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, January 1, 2022

Fun Snapshots of our Restoration Efforts at Garber Park!

As we welcome 2022, we'd love to thank our Garber Park Stewards and many Volunteers for their dedication, time and efforts towards restoring Garber Park this past year! 
We hope you enjoy taking a look back at the many activities that took place at Garber Park this summer, fall, and winter and hope to see you again soon on our Volunteer Days: 1st and 3rd Saturday of Every Month! Update: January's 1st Volunteer Day will be on Jan 08, 2022 

Winter marked a time for plant IDing and removal of invasive non-native plant species, such as Cape Ivy and Blackberry. As volunteers took time to learn about the various characteristics of these plants, they also learned some of the best practices for removal. (Image Below)


One of our amazing volunteers clearing the top layer of cape ivy in order to get to the roots for removal (Left)

Composting onsite has been one of our newest projects at Garber Park. We've been sharing knowledge with our volunteers on how we add, spread, and compact what we collect from a workday into our growing pile! (Right)

Mushroom Galore!

As the rainy season visited Garber Park, we also had enriching sights of various mushroom types, shapes, and sizes throughout the park! Many were easily spotted next to rocks and on logs, while others were hidden underneath leaf litter, in between stones, or next to our pathways. Can you ID them?

Winter Planting 

It was also a time of planting as the rainy days continued. We managed to place over a dozen plants with a focus on erosion control, which is especially important during these large rain events.  

Fall Fern Flagging & Fireplace Plaza Fire Safety 

During our Fall days, we had a great time working around Fern Glade. We were able to flag many ferns hiding underneath the English Ivy and worked to uncover them by pulling out a lot of the invasive ivy! By removing the invasive non-native plant species, we are allowing the native plant species underneath to grow in a clearer space, just in time for Spring. 

At the same time, we have been working near Fireplace Plaza to remove as much of the duff accumulated by an array of Eucalyptus trees, in order to limit the risk of wildfires in the park due to the dry hot days we've had this year. This work has also allowed many of the native blackberries and other plants to have space to grow and has also opened up the area of new native sprouts!

Fern Growth

The amount of rain Garber Park has been receiving this year has allowed new Fern growth! We are so excited to see new native plant species popping up in more areas!

Buckeye Trimming and Onsite Composting

We are always excited to see our volunteers show their many skills at the park! Some of our volunteers helping to clip our tangled Buckeyes during their dormancy period. (Above)

The accumulation of leaf litter from our volunteer workdays have also ignited our new on-site composting experiment throughout the park. Watch this short video (below) to see how we compact our compost piles onsite! 

Eucalyptus Debris Collection & Acacia Weaving 

Volunteers bagging Eucalyptus litter for fire safety during some of the hot days at Garber Park. (Above)

Some of the Acacia trees are growing alongside the trail, and helping to stabilize the path. With the help of volunteers, we were able to cut them back and weave them into a barrier wall. This will also help us keep the Acacia growth in check and make it easier to remove seed, so we can try and control new seedlings. 

Fireplace Plaza Restoration, Tree Trimming & Path Maintenance 

Thanks to our volunteers we worked on preparing and beautifying Fireplace Plaza for future renovation. This included uncovering the Fireplace by removing dirt and debris that was encroaching on it (lower right), restoration tree trimming to open up the space a bit and help the trees (upper right), clearing of debris from the area and mulching of the paths to help make them less slippery (upper and lower left). Thanks to our devoted stewards, we were also able to collect some rocks for the restoration of our Fireplace Plaza, which thanks to CCC, will be restored in honor of all the hard work Shelagh and Garber Park Stewards have made towards Garber Park's restoration! 

Creek to Bay Month 

Creek to Bay Month also brought many wonderful volunteers full of excitement and willing to spend their time outdoors pulling English Ivy, removing eucalyptus litter and opening some areas for native plants to grow! We had a great time working towards making Garber as fire safe as possible, which was especially important during the red flag season we had. Many efforts were put in to remove much of the duff under the larger Eucalyptus trees, and near the homes surrounding the park, so much that we were able to fill an entire bin, as can be seen (above right)!

We were also able to work on upkeeping the paths throughout Garber (above left). This involved replacing steps with new pieces, adding new steps to allow for a better walking experience, and clearing debris to make it less slippery. We worked on improving paths from the Claremont Avenue Entrance to Fireplace Plaza, the switchbacks on the upper Loop Trail, and did more general maintenance on the rest of them. We plant to continue this trend in 2022 and if you're interested in this, come join us on our volunteer days!

We still have lots of work to get done and we are grateful to our many volunteers these past months who have been helping us with various weeding projects for fire safety, gathering stones for our fireplace restoration, and our newest experiential compost project onsite. Come join us on our next volunteer day January 08, 2022 to learn more about our amazing park!

Sunday, August 8, 2021

VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS IN DECEMBER 

SATURDAYS, DECEMBER 4 & 18

TIME:  9:00AM - NOON

HELP CLEAR INVASIVE WEEDS AND CONTINUE TRAIL MAINTENANCE TASKS (WEEDING, RAKING, MULCHING, REPAIRING BRIDGES AND STEPS) FOR FIRE SAFETY.  


Thanks, everyone, for your continued support and help in Garber. We look forward to in September.  If you are not on our email list for announcements and would like to be notified for workdays and special events workdays contact Shelagh or Wyllie at gpstewards@gmail.com.  

Below are some of the projects in Garber. We have been working on these projects throughout the Summer and will be working through the Fall to make Garber as Fire Safe as possible, and the trails safe and enjoyable for your walking pleasure. 
  • Several Restoration Sites: Harwood Creek, Fern Glade, and  Evergreen Lane Hillside need much TLC in removing invasive weeds to enable the natives to grow and be ready for planting this coming Winter after the rains return. Harwood Creek and Fern Glade are beautiful sites in Garber and good flat areas to work. 
What to weara mask, long sleeves, long pants, and good shoes or boots for trail (no open toes).  

What to Bringgloves, a water bottle, snacks, You can use our tools if you don't have them. 

Where to meet:  Evergreen Lane Entrance to Garber Park. Directions: From Ashby Ave take Alvarado Rd to Slater Lane, Slater Lane to Evergreen Lane, turn Right onto Evergreen Lane. Garber Park is at the end of the street. You can park on the side of the street but please do not park in any driveway or individuals parking pad.  For those who don't mind a short, but steep walk up the hill you can park at the Claremont Ave parking lot and walk up the trail. A map and directions to both entrances can be found at garberparkstewards.org.

Everyone welcome. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have a WAIVER signed by their parent or a responsible adult.

Monday, May 3, 2021

An Awesome Earth Month in Garber

                            The Earth Day Volunteers - all masked up and ready to work!


Walking in Garber just became easier - and safer- thanks to the many volunteers who came to Garber for Earth Month - both the small groups who came on 3 consecutive week-ends pulling weeds and gathering them into piles to haul down to the bin provided by the City of Oakland on Earth day as well as the awesome group of 15 who showed up on Earth Day.  We split into 3 groups:  the Trail Group who repaired and replaced steps on the switchbacks near Evergreen Lane,  the crew who loaded the bin, and those who continued the important task of weeding the invasives for fire safety.   By the end of the day Saturday the bin was almost full!  Our April Clean-Up Spree Volunteers logged 117 hours!  Thanks to everyone - we couldn’t do it without you!  
 

We look forward to seeing you soon in Garber.   




Friday, January 31, 2020

Our First Ten Years in Garber - A Fun Celebration



Saturday, January 18:
It was a special day for the Garber Park Stewards to Celebrate 10 years of restoration in Garber.  And, who better to lead us on this walk than Lech Namovich, Golden Hour Restoration, who has been leading workshops and guiding our restoration activities for the past 10 years!  And who better to discuss the successes, the failures (yes, there were a few), and where we should go from here on our next 10 year journey.   It was a fun journey for all who came to see and hear about how our restoration projects have transformed the park to a beautiful native oak   woodland park for all to enjoy!  We all agreed it was a        great day to leave our gloves at home, learn about the evolution of our restoration sites, enjoying the stories, and discussing the future.  A fun day for all.

Sunday, January 19First Workday of 2020
Energized by yesterday’s walk through the park, many of us returned for a work day, beginning our next 10 years restoration.   Today’s effort - beginning with clearing the debris at the Claremont Ave Entrance and the trail to Fern Glade.  Removing invasive weeds is at the core of our work, and Winter is “easy pulling” time.  We concentrated in removing the invasives in Fern Glade so the abundant ferns, trilliums, and other natives can thrive.  





Friday, January 24: Claremont Hotel Employees Volunteer in Garber! 
The Claremont Hotel and Resort has a long history of supporting the Garber Park Stewards restoration efforts in Garber Park.  In 2015 we received a grant from the Sustainability Committee to develop a Self-Guided Nature Trail, and since that time employees from the hotel volunteer in Garber and clean the Evergreen Lane Path Stairway leading into the park several times a year. Today they pulled enough ivy from Fern Glade and the Evergreen Lane stairs to fill a pick-up!   


THANKS TO EVERYONE!  We couldn’t do it without you.   

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Help Celebrate GPS Ten Years in Garber


             Winter Restoration Workshops in Garber Park in 2020
                                        (near the Claremont Hotel in Claremont Canyon)
The Garber Park Stewards are pleased to be partnering with the Claremont Canyon Conservancy to once again offer a Restoration Planting Series throughout the winter season to Celebrate the Stewards 10 years in Garber. Lech Naumovich, botanist and Executive Director of Golden Hour Restoration Institute, will lead the workshops, which will highlight our successes, challenges, and the future for our ongoing restoration efforts in Garber Park.  We invite you to join us.

Saturday, January 18. Celebration of the Garber Park Stewards 10 Years in Garber. Come hike and explore Garber Park, a 13-acre oak woodland in Claremont Canyon and help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Garber Park Stewards, whose on-going restoration efforts have helped transform this park at the edge of the wildland-urban interface.  Led by Lech Naumovich from Golden Hour Restoration Institute, we’ll discuss successes and challenges of this long running restoration project, delving into invasive species control, fuels management, trail improvement, and more.   

Saturday, February 15.  Invasives:  Best Management Practices for Your Worst Problems.  Join the Garber Park Stewards and Golden Hour Restoration Institute for a hands-on workshop on invasive species control.  Learn about best management practices recommended by the California Invasive Plant Council for invasive species such as cape ivy and French broom.  This workshop will be a chance for you to learn and practice invasive species removal with experts and experienced volunteers at a restored oak woodland in the Oakland Hills. 

Saturday, March 21.  Fascinating Fascines and Creek Restoration.  Learn about hillside erosion control and restoration in this hands-on workshop with the Garber Park Stewards and Golden Hour Restoration Institute.  We will cover the use of fascines and on-site vegetation to stabilize steep slopes in restoration sites.  You will have the opportunity to help install fascines alongside restoration experts and volunteers in Garber Park.

Time:  all workshops are from 9:30AM-12:30PM.  Come early, 9:15,  to enjoy coffee, snacks and meet fellow workshop participants.  All skill levels welcome.  Come to one workshop or come to all.

 Meet at the Claremont Ave. entrance to Garber Park, .4 miles up Claremont Ave from the intersection of Ashby Ave/Claremont Ave.  For a map and directions visit garberparkstewards.org.



Monday, October 21, 2019

A Beautiful Fall Day

Taking a break from weeding.
It was a beautiful Fall day for our October Workday.   Meeting at the Claremont Ave entrance we focussed on cleaning up the trash in the parking lot and clearing out the ditch which was covered in leaves.  Once the entrance was cleared we spread out across the park - to attack the Cape Ivy,  clear German Ivy from around the ferns in Fern Glade, and to weed and clear the trail around Fireplace Plaza and the Evergreen Lane Entrance.  A fun time and sense of satisfaction at helping to make Garber more fire safe as well as more enjoyable on your next visit to Garber.

Our next volunteer workday is Saturday, November 16, from 10am-Noon.  We will continue weeding and improving trails to restore the native Oak Woodland Habitat of Garber Park.  We hope you can join us.



Sunday, September 22, 2019

Creek to Bay Day-A beautiful, fun and productive day


It was a beautiful day – warm and sunny.  Garber saw 14 volunteers perform many needed tasks and large projects.  One group worked on the Evergreen Hillside pulling Erhardta and other invasive weeds, another group worked in Fern Glade and along Claremont Ave Trail, and Mark continued his amazing work on the Cape Ivy removal.   Two more groups worked at the Claremont Entrance clearing a huge swath of ivy using the Bradley Method (pulling and cutting and rolling the ivy down the hill).  It took 4 strong volunteers to haul the huge roll of ivy into the bin for final removal.  On your next trip to Garber you will notice a nice “bridge” across the newly cleared drainage ditch at the parking lot, one of many improvements we’re making to the Claremont Ave Entrance for safety for pedestrians as well as cars.  And, then there was the one woman raking crew who managed to rake leaves and loose dirt off the trail from the Evergreen Lane Entrance all the way down to the Claremont Entrance.  THANK YOU to all of you plus a big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who helped organize these projects.  And THANKS to Oakland for sponsoring and supporting this event.  Garber Statistics:  14 volunteers (many who stayed till 1:30pm), for 55 volunteer hours, and over 300 pounds of waste!!  
(estimated to weigh approx. 300 lbs)


Please join us on Saturday, October 19, from 10am-Noon for our 3rd Saturday workday.  We have more trail projects and weeding projects to get the park ready for the Winter and planting time!