JULY  |  AUGUST 2015   


In This Issue (Links)
Upcoming Events
For locations, see event calendar

Sat., July 18
Noon-2 p.m.
Wood Park

 Gardening and Birds
Pat Bacchetti
Wed., Sept. 16
7-9 p.m.
Dimond Branch Library



Beaconsfield Canyon

Sat., July 25, Aug. 29   

9 a.m.-Noon


Bridgeview Trail

Sun., July 12, Aug. 9 

10 a.m.-Noon


Bridgeview Trailhead Native Bee Garden

Sun., July 19, Aug. 16

10 a.m.-Noon


Marj Saunders Park

Mon., Aug. 3  

11 a.m.-1 p.m. 


Montclair Railroad Trail

Sat., July 18, Aug. 15  

9-11 a.m.


Wood Park

Sat., July 18, Aug. 15  

10 a.m.-Noon




Dimond Park

Sunday, July 26, Aug. 30 

10 a.m.-2 p.m.




Locations TBD

 (see event calendar

Thurs., July 16 & 23

Fri., Aug. 7

Sat., Aug. 22 

10 a.m.-Noon




FOSC Native Plant Nursery

Joaquin Miller Park

Sat., July 11 & 25,

Aug. 8 & 22

1:30-4:30 p.m.




Sequoia Arena Gate

Joaquin Miller Park

Sun., July 12

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




(RSVP for location) 

Sun., Aug. 2

10 a.m.-Noon 




Wed., Aug. 12 

7-9 p.m.

Park Blvd. Presbyterian Church



For more information:

Event Calendar 


Michelle Krieg 

Restoration & Nursery Manager

(510) 325-9006


Kimra McAfee 

Executive Director

(510) 501-3672


FOSC logo
Four summers ago we started our summer high school internship program because plants don't take a summer vacation: Invasives go to seed and natives in the nursery need transplanting, but volunteerism trends downward when school is out. We are grateful for the eight dedicated teens and our two enthusiastic summer staff, Jill Flaningam Miller and Bette La, who are making the most of these long July days in the watershed. Still, all the monthly volunteer-led sites are holding workdays in July and August, plus there are weekday collection hikes, the new trails stewardship crew, and the usual nursery workdays on the second and fourth Saturday afternoons of each month. Please check out the event calendar to see what fits in between your travels and other summer festivities. Speaking of which, the annual FOSC not-to-be-missed social event is coming right up, and this year it directly follows a volunteer opportunity. 


Meet & Greet Potluck
Saturday, July 18, Noon-2 p.m.
William D. Wood Park 

Join FOSC volunteers, staff, and directors for our annual Meet & Greet Potluck. We encourage you to lend a hand at the monthly Friends of Wood Park workday just prior, from 10 a.m.-noon, and then enjoy the picnic in the park. Bring a blanket or your own chair. Please bring a dish to share, your own reusable place setting and utensils, and a water bottle. Wood Park is located just below I-580 north of Fruitvale Avenue. Park at either end of McKillop Road (off Sheffield Avenue) and take the pathway to the grassy field, or enter from the end of School Street (off Fruitvale Avenue). For more info contact Kimra at
coordinator@sausalcreek.org or (510) 501-3672. Download a flyer.
Thankful for Your Giving 


Last newsletter we asked you to help FOSC win $3,000 through East Bay Gives 2015, sponsored by the East Bay Community Foundation. FOSCers embraced the contest, enabling FOSC to secure that $3,000 prize plus two other $1,000 prizes by strategically-timed online donations. With these prizes, the mid-year campaign totaled $15,935.71--our most successful mid-year appeal ever! Thank you for supporting all the good work we do. 
Friend of the Month: Connie Kozlowski 
In May and June, Connie Kozlowski spent more than 150 hours (yes, 150!) decimating the Italian thistle population in Beaconsfield Canyon. She's cut off too many buds to count, filled bag after bag with the flowers, and whacked the stalks so they don't resprout.

Connie's dedication is not something new. She has been working on thistle removal in the canyon for many years (prior to that she evicted all the broom, and her efforts have not been confined to Beaconsfield Canyon...). In past years she focused on clearing in a specific area, but this summer, after being told the city wasn't providing a crew--or that it might send in goats--she launched a full out assault. This from 2013: "I'm afraid it's become addictive. Like Alexander, will I weep when there are no more weeds to conquer?"

There are still some small patches of thistle in Beaconsfield Canyon, but they're running scared and will probably die of fright.

You are an inspiration and a force to be reckoned with, Connie. We applaud you and humbly thank you.
Explore the Watershed
Net-Spinner Caddisfly

We're in the fourth year of the drought, and the creek is breaking up into a series of pools separated by small rivulets. Dimond Canyon is starting to favor organisms that can stand the extreme conditions of hot, dry days and cool nights. Mosquitoes do well in these conditions, and there are organisms that count on that and snack on the mosquito larvae. But the aquatic insects that favor cool, clear water have retreated to Joaquin Miller Park.


This caddisfly larva has been rousted from its den. Check out the frilly gills on its abdomen. It's small, 8-15 mm, and looks delicate. But it is a predator for some of its life cycle.


Class: Insecta

Order: Tricoptera (caddisfly)

Family: Hydropsychidae (net-spinner caddisfly)

Read more... 
Where Parents, Kids, and Bugs Collide


Interested in going on a field trip in Sausal Creek with your child or teen? Our new field trip program offers parents and their kids the opportunity to capture and study aquatic insects and learn about the ecology of Sausal Creek.

In the past, this citizen science program was open only to adults, but several parents asked if they could bring their children. So we're looking for a few parents with kids ages 10-15 to try out some new ideas for engaging kids with the creek. The first field trip will be on Sunday, August 2, from 10 a.m. to noon. We'll be doing some hiking and everybody will get to go into the creek to look for bugs (we have both adult- and kid-sized boots). This is a beta-test field trip; we want feedback on what works and what doesn't. If it looks like we've got an engaging, educational program, we will open it up for other family teams.
We will be limiting this first trip to four
parents and four children. Please contact Kathleen at kathalini@comcast.net if you want to join the fun on August 2. 
Project Timeline Updates

Sausal Creek Dimond Park Restoration Project: The Sausal Creek Restoration Project in Dimond Park is slated to begin full construction in late summer 2015. Preliminary project work was completed this winter with the removal of some of the trees in the project area. The area around the creek below the Wellington Street entrance to the park will be fenced during the construction period, which will continue through spring 2016. Most of Dimond Park, including play and picnic areas, will remain accessible during construction. The project will restore over 800 feet of natural stream channel to improve flood control and safety, create habitat and fish passage for native rainbow trout, and provide creek education and recreation opportunities. For more information on the project visit www.oaklandcreeks.org.

Sausal Creek Erosion Control Project in Dimond Canyon: Featured at our State of the Creek meeting in January, this project will reduce erosion from three storm drain outfalls in Dimond Canyon. FOSC is working with city staff to get permit applications submitted to the various agencies. We now anticipate that the project will start construction in summer 2016. Look for details in future newsletters on a site tour before construction and on opportunities to help on community workdays. We are grateful to the California Department of Water Resources Urban Stream Restoration Program for funding this much needed work under Proposition 84.

Kompletely Kids Kudos Korner

This past school year the second graders in Ms. Sylvi Cohn's class at Joaquin Miller Elementary became some of the youngest stewards of the Sausal Creek Watershed. Through a National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Guardian School grant, the students were able to take several field trips to Beaconsfield Canyon, learning about invasive and native plants, discussing the concept of watershed protection, removing invasive weeds, planting a variety of native plants, and then returning to water them. To complete the habitat restoration cycle, the students visited FOSC's native plant nursery in May to learn about wildflowers, pollination, and plant growth. Using the canyon and nursery as their laboratories, the students got a first-hand feeling for the relationship between healthy creeks, a healthy bay, and ultimately a healthy ocean and planet. Thank you to Ms. Cohn, Joaquin Miller Elementary, and all the second grade students!

As part of their year-long study of Oakland, the second and third graders from Aurora School in Upper Rockridge came to visit Sausal Creek several times this school year. On their first visit they explored the watershed, identified trees and plants, and learned about native species restoration. The students returned to school having hiked the same land that the Ohlone people walked many years before them and began writing their own Ohlone inspired folklore. Their next step was to work together as a class to write a folktale featuring Sausal Creek and turn it into a play. They returned to Sausal Creek for their first official reading of the play and had a chance to spend some time sketching the beautiful scenery to inspire the sets they would make for their performance. The world premiere of Sausal Creek Stories: How Water Came Back to Sausal Creek and Why Sausal Creek Flows to the Bay was in May, complete with Sausal Creek songs and choreography. It was a huge hit! The students wrapped up their experience with a field trip to the nursery, where they enjoyed transplanting seedlings, learning about pollination and dressing up like bees, and going on a wildflower hike in the park.
Sharing Sausal Creek with Students

Congratulations to Melissa Reyes, whose dream of telling the history of Oakland through the voice of Sausal Creek is about to become a reality. I Am Sausal Creek/Soy El Arroyo Sausal is a bilingual Spanish/English picture book and will be available in August 2015. We are excited to have this resource to share with field trip participants next school year. Big thanks to all who helped with the crowdfunding campaign for the book's publication by Little Nomad, the children's book imprint of Nomadic Press. You can pre-order a copy here.

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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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