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.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fern Glen Workshop and Restoration - A HUGE SUCCESS!!

Establishing the Fern Glen Restoration Site by freeing the
ferns and other natives of Hedera (ivy). 
Thanks to all the volunteers who braved the frigid weather and helped us establish our 3rd restoration site in Garber – Fern Glen along Sylvan Path.  Warm drinks inside and Lech’s informative talk energized and inspired us to head out in the cold, free the ferns from the ivy, and flag any natives that were in the area.  Garber has surprised us with rich native resources hiding under the invasives that have blanketed Garber.  And, today, Fern Glen was no exception.  We shouted with glee as trilliums, ferns, and even an oak seedling were discovered.  Once the Restoration Site was cleared of Hedera and the natives flagged, we mulched the site. 

 Come to Garber, walk the Sylvan Trail, and peek into our
Wildlife Habitat Pile to see what creatures have made
a home!  
But, restoring an area isn’t only about removing invasives and planting natives – it’s all about establishing a diverse and sustainable habitat for flora and fauna.  So, our last and most fun task was to create a habitat pile for the birds and other animals  from the downed wood in the area.

Lech, sporting a new mustache, begins the
workshop inside in the warmth.  

Workshops with Lech are always hands-on, informative and FUN.  And, we all especially love the time-lapse videos of our hard work.  View a video of our successful Fern Glade Restoration Workshop set to the music of Baby Please Don't go by Big Bill Broonzy.  

Lech always provides us with an informative Hand-out.  Click 
here to view and download a copy of the hand-out.  And, do
join the fun at our next workshop:
               Woodland Slope Restoration
           Saturday, January 18, 10AM-1:00PM.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Passive Restoration Workshop in Garber

Fern Glade Stewardship 
Woodland Understory Restoration 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Garber Park Stewards and Claremont Canyon Conservancy are excited to be partnering with Golden Hour Restoration Institute for several exciting workshops throughout the winter season, beginning with a Fern Glade Stewardship and Woodland Understory Restoration Workshop in Garber Park on Sunday, December 8. There is a large relatively flat spot near Fireplace Plaza along Sylvan Path where the ivy has not yet totally engulfed the native ferns  which will become our new restoration site.

Lech Naumovich, Executive Director of GoldenHour, will be leading the workshop, and will discuss Best Practices for Ivy Removal, including the Bradley Method, which we will then remove from the project site, find and flag any new natives we find in the area, track these through the year, and create a small woodland habitat pile using existing, on-site materials

Location:  Evergreen Lane Entrance to Garber Park (near the Claremont Hotel in Claremont Canyon.  Enjoy coffee, tea, and snacks.  Then be ready to walk along Sylvan Path to our restoration site.

Wear long sleeves, long pants and shoes or boots with good traction as the trails are rugged and the hillsides are steep in Garber. 

Directions:  The nearest address is 144 Evergreen Lane, Berkeley.  From Alvarado Road take Slater Lane, then turn Right onto Evergreen Lane.  The entrance to the park is at the end of the street.  A map and google directions can be found at

Please RSVP to Shelagh or 510-540-1918 as workshop may be limited to reduce impact in this restoration area.

Most exciting of all, Lech said this will be a great workshop for another Time Lapse Video!  Click here to view a video of two days of planting on the hillside at the Evergreen Lane Entrance compressed into 3 minutes and set to the music of Louis Armstrong.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WPAD Clears Claremont Avenue!

Oakland's Wildfire Prevention Assessment District cleared Claremont Avenue today!  We can actually see a shoulder so bicyclists can ride without being pushed into the fast moving traffic,  and a parking turn-out near the old 1920's built trail (that the Garber Park Stewards are restoring) into Garber Park was revealed.

Thank you, Vince Crudele, the newly hired WPAD vegetation management supervisor, for getting this done.  We've never seen such a thorough job on Claremont Ave.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thank you Cal-Berkeley Rotaract Students

On November 2,  the Garber Park Stewards hosted 21 Cal Berkeley students from Rotaract Club.  For two hours these energetic students helped us rid Garber of invasive weeds, and helped us prepare an area for planting.  Thanks to all the students and to the two Bob's for leading this awesome group.

One group prepared a slope just below Fire Place Plaza for
Winter Planting

Pulling ivy along Claremont Ave. 

Removing Himalayan Blackberry re-growth in
Horsetail Meadow.
See Cal Rotaract pictures and read their blog post.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October - a Rewarding Month of Restoration Activities

October was a busy month in Garber, from a fun habitat restoration day, to the sad but expected news that Sudden Oak Death is spreading in Claremont Canyon and other parts of the East Bay, to our onsite visit and planning session with Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute.  The Garber Park Stewards and Golden Hour are once again offering several exciting and informative workshops this Winter season.  Highlights below:

October Saturday Workday.   THANK YOU to all of our wonderful volunteers  - we couldn’t do it without you!  Seventeen volunteers came to contribute to Garber’s restoration, which allowed us to split into several groups.   One group dug up Himalayan Blackberries that were invading the 1st Creek along the Lower Loop Trail. which will allow the thimbleberries and ferns to continue to fill in this beautiful creek area..  Another group focused on the Sylvan Trail, cutting ivy from the trees and around the ferns.  A third group stayed at the Evergreen Lane Restoration area, pulling invasive weeds and cutting back the Bromus, revealing lovely new sprouts under the blanket of leaves.  A most satisfying day. 

On-Site planning with Lech Naumovich, Executive Director of Golden Hour Restoration Institute.  We always look forward to our quarterly planning sessions with Lech where we assess the status of Garber, monitor our restoration sites, and plan future stewardship priorities and workshops.  This year,  because of the lack of rain – it has been the driest year (January-October) on record - Garber does look parched.  So, we were pleasantly surprised to find that most of our seedlings, buried under a blanket of leaves, appeared to be alive and well,  waiting for the rains before springing back to life.  It will be very interesting to see what the return of the rains produces at our restoration sites. 

Citizen Science Workshops.  The Garber Park Stewards are excited to be partnering with Golden Hour for several exciting workshops throughout the winter season, beginning with a Woodland Understory Restoration on Sunday, December 8.  Below Fireplace Plaza we have found a large flat area where the ivy has not yet totally blanketed and engulfed the area.  Lech will discuss best practices and keys for ivy removal which we will then remove from the project site, find and flag any new natives we find in the area, and, if the soil is wet, create a small woodland habitat using existing nearby materials.  And, most exciting of all, Lech said this will be a great workshop for another TimeLapse Video!    

Help Golden Hour become a top-rated non-profit  by spending just 2-3 minutes filling out a review at by the end of October so that Golden Hour can become a “top rated” program.   Most of you know that Lech Naumovich, restoration ecologist and Executive Director of Golden Hour Restoration Institute has been The Garber Park Stewards most valued advisor for the past four years.  Many of you have participated in the informative, educational and FUN workshops that Lech has conducted in Garber.    Golden Hour’s dedication to restoring and protecting the environment is unsurpassed.  Help spread the word about this amazing organization!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Habitat Restoration Workday, Saturday, Oct. 10, 10AM-Noon

Creek to Bay Day Before the Rain.  Over 20 volunteers made
this year's CTBD an overwhelming success.  In spite of the
rain this hardy group dug and chopped the fire prone
invasives for two hours before the "buckets of rain" forced them
to quit.  THANKS TO ALL!!

 Saturday, October 19, 10AM-Noon

 Please join us for our monthly Saturday workday as we continue to pull the invasive weeds (Himalayan blackberry, Cape ivy, erhardta grass) from our Restoration sites in preparation for winter planting.

We will also continue restoring the trail from Fireplace Plaza to Claremont Ave. We’re making great progress, but there’s still much more work to be done before the trail is usable.

Meet at the Evergreen Lane Entrance to Garber Park.  Directions:  From Ashby take Alvarado Rd to Slater Lane, turn Right onto Evergreen Ln.  The entrance is at the end of the street.  

For all workdays in Garber
Wear long sleeves and pants, and shoes with good tread. 
Drinks, snacks, tools and gloves are provided, but do bring your own gloves and water bottle if you have them. 

For more information contact Shelagh

**Our twice-a-month Habitat Restoration Workdays - the 1st Tuesday and the 3rd Saturday of the month - will resume in November.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


THURSDAY, OCT. 3, 7-8:30pm
Dr. Matteo Garbellotto will discuss results of the April SOD Blitzes, present the first analyses on five years of surveys, and introduce several new APPS (SODMAP mobile for iPhone and for Android) to fully take advantage of the BLITZES data.

For more information go to www.matteolab.org
In addition, Dr. Garbellotto will be conducting Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Treatment Workshops throughout the Bay Area in October and November.  Learn how to identify SOD affected trees, how and when to inoculate trees, and how to become a “citizen scientist” with the SOD identification and prevention effort.

East Bay Treatment Workshops: 
10/20 Sun 10am Tilden Regional Park - Spillway picnic area (near Lake Anza). Amelia Marshall -
10/23 Wed 1pm UC Berkeley - UC Berkeley Campus, SOD Treatment Training
11/24 Sun 1pm Oakland - Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA Kimra McAfee - 

For further information on these meetings and a complete list of workshops throughout the BayArea
                                SUDDEN OAK DEATH IN GARBER PARK
The Garber Park Stewards have participated in the Sudden Oak Death Blitz for the past three years.  Unfortunately, results from the blitzes have confirmed SOD in several of the Coast Live Oaks in Garber.  In April, 2011, Lech Naumovich, botanist and Executive Director of Golden Hour Restoration Institute (golden conducted a workshop on SOD in Garber.  Read more and download a copy of his informative hand-out

For more information on Sudden Oak Death in Garber Park and ways you can help prevent the spread of SOD in Claremont Canyon contact Shelagh at

Monday, September 2, 2013

                                 CREEK TO BAY DAY in GARBER PARK
                                SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
                        AT 9AM.  WE WILL WORK TILL NOON.

Please join us for our  4th year in participating in the City of Oakland’s Creek to Bay Day.  We will be working along Harwood Creek, pulling invasive weeds that keep wanting to invade this lovely Restoration Site.  The natives are making a tremendous recovery but we need to clear the invasives so we can continue our winter planting later this year.  And for those of you interested in our Trail Project, we will be cutting back ivy out of the trees and along the old trail from Fireplace Plaza to Claremont Ave., and cutting steps in the steepest slopes as we continue the work to make this pathway safe.  

Four years ago the Harwood Creek Restoration Area was covered in Himalayan blackberries and Cape ivy.  Today, the natives are now dominating and include willow, snowberry, thimbleberry, and  milkweed (an important bee pollinator). 

Meet at the Evergreen Lane entrance at 9AM for drinks and snacks before we walk to Harwood Creek to admire the restoration progress and begin our work.
We'll work till Noon.

Wear long sleeves and pants, and shoes with good tread.  Tools, gloves, drinks, and snacks are provided, but do bring your own gloves and water bottle if you have them.

For more information, a map and directions go to or contact Bob Strayer