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, April 29, 2014

HELP TRACK - AND SLOW - SUDDEN OAK DEATH: "bioblitz" survey May 10-11

Take an easy stroll or challenging hike to help with the annual Sudden Oak Death “bioblitz” survey! Help track the pathogen that is killing our beautiful Coast Live Oaks. After a 45-minute training in Berkeley or Orinda Saturday, May 10, you'll search for suspect leaves where you like – including your own yard! We'll suggest routes if you like. Return samples to a drop box by Monday morning. Results will be announced in fall, after lab testing.

No cure has been found for Sudden Oak Death, but well-timed action can slow spread and save specific trees and the many wild creatures that depend on oaks. For that, we need to know where the fungus-like water mold is spreading!

Sign up for 1 PM training on the UC Berkeley campus here. For the 10 AM training in Orinda,  email Both sites are easily reached by BART.  Background info, including maps of Sudden Oak Death to date, here.  

A free two-hour training session on preventive treatment for Sudden Oak Death is scheduled Wed., May 7, on the UC Berkeley campus. Information and sign-up here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

An Awesome April!

A HUGE THANK YOU to all the volunteers who gave their time and energy to advance the cause of restoration in garber during April. Excited by the rains early in April stewards could be seen almost daily  pulling invasive non-native weeds throughout the park, improving and mulching the trails, and even helping to get the last of the native plants into the ground this season.  The month culminated in a successful Earth Day -  we partnered with Claremont Canyon Conservancy to clean and beautify the Claremont Avenue roadside and the entrances to several of the popular hiking trails in the canyon.

Bob Strayer (on the left) can often be seen in Garber doing the heavy lifting work of trail restoration or pulling the ivy along Sylvan Path out of the trees.  On Earth Day he was joined by Pete, and these two did the really hardwork of removing loads of trash from Claremont Ave and Garber.  
The parking lot seen here was first cleared one year ago on earth day when over 40 people helped clear the the parking lot. One year  and many, many volunteer hours later the beautiful 1920's trail from Claremont Avenue to Fireplace Plaza has been restored.  This Claremont Avenue Entrance is now the main entrance to Garber.  There's ample parking and it's a beautiful short walk to Fireplace Plaza, the loop trail and Evergreen Lane, the site where most of our volunteer workdays begin.

Mark can often be seen removing ivy and
expanding the restoration site at Fern Glen.
Trail improvements such as this in Fern Glen
can be seen throughout the park

Many volunteers prefer the working along the trail or
in Garber's meadows.  Two years ago Rispin Meadow,  on
the left, was impenetrable, filled with fire prone
 invasive plants (Himalayan Blackberry, broom,
poison hemlock).  Once freed the natives have re-bounded -
and volunteers enjoy a quiet time weeding in the meadow.

I am humbled by the number of volunteers who come to help restore and maintain this little piece of paradise throughout the year.   And, what better time to say THANK YOU  than on Earth Day.  We couldn't do it without you!  

Habitat Restoration Workdays in May
 Tuesday, May 6 and Saturday, May 17
Meet at the Claremont Avenue Entrance
at 10AM.  We work till Noon.
Contact Shelagh at
for more information.

We hope to see you soon in Garber!