleen for location)

Sun., Dec. 7

9 a.m.-noon


Wed., Dec. 10
7-9 p.m.
Park Blvd. Presbyterian Church




For more information:

Event Calendar 


Michelle Krieg 

Restoration & Nursery Manager

(510) 325-9006


Helen Dickson 

Restoration Intern


Kimra McAfee 

Executive Director

(510) 501-3672


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Photo Credits:

Josh Fowler

Tim Gerrity

Dave Harper 

Megan Hess

Michelle Krieg 

Robert Leidy

Glen Tepke

Genesta Zarehbin




Helen Dickson 




Richard Kauffman 

Kimra McAfee










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Donate $50 and get a FOSC T-shirt. If you donate online email 
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FOSC logo
As the ground is softened by the first rains, we are preparing for planting season. We hope to plant more than 3,000 plants over the next few months--at retail that's $22,000 worth of plants. Your end-of-year contributions support our nursery and restoration manager in leading the seed hikes and nursery workdays that produce these plants, and the community workdays and field trips that place them in the public lands that we steward. To support our work, please use the coupon at the bottom of the newsletter or visit PayPal or Network for Good to make your year-end, tax deductible contribution today.

In the Creek Litter Clean Up

Sunday, November 16, 10 a.m.-Noon

El Centro Trailhead

The recent rains have improved creek flows slightly but also washed trash into the creek. Come help us snare it before it reaches the bay. The August crew collected trash and golf balls in equal weights--40 pounds of each. Wear your grubbies and bring your own boots if you have them. Note that this event is not suitable for small children--eight and older only, please. RSVP to so we can be sure to have enough boots.


Raptors, Rats, and Riparian Areas

Wednesday, November 19, 7 p.m.

Dimond Branch Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave.

Lisa Owens Viani, co-founder and director of Raptors Are The Solution (RATS), will talk about raptors and the threats they face, particularly from rat poison, and also discuss less toxic ways of controlling rodents. She will describe a nine-year study of Cooper's hawks in Berkeley and their connection to riparian habitat, as well as how the study led to the formation of RATS. Download a flyer. 

Planting Days


Staff and volunteer led planting days are spread throughout the coming months. Winter Solstice Planting Day is a tradition at some sites; others will plant on their usual monthly workdays. See the FOSC event calendar for details.
'Tis the Season at Peet's Dimond  


The employees at Peet's Dimond on Fruitvale Avenue voted Friends of Sausal Creek as their partner nonprofit for their 2014 Holiday Donations Program! For a week in December, they will collect donations for FOSC at the counter, and Peet's will match those donations up to $750. Look for details on our website, and please thank the friendly, environmentally conscious Peet's Dimond employees next time you stop in for a cup of joe.

Friend of the Month: Alan Tong 


There are two secrets to FOSC's success in its evolution to becoming a truly watershed-wide organization: volunteers leading other volunteers and volunteers adopting spots. Alan Tong is both a crew leader and a site adopter. When we are expecting 150 volunteers in Dimond Park, we can count on Alan to take a gaggle of 20 teens and make them a team--safely using tools and attacking a blackberry thicket with gusto. Alan will also stick around after the program, helping to organize the tools and clean up the tool shed so we are ready for the next large workday.

An avid student of native plants, Alan has been taking plant ID classes and participating regularly on native plant seed hikes and at nursery propagation workdays. He always takes extra time to closely observe plants out in the field and has been a big help in keeping an eye on the ripening peak of seeds throughout Joaquin Miller Park.

Alan's adopted restoration site is in Joaquin Miller Park--the triangle of land where Sanborn Road forks on the way to the nursery. He has been transforming this forgotten median into a beautiful park gateway, spending countless hours hauling wheelbarrows of water to the site and weeding and mulching invading grasses.

Alan, thank you for all of the time that you give so freely to the watershed. Your calm, centered energy and quiet positivity are a steady force in all of our progress. 


--Michelle Krieg
Rainbow Trout, Not Steelhead, in Sausal Creek

We were pleased to be getting some press on the fish in Sausal Creek the week of Creek to Bay Day, but when "steelhead trout" appeared in headlines of three local papers we were aghast. Yes, Sausal Creek almost certainly had a historic steelhead run, but currently we have rainbow trout--the culverts and small dams in the lower Sausal Creek Watershed prevent steelhead from migrating upstream to spawn.


Rainbow trout and steelhead are indeed the same species, Oncorhynchus mykiss, but the two names define two different life cycles: Rainbow trout are resident, and they live their entire life cycle in the creek; steelhead are anadromous, or sea run--they live for two to three years in the creek and then migrate to the Pacific Ocean, where they live for several years before returning to spawn in the creek where they hatched.


Read FOSC's Rainbow Trout fact sheet  to learn more about Sausal Creek's rainbow trout and to find out how you can protect this treasure in our watershed. 
Explore the Watershed 
New Friend in the Creek

Common name: Three-spined stickleback 

Scientific name: Gasterosteus aculeatus 

We would like to extend a warm welcome to a newly found member of Sausal Creek--the three-spined stickleback! Board member Dr. Robert Leidy recently discovered a small population of these native fish in a pool in the lower reaches of the creek. The three-spined stickleback has been known to live around the San Francisco Bay, and they are unusual in their ability to live in both marine and freshwater habitats. Just a couple of inches in length, these fish can erect their namesake dorsal spines to help dissuade predators from a quick snack. Like rainbow trout (Sausal Creek's other native fish), three-spined stickleback are visual feeders and need clear water to see their prey, which tend to be smaller invertebrates. Keep an eye out for this new friend in your explorations of Sausal Creek!

New Volunteer-Led Site: Austin Square 


Over the last 18 years FOSC's community restoration efforts have grown to 22 sites throughout the Sausal Creek Watershed (16 volunteer-led and six staff-led), and recently we proudly added another site to the list. Thank you to the 20 volunteers who joined Josh Fowler for his first community workday along Sausal Creek at East 22nd Street near Austin Street on November 1. Like Barry Place, this lower watershed site is behind a locked gate, but it is owned by Alameda County, whereas Barry Place is on City of Oakland land. Josh therefore adopted the site through the county's adopt-a-creek program, but he is also receiving support from the city in the form of tools and green waste removal.

Cleanups are every first Saturday of the month from 1-3 p.m. Please stop by for the next exciting workday on December 6--it will include a mural painting on the creek bed's retaining wall and an insect table led by Bioassessment Team Leader Kathleen Harris, in addition to general clean up activities. All ages are welcome. See the FOSC event calendar
 or contact Josh Fowler
 for more details. A huge thank you to Josh for leading this great new effort!

Check out before and after photos from the first workday on the Austin Square Facebook Page
Kudos Korner

We are indebted to artist Wendy Rabin whose California fuchsia illustration grabbed the attention of native plant lovers on the splendid plant sale flyer graciously designed once again by Cheryl Koehler. Ratcliffe Architects guided customers into our nursery by donating printing of our large signs. Trader Joe's-Rockridge and Noah's Bagels-Montclair generously donated food for our fabulous volunteer team who make possible this event. Thank you to Alameda County Master Gardeners, The Spider Chick, Native Bird Connections, The Pollinator Posse, Pollinate Farm & Garden, and Harlan James Bluegrass Band who made the sale educational and entertaining. We deeply appreciate all of these contributions to our most successful sale ever (in both attendees and gross sales).


We are so fortunate to have the support of two very generous Dimond businesses.  Peet's Coffee and Tea provided coffee for our scores of Creek to Bay Day volunteers as well as for the 45 volunteers and tablers at our Native Plant Sale and Open House. La Farine outdid themselves with tasty treats for the Creek to Bay Day crowd and again delighted our September meeting attendees with their outstanding edibles. Thank you to both businesses for fueling our volunteers!


A huge thank you to Eagle Scout candidate Brendan Gerrity for raising the funds and overseeing the building of six new redwood benches for our nursery. The benches are beautifully constructed and provide much needed space for the record number of plants that we are growing for next year's large projects.



Thank you to eight-year-old Aziz Hujjat Zarehbin for donating $60 to the Friendsof Sausal Creek restoration programs. Aziz has been a restoration volunteer along with his mother, siblings, and friends in Dimond Park for over two years. In his owns words: "I had 60 dollars to give away and the Friends of Sausal Creek were the first thing that came to my head. I did it because I wanted to improve Sausal Creek and I wanted to get rid of invasive plants and bring in native plants." Thank you, Aziz!

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Friends of Sausal Creek, P.O. Box 2737, Oakland, CA 94602
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