The Peace Symbol on the northwest hilltop at Cesar Chavez Park has been saved from choking weeds and enlivened with black and red mulch, just in time for the April 15 peace march in Oakland, thanks to Martin Nicolaus, head of BPFP affiliate We Love Chavez Park. The origins of this informal work of public art are mysterious — if you know, please get in touch with Marty via the contact form on the web site. The park can always use more help. You can help volunteers tend the Memorial Solar Calendar, remove foxtails in the dog park, adopt the peace symbol, or much more.
Also, don’t miss Martin’s beautiful video on the birds of the North Basin, the inlet at the mouth of Schoolhouse Creek, between Cesar Chavez and McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.
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If you’ve helped out at a shoreline cleanup, seen the Berkeley Marina’s colorful Kite Festival, or if someone in your family became fascinated with science and nature at Berkeley’s Marina Experience programs, it’s because of Patty Donald, naturalist and recreation coordinator at the Berkeley Marina’s Shorebird Park and Adventure Playground. A citizen arm, Friends of Shorebird Nature Center, is a valued BPFP partner.
One of Berkeley’s most creative and influential environmentalists, Patty retires this month after more than 30 years “growing” Berkeley Parks programs.
Daughter of a Gold Rush family, Patty grew up in Berkeley. She earned a degree in parks and natural-resource management and interpretation just as California’s Proposition 13 was slashing property-tax funds for such programs. After part- and full-time stints including teaching science at Cragmont School (her “alma mater”) and working for Berkeley Parks and at the East Bay Regional Parks’ Crab Cove Nature Center, she approached Berkeley with an idea:
“I said I’d set up a nature program here. They said OK. So I did.” Continue reading “Parks dynamo Patty Donald retires June 2017”
Support San Francisco Bay with Measure AA on the June 7 ballot!
Measure AA is a $12-per-year parcel tax — over 20 years, just $1 a month from all property owners in the nine Bay Area counties will raise $500 million to restore thousands of acres of Bay Area wetlands — reducing pollution, helping wildlife, and protecting low-lying communities from floods, storms, and threats from rising sea levels. A 2/3 majority is needed — your vote is vitally important! Read the text, impartial analysis, and more details here. See supporters here. Ways to support Measure AA here.
Two BPFP partner groups celebrated important anniversaries in May. Left, Friends of Five Creeks celebrated 20 years with a picnic, bug hunt, games, nature walk, and wild edibles May 14, 2016 at Cerrito Creek. Right, Schoolhouse Creek Common celebrated 10 years with a Maypole, music, games, and food on May 1 at the community-built park Below right: Jamie Day and his wife Phyllis Orrick, neighbors and leaders of the project.