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.

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!  

Monday, May 8, 2017

        Saturday, May 20, 10am-1:00pm 

       Workshop led by Lech Naumovich

     Meet at the Claremont Ave Entrance
                     to Garber Park

Join the Garber Park Stewards and Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute on a fun and informative botanical hike through Garber Park, a 13-acre City of Oakland Wildland Park in Claremont Canyon.  
We will talk about many of the diverse native plants and plant communities found in Garber, including oak woodlands, wetland seeps, and other forest types with a focus on recognizing key characteristics of plants to allow for accurate identifications. We will highlight the ongoing restoration efforts in Garber, identify the invasive weeds, and discuss Sudden Oak Death, which was identified in Garber several years ago.  Spring is the best time to pull those invasive weeds – we welcome our weed pullers as well!
Wear long sleeves, long pants, and shoes with good tread, and bring a water bottle.  We provide snacks and water for refills; and gloves and tools but feel free to bring your own. 
To RSVP (space is limited) or for more information contact Shelagh
Directions:   Meet at the Claremont Ave Entrance for snacks before we begin.  From the intersection of Tunnel Rd/Ashby and Claremont, go .4 miles up Claremont Ave. to the Garber Park Sign.  By bus, take #49, get off at the Ashby/Claremot Ave intersection and walk up Claremont.  Maps and directions can also be found on our website
Wear long sleeves, long pants, and shoes with good tread, and bring a water bottle.  We provide snacks and water for refills; and gloves and tools but feel free to bring your own. 

New Bridge at Overflow Creek

Walking up the Claremont Ave Bridge to Fireplace Plaza
and beyond just became easier - and safer - thanks to
Ricardo and the NEW BRIDGE at Overflow Creek.

Sweeping out the Broom, April, 2017

Smiling because after a full morning of broom searching this
is all they found!  
Can you ever say an area is "broom free?"  We think not, since French Broom seeds can remain in the soil for 40 years!  However, we have seen little broom in the past few years and have declared Garber about as Broom Free as an area can get.  But, we wanted to know just how much broom remains in the park, wanted to document it, and knew we had to keep on top of it each year or it could easily once again take over.  What to do?  Conduct a Workshop where participants would fan out across the park seeking broom, document results on a map so we could do this again next year and the next...
Searching in the Cow Parsnip Patch for broom - yea!  Little
found.  The Cow Parsnip showed its joy at the abundant
rain this year by growing 6 feet tall!

So on April 18 we began the first annual Broom Sweep.  We are happy to say we found only small patches of mostly small seedlings. It was Happiness all around - our hard work over the years has paid off - and where broom used to be - native ferns, grasses, wildflowers are now popping up.

Thanks, Lech, for a fun workshop.  And thanks everyone for your dedication to Garber's

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Restoring an Eroded Creek Bank in Garber, March, 2017

While loving every drop of rain this year Garber saw its share of problems - one of them was the erosion of a creek bank that had slid.  But it was also an opportunity for a workshop on Erosion Control - specifically create a spiling support with living fascines to allow for additional material to be caught by the spiling instead of it ending up in the creek.  The Workshop on March 18, conducted by Lech Namovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute, was well attended by a diverse group.  I'll let the pictures do the talking - each picture shows portions of the process, including building a living fascine with freshly harvested branches.  Native plant cuttings and rhizomes were planted on site as well as willow and elderberry cuttings.  Thanks everyone for a great day - and helping restoration in Garber!  We couldn't do it without you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Learning how to do a Line Transect - an
easy but important monitoring tool.
It was a great turn-out for Lech's Fern Workshop  on Saturday, February 4 - it was warm, the rain held off while Lech gave his well - received interactive, informative workshop.  Many new faces, but even the "old-timers" learned lots of new, fun information about ferns in general, and especially the many native ferns of Garber.  No one left even when it began to rain - everyone stayed to pull and push back the ivy to allow room for the natives to grow in Fern Glade.  It was all smiles at the end.  It was so rewarding uncovering Trilliums, Ferns, and even a California Buckeye.  

Looks like we'll have a break in the weather for our volunteer workday this Saturday, February 18. Please
join us in Garber as we continue pulling invasive weeds and planting natives.  There are many activities to choose from: light and level at selected spots along the trails where we will be pruning and pushing back the weeds, and for those who are up for some heavy lifting jobs we need some help in shoring up the trails.

Wear long sleeves and pants, shoes with good tread.  We provide water, snacks, tools, and gloves.

Meet at the Claremont Ave Entrance to Garber.  Directions:  From the intersection of Tunnel Rd and Ashby, (also AC Transit #49 stop)  go.4 miles up Claremont Ave (towards Grizzly Peak) to the parking turn-out.  Look for the new Garber Park sign.  Directions, maps and further information can be found at or contact Shelagh

Friday, January 6, 2017


A Workshop with Lech Naumovich, Goldenhour Restoration Institute
contact Shelagh

Join us as we continue to expand and build upon our rich FERN GLADE RESTORATION AREA. Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute, will begin with a short Restoration History of Fern Glade, Fern ID, and Biology.  Then we will pull ivy and other weeds from the area and noting any new ferns, trilliums, and other early spring flowers that should be emerging.  

Everyone Welcome.  Dress in layers for the changing weather and shoes with good tread.
We provide tools, snacks and water.

Fern Glade was begun three years ago when we cleared a patch of knee deep ivy in a flat area along Claremont Ave Trail, flagged the ivy and other natives that were there to give the natives a chance to grow.  And grow they did.  It's a joy to see.  We remove ivy each winter and by spring the ferns have multiplied.  Fern Glade has become our most popular restoration site - click on the links below to see for yourself the History and Expansion of this most beautiful spot in Garber and then join the fun on January 21st in Fern Glade.

December, 1013.  Fern Glade is Begun.  Restoration Workshop an overwhelming  success:

Fern Glade 2015....Working in Fern Glade is always popular
Fern Glade 2016.  Expansion continues in this lovely spot.