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A milkweed bug sips nectar from the "hood" of a common milkweed flower, Asclepias syriaca. Photo by May Chen
FOSC is a volunteer-based, community organization. Especially during these uncertain times, we need donors like you to support FOSC education, monitoring, and restoration programs in the Sausal Creek Watershed. 
Community Opportunities
Coming Soon: 15th Annual FOSC Native Plant Sale
Our annual native plant sale will bring you the same high quality native plants you’ve come to expect through a social-distancing, online shopping experience. This year, you will place your native plant orders from the comfort of your home.

Online shopping will take place from October 11 to 16.

Once you've placed your order and received your pickup appointment, your plants will await you with contact-free curbside pickup on October 17 or 18 in the parking lot (#2) below the Joaquin Miller Park Ranger Station.

Native plants are necessary to provide a habitat and food source for many native species such as monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. Your support at the native plant sale supports Friends of Sausal Creek's ongoing work restoring the watershed, supporting over 20 Adopt a Spot sites, and educating future environmental stewards. Come get your plants and watch your garden buzz with more life.

The plant sale store website is now available for browsing and will open for sales on October 11 at 5:00 p.m.

View all the details for our online plant sale:

You can view the list of plants that will be available at the plant sale here.

Visit our website, www.sausalcreek.org, for the latest updates. And happy shopping!

Illustrations by Mia Trachtenberg
Explore the Watershed
FOSC's Gardening with Native Plants
Announcing Friends of Sausal Creek's newest publication, Gardening with Native Plants.

If you are curious about gardening with native plants, but have questions about how to get started and create your goals, this guide is for you! Packed full of resources and designed to answer your FAQs, this guide covers choosing the best plants for your environment, gardening to support wildlife, and the importance of native plants along with a comprehensive resource section to further your skills and interest.

Historically our native plant experts have been on hand at the plant sale to assist you with questions. During this year's alternative online plant sale, we hope this guide can answer your most frequently asked questions and help you select what natives to put in your online shopping cart.

This guide was put together by dedicated FOSC volunteers and staff. FOSC volunteers include lead editor Annette Osenga, with illustrations by Mia Trachtenberg, and design by Sarah Troup-Gallagan.

Read and download Gardening with Native Plants here
Kudos Corner
Pallid Manzanita Volunteers
The Sausal Creek Watershed is home to many unique plant and animal species. Among them, the pallid manzanita, Arctostaphylos pallida, is an endangered and endemic species.

The California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) lists a total of 11 occurrences of pallid manzanita, seven of which are located within or adjacent to the Sausal Creek Watershed. For years, FOSC has been monitoring and caring for the remaining pallid manzanita population, and working to restore population levels.

Pallid manzanitas require specific conditions for their survival and reproduction. The plants need full sun to survive, and are highly intolerant of shade from trees and shrubs. Additionally, pallid manzanitas are adapted to California's historical fire ecology regimes.
Fire suppression poses a risk to the pallids because the plants can require fire for seed germination. Additional threats to the species include development and habitat fragmentation.

To address these threats and their impacts on the pallid manzanita population, the FOSC Pallid Crew has been hard at work this summer at the Chabot Space and Science Center site protecting the pallids. By pulling invasive plants, surveying and monitoring pallid health and numbers, and maintaining the site, the Pallid Crew is crucial to protecting this plant species in the watershed.

Thank you Pallid Crew members Shannon, Kelcey, Tara, and Anne, for your work at the pallid manzanita site! Your dedication to the pallids is essential to the survival and, hopefully, the restoration of these endemic plants.
FOSC Friend of the Month
Annette Osenga
Annette Osenga has volunteered monthly at FOSC for about 10 years. A resident of the Melrose neighborhood, she enjoys walking in the hills. Many years ago in Joaquin Miller Park, a suspended parachute shading some plants behind a fence caught her attention, introducing her to FOSC's native plant nursery. The nursery has come a long way since then, thanks in part to Annette's volunteer work. On most weekends Annette attended Congolese and samba dance classes to balance her sedentary job as a health sciences librarian. But sometimes she just had to be outdoors at the nursery to feel the sunshine or mist, divide seedlings, weed, wash pots, and talk with other volunteers. Perhaps wearing this particular T-shirt to her retirement party signaled greater FOSC involvement to come.

During this time of sheltering in place, two things sharpened her perspective on native plants: FOSC’s online book club selection Braiding Sweetgrass by RW Kimmerer and the virtual Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour in April. In his presentation, Dr. Doug Tallamy explained that the great food web of life (including our own) depends on healthy reciprocal relationships between plants and insects. He proposes that individuals can help restore natural productivity by caring for native plants at home as well as in public spaces. With that in mind, Annette wondered how to go about choosing the right native plants. And would other people like to know too? This was the inspiration for compiling Gardening with Native Plants. This new booklet serves as a guide for beginners and offers a comprehensive list of free, online resources to encourage further discovery.  

Thank you, Annette, for your dedication to connecting people to the plants, insects, animals, and watersheds around them! Your volunteer work with FOSC is greatly appreciated.
If you would like to nominate a Friend of the Month, contact education@sausalcreek.org.
Event Calendar
Online Events of Interest from Other Organizations:

Presented by the CNPS Yerba Buena Speaker Program and Jim Thorne
October 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Online event

Presented by the Yerba Buena Chapter of the California Native Plant Society
October 4 at 10:00 a.m.
Online event

Self-Guided Native Plant Walks
Created by the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Presented by West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project & APHA EJ Committee
October 24 at 1:00 p.m.
Bus Tour ($)

Weekly, every Thursday from 3:00 – 4:00 pm through December 17
Presented by the U.C. Berkeley Fire Research Group
Online series

All FOSC public events and group workdays continue to be cancelled, in accordance with the county shelter-in-place order. Please contact us if you would like to find a watershed project for yourself or your pod.

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

Maribel Garcia
Education and Outreach Coordinator

Jackie Van Der Hout
Community Education and Restoration
Photo Credits: May Chen, Jay Cassianni, Jeff Stephens, Maribel Garcia, Mia Trachtenberg, Annette Osenga