S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1
A foggy August morning in Fern Ravine, in Joaquin Miller Park.
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. 
The City of Oakland is celebrating the 26th anniversary of Creek to Bay! This year, there are volunteer activities planned throughout the month, including Saturday, September 18, the California and International Coastal Cleanup Day. This is the largest organized volunteer day in California and the world!

The FOSC community is looking forward to participating in this international event and we hope to see you in the Sausal Creek Watershed. We encourage you to join one of the sites that are looking for volunteers on September 18. Check out the FOSC calendar for details and to RSVP for the September 18 workday and workdays throughout the month of September:

Saturday, September 18
  • Fern Ravine (Joaquin Miller Park) 9 a.m.-noon
  • Pallid Manzanitas (Chabot Space & Science Center) 9 a.m.-noon
  • Dimond Canyon (Dimond Park) 9 a.m.-noon
  • Bridgeview Trailhead (Bridgeview Drive) 9-11 a.m.
  • Jingletown (corner of Chapman St and Peterson St, Oakland) 9 a.m.-noon
  • Barry Place (East 27th and Barry Place, Oakland)  9 a.m.-noon

All Month Long
  • Sunday, September 5, 9-11 a.m. Pollinator Garden at  Bridgeview Trailhead
  • Saturday, September 11, 9 a.m.-noon. Pallid manzanitas at Chabot Space and Science Center
  • Sunday, September 12, 9-11 a.m. Oak Tree Rescue at Bridgeview Trailhead
  • Sunday, September 19, 9-11 a.m. Pollinator Garden at Bridgeview Trailhead
  • Saturday, September 25, 9 a.m.-noon. Beaconsfield Canyon Restoration, Montclair
  • Saturday, September 25, 9 a.m.-noon. Dimond Canyon, Dimond Park
  • Sunday, September 26, 9-11 a.m. Oak Tree Rescue at Bridgeview Trailhead
  • Sunday, September 26, 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Trail Stewardship in Dimond Park
  • Native Plant Nursery Workdays on Wednesdays and Saturdays

For more information and to RSVP, please see our calendar.
Questions? Please contact us.

Ivan Yan
Introducing New Student Board Member
Ivan Yan
Ivan is a second-year student at the University of California, Berkeley pursuing a degree in environmental engineering science. Originally from Sacramento, Ivan most recently served as a renewables, water, and sanitation intern for the Peruvian non-profit EcoSwell, where he led an energy resilience project to improve access to electricity for vulnerable coastal communities. Ivan has also researched atmospheric water harvesters for use in arid regions. Through his involvement with the Friends of Sausal Creek, he hopes to not only pursue his passion for water, but also work to preserve the local environment for future generations. He enjoys swimming, reading, and playing basketball in his spare time.

Welcome, Ivan! We are so happy to have you as a part of the FOSC community and look forward to your participation as a board of director.
Explore the Watershed
Urban Streams and Drought
Former FOSC staff member Jackie Van Der Hout interviewed FOSC Board Member Dr. Robert Leidy for an article about how drought affects urban streams, which was featured in the July 2021 California Urban Streams Partnership newsletter. With permission, we reprint that interview here.

Urban Streams and Drought

Interview with Dr. Robert Leidy by Jackie Van Der Hout

The impacts of this year’s drought on California’s urban streams are hard to miss. However, the ways in which urban stream restoration and advocacy groups adapt to the drought is informed by our understandings of its impacts. To better understand the ins-and-outs of drought on California’s urban streams, I spoke with Dr. Robert Leidy, an ecologist with the EPA in San Francisco, board member with Friends of Sausal Creek, and researcher on California’s freshwater and anadromous fishes. 

This interview has been edited for clarity. 

Kudos Corner
Bridgeview Trail/Pollinator Garden Volunteers
On August 22, under the leadership of Dee Rosario (Sausal Creek Stewardship Crew lead) and Kathleen Harris (Bridgeview Pollinator Garden lead), a group of 14 hard-working volunteers filled an entire debris box. Well done!

The drought has caused terrible damage to the woods around the Pollinator Garden and the Bridgeview Trail. A willow grove suffered so much stress that many of the willows succumbed to the willow boring beetle and needed to be removed to reduce the fuel load. There were also dense patches of French broom, which is highly flammable, growing on the hill behind the garden. Previous volunteer workdays had created a big pile of brush, which included the ivy that the Oak Rescue crew is perpetually pulling out. Thank you to everyone involved. Because of you, this area is healthier, more beautiful, and a much more fire-safe environment.

Debris box at the start of the morning...
... and later that same day!
Friend of the Month
Anne Hayes
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.

Anne Hayes, the first program coordinator for FOSC (1997-2002), is now the western regional director at Climate Central, an independent climate science and communications organization. She also volunteers with a grassroots climate action group.
Anne Hayes
After leaving FOSC, Anne returned to work as a a freelance writer and editor, primarily in the areas of environmental education and natural history. She is the proud author of the Bay Friendly Gardening Guide and a guide for educators to the natural areas of San Francisco. When she found herself in need of a steady income, she joined UC Santa Cruz, where she used her writing and fundraising experience on behalf of the Earth and Planetary Sciences, the UCSC Natural Reserves, the Environmental Studies Department, and the UCSC Farm and Garden, among others. She joined Climate Central three years ago in order to directly address climate change.

When not working, Anne and her spouse tend a small property in Santa Cruz County, where she particularly enjoys the company of green growing beings.

Anne was kind enough to share her recollections of the early days of Friends of Sausal Creek in an interview.

Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC): What were you doing in your life when you first became involved with Friends of Sausal Creek, and what inspired you to be a part of this organization initially?

Anne Hayes (AH): I was working from home as a freelance writer and editor, spending long days working on manuscripts in solitude. FOSC gave me the chance to meet amazing people, learn all about the watershed, and begin to make a difference in the community.

FOSC: What projects or events in FOSC’s history have been important or memorable to you, and why? Do you have a proudest accomplishment from your time working with FOSC and in the watershed?

AH: So many! Creating the demonstration garden in Dimond Park; restoring the creek and canyon above Bridgeview Street; starting the water quality, bird and aquatic insect monitoring programs; and leading some of FOSC's education programs with Oakland youth. 

I’m also tremendously proud of the organizational work I did on behalf of the Friends, especially working with Sally Kilburg to secure FOSC's status as an independent nonprofit. If I had to choose one accomplishment that I am most proud of, it would be running FOSC's monthly public meetings as their paid coordinator. I loved doing it, and the facilitation skills I learned in that role have served me in many ways ever since.

FOSC: Do you have a favorite place to visit in the Sausal Creek Watershed? If so, what makes it special for you?

AH: How about the Bridgeview pool? I put on a wetsuit and swam in it once. I had an encounter with a rainbow trout, who darted out at me to let me know it was his pool, not mine! But I will also say that every place in the watershed where native plants continue to grow and where bright birds take shelter and nest is sacred to me.

FOSC: What are your hopes for the organization or the watershed looking forward? What challenges and opportunities do you see on the horizon?

AH: I was with FOSC when they developed their first strategic plan, which included a vision of the watershed 25 years on. It’s hard to believe that we have reached that day! We have not fully realized that vision, but we have moved towards it, and that’s what matters. My hope would be that Sausal Creek can continue to teach people of all ages how to live in harmony with nature.

If you'd like to contact her, Anne can be reached at hayesanne@mindspring.com.
If you would like to nominate a Friend of the Month, contact education@sausalcreek.org.
Event Calendar

To keep our community safe, please come prepared to wear a mask and social distance.

Pollinator Garden Workday
Sunday, September 5 and 19, at 9 a.m.
Bridgeview Trailhead

Marj Saunders Park Monthly Cleanup
Monday, September 6, at 11 a.m.
Marjorie Saunders Park, Oakland

Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Drop-In Hours
*RSVP Required* for groups of three or more
Wednesdays in September, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery

Pallids Crew Workday
Saturday, September 11, 9 a.m.-noon
Chabot Space & Science Center

Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Drop-In Hours
*RSVP Required* for groups of three or more
Saturday, September 11 and 25, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery

Oak Tree Rescue
Sunday, September 12 and 26, at 9 a.m.
Bridgeview Pollinator Garden

Creek to Bay Day
Saturday, September 18, various locations and times:
Fern Ravine (Joaquin Miller Park) 9 a.m.-noon
Pallids at Chabot Space & Science Center 9 a.m.- noon
Dimond Canyon (Dimond Park) 9 a.m.-noon
Bridgeview Trailhead (Bridgeview Dr.) 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Jingletown (Peterson St. and Chapman St., Oakland) 9 a.m.-noon
Barry Place (at 27th St.) 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Beaconsfield Canyon Restoration Workday
Saturday, September 25, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Beaconsfield Place at Keswick Court

Restoration Workday
Saturday, September 25, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Dimond Canyon

Community Walk and Talk Event: Expand Your Birding Senses
Saturday, September 25, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Meet at the Scout Hut in Dimond Park

Trail Stewardship Crew
Sunday, September 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Meet at the Scout Hut in Dimond Park

We need volunteers in the watershed now more than ever! Join us for one of our many workdays this September.
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: Elizabeth Boegel, Mark Rauzon, Ivan Yan, Leana Zang-Rosetti, Kathleen Harris, Anne Hayes, Elizabeth Boegel