Watch the compost/mulch you buy

If you use mulch around your house be very careful about buying mulch this year. After the Hurricane in New Orleans many trees were blown over. These trees were then turned into mulch and the state is trying to get rid of tons and tons of this mulch to any stat e or company who will come and haul it away.

So it will be showing up in Home Depot and Lowes at dirt cheap prices with one huge problem; Formosan Termites will be the bonus in many of those bags.

New Orleans is one of the few areas in the country where the Formosan Termites has gotten a strong hold. Many of the trees blown down were already badly infested with those termites, but the much may also contain wood from houses that were infested as well.

Now we may have the worst case of these stores transporting a problem to all parts of the country that have not previously been infested. These termites can eat a house in no time at all and we have no good control against them, so warn your friends to avoid cheap mulch — better to buy locally-composted mulch from a source you know. Don’t be afraid to ask the source.

— Alice

Alice La Pierre
Energy Analyst
City of Berkeley
Energy and Sustainable Development Office
2180 Milvia St., 2nd fl.
Berkeley, CA 94704

Tel: 510-981-5435
FAX: 510-981-5450

Photo contest: Have your photo on the top of this page

We like the photo at the top of this page, but it’s just the default photo that comes with the template.

Enter your favorite Berkeley parks photo in a contest to select a new heading for these pages. The BPFP Board will select one at their April meeting. Please submit photos by April 10th.

Specifications for photo entries:

  1. Photos should be of parks or recreation in Berkeley.
  2. Photos must be able to be cropped to the proportions no wider than 3 tall by 7 wide (our template is 300×700 pixels). If it is 7 wide, it can be less than 3 tall, but no more.
  3. Photos must be able to be compressed to less than 200 kb without loosing resolution.
  4. The theme is Spring, so think spring.
  5. Ideally, the upper right corner should have a clear area for our heading text to be read over (the text “Berkeley Partners for Parks News/News and events of Berkeley Partners for Parks” you see now).

Email your photos to (remove NOSPAM from email address before sending). If you don’t have email access, call Lee Amosslee at 510-495-7035 so we can coordinate getting your photo submitted.

We’ll have another contest in May for a summer theme photo; if you’d like to submit photos for this now, just be clear with your submission which is for spring and which for summer. If this is successful, we’ll continue the contest each season.

We can watermark your name and copyright into the photo if you’d like.

Membership meeting Monday March 20

Everyone is invited to the Berkeley Partners for Parks membership meeting on March 20, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

We’ll start with a brief introduction to BPFP, followed by short presentations from several Adopt A Park groups, detailing their work. Our special guest speaker, Tom Guarino, will give a presentation of the activities of Friends of Oakland Parks & Recreation.

At the end, we’ll have time to socialize and meet the Board members of BPFP.

The meeting will be held in the City of Berkeley “Green Room” at the Corporation Yard, Allston Way at Strawberry Creek Park (2 blocks west of Sacramento on Allston).

BPFP AGENDA for Board Meeting 13 February 2006

Location: Live Oak Park Community Center

  • 1. Approve Minutes of previous meeting
  • 2. Treasurer’s report, fundraising report (John C.,Shelagh)
  • 3.Discuss/modify/approve short-term and long-term goals that we received at the January meeting (John S.)
  • 4.Update on current status of Website (Lisa? Lee?)
  • –How should Adopt-a-Park groups use this site?
    a: if it is their only Website?
    b: if they have their own separate Website elsewhere?
  • –How do we communicate this to the groups?
  • 5. Membership meeting on Monday March 20
    –what time to start and end??
    –Review and confirm evening program
    –Tom Guarino, President of the Board of Friends of Oakland Parks will speak for 15-20 minutes
    –invite sub-groups (how many? which?) to report on their current status
    –when to send postcard? (Susan)
    –do we have a good mailing list to use for labels (John C,Shelagh,Susan)
  • 6.Yolanda Huang (Parks Commission member) presents Parks budget issues for BPFP Board follow-up/action
  • 7.May public meeting to highlight Berkeley Parks Centennial
    –is Monday May 15 the date (3rd Monday)??
    –any update from the planning committee (John S, Lisa, Jacque)?
    –is Berk Historical Society interested in co-sponsoring? (Lisa)
    –speaker?? Galen Cranz, Parks historian? Gray Brechin? (John S)
  • 8.Other updates –
    — SFROW Master/Action Plan for Bancroft to Ashby?
    — BPFP management of Mini grants (John S).
  • 9. Follow-up actions

Hooded Mergansers Return to Aquatic Park

Greetings from Egret Park,

A regal pair of hooded mergansers has been spotted at Aquatic Park. This is
their 4th season wintering along our bayshore.

They can generally be seen in the southeast quadrant of Middle Pond. They
are often just offshore of the tidal gates on the pond’s south shore.
They’ve been known to roost on the pier remnants from model yacht racing

The male’s crest is black with an eye-catching white splash. He also wears
a white vest with an addtional white sash against his light brown body. His
back is black. The female’s crest is brown and fades to a strawberry

For USGS information on the Hooded Mergansers, click here.