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.
In 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!