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 The early blooming California buttercups,  Ranunculus californicus  and a syrphid fly with a pollen covered head. Photo by May Chen.
FOSC is a volunteer-based, community organization. We need donors like you to support FOSC education and restoration programs in the Sausal Creek Watershed. 
Letter from FOSC Board President on COVID-19
Community Read-along
Braiding Sweetgrass:
 Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
As we continue to shelter in place, Friends of Sausal Creek invites you to consider another way for us to connect as community-- a Read-along. Think of this as a virtual book group with your FOSC community, and as something we can do instead of physically gathering for a FOSC activity.

Our first book will be Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Braiding Sweetgrass weaves together science, narrative, and indigenous wisdom within the world of plants and botany. Kimmerer draws on her life as a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatami Nation to reflect on our relationships to the living world and one another.

This book is a favorite of FOSC staff Jackie Van Der Hout. Jackie loved listening to the audiobook and hearing the author read her own words.

You can find the e-book and audiobook through your local library, or support the author by buying an electronic copy at this link: https://milkweed.org/book/braiding-sweetgrass

Follow the Google hangouts link in the calendar invite above to join the discussion.

For questions reach out to Jackie Van Der Hout, education@sausalcreek.org

Letter from FOSC Board President on COVID-19
FOSC acknowledges and respects that this is a time to focus on slowing the spread of COVID-19. Thanks everyone for doing your part to keep your families and your neighbors healthy and safe. We’re all in this together and, consistent with the shelter-in-place orders, outdoor activities are allowed if we maintain social distancing. Social distancing on the trails will also help ensure that our parks remain open.
In these stressful times, it’s important that we also keep the FOSC community thriving, at least virtually! Help spread the beauty of Sausal Creek by posting pictures and revealing the magic that nature has to offer. Take photos of favorite plants and animals in the watershed and post them to social media and forums like iNaturalist. Encourage others to interact by asking questions like “What’s this plant”, “Anyone know this bird?” or “Can you guess where I am?”
Follow FOSC on social media and tag us when you post.
 Facebook: @FriendsofSausalCreek
Instragram: @friends_of_sausal_creek
Twitter: @FOSC_Field
Let's keep our (virtual) community healthy!
Jeff Stephens
FOSC Board of Directors President

Earth Day 2020
Shifting our Focus to Home and Digital Activities: A Message from the City of Oakland

In light of the restrictions posed by COVID-19, the City of Oakland and FOSC will not be partnering for Earth Day workdays across the watershed.

While we can’t show up in person like one in ten Americans did on that first Earth Day, we can still organize and take actions for the Earth from our homes. The City of Oakland will be hosting digital and home-based Earth stewardship programs and invites the public’s participation throughout April. You can find their resources online through  www.oaklandearthday.org  and  www.facebook/sustainableoak  

We want to acknowledge the effort and passion of local volunteers and staff who have been planning for the 26th Annual Oakland Earth Day and of collaborators across the globe who have been planning the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. Fifty years ago an was estimated 20 million people organized across the United States, and helped catalyze the modern environmental movement.

Oakland stewardship operations such as tool loans, site visits and field work will be postponed until federal, state, and county public health officials give the City of Oakland clearance to resume normal field operations. We encourage everyone to prioritize the health and safety of the community at this time and to continue to shelter in place.

Please reach out to us at education@sausalcreek.org if you have any fun and creative ideas for how to digitally engage our community around Earth Day.
Explore the Watershed
Help Experts Track Sudden Oak Death in the Bay Area
If you've ever come to volunteer at FOSC's native plant nursery, you’ve taken steps to prevent the spread of sudden oak death (SOD). All visitors to the nursery spray down their shoes with alcohol to kill the fungus threatening oaks across California and beyond, Phytopthora ramorum.

Aside from protecting our native plant nursery from SOD contamination, FOSC has also been partnering with scientists at UC Berkeley to identify SOD in the watershed since 2009. Considering COVID-19 guidance, the SOD Blitz will be happening again this year on May 2 and 3, and Matteo Garbolotto of the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab is looking for volunteers to participate! Read on for more information. 

Kudos Korner
Spring Cleaning at the Scout Hut
Major kudos go out to staff and volunteers from the City of Oakland, Friends of Dimond Park, the Dimond Recreation Center, and FOSC for the Herculean effort to clean out the Scout Hut!

Dimond Park's historic Scout Hut has acted as a storage facility for the many groups that work and play in Dimond Park for countless years. Working together, these groups have successfully transformed our shared space. What was once chaotic is now functional.

We donated carloads of arts and crafts supplies, building supplies, and sporting equipment to the Creative Reuse Center and Urban Ore where they will get put to excellent use.

Thank you to everyone who participated and worked so hard to recover our communal storage space!
FOSC Friends of the Month
Barry Place Stewards
We want to recognize the stewards of the Barry Place site (where Barry Place intersects with E. 27 th Street) for their tireless work and dedication in restoring and preserving this hidden gem in the watershed. Barry Place is notable in that it is the only site on Sausal Creek between the MacArthur Freeway (I-580) and the mouth of the creek at the Oakland-Alameda Estuary where the creek is both above ground and accessible to the public on FOSC-sponsored workdays. A fence surrounds Barry Place and precludes public access at other times.

This city-owned site has been an Adopt a Spot site for two decades. Site leaders, John Bowers and Sheelah Weaver, have been leading work parties at this site for this period of time. John discovered the site and realized its uniqueness and recreational potential in the late 1990’s while attempting to follow the creek downstream from Dimond Park. Sheelah helped write the Barry Place Restoration Site Plan back in 2014. Even before their tenure as Barry Place site leaders, both John and Sheelah volunteered at different watershed sites back in FOSC’s early days. In addition to its uniqueness as noted above, the site boasts two artificial waterfalls and a tunnel where the creek flows beneath E. 27 th St., as well as towering, mature trees, both native (coast live oak) and non-native (eucalyptus and acacia). 

While the site has the added challenges of illegal dumping and homeless camping, the site leaders, neighbors, and student groups persevere; removing nonnative species (primarily Himalayan blackberry and cape ivy, which forms thick trunks when it climbs host trees) picking-up trash, and planting and tending native species. The steeply sloped hillside, which has a stairway constructed as an Eagle Scout project, requires careful navigation. John and Sheelah’s ultimate goal for Barry Place is for it to be adopted by the city as a public park.  

Thank you for your steadfast leadership, Sheelah, and John, and thanks to the team of Barry Place volunteers for your restoration work at this unique refuge.
If you would like to nominate a Friend of the Month, contact education@sausalcreek.org.
Event Calendar

From your Computer!
April 29 at 5:30 p.m.

Multiple locations
May 2 and 3

All other FOSC events continue to be postponed, in accordance with the statewide shelter in place order.

Please continue to practice safety by maintaining social distance, taking care of yourself, and staying healthy.

We will continue to update our event calendar as we learn more about the unfolding situation.
Get Involved
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. 
FOSC needs your support --  
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Connect with us:

Jay Cassianni
Restoration and Nursery Manager
Anna Marie Schmidt
Executive Director

Jackie Van Der Hout
Interim Education and Outreach Coordinator
Photo Credits : Hayward Blake, Nicki Alexander, May Chen, Jackie Van Der Hout