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.


BPFP Board Meeting

Live Oak Park Community Center.

0. Mailing party (all)
1. Treasurer’s report (John C.)
2. Donation acknowledgements: status (John S., John C.)
3. Update on current status of Website (Lisa? Lee?)
4. Status of proclamation for Steve & Zaza Swanson (Mark?)
5. Plan for Holiday Party, Mon. Dec.12 at home of John S. (all)
6. Report/discussion by UC Landscape Arch class on their open-space surveys

Schoolhouse Creek Commons: November 2005

Bicyclist on pathThe striking transformation of the southwest corner of Virginia and Curtis has been made possible by a coordinated effort between the staff of the Berkeley Unified School District and 150 neighbors of the Adult School who have given time and/or money to Schoolhouse Creek Commons. The late Karl Linn also provided his wisdom and guidance in the initial design and development of the Commons. The School District provided the funding to tear out the old asphalt and playground equipment, contour the land, create the entrance and pathways, and plant the grass area in the center of the Commons. The neighbors have been creating the Commons by fundraising, bringing in soil, mulch and compost, placing rocks and planting trees and plants (most native Californian) throughout the Commons. For more information on how you can get involved, call Brad Smith at 524-1938 or e-mail at brad_smith AT earthlink.net.

United Pool Council: November 2005

The United Pool Council (UPC) was formed with the help of BPFP to support Berkeley’s community swimming pools. BPFP and UPC have worked to expand swimming opportunities for citizens of all ages, physical abilities and income levels throughout the city. UPC has focused on private-public collaborations to offset cutbacks in local government funding. For example, UPC oversaw a successful full-day renovation of one of the older city pools in conjunction with the City of Berkeley’s Aquatic Department and the local chapter of Rebuilding Together. Similarly, UPC has worked to retain swimming as a vital life skill in local schools through an innovative “Schools to Pools” program. Solar panels to attract the sun and conserve energy, as well as colorful marketing pieces to attract swimmers and preserve the pools, are additional ways UPC strives to keep these unique resources available to all. To take a splash and get involved, contact Charlie Banks-Altekruse at 510-913-3669.

Young Artists Workspace: November 2005

Girl showing her artYAWS was created over ten years ago to provide Berkeley’s children, ages one to fourteen, with low cost, high quality fine art classes. At a time when arts curriculum in schools has been dwindling, YAWS has stepped in to hold weekly after school art classes for children and families who recognize the importance of artistic expression — through painting, drawing, sculpting, and printmaking. Classes are held throughout the academic year in four sessions of eight classes. For more information, call Jennifer Burke at (510) 204-YAWS (220-8408)