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Volunteer Tara Parker-Essig and intern Elizabeth Boegel monitor pallid manzanitas near the Chabot Space and Science Center. Photos by Jackie Van Der Hout.
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!
Watershed Stewardship Continues Thanks to Your Support
Our community is resilient. Even during this challenging year, the Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC) organization is actively carrying out its daily stewardship of the Sausal Creek Watershed. Without the support of donors like you, this critical work could not happen. While we only ask for your financial support twice a year, we have our eyes and ears open—and our boots on the ground—year-round!

Local stewardship pays off. Thanks to the Friends of Sausal Creek, over the last 25 years, we can say with confidence that both the local population of rainbow trout and the endangered pallid manzanita survive due to the hard work of our volunteers, staff, and the board of directors. The health of the watershed continues to serve Oakland and our extended community, providing ongoing opportunities for recreation, refuge and urban biodiversity.

Please donate today so we can continue our important work. 
We Want to Hear from You!
Community Survey
We want to hear from you, our community, on how you want to engage with the Sausal Creek Watershed and with each other. This survey should take less than five minutes -- we appreciate your time! You are welcome to fill out the survey anonymously, but if you would like to be entered for a chance to win a FOSC T-shirt, please provide your email address at the end of the survey.
Explore the Watershed
Mapping Sausal Creek
Maps can be a creative expression, documentation of history and culture, or used for science and management. There are many ways the Sausal Creek Watershed has been mapped, and many more ways it could be in the future!

This month’s Explore the Watershed highlights just a few maps of Sausal Creek. We hope that looking at these maps together can show the many different ways that the watershed can be conceptualized, analyzed, and experienced.

Maps like the one featured to the right, Sites of Stewardship in the Sausal Creek Watershed, tell many stories. More of Jane Wardani's maps of the watershed from Stewardship Stories for Watershed Justice are featured in the attached article.

If you know of more maps of the watershed you’d like to share, please post them on social media, and don’t forget to tag us! 
Welcome New Interns!
Satoko Mills and Elizabeth Boegel
Satoko is originally from Japan, and moved to the U.S. in 2016 to pursue environmental research and conservation work. She is enthusiastic about the protection of California native plants, and water resources. She completed two California native plant nursery internship programs, and works with multiple local environmental stewardship groups doing restoration projects at creeks, wetlands, and open spaces. Satoko worked as a water quality analyst at an environmental consulting laboratory, and currently conducts water quality monitoring in creeks and stormwater infrastructure. She holds a B.S. in chemistry from Nihon University, and an A.S. in biology from Berkeley City College. Satoko is excited to be part of the FOSC team, and to be involved with the dedicated community of Sausal Creek stewards!
Elizabeth comes to us during her final year at Cal State East Bay; she is pursuing a degree in environmental studies and will graduate at the end of 2021. Her interest initially lay in horticulture, but after developing her urban garden to grow food for her family, Elizabeth realized that she was also rebuilding habitat for the ecosystems within the garden. This ignited a passion to discover the wildlife that lived in the soil, the flowers, the trees, and the leaf litter below. Elizabeth hopes to continue to learn more about ecology in her time with FOSC. Elizabeth has a background in education, working with special-needs children in both public and private schools, and she worked for several years with the San Francisco Symphony, coordinating 1500 volunteers for large events. She has also been a volunteer in many capacities and believes that volunteers make the world work!
Kudos Corner
Sudden Oak Death Blitzing in the Watershed
Thank you to everyone who took time to monitor the watershed for Sudden Oak Death (SOD). We appreciate your efforts to protect Sausal Creek's magnificent oaks and gather data on the ground.

A special thanks goes out to John Brega, Barry Stegner, Sara Rankin, and Leanne Grossman.

This community science effort is a key element in stopping the spread of Sudden Oak Death!

To learn more and to follow the results of the SOD Blitz, please visit the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology Lab's website at nature.berkeley.edu/matteolab
Friend of the Month
25 Years: Friends of Sausal Creek
Founding Member Ralph Kanz
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.

Ralph Kanz was a commercial fisherman when he first became involved with Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC). “At the time, I was concerned with the environment and especially anadromous fish and was looking to try to help in the community in some way,” he explained. Protecting Sausal Creek’s resident wild rainbow trout was what first attracted him to supporting the launch of the organization 25 years ago.
Ralph Kanz (second from left) with other FOSC founding members
Ralph’s first big project with FOSC was working on the Bridgeview restoration project which entailed weekly workdays at the site for months at a time. In response to a slide and significant erosion at the site, FOSC secured a small grant to stabilize the slide, and the project grew from there. “The project was fun,” Ralph recalled in an interview. “Michael Thilgen drove a piece of rebar at the top, hung a rope on it, and we used it to get down the steep slope to plant willow stakes.” These prepared willow stakes are nature’s best slope stabilizers.

Ralph counts the first round of restoration efforts in Dimond Canyon as some of his proudest accomplishments during his time working with FOSC. Before the existence of the FOSC Native Plant Nursery in Joaquin Miller Park, Ralph was part of a team that propagated thousands of plants in a DIY, grassroots effort. Through collaboration, dedication, and a lot of volunteer hours, the team identified which native plants were needed, collected their seeds, and started the seedlings. Stuart Richardson ran the volunteer program, Michael Thilgen coordinated the makeshift park nursery, and Ralph handled transportation and logistics. Together they propagated a staggering number of plants (20,000) prior to the start of the stream restoration. Ralph recalls bringing soil to the restoration staging area at El Centro and transporting plants in the afternoons to a greenhouse in San Leandro. Producing all of those plants without a nursery was a significant effort, and today the impact can be seen throughout Dimond Canyon.
When asked about his hopes for the next 25 years in the watershed, Ralph returned to a memory of the first time he saw spawning rainbow trout in Sausal Creek on an early Saturday morning in the late winter of 2002. “I knew that there were fish around, and I knew that they had to be spawning, but this was the first time we had seen them,” Ralph recalled. Later that summer, he viewed the trout fingerlings swimming in the creek, and Ralph along with other community members, were excited to see success in protecting these genetically wild and endangered fish. Since that time, FOSC has focused attention on the fish (see the Rainbow Trout Management Plan on our website), however, impediments to habitat and water quality continue to be a challenge. Issues such as the impacts of development and non-native trees, the silting of pools in Palo Seco Creek, and the enforcement of no-fishing regulations are all at the top of Ralph’s list of priorities. Ralph hopes that in the next 25 years, Sausal Creek’s rainbow trout will continue to survive due to improved water quality and habitat. He also hopes that FOSC can continue to advocate for and preserve other threatened and endangered watershed species, such as the pallid manzanita and Presidio clarkia.
If you would like to nominate a Friend of the Month, contact education@sausalcreek.org.
Event Calendar
We need volunteers in the watershed now more than ever! Join us for one of our many workdays this June. See details below and read more about the workdays events calendar!
Palo Seco Creek
Upcoming Volunteer Events

Pollinator Garden Workday
Sunday, June 6 & 20, at 9:00 a.m.
Bridgeview Trailhead

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

Restoration Workday
Saturday, June 12 and 26, at 9:00 a.m.
Redwood Glen Trailhead

Native Plant Nursery Workday
Saturday, June 12, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery

Oak Tree Rescue
Sunday, June 13 and 27 at 9:00 a.m.
Bridgeview Trailhead Pollinator Garden

Beaconsfield Canyon Restoration Workday
Saturday, June 26, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
2639 Beaconsfield Place
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: Anna Marie Schmidt, Jane Wardani, Elizabeth Boegel, Kimra McAfee, Kathleen Harris, Satoko Mills