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 19, 2012

A FUN Day of Planting Natives

Volunteers logged over 75 hours weeding, hauling dirt,
and planting natives during our three day Restoration
Planting Event!
What a fun day!  Lech makes digging in the dirt so much fun!  These are typical comments I've been receiving from the twenty volunteers who helped make our three-day planting event  in Garber an overwhelming success.  "Perfect," said many volunteers.

And a great day it was!  Although the weather was cloudy, there was no rain, which was perfect.  Storms had loosened the soil and made it easy to dig the 200 holes in the ground, which was critical since we were on a steep slope.
Barbara removing invasive
Pigweed from last year's planting.

The weather held until the very end.  As we were walking up the stairs for the last time - a very light mist began.  This was also perfect as the new seedlings received two days of rain to nourish them and aide them in adaptation to their new surroundings.

Safety was our primary concern as we prepared the steep slope for
planting day.  We dug out steps and secured logs across the hillside to act as water barriers and planting platforms.  At the end of the two days of really tough work we surveyed the hillside with satisfaction that the slope was safe.

Bob and Lech securing the logs. 

Everyone climbed the hill with enthusiasm, found their space, and
had a fun morning planting. While most dug holes and planted seedlings, others accomplished the long overdue weeding in last year's planting beds, and still others raked leaves into bags, which were used as the final mulch layer.

We have so many people to thank for our successful restoration efforts over the past three years.  Many, many thanks to the enthusiastic turn-out from the neighborhood and beyond who have volunteered hundreds of hours eradicating invasive weeds, and then joining with us in restoring the unique and valuable native oak woodland habitat. We couldn't have done it without you.

Looking at the fireplace from the trail at the Evergreen
Lane Entrance
Many, many thanks to Lech Naumovich, Executive Director of Golden Hour Restoration Institute, our valued advisor in all our Restoration plantings.  Under his guidance we once again planted over 200 native grasses and shrubs on the Evergreen Lane Hillside, completing our re-vegetation efforts on this steep hillside from above the entrance trail all the way down the hillside to Fireplace Plaza.

Also, many thanks to the City of Oakland for their approval and support, and to Claremont Canyon Conservancy for both their financial support and volunteers.

It's hard to believe that three years ago the Garber Park Stewards first began restoration of the Evergreen Lane entrance by removing a small section of Cape ivy that blanketed the slope.  Throughout the following year volunteers logged over 150 hours hauling debris and removing invasives.  By December the hillside had been transformed into the palette for which the first restoration plan was developed by Lech.  Five beds were created and planted with a variety of native plants and grasses that grow naturally in other parts of Garber Park.  Last year we expanded the successful restoration planting further down the hillside.  We expect this year's groupings of shrubs and grasses, chosen for their ability for soil retention and to prevent erosion, to thrive as well.

Clyde, one of the East Bay's
premier broom bashers, traded his
weed wrench for a trowel.
The Garber Park Stewards will be taking a break for the Holidays. We hope you will find a time to come to Garber to experience the beauty and quiet of this beautiful City of Oakland Open Space wildland park.

Restoration activities will resume in Garber on on Saturday, January 19, from 10AM-Noon.  Lech will guide us in a 
Passive Restoration Workshop and Planting event near Harwood Creek (Restoration Site 2) where the City of Oakland has invested Measure DD funding.  In contrast to our planting at the Evergreen Lane entrance hillside all materials for Restoration Site 2 will originate from onsite.  Come learn about in situ propogation techniques for a number of native plants.  We hope you can join us for another  day of restoration in Garber Park.

To see more pictures of our three-day Restoration Planting event click here.