A New Stewardship Restoration Idea Tried

In the past Conservancy volunteers have pulled invasive French broom and removed young eucalyptus sprouts in our ongoing effort to enable native plants to thrive in Claremont Canyon. With the help of college students on Berkeley Project Day last month, we conducted an experiment with poison hemlock. This invasive is poison only if you eat it so it's easier to go after than poison oak. Lech Naumovich of Golden Hour Restoration noticed that while poison hemlock occupied a large area along the upper end of the Summit House Trail just below Four Corners, it did not grow near the redwood trees. Postulating that the needles from the redwoods retarded the hemlock, under Lech's leadership our volunteers cleared away the poison hemlock and them spread redwood needles over the area where the hemlock had been. We will monitor the area to see if this mulching has the desired effect. If so, we can add another invasive to our list of stewardship activities.

April Activities in the Canyon

Earth Week is coming the third week of April and there is a lot people can do to help out. We welcome employees of the Claremont Resort and Spa who will be conducting their own set of volunteer projects.

April 18 and 19, 3 PM - 6 PM in Garber Park.

The City of Oakland will place a large green waste bin at the entrance to Garber Park on Claremont Avenue. Our goal will be to fill it with invasives by the end of the weekend. We will make an assault on the invasive weeds and get a head start on Earth Day by making Garber Park as fire safe as possible. There will be projects for everyone regardless of ability levels, from easy weed removal on flat, accessible areas along the loop trail to the more heavy lifting activities of trail maintenance and Algerian ivy removal on the steep hillside along the Claremont Avenue Trail. Meet at the Claremont Avenue entrance to Garber Park, .4 miles up Claremont from Tunnel Road/Ashby Avenue. Map and directions are at www.garberparkstewards.org or contact Shelagh at garberparkstewards@gmail.com. Please join us for one or more of these days.

April 20 Claremont Resort and Spa Employees.

Conservancy board member Nancy Mueller will lead a small group of employees to clean up Evergreen Path which leads directly into the backyard of the hotel. It is strewn with debris and needs a haircut! Another group will join Shelagh Brodersen of Garber Park Stewards to remove invasives from Fern Grove and elsewhere in Garber Park. The hotel underwrote the cost of the trail maps of Garber Park which are available at the Claremont entrance to the park. Lastly, Gordon Piper will lead a group of hotel volunteers to reduce fire risks at the North Oakland Sports Center by clearing out broom and removing trash. This helps maintain the Temescal Creek tributary that flows through the Sports Field. The Oakland Landscape Committee that Gordon heads will be adding succulents as a part of its revegetation efforts. All the employee workers will be treated to a bag lunch from the hotel! Thank you Claremont Resort and Spa employees.

April 21 and 22, 9:30 - 12:30 Earth Days in Garber Park.

Come early for drinks and snacks and to meet fellow participants or stay late and join Janet Gawthrop and Shelagh Brodersen on a guided walk. Using the new trail map, we will learn about the history of Garber Park and its abundant native resources and admire the work of our fellow volunteers in this gem at the base of Claremont Canyon. Our work will continue the efforts from the 18th and 19th. Meet at the Claremont Avenue entrance as noted above.

April 28, 10 AM - 1:00 PM Upper Canyon Broom Pull and Trail Work.

This is a great time to pull French broom. Its yellow flowers make it easy to spot and the soil is still damp making it easy to pull and, most important, the flowers have not yet gone to seed. We've made great progress and there is a lot less broom than there was just a few years ago. Also, we will continue to improve our newest trail by adding a few steps and installing a couple of longer logs along the lower edge of the trail to hold back the soil. We will supply tools and know-how. You supply your interest and enthusiasm. Meet at Signpost 29, 1.5 miles up Claremont from the intersection of Claremont and Ashby/Tunnel Road. 

For all stewardship work: Please wear long sleeves, long pants, work gloves and sturdy shoes with good tread or boots and bring a bottle of water. We will supply tools and gloves but feel free to bring your own.