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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


THE SPECIAL GUEST - Thanks, Lech, for bringing Kaya.

Thanks to all who came to our workday on Dec. 6 to discuss the details of the Garber Park Vegetation Management Project with LeRoy Griffin, Assistant Fire Marshal. We were pleased to have Camille Rogers, Fire Inspector for WPAD, Rebecca Tuden, City of Oakland Watershed Specialist, and Lech Naumovich, Botanist, Golden Hour  Restoration Institute to guide us through the proposal that was initially developed by Lech in collaboration with the Garber Park stewards, and later refined by several community meetings and “in-the-field” walks through Garber.   The plan that was submitted to WPAD on July 25, 2011, can be found on our blog at:

Based on what has become known as The Beaconsfield Model The Garber Plan is a multi-year, year-round program that includes a botanist to assist with appropriate and proper removal of invasive species, thus ensuring environmentally sensitive techniques are used while managing vegetation to reduce the risk of a major fire.  Click here to read about Beaconsfield Canyon and the WPAD project. 

Next Steps: Camille Rogers will be meeting with the botanist. Together they will be developing a month-by-month calendar of the work to be performed in the park. The calendar of work days will be posted on our blog when it becomes available.  Timing of the removal of flammable invasive plants is critical in ensuring the most effective fuel reduction.  

LeRoy Griffin, Assistant Fire Marshal
A Short History of The Garber Park Stewards Journey:  
Two years ago in December the Garber Park Stewards started out with a vision that Garber Park was 13 acres worth protecting – and that our major goal was reducing the risk of wildfire while protecting the natural woodland resources of Garber Park. Early in our work in the park we consulted the City of Oakland Wildfire Prevention Assessment District (WPAD) on the need for a comprehensive fuel reduction and management plan.   In addition,  we heard about The Beaconsfield Model – a project funded by WPAD in Beaconsfield Canyon that included a botanist to oversee and assist with appropriate and proper removal of invasive species, and protection of the native plants that help reduce wildfire risk. This successful model seemed to address the needs of Garber Park.  Fortunately for us WPAD was ready to expand and fund Long Range Fuel Reduction Projects to other Open Space Parks in Oakland.  And in retrospect the stewards are grateful for the forward looking attitudes of both OFD and WPAD that impelled them to seriously implement ecologically sound fire risk abatement strategies.

Camille Rogers, WPAD
Fire Inspector
In February, 2011,  LeRoy Griffin notified the Stewards that funding had been secured for a fuel reduction project in Garber Park based on the Beaconsfield Model.  The Stewards sought the advice of  Lech Naumovich, botanist, Golden Hour Restoration Institute to work with us to develop the initial plan, which was presented, discussed, and refined at several community meetings.  The final, agreed upon plan was submitted to LeRoy in August, 2011.  Last month LeRoy notified us that funding had been approved and he requested the meeting which was held this week.  The Stewards wish to thank everyone who assisted in the progress of this project.  It will begin soon and initiate a thoughtful regime of wildfire safety for Garber Park and for the many neighbors who live at its edges.