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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cape Ivy and Seedlings

Fern Glade.  Five years ago this beautiful area
in Garber was covered in ivy.  Today, it's a
a beautiful site of ferns, Big Leaf Maples,
and other native plants.
We had the  Luck of the Irish for our St. Patricks Day monthly habitat restoration workday in Garber.  NO RAIN, early Spring blooms popping up throughout the park, and the Trilliums are still blooming.  Thanks to Mark we continue to make progress on one of our most aggressive invasive weeds.  He can frequently be seen in the park near Harwood Creek and Horsetail Meadows carefully pulling Cape ivy off the plants.  THANK YOU Mark and all the volunteers who have chosen to work with Mark on this most important task.  Without you Horsetail Meadows would still be a blanket of Cape Ivy with the growth of the new Horsetails suppressed.

California Coast Live Oak.  We found many seedlings
throughout the park.  We have a caging program to save
the seedlings from being stomped on or eaten by the deer.

Our most exciting find was an abundance of seedlings from Big Leaf Maples to Coast Live Oak.   At the Claremont Ave. Entrance we found hundreds of tiny Big Leaf Maple seedlings.  After much discussion we decided to weed around the seedlings and cage the entire area off to try to save these seedlings from being stomped on.  With this abundance of  late Spring rain – and more to come – they have a chance at survival during our dry summer.  Even if only a few survive, this TLC to this beautiful California Native Tree will be worth it. 

If you missed the St. Patrick’s Day Workday you will have another chance  - Earth Week in Garber.  This year we decided to celebrate Earth Day all week long with several Habitat Restoration Days the week before Earth Day.  We hope you will be able to join us on one or more of these days.   We want to make an assault on the invasive weeds and get a head start on making Garber as Fire Safe as possible.  The schedule:  Wed, April 18 and Thurs, April 19 from 3:00pm-6:00pm.  Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 from 9:30-12:30.  Details to follow soon.  Contact Shelagh  We hope you can join us in celebrating Earth Week in Garber. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

A great Day in Horsetail Meadows

A wonderful workday - good weather and a good turn-out of volunteers - veterans and new.  A major effort was made in Equisitum (Horsetail)Meadow.  The equisitum is now popping up but the Cape Ivy and Himalayan Blackberries, with their aggressive and invasive growth, are threatening the lovely horsetails.  Bags of Cape Ivy and Horsetail were pulled, chopped, and bagged.  Thanks, everyone, a tough job,  but a rewarding and valuable one in the ongoing restoration of Harwood Creek.  In another month the Horsetails will dominate the meadow with their bright green stalks. Thanks everyone for a successful workday.

An extra special treat - the buckeyes have leafed out and the beautiful Trillium are in bloom!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Fascinating World Beneath our Feet


On January 20, Lech Naumovich presented his first Garber workshop of the 2018 Season, Titled:  Fungi, Soil and the World Beneath Us:  Restoration in Focus.  For this workshop we had TWO wonderful leaders:  Lech and Thea Chesney, mushroom taxonomist and botanist.  When I drove up to the Claremont Ave. Entrance to set-up the refreshments for the event, Thea was already there, finding many, many mushrooms right at the entrance, and had set up books, samples, and a microscope on the hood of her car!  I knew we were in for a treat.

It was a cold day, but clear, and had rained just a few days before, making it perfect for finding mushrooms.  Thea continued to excite us in learning about mushrooms for the next FIVE hours – not just the 3 hours scheduled for the workshop.   THANK YOU, LECH and THEA for such a fabulous workshop – opening up a another fascinating eco-system in Garber – THE WORLD BENEATH US. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

November Workday

What a great day in Garber.  Some planted, some cleared the trail, and some chopped and pulled Himalayan Blackberries.  Thanks to Ricardo we cleared the drainage on Claremont Ave. from Overflow Creek to the Garber Park parking area.  Thanks to all for your dedicated and hard work!

Thanks to Ricardo the drainage on Claremont Ave
from Overflow Creek all the way to the Garber parking
pad is flowing and the shoulder free of debris.

Planting grass plugs at the Evergreen Lane Entrance
from seeds collected in Garber!

Attacking the Himalayan Blackberry
near Horsetail Meadow
Shout Out to this man, a neighbor,
who collects trash along Claremont Ave
several times a year!

All smiles at the end of the day
reflecting on the days accomplishments

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Successful Fall Workday

Fern Glade - weeded and mulched - and now ready for the winter.   Claremont Ave Entrance - trash picked up.   Claremont Ave Trail - cleared of debris and raked to Overflow Creek Bridge.  Fireplace Plaza - raked and cleared of debris.  1st Bridge on Lower Loop Trail - Threat of Himalayan Blackberry take-over suppressed!  
Getting the erhardta grass and ivy from Fern Glade!

Fern Glade - Beautiful.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dead Oak at Evergreen Lane Entrance

VERY SAD.  We have nurtured this oak tree for many years.  It died suddenly.
Ambrosia Beetles was the cause - their sawdust can be found at the base.
With so much Sudden Oak Death pathogen in the park we assumed SOD was the culprit.
Arborist, Peter Rudy, said it could definitely be involved but he found no evidence
of SOD on the tree. 

BEWARE when hiking on the trail at the Evergreen Entrance - the tree is a danger with large limbs hanging over the trail.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE TREE?  Cut it down (City of Oakland has been notified but the tree is still there).  Meanwhile,
several people have suggested cutting back the dangerous limbs and leaving the main trunk as
BIRD HABITAT, which I like.  Have a suggestion?  Contact us as

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Horsetail (Equisitum) Meadow near
Harwood Creek

What a treat we had in Garber for our May workday.  Instead of pulling and chopping invasives (although several couldn’t resist) we had the opportunity for a slow walk through Garber learning about the unique and diverse habitats and native plants in Garber.  

With the beautiful California Buckeyes in full bloom we were able to see all SEVEN – YES, SEVEN NATIVE FERNS - and many native understory plants in bloom including the Cow Parsnip.

And, Thanks Lech, for another fun workshop in Garber.

Save the Date:  Saturday, June 27, 10am-Noon:  Evicting the Fire Prone Invasive Weeds.
Unfortunately, the abundance of rain this year not only produced a bumper crop of native plants but a bumper crop of all the usual fire prone invasive weeds.  Erhardta, poison hemlock, himalayan blackberry, English and Cape Ivy - they're all there trying to smother the natives and hide the trails.  We will return to pulling and chopping these invasives for our 3rd Saturday Workday in June on June 17, from 10AM to NOON.  With your help we can push back the invasive weeds and keep Garber fire safe and a community gem of a park!