Hidden Gems of Berkeley – Magical Mystery Bike Tour


Join us for the 9th annual tour of Berkeley’s eclectic fabric of gardens, paths, strange and familiar cultural and natural features…This year we’ll explore the many inventive and artful hidden gems of West Berkeley – from wetland and creek restoration projects, to community gardens and Victorian historic districts.

The tour will be led by John Steere, John Coveney, Marleen Fouche, and guest historians/guides who will lead participants in a 4 mile ride through the curiously historic and creative features of Berkeley’s bayside district. It will be sure to delight and surprise, and to provide you with ideas for shaping your community… Bring a lunch, water, and your curiosity!

The bike tour begins at a hidden gem:  San Pablo Park in the lawn area near at its southwest corner (by Russell and Mabel) and will end at Codornices Creek’s restoration or day-lighting, near 9th Street and Albany Village.

**More Information Here**

Vote online to help BPFP win $5000!

Please vote online to make Susan Schwartz, president of BPFP partner group Friends of Five Creeks, this year’s Bay Area Cox Conservation Hero! The contest sponsors, Cox Communications (locally KTVU Channel 2) and the Trust for Public Land , will make a $5000 donation to the winning Hero’s environmental charity of choice. Susan has chosen F5C’s nonprofit fiscal sponsor, Berkeley Partners for Parks.

Friends of Five Creeks president Susan Schwartz with more volunteersIn 12 years of leading all-volunteer Friends of Five Creeks, Susan has transformed over a dozen waste places into vibrant green areas welcoming people and wildlife. Thousands of hours of hands-on work and organizing have, for example, renewed Berkeley’s Mortar Rock Park and the shoreline of Shorebird Park, revitalized almost a half mile of Cerrito Creek in Albany and El Cerrito, restored natives and access at the mouths of Schoolhouse and Strawberry Creeks, built an observation railing and trail along Codornices Creek in Berkeley and Albany, and removed acres of invasive broom, yellow-star thistle, and perennial pepperweed from Berkeley to Richmond.

Susan also organizes regional projects including East Bay surveys for frogs, pepperweed ,and Sudden Oak Death; a four-language brochure on invasive dodder; and a web site showing water-friendly developments in the East Bay. She started Berkeley Path Wanderers’ program of opening undeveloped paths, as well as the Greening Berkeley partnership, engaging thousands of UC Berkeley students in outdoor volunteering. She develops interpretive signs and leads informative walks.

These volunteer projects restoring nature in cities mean that children can splash in creeks; folks in wheelchairs can savor sun; and all can enjoy nature close to home. Just as important is inspiring volunteers to do more. Many F5C volunteers go on to full-time environmental careers or leading their own projects.

Go on line at http://www.coxconservesheroes.com/san-francisco-bay-area-ca.aspx to see short videos on the nominees and vote. Please ask family, friends, and colleagues to vote. Voting ends September 19!

All welcome at Sat., Aug. 20, BPFP/ Los Amigos de Codornices picnic

Please join the reborn Los Amigos de Codornices — pioneers in citizen work in Berkeley parks –and Berkeley Partners for Parks at a potluck evening picnic at the historic fireplace in beautiful Codornices Park, 4:30 – 6:30 PM August 20th, 2011

See the wonderful ivy removal and “return of the natives” brought about by Los Amigos de Codornices and BPFP partner group East Bay GPA.

Chat about what other citizen groups are doing for open space and recreation. Or just relax and enjoy the beautiful setting. Family and friends welcome.

Bring a dish to share. We supply plates, cups, utensils, and (non-alcoholic) drinks.

Codornices Park is on the east side of Euclid Avenue in Berkeley, just south of Eunice Street, opposite the Berkeley Rose Garden. As you enter the park, walk down the hill past the basketball court and playground on your left. Follow trails upstream to the picnic area, on the north side of the creek.

For information contact Ivo Violich: amigoscodornices@gmail.com

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.

July 9 talk on local pollinators — Bee there!

UC Professor of Entomology Gordon Frankie speaks on native bees and other pollinators and how to create habitat for them in your garden, at noon this Saturday, July 9, at Peralta Comunity Garden, 1400 Peralta Ave., Berkeley. Enjoy bee-related refreshments and this beautiful community garden, too! An added bonus for making your yard a haven for native bees: they don’t sting!

Free, all welcome. More information on native bees at http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/.