City of Berkeley celebrates park volunteers, seeks more

Berkeley’s Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront Department kick off a new effort to recruit and recognize volunteers with a Community Parks Day, 9 AM – 2 PM Sat., Sept. 27, at San Pablo Park. Volunteers can work with city staff planting trees and more, enjoy a BBQ lunch, and meet citizens who have volunteered many hours over the years. For kids, there’s a carnival including rock climbing and more. Info including upcoming volunteer opportunities here.

Sept. 28: Celebrate our 20th birthday with bike tour, walk, garden party!

The Berkeley City Council has declared Sunday, Sept. 28, “Berkeley Partners for Parks Day,” honoring our 20 years of volunteering for parks and green spaces. Enjoy a full day celebrating urban greening!

Starting at 10 AM, the Hidden Gems of Berkeley Tour returns as a celebration of Grassroots Greening! Join a bicycle tour of unique, community-based parks, greenway features, and community gardens around Berkeley, showcasing the “grassroots-greening” projects of Berkeley Partners for Parks’ (BPFP) and its affiliates. Covering about five miles of gentle terrain, visit the Santa Fe ROW, Halcyon Commons, Ohlone Greenway, Edible School yard, Schoolhouse Creek Commons, Marin Circle Fountain, Northside Garden, and more! Leaders will be John Steere (President, BPFP), and Linda Currie and Shawna McCarroll (Chairs respectively of the Transportation and Lane Use Working Groups of the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition).

Bring water and lunch and meet at Halcyon Commons, Halcyon Court between Prince and Webster, just west of Telegraph. Info at 510-849-1969.

Prefer a walk? Join Berkeley Path Wanderers’ Charlie Bowen on an easy, level, 4.5 mile loop on the Ohlone Greenway/Santa Fe Right of Way, now open to Bancroft Way. Visit murals, public art, gardens, and more. Meet at noon at Peralta and Hopkins, Berkeley.

Bike tour and walk end at 2 PM at the annual Garden Party at Westbrae Community Gardens, on the Ohlone Greenway between Peralta and Gilman. Food and live music until 5 PM are part of the open house at these gardens founded by Karl Linn, also one of the founders of BPFP. This year’s gathering celebrates BPFP’s 20 years of grassroots greening. Hope to see you there!

“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,, 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

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.