BPFP partners again funded by UC Chancellor’s Community Partnership Grants

Hands-on volunteer work by Berkeley Partners for Parks member groups has again been funded by the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Grant fund. The fund, set up by UC Berkeley in settlement of a lawsuit, funds nonprofits that partner with UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff to benefit the Berkeley area.

BPFP groups who will share $4000 include Aquatic Park EGRET, Berkeley Path Wanderers Assn., East Bay Green Parks Assn., Friends of Five Creeks, Schoolhouse Creek Common, and Westbrae Commons. Operating as the Greening Berkeley Hands on coalition, these groups host thousands of UC students volunteers at their work parties. They have received a grant every year since 2006, when the Chancellor’s Grant project began.

BPFP also will serve as fiscal sponsor for funding for the Berkeley Project, which brings thousands of UC students into the community to volunteer on specific days.

Schoolhouse Creek work party and “Hands Across the Sand” for clean energy

On June 25, Friends of Five Creeks volunteers removed invasives and trash at the mouth of Schoolhouse Creek, Eastshore State Park, and then joined “Hands across the Sand” as part of an international demonstraton for clean energy. The beach, sparkling with glass weathered out of the pre-World War II garbage landfill, is a symbol of how nature can heal itself if we let it!

More information on Friends of Five Creeks at www.fivecreeks.org or f5creeks@aol.com.Volunteers at mouth of Schoolhouse CreekF5C volunteers join hands for clean energy

Volunteers on Codornices Creek for Green Day Across the World May 28, National Trails Day June 4

Green Day fans volunteer on Codornices Creek at 8th St. May 28
Green Day fans helping restore Codornices Creek for Green Day Across the World

On Saturday, May 28, fans of Green Day helped Friends of Five Creeks restore Codornices Creek, just two blocks from The Gilman all-ages night spot, where the East Bay punk-rock group got its first big break. They went on to sell 65 million records, win four grammies, and write a rock musical now on its way from Broadway to national tour. Fans declared May 28 Green Day Across the World, with environmental volunteering from Chile to Thailand and more.

Saturday, June 4, 10 AM – 12:30 PM, Friends of Five Creeks and Codornices Creek Watershed Council will again welcome volunteers, meeting at Codornices Creek and Eighth Street (1100 Eighth), two blocks north of Gilman, on the south edge of University Village. For National Trails Day, we’ll do light weeding to heavy pruning along the creekside trail. All welcome — tools, gloves, and snacks provided; work party will end with an interpretive walk along the creek. Information at 510 848 9358, f5creeks@aol.com, www.fivecreeks.org.

Help find and slow Sudden Oak Death: Apr. 30 – May 1 ‘blitz’ survey

Sudden Oak Death, a fungus-like mold that is ravaging coastal California’s beautiful live oaks, is infecting trees in the hills from El Sobrante to Oakland, and has been found on the UC Berkeley campus and North Berkeley hills.

The disease is carried on many host plants. Its advance is fitful but inexorable, spurred by high winds or late-spring rains. The pathogen affects large oaks; most infected trees die quickly (hence the name). Sometimes, massive infestations of beetles and fungi that follow the disease cause trees to snap off at the base even before the leaves turn brown.

Loss of our coastal oaks means much more than loss of beauty or property values. Hundreds of native animal and plant species depend on oaks. Watershed and water cycling would change. Danger of fire and damage from falling limbs and trees would increase.

There is no cure, but some things can be done to slow the spread and protect high-value or high-risk trees — for example in parks or near homes. Most of these must be done before an area, or a tree, is infected.
Working with UC Berkeley’s Dr. Matteo Garbelotto and other community organizations, BPFP is sponsoring a “blitz” survey of infected host plants – mainly California bay laurels. Sign up here to:

  • Attend a free one-hour training and get survey materials, 1:30 PM Sat., April 30, on the UC Berkeley campus (easy access by BART and bus). Training also is available at 10 AM April 30 at the Orinda Community Center; Bill Hudson at wllhh@ymail.com.
  • Look for infected leaves at locations of your choice (including young home) or suggested by organizers.
  • Volunteers return suspect samples to an on-campus drop box by 5 PM Sunday, May 1.
  • Samples will be laboratory tested. Results will be posted on an online database and Google Earth. A community meeting will discuss results and what can be done.

    For more information about the survey, or if a group is interested if your group is interested in surveying a specific park or neighborhood, please contact Friends of Five Creeks, f5creeks@aol.com or 510 848 8358.

    If you think you have an infected oak on your property, check out the Garbelotto lab’s free treatment-training sessions .

    If the April 30-May 1 blitz doesn’t work for you, but you have an I- phone and want to help add to knowledge of this plague, check out this I-phone app from Maggi Kelly’s lab, also at UC Berkeley.

    For general information on sudden oak death, go to the California Oak Mortality Task Force web site.

    BPFP Partners add new steps in Grotto Rock Park

    Over Thanksgiving holidays, Grotto Rock Park got new steps on the steepest, slickest part of its circular trail, thanks to Troop 237 Eagle Scout candidate Tyler Young and his co-workers. The project is part of safety improvements being carried out by BPFP partner groups Friends of Grotto Rock Park and Friends of Five Creeks, with funding from a UC Chancellor’s Community Service Grant. Volunteers also have been removing ivy and blackberry, planting natives, putting it more steps, and preparing the wide, level trail fronting the rock for a new decomposed-granite surface — the biggest part of the project. Grotto Rock Park, on Santa Barbara just north of Indian Rock Boulevard, has spectacular and romantic Bay views, but wet, slippery trails were hazardous in past winters.