As 2011 begins to take shape in Garber Park, we could not resist this brief detour from restoration ecology. Among the riches offered in BAY NATURE'S current tenth anniversary issue--Jan-Mar 2011--you will find the arguably eponymous article, "The Crazy Broom Lady of the Oakland Hills" by the lady herself, Wendy Tokuda introduced by Lech Naumovich' s wonderful portrait.
Among many journeys detailed in the article, Wendy Tokuda has recently undertaken the eradication of French broom from Redwood Park and most recently from Huckleberry Preserve. She recounts with a sense of increasing awareness the distance from the newsroom where we first met her to the recesses of the East Ridge redwood stands and the noisy, irreverant pecking of the pileated woodpecker. Importantly, she has come to understand the wildland side of the interface as "home". As she has removed the broom she has been able to observe the resurgence of the native flora, sometimes very unexpectedly. Wendy's story is altogether inspiring.
Garber Park is fortunate to have few areas that are threatened by French Broom, but those areas need persistent attention so that eradication of this relatively small population can occur. Wendy Tokuda's dedication to the task of broom removal in much larger theaters serves as proof positive that this can be accomplished and also points the way to the personal rewards that may ensue.
She is certainly an outstanding mentor for the Garber Park Stewards.
*WUI - Wildland/Urban Interface
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.