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Native lupine at the Bridgeview Trail bee garden developed by Kathleen Harris and other FOSC volunteers
FOSC is a grassroots, community-based organization. Your donations go directly to support our projects and programs in the Sausal Creek Watershed. 
Leverage Your FOSC Donation on May 3!

Tuesday, May 3 is a special "day of giving" for local nonprofits on which your donation can be multiplied like never before. Last year, we participated in East Bay Gives for the first time and raised over $15,000--more than any previous mid-year fundraising drive. This year our goal is $20,000.

So please mark your calendar ... not just for May 3, but for 4 p.m.--the start of the Environmental Hour. If FOSC gets the most donors between 4-5 p.m., we win an additional $3,500! The process will be simple: go to our website, www.sausalcreek.org, and press the DONATE button. It will connect you to a special donation page for East Bay Gives. Select Friends of Sausal Creek from the pull down menu and put in your particulars. Thank you!
Give Back to Our Planet on April 23

As usual, FOSC volunteers will be out in force from the hills to the estuary to celebrate Earth Day Oakland style. Find a workday near you on the FOSC event calendar or scroll down to find workdays listed by site.

Please contact the site leader referenced on the online calendar if you want to bring out a group to volunteer. All volunteers under 18 must bring City of Oakland and FOSC waivers signed by their parent or guardian.

Thank you!
Tour, Volunteer, and Be Inspired to Garden with Natives

Our native plant demonstration garden in Dimond Park is featured on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour on Sunday, May 1. We are looking for a few more volunteers who are knowledgeable about native plants to help lead tours; please contact Kimra if you can assist. A great way to train as a tour guide is to help spruce up the garden on Thursday, April 14, 1-4 p.m.

If you want to tour other gardens, register for the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour by April 24. FOSC community members are welcome to come tour the Dimond Park garden on May 1 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. without registering for the larger event.

Check out FOSC's talks and tours here.
Friend of the Month:
Michael Thilgen 
Back when FOSC was just starting, we needed a conspicuous project in a key location to help build the community movement: something that would showcase the positive change that a creek group could make. Our neighbor, Michael Thilgen, a landscape architect and owner of Four Dimensions Landscape Company, had the idea to make a native plant demonstration garden in Dimond Park and contributed his professional expertise and sweat equity. Michael's vast knowledge of native plants and his low-key, inclusive, gentle demeanor drew in volunteers. He even built the stone wall in the garden, shaping the stones into a snug fit with the help of Mark Rauzon and some power tools. When the organization incorporated and formed its first board of directors, Michael stepped up and helped to guide FOSC through those early nonprofit years. After leaving the board, he continued to serve as a crew leader in the demonstration garden, as a presenter at member meetings, and as a banjo player at our annual plant sale with his wife, Linda, and their band. Over the past few years, he has continued contributing to the garden, leading volunteers to build a new trail, putting in dozens of new plants, and getting things ship shape for the garden tours on May 1 (don't miss his talk at 1 p.m.!). We are deeply grateful to Michael for leading the transformation of the ivy jungle into our beautiful garden and for everything else he has done to help FOSC to be 20 years strong.
Explore the Watershed

Bountiful Buttercups in Bloom
Common name: California buttercup
Scientific name: Ranunculus californicus

With the Latin name Ranunculus, meaning "little frog," many of the plants in this genus like to be near the water--growing in marshes, near creeks, or in other shady, wet areas. The California buttercup has also taken to living in meadows and woodlands. As one of the first native bloomers from February to May, they are a cheerful welcoming of spring. Their attractive yellow flowers also provide an early pollen and nectar source to bees and other beneficial native pollinators. A wonderful addition to any native garden, these delicate beauties only grow to about 1-2 feet tall and stick around for a few years to self-seed.

You may have fond memories of playing the "buttercup game" when you were young: Hold a buttercup flower up to a friend's chin; if their chin glows yellow, they are said to like butter. Physicists have recently found out the secret behind this glowing phenomenon, which is explained in detail here. We recommend not picking these plants so they are left for others to enjoy and because touching them can cause minor dermatitis.

On your next visit to the watershed, keep an eye out for these shining yellow beauties. There is an especially spectacular display right now at the Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Demonstration Garden in front of the Joaquin Miller Park Ranger Station.

Happy flower hunting!

--Michelle Krieg
Kudos Corner
Thank you to Eagle Scout candidate Alex Harrison for building two beautiful planter beds behind the shade house at the FOSC native plant nursery. These beds will be used to propagate divisions and prostrate plants.

Thank you to La Farine for once again keeping our meeting attendees happily attentive with the tasty treats!
Event Calendar

Barry Place 
Sat., April 23, 9 a.m.-Noon

Beaconsfield Canyon
Sat., April 23, 9 a.m.-Noon

Bridgeview Trail
(2nd Sundays) 
Sun., April 10, 10 a.m.-Noon 

Bridgeview Trailhead Native Bee Garden 
(3rd Sundays)
Sun., April 17, 10 a.m.-Noon

Castle Canyon
Sat., April 23, 9 a.m.-Noon

Chabot Space and Science Center
Pallid Manzanita Habitat Enhancement
(2nd Saturdays)
Sat., April 9, 9 a.m.-Noon
Rain may cancel. Check calendar for updates.  

Dimond Park
Sat., April 23, 8:45 a.m.-Noon

Dimond Park Native Plant Demonstration Garden
Thurs., April 14, 1-4 p.m.

Fruitvale Bridge Park
Sat., April 23, 9 a.m.-Noon

Jingletown Arts and Business Community
Sat., April 23, 9 a.m.-Noon
Marj Saunders Park
Sat., April 23, 9 a.m.-Noon
Mon., May 2, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Montclair Railroad Trail 
(3rd Saturdays)
Sat., April 16, 9-11 a.m.

WD Wood Park

Sat., April 23, 10 a.m.-Noon
Anywhere you want to survey! 
Sat., April 9
10 a.m. training at Orinda Community Center
1:30 p.m. training at UC Berkeley
More info at www.sodblitz.org 
El Centro Trailhead
(last Sundays)
Sun., April 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Location TBD
Fri., April 15, 10 a.m.-Noon
Rain may cancel. Check calendar for updates.
Join the seed hike Google Group here.

FOSC Native Plant Nursery
Joaquin Miller Park
Sat., April 9, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Sat., April 23, 9 a.m.-Noon

Start at Sequoia Arena Gate, 
Joaquin Miller Park 
Sat., April 16, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Park Blvd. Presbyterian Church 
Wed., April 13, 7-9 p.m.
Dimond Library
Wed., May 18, 7 p.m.
Jerry Kent, How the East Bay Got Its Trees

Get Involved
Our mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of the Sausal Creek Watershed and to inspire action that will help preserve and protect the creek and its watershed as both natural and community resources. 

FOSC needs your support -- 
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Michelle Krieg
Restoration & Nursery Manager

Kimra McAfee
Executive Director

April News Photo Credits: Kathleen Harris, Megan Hess, Michelle Krieg, Joseph Morris, Lech Naumovich, Mark Rauzon 
Friends of Sausal Creek   www.sausalcreek.org
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