J U L Y 2 0 2 1
Holodiscus discolor (Oceanspray) on the Bridgeview Trail.
Photo by Elizabeth Boegel.
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. 
Support Friends of Sausal Creek
Thank You for Your Support!

Many thanks for your support of FOSC during our mid-year campaign. Your donations help us continue the important education, restoration, and monitoring work in the watershed. Please help us successfully end this campaign by donating today.

Explore the Watershed
Ticks and Lyme Disease
Picture this: It’s a beautiful, early summer morning in the Sausal Creek Watershed; the light is streaming through the redwoods in Joaquin Miller Park and reflecting off the water trickling down through the canyon into Dimond Park. It’s a perfect day for a hike. You get everyone dressed and ready for a family walk and grab the leash for the dog, and then you remember -- it’s tick season (May-July)! Should you cancel your plans to hike in the watershed? Absolutely not! While newly -published studies show a greater prevalence of Lyme disease in the ticks found in Northern California than previously assumed, as long as you have a knowledge of tick behavior and take the proper precautions, there is no need to avoid our local parks.
Kudos Corner
Watershed Stewards Program
Thank you to Morgan Williams, Erin Fairley, and all the volunteers from the Watershed Stewards Program! The group removed a huge amount of non-native holly from the Sinawik Trail in Joaquin Miller Park. Our intern, Satoko Mills, reports that the pile of removed vegetation was enormous, and covered a 25 x 6--foot area (as seen behind the volunteers in this picture). The team also built a water catchment system, which will store the rainwater that flows from the toolshed roof in the nursery.

The Watershed Stewards Program is dedicated to improving watershed health and is a partner of AmeriCorps and the California Conservation Corps.

To learn more, please visit the Watershed Stewards Program website at https://ccc.ca.gov/what-we-do/conservation-programs/watershed-stewards-program/.
Friend of the Month
Kathy Kramer
On this 25th--year anniversary of the Friends of Sausal Creek, we want to spotlight the stories of some of the founding members and their vision for the future of the watershed.

Kathy Kramer has worked as an environmental educator for more than 30 years. In 1991, she was hired as a consultant by the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District to start the group Friends of San Leandro Creek, which is still in existence. This was part of a larger watershed awareness program within the county that aimed to include the community as a part of watershed planning.
Kathy Kramer
In 1996, Kathy was the executive director of the Aquatic Outreach Institute (known then as AOI and since renamed The Watershed Project). At that time, she and the water conservation district were searching for another area in which to start a “Friends of the Creek” group. Sausal Creek Watershed resident Kathy Welch suggested that Kathy consider Sausal Creek as the site of the next program. As a result, Kathy submitted a proposal to the county and received three years of funding with which to start the Friends of Sausal Creek and support it in its early years.
AOI set about creating a database of contacts in the watershed and developed outreach materials. FOSC’s first meeting was held in the Dimond Branch Library; 64 watershed residents packed the small room. During the meeting the attendees were asked what they would like to see the group accomplish. Suggestions ranged from educational activities to working with the city staff to better manage the creek to removing the concrete that lined much of the creek bed in Dimond Park. (About that last idea Kathy privately thought it would never happen, but it did, 20 years later!) By the next meeting, AOI had grouped the suggestions into categories, and the attendees divided themselves into work groups to figure out how to implement tasks on their list. Involving and empowering members in that way, Kathy thinks, has been key to FOSC's success. 
After a period of time working on storm drain stenciling and tackling the creation of a creek set-back ordinance, as well as other outreach tasks, Kathy began to think that FOSC should work on some kind of physical restoration project. One afternoon she met Michael Thilgen at Dimond Park, who suggested the group undertake a small demonstration project on the uphill slope from the play structure. This was the beginning of the restoration program. 
Kathy noted how impressed she is with what FOSC has accomplished in its first 25 years. She also believes though, that while restoration near the creek is important, involving every interested person who lives in the watershed is the next step. She feels that attention needs to be given to restoring ecological health to the whole watershed, and that what people choose to plant in their own gardens affects that health. Given Kathy’s passion for native plants, and as the coordinator for the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, she hopes that the organization will continue to support the planting of natives in residents' gardens by considering activities such as a sheet mulching program and a native plant exchange. 
In closing Kathy said, “It was a pleasure starting FOSC and seeing, over the years, with the help of so many dedicated volunteers and such excellent staff, how successful it has become. FOSC is a model creek restoration organization, and I am so pleased to have had a hand in working with the Friends!” 
If you would like to nominate a Friend of the Month, contact education@sausalcreek.org.
Survey Results
Listening to the Community

Thank you for participating in our survey! This information helps us to do a better job of planning our events, community talks, and newsletter.

Your responses tell us that nearly 44% of our volunteers prefer small, casual outdoor workdays rather than larger, more formal workdays. Fortunately, we have plenty of small events planned for July! Please see our event calendar below to sign up for a workday.

Many of you would like to hear more community talks about the wildlife that lives within our watershed. You're in luck! Our board member and ecologist Dr. Robert Leidy will be leading a 'walk and talk' on July 31 about the trout that live in Sausal Creek. Please join us for this exciting event.

As for the newsletter, it seems that you are interested to learn more about biodiversity both in the watershed and in the world at large. Stay tuned for exciting features in future issues.

Finally, congratulations to Joy Hartnett, winner of our survey raffle and a FOSC t-shirt. Thank you to everyone who participated!
Event Calendar
Upcoming Volunteer Events

Pollinator Garden Workday
Sunday, July 4 and 18, at 9:00 a.m.
Bridgeview Trailhead

Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Drop-In Hours
Wednesdays in July at 1:30 p.m.
Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery

Pallids Crew Workday
Saturday, July 10, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Chabot Space & Science Center

Native Plant Nursery Workday
Saturday, July 10 and 24, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery

Oak Tree Rescue
Sunday, July 11 and 25 at 9:00 a.m.
Bridgeview Trailhead Pollinator Garden

Restoration Workday at Fern Ravine
Saturday, July 24, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Sequoia Arena Gate

FOSC Community Walk and Talk: Come Meet Oakland's Wild Trout!
No RSVP required
Saturday, July 31, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Meet at the Scout Hut in Dimond Park

Beaconsfield Canyon Restoration Workday
Saturday, July 31, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
2639 Beaconsfield Place

We need volunteers in the watershed now more than ever! Join us for one of our many workdays this July.
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. 
We need more Friends of Sausal Creek -- learn more about donation options   
Amazon Smile purchases donate 0.5% to FOSC --
Connect with us:

Anna Marie Schmidt
Executive Director

Jay Cassianni
Restoration and Nursery Manager

Satoko Mills
Restoration and Stewardship Intern

Elizabeth Boegel
Communications and Community Education Intern
Photo Credits: Rob Leidy, Nicki Alexander, Centers for Disease Control, Jay Cassianni, Kathy Kramer, Elizabeth Boegel