Short Summary

Garber Park is a 13-acre wildland park owned by the City of Oakland located behind the Claremont Hotel in Claremont Canyon. Garber Park is home to significant stands of big-leaf maple, California buckeyes and regenerating coast live oak woodland and forest. The Garber Park Stewards vision is to safeguard the native wildland resources of Garber Park while reducing the risk of wildfire and improving the trail system.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January - A Great Start to the New Year!

RAIN, a fabulous workshop in Garber on Fern ID and Propagation Techniques by Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute, and the announcement that the Claremont Hotel will be sponsoring several restoration projects in Garber made a truly WONDERFUL start to the new year.  

The Garber Park Stewards are especially excited and honored that the Claremont Club and Spa, through the Fairmont CARE's grant program will be a partner with us in Garber this coming year. The grant will sponsor our Winter Restoration Workshop Series with Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute, provide money for trail improvement and signage, development of a trail map and self-guided trail, as well as other activities in support of of our efforts to restore and maintain the native habitat in this most beautiful wildland park.  The announcement from the hotel:  Claremont Club and Spa, A Fairmont Hotel is pleased to partner with Garber Park Stewards by donating $10,000 for various projects to improve the park. The hotel has been a part of the community for 100 years and is excited to have Garber Park continue to be a place for hotel guests and club members to visit.

There's not one among us that isn't rejoicing at the rain.  A cold and rainy morning couldn't dampen the enthusiasm for the first Winter Workshop in Garber this season.  Cancel? Absolutely not - Lech brought the outside in - and we all enjoyed learning about Fern ID and in-Situ Propagation while warm and dry inside.  Lecture and demonstrations over, and coffee finished, we all were ready for some time outside, even though it was still raining. Garber abounds in several native species of Ferns, so we didn't have to walk far to find a few ferns to dig up, divide and plant in some good spots near the trail.  We didn't get a lot of field time due to the rain, so we're all looking forward to many stewardship days in the next couple of months where we can practice our skills.  
We hope you can join us.  
Contact Shelagh for more information and to join our listserv for workday and future workshop anouncements.  

Click here to see more pictures of the workshop.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Winter Restoration Events

January 16, 2016, 9:30AM-12:30PM. 

Workshop presented by Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute


Join us for our first Winter workshop of the 2016 Season.  We will take a walk on the Loop Trail through Garber while identifying the many native ferns and discussing habitat.  You will learn key anatomical terms and a bit about reproduction  Then we will head over to Fern Glade, remove ivy, flag any native plants that we find, and learn about in-situ propagation of Garber’s native ferns.  Trilliums abound in Fern Glade; if we’re lucky we will see many beginning to pop up.
Dress in layers for the changing weather, wear boots with good sturdy shoes, and be ready to have fun while Learning with Lech about ferns, monitoring, Healthy Forests, and Phytophthera.  Coffee, tea, and breakfast rolls will be ready by 9:15am (under Shelagh’s carport at the Evergreen Lane Entrance to Garber).  Workshop begins at 9:30.

What to bring:  We provide gloves, tools, and snacks, but if you have a sharp tool such as a hori hori, trowel,  or clippers please bring them.  Also bring a water bottle to fill up from our water container.  

Directions: Many of you have been to Garber before and have your own favorite way of getting here, but for those who aren't familiar with the park a map and directions can be found our website  Click on Directions in the Menu Bar at the top.  We recommend parking at the Claremont Ave Entrance and walking up the trail, which takes you past Fern Glade and Fireplace Plaza to the Evergreen Lane Hillside Stairs. Coffee and snacks are at the top of the stairs which is the Evergreen Lane Entrance. 

To RSVP – workshop is limited to 12 participants - or for more information contact Shelagh 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Creek to Bay Day - An Overwhelming Success!

A beautiful day.  A great turn-out of volunteers.  And a flawless execution and support by the City of Oakland.  We began our day by picking up trash along Claremont Ave, clearing Site 29 in the upper Canyon of illegal dumping, and removed trash from Garber.   Then it was on to the major task of the day:  expand Fern Glade by clearing the ivy from a slope nearby.  Once ivy is removed the ferns regenerate at a remarkable rate.  This year we chose an area where there were few ferns – we will use the wealth of Ferns from Fern Glade to transplant into our new ivy free patch. 

But, how to remove a large section of ivy?  THE ROLL METHOD.  Lead by Bob Strayer this group began at the top of the hill, cut and pulled a section and began rolling it in a ball,  pulling and cutting the ivy along the way.  When the “roll” got too heavy and big it was pushed down the hill and dragged into the waiting dumpster, supplied by the City of Oakland.  At the end of the day, the dumpster was almost full, Garber had a huge patch of “ivy free land”  just waiting for the rains so we could fill it with native ferns from Garber, and a group of tired but very satisfied volunteers!   

Fern Glade.  Join us on Saturday, December 12
for our first Winter Workshop with  Lech
Naumovich.  Check back here for details or
contact Shelagh
Meanwhile, another group was weeding Fern Glade.  It’s essential to keep the area weed free so the ferns – and other natives such as the beautiful Trillium - can continue to fill in where ivy once resided.   We are now waiting for the rains and excited for this year’s 1st workshop by Lech Naumovich, December 12, where he will teach us how to transplant ferns.  We hope you will join us.  Details to follow. 

Thanks to Marilyn Goldhaber for sharing her pictures.  To view more click here. 

Join us for our October workdays – Tuesday, October 6 and Saturday, Oct. 17 where we will continue removing invasive plants and mulching our restoration sites throughout the park to support the growth of Garber's native plant species.  

Thanks everyone for a fun and successful 2015 Creek to Bay Day! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Rewarding Mid-Summer Workday

BobS dove into the knee high ivy and
uncovered a California Buckeye!

In a short time mounds of ivy removed and
ferns freed.
Working in Fern Glade has become the most rewarding and satisfying experience, and today, even those who always head for the steep slopes removing thistles and himalayan blackberry joined us pulling ivy along the Claremont Trail and in expanding Fern Glade - Garber's Fern Garden  A perfect Summer day of "freeing up the ferns."  But I'll  let the pictures do the talking.......And, do come and visit Garber - a gem of a wildland park, just behind the Claremont Hotel in Claremont Canyon.

Lauren, Garber's newest Steward, from the
 Claremont Hotel's Sustainability Committee,
 is all smiles as she freed a hillside
of ferns from the trail just above Fern Glade.
An hour ago this beautiful grove of ferns
was smothered in ivy.

Fern Glade today - it's hard to believe that 1 1/2 years ago Fern Glade was smothered in
ivy.  It was  Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute, that had the vision
that the ferns and other natives would thrive once the ivy was removed.  The flags represent
the ferns that we uncovered in December, 2013 - the rest propagated since.  Click here to see pictures of that workshop in which Fern Glade was born.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July Volunteer Workdays

(maps and directions


Join us in the cool shade of Garber’s beautiful native oak woodland as we continue attacking the fire-prone invasive weeds and clear the trails that have been hidden by Spring growth. You have many choices:  easy weeding at Fern Glade, Harwood Creek, and along the trails.  For those who enjoy working on steep slopes, the Evergreen Restoration Site needs your help removing poison hemlock and erhardta grass. Wear long sleeves and pants and shoes with good tread.  Bring a water bottle for re-fills.  We provide tools, gloves, water and snacks. Everyone welcome - no experience necessary and students looking for community service hours are welcome. Those under 18 must bring a signed Volunteer Waiver and Release of Liability Form (download from

For questions and more information contact Shelagh

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Freeing the Ferns on Earth Day

On Saturday, April 18, The Garber Park Stewards celebrated Five years of restoring and protecting the native oak woodland habitat and watershed of Harwood Creek in Garber Park by participating in the City of Oakland’s Earth Day.   This year our focus was on “freeing the ferns” in the western part of the park. Volunteers met at the Claremont Ave. entrance and began attacking the Algerian Ivy along the Claremont Avenue Trail to beautiful Fern Glade, our newest Restoration site.  Freeing the ferns from the invasive ivy allows the ferns, trilliums, snowberry, false solomons seal and other natives to thrive and multiply.  And multiply they have - the return of the natives along this trail has been phenomenal!  

Thanks, everyone, for another fun and successful morning.  We couldn’t do it without you!

While Earth Day has ended our twice monthly stewardship days continue with a focus on improving Fire Safety by removing the fire prone invasive weeds throughout the park, and providing defensible space against wildfire for the many homes adjacent to Garber Park.  Won’t you join us?  Our May volunteer workdays are:  Tuesday, May 6, and Saturday, May 16 from 10am-Noon.