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May 2023 Watershed News

Male hooded oriole in flight, showing off his vibrant sunburst plumage.

The FOSC bird monitoring team spotted three hooded orioles in Wood Park during their spring quarterly bird count. 

Photo by Mark Rauzon

Friends of Sausal Creek is a volunteer-based, community organization. We appreciate your support of our education, monitoring, and restoration programs in the

Sausal Creek Watershed. 


Upcoming Events

May the Forest Be With You - Botany Hike

Joaquin Miller Park | Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Take a hike! Ecologist Russell Huddleston and Restoration and Nursery Manager Ella Matsuda will lead an exploration of Sausal Creek native plants and California endemic species through several ecosystems of Joaquin Miller Park.

This event is currently at max capacity, but please fill out the form if you'd like to be added to the waitlist.

Info and RSVP

East Bay SOD Blitz

East Bay | Friday, May 12-Tuesday, May 16

photo courtesy of

Sign up for the 2023 Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitz, a world-class community monitoring program that detects disease and identifies areas for proactive management of our oak trees. This annual effort is led by the U.C. Berkeley Forest Pathology Laboratory.

If you’re interested in sampling with FOSC in the Sausal Creek Watershed, reach out to Ella Matsuda at

Info and RSVP

Botanical Illustration Workshop

Dimond Park | Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, 1-3 p.m.

We're excited about a collaboration with artist Kristi Holohan who will lead a botanical illustration workshop for all ability levels in the Sausal Creek Watershed. Proceeds go to benefit our restoration, monitoring, and environmental education work.

Reserve your spot soon!

Info and Tickets

The Living Lab

The Role of Environmental Education in Protecting Sausal Creek

As we approach the end of the 2022-2023 school year, we reflect back on a lively year of school field trips and service programs in the Sausal Creek Watershed.

We have had the opportunity to engage with hundreds of students and educators in hands-on learning experiences that have brought us all closer to the natural world.

Read the article here

If you are a teacher or a parent looking for a fun and educational field trip for your students, please connect with us through this interest form.

Kudos Corner

Earth Day Volunteers

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a beautiful Earth Day 2023! 

Over 130 volunteers joined us at six sites to clean up the creek and thin invasive species, giving our new native plantings a strong start to the year. Volunteers filled 18 bags of trash from within and around the creek that pollute our connected waterways and filled multiple dumpsters with invasive species and brush that would have become a fire risk this summer. At several sites, volunteers cleared dead wood from fallen trees.

Local students made up a tremendous part of this effort—we are thrilled to see the collaboration among generations to protect and enhance our Oakland wildlands and waterways. 

We are grateful to the California Coastal Commission for a Whale Tail Grant that supports this prodigious community event and to La Farine-Dimond and Peet's Coffee & Tea-Dimond for generously donating delicious pastries and coffee that sustained the volunteer force at the Dimond sites.

Eagle Scout Project


French broom photo by Calibas - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 (cropped)

Eagle Scout candidate Jasmine McCleary of Oakland Troop 202

May is a beautiful time here in Oakland, with mosaics of vibrant colored blossoms glistening across hillsides and landscapes. In Joaquin Miller Park, you’ll see a smattering of iconic sunset-toned California poppies, the cheerful iridescent yellow haze of California buttercups, and a range of regal purple blooms: silver bush lupine, Douglas iris, blue dicks, and blue-eyed grasses

Another abundant blossom across the California landscape right now—with its golden pea-shaped flowers in full, bouncy clusters—is French broom, Genista monspessulana. To the untrained eye it might appear as another staple of the local flora; it even smells delightful. But don’t be fooled. As they say, “All that glitters is not gold.”

Read the article here

We love to support Scout efforts! If you would like to inquire about a Scout project with FOSC, please connect with us through this interest form.

Stay up-to-date and engage with the Sausal Creek Watershed community

by connecting with us on social media:

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Volunteer Calendar

FOSC prioritizes the health and safety of the community, monitoring Alameda County Public Health Department guidance on COVID-19 precautions.

We need volunteers in the watershed now more than ever!

Join us for one of our many workdays this May.

View the FOSC Calendar

Friends of Sausal Creek is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to restore, maintain, and protect the Sausal Creek Watershed. We educate future generations, involve the community in local environmental stewardship, and collaborate with agencies and other nonprofits to have a positive impact on the local ecosystem.

How to get involved:

FOSC Website

Join our Listserv

Event Calendar


Connect With Us:

Instagram  Twitter  Facebook  LinkedIn

Photo Credits:

Mark Rauzon, Kate Berlin, Ella Matsuda, Lisa Giordano, Anna Marie Schmidt, Kristy Brady, David Jaber, Richard Kauffman, Jasmine McCleary


Lisa Giordano

Executive Director


Ella Matsuda

Restoration and Nursery Manager


Kate Berlin

Communications and Operations Manager