APRIL  |  MAY 2012  


In This Issue (Links)
V-O-Cal in JMP
Nursery Donations Needed
WQ Assessment Training
Rain Barrels
Wildfire Strategic Plan
Thanks Hillside Gardeners!




Dimond Library

Wed., May 16 

7-9 p.m.





Aquatic Insect Monitoring in Dimond Park

Sun., May 6

9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Bird Monitoring (start at Sequoia Arena)

Sat., Apr. 14 

8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.





Sat., Apr. 14, 

May 12 & 26 

1:30-4:30 p.m.


Sat., Apr. 21

9 a.m.-noon 


Thurs., Apr. 26, May 3 

1:30-4:30 p.m.





Barry Place

Sat., Apr. 21  

9 a.m.-noon


Beaconsfield Canyon 

Sat., Apr., 21, May 26

9 a.m.-noon 


Bridgeview Trailhead

Sat., Apr. 21

Sun., May 13  

10 a.m.-noon


Dimond Canyon

Sat., Apr. 21 

9 a.m.-noon

(sign-in at 8:30)


Fruitvale Bridge Park

Sat., Apr. 21

8-11 a.m. 


Marj Saunders Park

Sat., Apr. 21

9 a.m.-noon

Mon., May 7

10 a.m.-noon


Montclair Park

Sat., Apr. 21

Sun., May 6

9 a.m.-noon 


Shepherd Canyon

Sat., Apr. 21

9 a.m.-noon

Sat., May 5 

9-11 a.m.


Wood Park

Sat., Apr. 21

9 a.m.-noon 

Sat., May 19 

9 a.m.-noon





Sudden Oak Death Blitz 2012

East Bay Apr. 28-29




Annual Meeting  

Baywood Picnic Area in meadow below Ranger Station

Sat., May 19

10 a.m. 




For more information:

 FOSC Calendar 


 Megan Hess 

Restoration & Nursery




 Kimra McAfee 

Executive Director






Your donation supports the staff time needed to orchestrate Earth Day events throughout the watershed and helps FOSC purchase new tools and other field supplies.

With a minimum donation of $25 to FOSC, you are eligible for a year's subscription to Bay Nature magazine at the discounted rate of $17.95. Note that this subscription rate is not a tax-deductible contribution.

Photo Credits:
Arleen Feng
Kimra McAfee

Richard Kauffman
Kimra McAfee
Sarah Nathe
FOSC logo

From trees to rain barrels to bugs, there's something for everyone coming up this spring. Volunteer for three hours...or a whole weekend while camping in Joaquin Miller Park. Read on!


Earth Day 2012

Earth Day 2011From the tributaries in the hills to the creek outlet at Fruitvale Bridge, there's a Sausal Creek Watershed site in need of your help the morning of Saturday, April 21. Check out the calendar for details for each site. Please contact the site leader if you have a group interested in volunteering. All volunteers under 18 must bring waivers (both FOSC's and the City of Oakland's) signed by their parent or guardian.

Calling all Citizen Scientists to Survey for Sudden Oak Death (SOD)
Sign up now to help with SOD Blitz 2012 on the weekend of April 28-29. One-hour trainings will be held on Saturday in Orinda at 9 a.m. and Berkeley at 1 p.m. On Sunday afternoon collected suspect bay leaves will be turned in at your training site. Click here for more details and for contact links. Please email Kimra if you plan to collect samples in the Sausal Creek Watershed so we can coordinate routes.

Bugs Know Best: What Insects Can Tell Us About the Health of Sausal Creek 

At our May member meeting, our new bioassessment team will share some basics on aquatic biology and biological monitoring and will present data from Sausal Creek, explaining the trends in the data and the importance of such monitoring. We will have insect larvae for you to look at under a microscope. Share the excitement of aquatic insect monitoring with Travis Peterson and Kathleen Harris at Dimond Library on Wednesday, May 16, 7-9 p.m. Download a flyer.


--Kimra McAfee, Executive Director  

Volunteer with V-O-Cal in Joaquin Miller Park


Want to camp out in Joaquin Miller Park, get your meals cooked for you, and have a really great weekend with other volunteers from around the Bay Area? 

V-O-Cal 2007 JMP
Friends of Sausal Creek is pleased to announce that Volunteers for Outdoor California (V-O-Cal) will be returning to Joaquin Miller Park (JMP) and the Sausal Creek Watershed with over 100 volunteers the weekend of June 8-10. In the past few years V-O-Cal has sponsored three volunteer weekends in our area, assisting Oakland parks staff with major trail maintenance and construction. The projects improved trail intersections, rerouted trails, widened trails, repaired treads, upgraded trail drainage by constructing a raised section through a marshy area, and made other drainage improvements. These efforts bettered trail usability and safety, and reduced erosion and siltation in Sausal Creek's headwaters streams. 


This year's priorities are as follows:

  • rehabilitating and re-routing Bishop's Walk Trail
  • installing new trail sign posts at all JMP trail intersections (the East Bay Hills Trails Benefit Hike and Ride contributed significant funds for this project)
  • defining the trail through fencing in Fern Ravine

V-O-Cal is seeking the participation of FOSC, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, and the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay, as well as any other interested local participants and advocates.


V-O-Cal will be camping at Sequoia Arena for the weekend, and volunteers are needed for Saturday and/or Sunday projects. Although V-O-Cal draws volunteers from across the Bay Area, local participation is the key to success. In addition to trail workers, volunteers are needed to assist in the camp kitchen and with registration and camp management. Please contact Morris Older if you have ideas or would like to assist in planning and preparation. To register for the project, go to www.V-O-Cal.org, where you'll find more information on the event.

Donate for Nursery Benches and Pallets  

This summer we hope to build four new nursery benches (plant tables) and nine sturdy pallets for growing areas under the new shadehouse and in the expanded sunny growing area. If you'd like to contribute toward this project, $50 covers the materials needed for one pallet and $100 covers materials needed for one bench. These structures will be built to last, withstanding weather conditions at our outdoor nursery for years to come. Thank you for your help and support! 

Water Quality Assessment Training along Sausal Creek
SWAMP TrainingIf you walked by the tot lot in Dimond Park on March 19 or 20, you may have noticed a large group of serious-looking people who seemed to be playing in the creek. They had nets and measuring devices, bags of sample containers, and clipboards with papers on them. In fact, Sausal Creek was the site of a training sponsored by the California State Water Resources Board. Eighteen participants--contractors for Bay Area stormwater programs and state employees--reviewed how to conduct bioassessment monitoring of the creek according to Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) protocols. I participated as an observer for Friends of Sausal Creek to learn what the protocols are and how the data are collected and analyzed.

Read more....

--Kathleen Harris 
O A K L A N D   R A I N   B A R R E L   P R O G R A M
Slow the Flow, Help Prevent Erosion

Rain barrel installation is good for your garden and good for your watershed, and the Oakland Rain Barrel Program can help you get a great deal when purchasing this high-quality equipment. The program uses federal grant dollars to offer rain barrels at deeply discounted prices to Oakland residents living in areas vulnerable to erosion. Installing rain barrels reduces erosion by collecting and storing rainwater for later use, or by temporarily detaining the rainwater and releasing it slowly over time to reduce the erosive effects of concentrated stormwater flows on hillsides.  

Preventing erosion protects your property and helps keep creeks, streams, and the bay healthier. Rain barrels have the added benefit of keeping water away from your foundation and allowing you to use collected rain water to keep your garden green.

For more information about how to get your very own federally subsidized rain barrel, visit www.oaklandcreeks.org.  


Upcoming Rain Barrel Installation Workshop
"How exactly do I install my rain barrel?" We are working with the Oakland Rain Barrel Program to set up a free, hands-on rain barrel installation workshop at a home in the watershed in May. Please email Kimra if you are interested in receiving details on this event.

Strategic Plan Aims to Reduce Wildfire Threat

Did you know that Alameda County contains over 100 watersheds and almost 22,000 acres of land subject to high or extreme wildfire conditions? The Alameda County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), 18 months in the making, provides for the first time a comprehensive plan to address the wildfire threat countywide.


--Cheryl Miller 
Special Thanks

Thank you to the Hillside Gardeners of Montclair for generously supporting a paid internship for a college student to help lead FOSC's summer high school intern program. As they did last summer, this special task force will spend 70 hours on special projects in the watershed--a boon for our restoration efforts during the summer volunteer lull.

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or call (510) 501-3672.