JUNE  |  JULY 2012  


In This Issue (Links)
Students of the Year
Plant Explorations
Jeff Greenhouse
Nasty New Non-Natives
Rain Barrels
Special Thanks



The FOSC board of directors is offering a dollar-for-dollar match for the first $3,500 in donations we receive this summer. Now is the time to donate to FOSC!



Fern Ravine (near Sequoia Arena)

Wed., July 18  

6-8 p.m.





Aquatic Insect Monitoring in Dimond Park

Sun., July 1 

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

Sat., July 14 

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





Sat., June 30, 

July 21 & 28  

1:30-4:30 p.m.


Thur., June 14  

1:30-4:30 p.m.





Beaconsfield Canyon 

Sat., June 30, July 28 

9 a.m.-noon


Bridgeview Trailhead

Sun., July 8 

10 a.m.-noon


Marj Saunders Park

Mon., July 2 

10 a.m.-noon


Montclair Park

Sun., July 1 

9 a.m.-noon


Monterey Redwoods

Wed., July 25

6-8 p.m. 


Shepherd Canyon

Sat., July 7 

9-11 a.m.


Wood Park

Sat., June 16 & July 21

9 a.m.-noon 






  Native Plant Sale & Open House 

Joaquin Miller Native Plant Nursery

Sun., Oct. 21 

10 a.m.-3 p.m. 






For more information:

 FOSC Calendar 


 Megan Hess 

Restoration & Nursery




 Kimra McAfee 

Executive Director




Plant Photo Credits (all photos copyrighted and used with permission)
Margo Bors (tufted hairgrass)
Christopher Christie (western bleeding heart)
Tom Cochrane (stinkwort)
Neal Kramer (barbed goatgrass)
Keir Morse (giant scouring rush)

Other Photo Credits
Megan Hess
Karen Paulsell

Richard Kauffman
Kimra McAfee
Sarah Nathe
FOSC logo
Fern Ravine WeedingLast summer's FOSC Meet & Greet was so much fun that it is now an official annual event. Please come celebrate the progress made at the Fern Ravine restoration area in Joaquin Miller Park on Wednesday, July 18th at 6 p.m.

What better way to pass a summer evening than sharing food and conversation at this stunning spot where wetland headwaters meet redwood forest? This is an opportunity for FOSC volunteers, staff, and board to get together and exchange information with leadership from other community groups. Please bring a potluck dish to share (anything you want) and your own reusable place setting. We'll have the Horseshoe Picnic area barbecues fired up and will offer informal tours of the site. Download a flyer with directions . This event takes place in lieu of an indoor July member meeting.
FOSC Students of the Year


Students of the Year 2012At buildOn's end-of-year event on May 5, FOSC was thrilled to honor Finn Wurtz (Oakland Technical High School) and Jorge Gomez (Skyline High School) as FOSC Students of the Year. After participating in FOSC's summer internship program last summer, Finn and Jorge opted to serve as monthly crew leaders during this past school year. Under their exceptional leadership, the spot buildOn adopted in Dimond Canyon grew in area and significantly improved in habitat value. Enthusiasm and humor, coupled with care and pride in their restoration work, made them inspiring crew leaders. 
Internships Available  

There are a few slots left in the high school summer intern program.

FOSC accomplishes so much year-round thanks to interns. We especially need help this summer and fall as we prepare for Creek to Bay Day on September 15 and for our Native Plant Sale and Open House on October 21. Check out the internship options.

Western bleeding heart_ChristiePlant Explorations in the Watershed
(Making a List and Checking It Often...)

When I started collecting seeds for the FOSC nursery in 2002, the only native species list I knew about was the one from Martha Lowe's thesis, which listed 173 species of natives. Our group of intrepid seed hikers soon started finding species that weren't on her list. To help learn the names of the natives, I started working with an electronic copy of Martha's data, adding new species as they were ID'd, making notes about locations, rarity, or other information.


Read more... 


Review the new species list


--Karen Paulsell 

The Saga of Jeff Greenhouse
After retiring, I started in as a volunteer at the Jepson Herbarium in Berkeley. That led to my becoming a part-time staff member of the Jepson Flora Project working on the new edition of The Jepson Manual. While thus engaged, I had plenty of time to indulge my hobby of "botanizing." I began recording a few plant observations in Joaquin Miller Park in 2004 on a field trip led by Chris Thayer. After learning in 2007 that Barbara Ertter had collected lemon balm (Melissa officinalis--a non-native) there, a plant I was interested in finding, I decided to return to the park to search for the plant.

Jeff Greenhouse_PaulsellI started keeping a record of the other plants along the trails during my successful search for Melissa. Then, because the park is within two miles of my home, I decided it would be interesting to document all the plants in the park, and I thought it might be of some use to the Oakland Office of Parks & Recreation. I began walking all the trails in a quest for everything I could identify.  

A chance notice about a Friends of Sausal Creek activity led to my April 2011 inquiry about a rare Oxalis find, and I discovered that I wasn't alone in recording the plants of the park. Since then I've spent many more days wandering the trails and mucking about by myself and with Karen Paulsell. We've been adding to each other's lists. I'm glad to have been able to make additions for the FOSC records and help with difficult identifications when needed. I'll be out on the trails throughout the year seeking out new plants and trying to pin down identifications for some that have been puzzling. Stay tuned!

--Jeff Greenhouse 
Barbed goatgrass_Kramer_copyright2007
Some Nasty New Non-Natives

New and interesting natives aren't the only things that we've found lately. One of the grim new findings came to us from Kristen Hopper, the former FOSC nursery manager. In July 2011, she found a very invasive annual grass called goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis) near the nursery. The Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN) lists it among their priority plant invaders and has been advising us on its management. Aegilops triuncialis not only invades native grasslands, but it is capable of invading native serpentine grasslands, which is significant as serpentine grasslands are critical habitat for numerous rare and endangered fauna and flora in California.  Species found growing on serpentine are specially adapted to growing in its nutrient-poor soils and few invasive species are able to survive there.  Locating it and removing it now, before it spreads, is key to preventing a major infestation in the area.   


 Read more... 


--Karen Paulsell

Free Rain Barrels Available for Oakland Residents

You can play a key role in preventing creek erosion and flooding while harvesting rainwater that can be used for landscape irrigation. With the support of a Federal Stimulus Package grant, the Oakland Watershed and Stormwater Program is offering free rain barrels and tanks for city residents. Help our city meet the objective of 240,000 gallons of rainwater catchment by the end of 2012 and take advantage of this offer while supplies last.

To register for the program and purchase a rain barrel visit

Special Thanks

Thank you to the 220 Earth Day volunteers who helped at eleven watershed worksites on April 21st and 22nd. Volunteers planted riparian species under the shade of oak trees, spread mulch along trails, removed rapidly growing invasive annual grasses to uncover this year's native plantings, battled blackberry brambles, and filled more than 70 trash bags with litter that would otherwise have polluted the streambed and estuary.

Thank you to La Farine and Noah's Bagels for feeding our Earth Day volunteers at Dimond Park. La Farine has regularly been providing goodies for our member meetings at Dimond Library as well!

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 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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