D E C E M B E R   2 0 1 6

As our 20th anniversary year draws to a close, we present some then-and-now photos and stories. A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. Our retrospective photos reflect the work of thousands of volunteers.

This past year, the above green lawn--the launching point for nearly two decades of Earth Days and Creek to Bay Days--was gloriously transformed into the below creek. This shot, looking upstream to the Scout Hut and the Dimond Recreation Center, was taken after last week's storm.

Just like a healthy creek, FOSC does its share of meandering. The Friends do not follow a straight path. We find joy in the process of the journey, improving our environment bit by bit as we go. Thank you all for flowing with us.

FOSC is a volunteer-based, community organization. Your donations go directly to support our projects and programs in the Sausal Creek Watershed.

Thank you to all of our donors who have already made a year-end gift. We hope this newsletter will inspire those who have not yet made a donation to help us accomplish even more in 2017. Please consider a second gift to help achieve our goal of $100,000 in our For the Future Fund endowment by the end of the year. We are just $3,000 short of that milestone!  
1997: The First FOSC Community Project


The northeast corner of Dimond Park -- from ivy-covered hillside to native plant demonstration garden
Friend of the Month: Stan Dodson 
It started simply enough: Stan Dodson loves to hike Oakland's trails, especially those in the Sausal Creek Watershed in Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park. He dreamed of producing a film to highlight the majesty of the trail system and the groups working to maintain it. Voila, TRAILHEAD: Discovering Oakland's Gateway to the Redwoods. Stan has also shared his passion by leading many, many community walks. He has improved the trail network by getting trail markers fabricated and installed in Dimond Canyon Park. He led the charge for signs to remind dog owners to keep dogs on leash and on trail. Last year he started the Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol, in partnership with Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington. In 2016, thanks to Stan Dodson's leadership, volunteers have cleared 79 downed trees in Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller parks. (And counting ... last Monday they kept Dimond Canyon Trail passable by removing the heaviest tree of the year--a huge old oak.) Stan's latest project is to raise funds to extend the fencing along Fern Ravine Trail to protect the understory vegetation in this sensitive redwood habitat area. Stan makes things happen, again and again and again. Thank you, Stan, for your relentless persistence in improving the trail system and your constant efforts to inspire others to join you.
Marie's Spot: A Living Legacy    
December 2007 -- Plants staged for Solstice Planting Day

2011 -- Same spot! Most of the vegetation in the lower half of the photo is native

Marie Brennan no longer lives in the Bay Area, but this section across the creek from Dimond Canyon Trail remains "Marie's Spot." The volunteer dedication at this spot led to its inclusion in FOSC's Urban Streams Restoration Program application. Over the years the gullies have continued to deepen from runoff from the storm drain outlet upslope above Old CaƱon Trail. We now have design drawings to slow the flow and remedy the situation. A redwood rootwad saved from the downstream Dimond Park project will be placed into the gully, providing stability and creating good rainbow trout habitat in this section of Sausal Creek. We are working toward construction in summer 2017.
Explore the Watershed
Brown Creeper  
Common name: Brown Creeper
Scientific name: Certhia americana

The innocuous creeper barely makes a whisper. Its call is so high-pitched that we elder folk can barely hear it. Living up to its name, it hitches itself up a tree trunk, probing the bark for insects and spiders before flying down to another trunk and starting the process over. Brown creepers nest under loose pieces of bark in the watershed.

--Mark Rauzon

To see the photos of clusters of lady beetles we received in response to the November newsletter Explore the Watershed challenge, visit our Facebook album. If you come across more lady beetle clusters this month, email your photo to  coordinator@sausalcreek.org to have it added to the album.
The Evolving FOSC Native Plant Nursery



Long-time nursery volunteer Karen Paulsell captured these panoramas of the nursery, highlighting the changes over time. Take a moment to see how many differences you can spot, then check out Karen's list of nursery improvements.
Join Our Team

Our dedicated staff supports the hundreds of volunteers who make our community workdays and field trips happen. We are currently seeking an intern to support our spring 2017 outdoor education and restoration programs. Internship duties include leading and supporting school groups and community members in habitat restoration and environmental education projects, both in urban and wild areas of the Sausal Creek Watershed. Please pass this  job announcement on to anyone who might be interested.
A Pollinator Garden on the Bridgeview Trail

Do you walk on the Bridgeview Trail? This trail goes along the edge of Dimond Canyon opposite Park Boulevard and is bounded on one end by a series of switchbacks that go down from Monterey Boulevard and on the other by the end of Bridgeview Drive. As you make your way down the switchbacks at the Monterey Boulevard end of the trail, you enter redwoods that were last clearcut just after the great San Francisco earthquake in 1906. These trees are 75 years old. Cross the creek on a little stone bridge and go up to the trail on the other side. As you walk along, you'll notice that the redwoods give way to a mixed oak/bay laurel forest, heavily infiltrated with invasive Algerian ivy. About a mile later, near the end of the trail, you come to a flat meadow. This is where the pollinator garden can be found.

Teachers: Schedule Your FOSC Field Trip Today!

We are still accepting applications for field trips for this school year. Visit the Field Trips section of our website to learn about where we go, what we do, and how your class can join the fun. Please contact us as soon as possible before our schedule fills.

Many funders make it possible for us to offer free field trips for students at underserved schools. A huge thank you to the Alameda County Fish and Game Commission, Bill Graham Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund, California State Coastal Conservancy, Clorox Company Foundation, Hillside Gardeners of Montclair, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for supporting our environmental education programs.
Event Calendar

Acacia Removal in Joaquin Miller Park
Sat., Dec. 17, 9 a.m.-noon

Barry Place Solstice Planting Day
Sat., Dec. 17, 9 a.m.-noon

Beaconsfield Canyon

(last Saturdays)
No workday in December. See you in January!

Bridgeview Trailhead Pollinator Garden

(1st & 3rd Sundays)
Sun., Dec. 18 & Jan. 1, 10 a.m.-noon   

Dimond Park
(3rd Saturdays)
Sat., Dec. 17, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Marj Saunders Park
(1st Mondays)
Mon., Jan. 2, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Montclair Railroad Trail
(3rd Saturdays)
Sat., Dec. 17, 9-11 a.m.

WD Wood Park
(3rd Saturdays)
Sat., Dec. 17, 10 a.m.-noon 
FOSC Native Plant Nursery
Joaquin Miller Park
(2nd and 4th Saturdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.)
Sat., Dec. 24 workday is cancelled.
See you in January!

Save the Date 
Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center
Wed., Jan. 18, 7 p.m.
Annual State of the Watershed Meeting
Note new location!
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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Michelle Krieg
Restoration & Nursery Manager

Aubree McAtee
Outreach & Education Coordinator
Kimra McAfee
Executive Director
Photo Credits: Andrew Aldrich, Rebecca Armstrong, May Chen, Kathleen Harris, Michelle Krieg, Kimra McAfee, Karen Paulsell, Mark Rauzon, The Xerxes Society 
Friends of Sausal Creek   www.sausalcreek.org
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