DECEMBER 2012  |  JANUARY 2013   


In This Issue (Links)
State of the Creek Meeting
What's a Frugivore?
Plant Sale Kudos
Native Plant Pockets
Trail Closures
Storm Drain Adoption


Come plant with us!  




Barry Place

Sat., Dec. 15

9 a.m.-noon 


Beaconsfield Canyon

Sat., Dec. 29, Jan. 26   

9 a.m.-noon


Bridgeview Trailhead

Sun., Dec. 9, Jan. 13  

10 a.m.-noon


Dimond Park

Sat., Dec. 8

8:45 a.m.-noon

Sat., Jan. 19

9:00 a.m.-noon


Marj Saunders Park

Mon., Dec. 3, Jan. 7  

11 a.m.-1 p.m.


Montclair Park

Sun., Jan. 6

9 a.m.-noon


Shepherd Canyon

Sat., Dec. 8, Jan. 5 

9-11 a.m.   


Wood Park

Sat., Dec. 15, Jan. 19 

9 a.m.-noon






See calendar for details. 

Fri., Jan. 18, Jan. 25

10 a.m.-noon






Aquatic Insect Monitoring in Dimond Park

Sun., Jan. 6 

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

Sat., Jan. 19 

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


Water Quality Monitoring (wet season)

Contact Kimra for dates.







Thur., Dec. 13

1:30-4:30 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 19
1:30-4:30 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 18

12:30-2:30 p.m. 


Sat., Jan. 26

 1:30-4:30 p.m.



Wed., Jan. 16 

7-9 p.m.

Dimond Library 





Wed., Dec. 12

7-9 p.m.

Park Blvd. Presbyterian Church




For more information:

 FOSC Calendar 


 Megan Hess 

Restoration & Nursery




 Kimra McAfee 

Executive Director




30 field trips
50 nursery workdays
100 restoration workdays

We can't do it all without your support!
Please make your year-end contribution today.






Photo Credits

Jeff Ebbner

Megan Hess 

Mark Rauzon 


Richard Kauffman
Kimra McAfee






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FOSC logo
We need your support.

The Friends of Sausal Creek is an open membership organization. We welcome everyone to participate at any level that is appropriate for them. Since we have no annual dues, we depend heavily on voluntary financial support to pay our staff, propagate native plants, and furnish volunteers with tools and supplies.

Manzanita SEED Field Trip So you are already a member, but please consider what you are able to give to support our ongoing efforts in this season of giving. Use the donation button at the left or use the donation form at the bottom of this newsletter to mail your donation to: FOSC, PO Box 2737, Oakland, CA 94602. If your employer has a matching gift program, you can increase the impact of your donation.

On behalf of the rainbow trout, the endangered pallid manzanita, and the children who will visit Sausal Creek on a field trip this year, thank you!
State of the Creek
Wednesday, January 16, 7 p.m.  
Dimond Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland 
A not-to-be-missed evening for all watershed dwellers! Get an overview of the differences that FOSC has made in the past 16 years, learn about our revitalized water quality monitoring program, and hear from restoration site leaders and city liaisons who make our work possible. This evening will inform and inspire our work in 2013. Download a flyer
What's a Frugivore?

Birds that eat berries and fruit are called frugivores. The birds of fall and winter benefit from a bountiful summer and time their arrival to eat the larder of our native and nonnative trees and shrubs. Cedar waxwings, western bluebirds, mockingbirds, hermit thrushes, and of course the robins, flock up and descend cautiously to pluck berries from native madrone, grape, honeysuckle, elderberry, and nonnative ivy, blackberry and cotoneaster, pyracantha, and Chinese pistacia. In so doing, they help scatter seed in the woods, keeping the plant diversity high, but also leaving us more nonnatives to remove. Historically the upper Sausal Creek Watershed hosted a tremendous number of American robins--in the tens of thousands in the early 20th century--coming to feed on the madrone berries. This motivates us to plant more madrones, as the old ones are largely gone. And the American robin nests in the riparian vegetation of the restored creek.

Winter brings the bluebirds and waxwings to the Oakland hills, and what a treat they are. A bit of blue and patches of rusty red, they symbolize the marriage of earth and sky. The cedar waxwing is one of the only birds that can survive exclusively on fruit. It is named for its distinctive wing markings that look like beads, which are made of feather fibers not wax. The red color is extracted from the fruit pigment it consumes. In fact, the pigment can be orange or even yellow depending on the type of fruit that the particular waxwings are eating. Waxwings are easy to identify at a distance for they fly in dense flocks of about 25 birds.

Keep an eye out for these flocks as they visit your yard or your neighbor's or the creekside. They thrive off our native plants.

View more photos of these species.

--Mark Rauzon
Plant Sale Kudos    

A huge thank you to our steadfast nursery volunteers who got the plants and the nursery in stellar condition for our Native Plant Sale and Open House in October. We sold $5,500 in plants, and goodhearted shoppers donated another $200. These funds will help to support our nursery operations so that we can provide 1,800 plants to volunteer-led restoration sites and have our staff lead volunteers in planting 2,600 more plants at other FOSC sites. (See the left sidebar for upcoming planting workdays.) That's $25,000 worth of plants being planted this rainy season! Individual donations year round are critical to achieving our propagation and planting goals.

Harlan James Bluegrass Band
Harlan James Bluegrass Band
Thank you also to all of the presenters, tablers, musicians, and board members who helped make the sale a success. We revel in the open house aspect of the sale, as it is our biggest opportunity each year to promote watershed awareness and tout the benefits of gardening with native plants.

Of course, all those volunteers need fuel. La Farine, Noah's Bagels, Peet's Coffee & Tea, and Trader Joe's generously donated sustenance. Red Boy Pizza offered us discounted pizzas for lunch. Finally, Ratcliff Architects donated the printing for the large signs that got our shoppers to the sale. Thank you, local business community! 
More Native Plant Pockets in the 'Shed

On the rainy morning of November 17, the wet weather proved perfect for volunteers to plant 86 native plants as well as weed and mulch next to the newly designed river rock motif at Woodbine Corner. Thank you to all parties involved for making the neighborhood more beautiful and for creating a feeling of the creek above the culvert. Stop by Woodbine Corner (the strip between the I-580 Fruitvale exit and Woodbine Avenue) to see the natives planted by a partnership between Woodbine neighbors, the Dimond Improvement Association (DIA), and FOSC, with help from Merritt College's Robin Freeman and his students. Thank you also to La Farine for donating pastries and coffee for planting day volunteers.

FOSC has also partnered with the Montclair Village Association to install plants from our nursery in planters along LaSalle Avenue. Thank you to Daniel Swafford for seeing the educational value of a native plant mini-walking tour.
Dimond Canyon Trail Closures Beneath Leimert Bridge

Oakland Public Works Agency notified FOSC on November 31 that a chunk of concrete fell from the Leimert Bridge into the vicinity of Sausal Creek. Dimond Canyon Trail and Old Canon Trail have been closed beneath the bridge until netting can be installed to catch loose concrete. For your safety, please heed trail closure signage and fencing. We do not have a date as to when this issue will be addressed. You can download FOSC's trails map at
Become a Storm Drain Adopter

The Neighborhood Coalition for Crime Prevention (NCPC) Oakland Police Beat 22X  Beautification Committee, in partnership with the Oakland Public Works Department, is organizing neighborhood volunteers in the Dimond, Oakmore, Montera, Lincoln Heights, and Woodminster neighborhoods to adopt storm drains in their areas. The volunteers will keep the storm drains free of debris to allow free runoff of water during storms. If interested, please contact Marion Mills.

Oakland has 10,000 storm drains, and the majority of them have not yet been adopted. If you live outside of these neighborhoods, you can volunteer by contacting the City of Oakland Adopt a Spot coordinator at (510) 238-7630 or

To subscribe to this e-newsletter, email
or call (510) 501-3672.
End-of-Year Donation
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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