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, June 16, 2019

June Workday a FUN Day

Thanks to all the volunteers that made our first Summer Workday in Garber such a success.  We were able to clear erhardta from Bob's place and Harwood Creek, thistle from Horsetail Meadow and Rispin Meadow, and continue with Cape Ivy the Cape Ivy Removal Project.  After the extreme heat of last week it was a pleasure to be under the cool of the oaks, maples and buckeyes (some of which are still blooming).  A few pictures below tell the story:
Removing Cape Ivy off trail - Mark and his team have been so successful
at removing the Cape Ivy from the trail that they're now
continuing in hard to get to places.  Persistence has paid off!

Clearing erhardta along the trail near Bob's Place
Removing invasives from Rispin Meadow.  It's hard to remember
this beautiful meadow 5 years ago with ivy so thick you couldn't see
through the meadow to the trees!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

THANK YOU Claremont Hotel Volunteers!

Mudslide blocking the lower loop trail
from the recent storm this week.
HATS  OFF to the volunteers from the Claremont Resort and Spa who joined the Garber Park Stewards in clearing the trail, shoring it up, and mulching.  And, thanks to Bob Strayer in leading this group of "mud wrestlers."  Thanks to all of you the Loop Trail is once again accessible for walking.

We wish to thank ALL the Claremont Resort Volunteers for a great Stewardship Day.  Besides opening up the Loop Trail for visitors once again our local neighborhood paths have been cleared of debris and weeds and swept - a great day of beautifying the neighborhood.

Please come and walk the paths and especially Garber where the Trilliums are blooming and the maples and buckeyes are ready to show the spring foliage any day.

But, do be careful in Garber - the trails are steep, and still muddy in spots.

A few of the "mud wrestlers" finishing
up the mud slide removal

Sunday, January 20, 2019

January - a GREAT start to 2019

Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour RestorationInstitute,
demonstrating dividing
Elymus Glaucus.
   January 12  Workshop a Tremendous Success

THANKS TO EVERYONE who made January, 2019, such a fun and exciting start to restoration in Garber Park.  The removal of the beautiful old oak tree that died last June at the Evergreen Lane entrance gave way for a most timely and information packed and fun workshop by Lech Naumovich on the changing ecology of the Evergreen Hillside without the big old oak tree, called Managing a Changing Oak Woodland:  Oak Woodland Restoration Post - Climax.

The week that we had both the tree removal and the workshop scheduled was a rainy week.  But, luck was with us.  The tree came down Thursday, Jan. 10 - the first rain free day of the week, and we had a rain-free day on Saturday, Jan. 12 for the workshop.  And what a fantastic workshop it was.  From Lech:  I estimate we planted over 100 plants (plugs, containers, cuttings plus we caged three coast live oak seedlings.  What a great group and we got quite a bit of work done.

Mulching the Evergreen Lane
  January 19 Workday on MLK Week-end

We had a most productive workday - and another lucky "no-rain" day.  Our main task for the day was to perform trail maintenance and get a truck load of mulch on the muddy trails. And that we did! But, we accomplished much more:  invasive weed removal along the trail and the very important work of Cape Ivy Removal, a long term project headed up by Mark.   Next month we hope to mulch some muddy spots along the Loop Trail and finish Fire Place Plaza.  We again want to thank all the volunteers who helped make this possible.

Mark and Kat removing
a most invasive week -
Cape Ivy

Our next Volunteer Workday is Saturday, February 16.  We hope you will join us as we continue restoring this beautiful Oak Woodland Park and making the trails safer for your enjoyment.

In the meantime, do come and check out all the improvements in the park. Pick up a self-guided trail map at one of the entrances to the park, or down load a map from this blog.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

An AWESOME Creek to Bay Day

We had a goal - fill the green waste bin with
all the dead limbs and eucalyptus duff - which we did.  In addition we cleared trails, and weeded in Fern Glade to make sure the Trilliums and Ferns could pop-up once the rains came.  

Thanks, everyone, for all the hard work of carrying load after load of dead, fireprone limbs, and branches down the steep slopes to the waiting bin on Claremont Avenue.

Monday, April 30, 2018


Thanks to this crew, led by Bob Strayer, we
now have a bench with a view!  
And Thanks to Bob's leadership we also have
a new bridge on the Lower Loop Trail.

Walking Garber’s trails just became easier – and safer – thanks to the wonderful turn-out and hard work of our volunteers for our first ever Earth Week of activities. Our focus was on improving the  trails – from removing the spring weed growth to shoring up the trails.  For 5 consecutive days, 41 volunteers contributed 123 hours clearing the trails of overgrown weeds, raking the trails of debris, re-building a bridge, installing ersosion control measures along the creek, shoring up the trails from winter damage, and placing a new bench at a special spot near the Rispin Junction with a view across the Bay.

Thanks, everyone, for a fun and successful week of trail restoration.  We couldn’t do it without you! Spring is beautiful in Garber.  Do come and enjoy this gem of a Wildland Park at the Gateway to Claremont Canyon, and if you see a volunteer say “Thanks.”  Better yet, join us on our next volunteer workday: Saturday, May 19, 9AM-Noon.  We will focus on eradicating the invasive weeds from our restoration sites. With your help we can push back the invasive weeds and keep Garber fire safe and a community gem of a park!   
Along switchbacks at Claremont Ave Entrance
Along the Claremont Ave Trail
At the Claremont Ave Entrance

 Clearing the trail at Evergreen Lane Entrance


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!