J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 1
Balthazar, a 22-year-old giraffe, munches on willow from the FOSC nursery at the Oakland Zoo.
Photo by Oakland Zoo Staff Jessica Chapman
FOSC is a volunteer-based, community organization. Help us meet our year-end goal by making a matched contribution to support FOSC education, monitoring, and restoration programs in the Sausal Creek Watershed. 
Community Event
State of the Watershed
Like so many things in 2020, this year's State of the Watershed presentations will be different. In February 2021 you will have a chance to view videos and photo essays from site leaders and community partners and hear about their experiences in the Sasual Creek Watershed in 2020. 

Be on the lookout for an invitation to the live virtual viewing in February on our website and in the next newsletter.
Explore the Watershed
The Dying Trees and Shrubs of Oakland
by Karen Paulsell
From a distance, the patches of sick blackwood acacia in Joaquin Miller Park are eerily beautiful, but we know these stands of affected trees add up to dozens, maybe hundreds, of tree trunks. They will all become standing dead wood, with lots of woody debris below, creating a serious fire danger. They will also be a danger to those who use roads, trails, or buildings nearby. The problem seems to be affecting only one of our three kinds of acacia, the blackwood, but we have seen signs that the other two types are being killed as well. 

We don’t know whether the demise is caused by heat/drought stress and late rains, whether it's the stress plus a single disease, or whether there are multiple culprits involved. Scientists (U.S. Forest Service and U.C. Extension) recently took a new batch of samples in Joaquin Miller Park, along the Sunset, Sequoia-Bayview, and Castle Park Trails, and are analyzing them, a process that takes a few weeks. They are, after all, trying to find a needle of pathogen in a haystack of plant material. We’ll hopefully have more definitive information soon.  

See the full photo essay here
End-of-Year Appeal
Thank You for Supporting FOSC!
We are thrilled to report that we surpassed our $7,500 goal and received just over $10,500 in online donations from our community as of December 31! Thanks to you, FOSC doubled the first $7,500 through the generous match offered by Pat and Rob Raburn, the FOSC board of directors, and an anonymous donor which brought the total to $18,000!

FOSC tries to limit donor requests to just twice a year, but your contributions help us all year long. If you haven't done so yet, please donate today and consider signing up to be a recurring donor.

Pods We Have Loved
Happy Holidays from the FOSC Staff!
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021 from our pods to yours!
Kudos Corner
Piedmont Community Service Crew
Well-deserved kudos this month go to the Piedmont Community Service Crew (PCSC), a part of the Piedmont Boy Scouts of America Council. The crew was responsible for completely rebuilding the dirty pot shed, which now features a roof and holds all of our pots (no more pots laying on the ground!). They also re-stabilized the retaining wall in the shade house, a huge effort that the nursery will benefit from for years to come.

Over 24 different crew members and volunteers planned the work, secured the funding, and put in over 125 hours over the course of five construction workdays.

Thank you to core PCSC volunteers: 
  • Julia & Bruno Banuelos
  • Elena Blanco
  • Emma Broening
  • Ashley Hennessy
  • Kaeli Huh
  • Annika Nilsson
  • Zenobia Pellissier-Lloyd
  • Sofia Prieto Black
  • Corinn Richards
  • Sofia & Jennifer Stahl
  • Toshi Troyer
  • Klara & Klaus Zietlow

A special thank you goes to Ken Li (crew advisor and founder) and Sofia Stahl (vice president of program).

Thank you, PCSC, for your fundraising efforts, project planning, and hard work in the nursery, especially with the added burden of the pandemic!
FOSC Friend of the Month
Bridgeview's "Ivy League"
Paul Murphy and John Fiegel stand in front of a tower of invasive ivy.
They are known by many names: The Pollinator Garden Plunderers, The Ivy Eliminators, The Blackberry Battalion, and The Ivy League. Whatever they are called their dedication to removing vast quantities of invasive plants is beyond words!

Thank you Paul Murphy, John Fiegel, and Kathleen Harris for all the work you have done at Bridgeview and beyond by removing ivy and other invasives, all while practicing social distancing. Your weekly efforts are appreciated by the whole watershed!

Contact Kathleen to get involved with the Ivy League, pending the stay at home order.
If you would like to nominate a Friend of the Month, contact education@sausalcreek.org.
Event Calendar
FOSC volunteer events in January are cancelled due to current stay at home orders. Please check back on our online calendar for the latest updates.

Online Events of Interest from Other Organizations:

Presented by the California Native Plant Society
January 7 at 5:30 p.m.
Online event

Presented by James Covel of the Monterey Bay Aquarium
January 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Online lecture

Presented by the Garden Club of America Local Chapters
January 13 at 9:30 a.m.
Online Even

Presented by the Peninsula Open Space Trust and Latino Outdoors
January 26 at 7:00 p.m.

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

We will continue to update our event calendar as we monitor guidance for COVID-19.
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 -- 
Amazon Smile purchases donate 0.5% to FOSC --
Connect with us:

Jay Cassianni
Restoration and Nursery Manager
Anna Marie Schmidt
Executive Director

Jackie Van Der Hout
Community Education and Restoration
Photo Credits: Jessica Chapman, Ken Li, Karen Paulsell, John Brega, May Chen, Abby Roat, Jackie Van Der Hout, Jay Cassiani, Kathleen Harris