“The Coming Revolution in Urban Water” starts fall season of free Bay Currents talks

Bay Currents‘ fall 2014 season of free talks on natural history and environmental issues, emphasizing positive solutions, is moving to a new day and larger room: second Tuesdays at St. Albans Parish Hall, 1501 Washington (at Curtis, one block north of Solano). Refreshments 7 PM, talks promptly at 7:30 PM.

Sept. 9, UC Berkeley Prof. David Sedlak speaks on “The Coming Revolution in Urban Water.” He will summarize the three revolutions that brought safe, clean water that made cities liveable, and outline the fourth — change needed for the Bay Area, and civilization, to enjoy safe, drought-proof water systems friendly to nature and vibrant urban life.

Prof. David Sedlak is author of the recent book “Water 4.0,” director of UC Berkeley’s Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering, and deputy director of the National Science Foundation’s Center for Reinventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt).

Bay Currents talks are presented by Friends of Five Creeks, f5creeks@gmail.com, www.fivecreeks.org. Full fall schedule here.

City meetings ask your ideas for better parks

Berkeley’s Parks and Waterfront Commission is holding three Wednesday meetings seeking your ideas for improvements to the City’s parks, pools, community centers, marina, and camps. These are preliminary steps in considering whether or how voters might approve funding.

Meetings are scheduled 7-9 PM Wed., Oct. 2, at James Kenney Community Center, 1720 Eighth St.; 7-9 Pm Oct. 9 at Live Oak Community Center, Fireside Room, 1301 Shattuck Ave.; and 6-7:30 PM Oct. 16 at South Berkeley Branch Library,1901 Russell at ML King Way. Each meeting will focus on parks in its general area, but anyone is welcome to attend any meeting.

You also may send written comments by Oct. 30 Roger Miller, Secretary, Parks and Waterfront Commission, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, or rmiller@cityofberkeley.info.

Community improvement grants with UC Partnerships: deadline Dec. 3

Got a great idea for Berkeley that volunteers and a little money could carry out? UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Community Partnership Grants pair community groups with UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and/or students plus supply funding. Find out more about the upcoming 2014 grant cycle here.

A workshop and chance to meet potential partners is scheduled 4-6 PM Oct. 30 at the Berkeley Skydeck, 2150 Shattuck, Penthouse Floor. The deadline for pre-proposals is Dec. 9. For these pre-proposals, you don’t need to work out in advance all details (such as city approvals and exact partnerships).

Groups that are nonprofits will need a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor. If your project involves public open space or recreation, BPFP may be able to help. Get in touch! We have lots of experience (one or more grants to our partners from every cycle) and are glad to advise. In addition, if your project doesn’t need the $5000 minimum grant amount, we may be able to package it with others.

Berkeley Path Wanderers’ Charlie Bowen named Cox Conserves Hero

Charlie Bowen, head of Berkeley Path Wanderers’ path-building work, has been named 2012’s Cox Conserves Hero! Berkeley Path Wanderers’ Association, through fiscal sponsor Berkeley Partners for Parks, will receive $10,000!

“This was a real community effort,” Charlie said. “Many people were part of it.” The money, she promised, will go to good use improving more paths “for the use and enjoyment of all” — a phrase from BPWA’s mission statement that she said inspires here even when she gets tired of the work.

The Cox Conserves Heroes Award is a joint project of the Trust for Public Land and KTVU_TV (Channel 2). A panel selects finalists, and the winner is chosen by an online vote.

Scroll down for more on Charlie’s work. Congratulations, Charlie!

F5C President Susan Schwartz honored for invasive-plant work

Friends of Five Creeks President Susan Schwartz received the California Invasive Plant Council’s Ryan Jones Catalyst Award “for exceptional initiative in invasive plant management and the protection of California ecosystems,” at Cal-IPC’s annual meeting Thursday, Oct. 11. A large part of all-volunteer Friends of Five Creeks’ work in natural and restored “green threads in the urban fabrid” goes toward controlling invasive weeds that threaten plant and animal diversity and increase risk of fire or flood.