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.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Planting Workshop Series off to a Great Start!

The first planting one year later.
Click here for more pictures of this
exciting time.
Our first workday, Dec, 2009. We
attacked the Evergreen Lane
Hillside removing a small
patch of Cape Ivy.

Today’s workshop and planting event was a special day for the Garber Park Stewards – December marks the 5th year anniversary of the Garber Park Stewards, the 5th year that Lech Naumovich, Golden Hour Restoration Institute has guided us in our restoration planting, and the 5th year Garber Park’s Winter Workshops have been sponsored by Claremont Canyon Conservancy.

December, 2011 Planting.
Expanding upon last year's flourishing
beds.  More pictures
Dec, 2012. Planting all the way to
 Fireplace Plaza.
  See Lech's video of this three day planting event.
Five years ago in December, we 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. One year later the hillside had been cleared and we had our first planting event, conducted by Lech. It was a huge success - and our first Restoration Site, and our partnership with Golden Hour was formed.  

Prepping below Fireplace Plaza in
2013. But there was
no planting due to severe drought
Wrap-up at the end of todays fun
morning of planting.
See more pictures of this 5 year celebration
Today’s workshop began with a lively and information packed discussion about the components of a healthy forest, the many threats to our oak-bay-maple woodland forest, and the possible solutions to keeping the forest healthy.  

Dividing the grasses before planting
The most important factor for forest health, both overstory and understory is a mixed, age, multispecies woodland, which has the highest botanical diversity.  The most critical factor influencing forest health today in the wildland/urban interface is disease, particularly Phytophthora. It is also important to know that by understanding the issues and taking appropriate precautions you can successfully work to restore and protect our natural environment.  (Read more in Lech's Hand-out from today's workshop).

By dividing the grasses we created
more plugs for the hillside
We also took the opportunity to look back at the last four years of restoration on the Evergreen Hillside – learning what was successful and the implications for today’s plantings.  Three grasses were chosen – Elymus glaucus (blue wild rye), Agrostispallens (bent grass), and and Festuca californica (California fescue) for their success on the Evergreen Hillside as well as their resistance to the Phytophthera virus.  

Team Work. Click here for more
pictures of this fun morning.
And then it was on to getting those 200 plants in the ground–actually, after dividing them we counted over 300 plants that will be waiting happily in the soft, wet soil for our next expected rain this coming week.    This year we had an additional pleasure of digging up some of our very successful – large plantings of Juncus Patens (California Grey Rush) dividing them, and planting them in our always expanding restoration site.   

Thanks, Lech, for another informative and exciting restoration experience.  And special thanks to all of our volunteers  and Claremont Canyon Conservancy for supporting restoration in Garber - we couldn’t do it without you.   

The GPS are taking a break for the Holidays, but January, 2015 will be a busy month in Garber.  Please join us for our Habitat Restoration Workdays, Tuesday, January 6 and Saturday, January 17.  We will return to pulling out the invasive weeds that are popping up in our restoration sites.  It's also the time to do some trail maintenance - shoring up the trails and improving drainage.  On Saturday, January 24, Lech will be leading Winter Restoration Workshop on Passive Restoration along the riparian corridor of Harwood Creek.  Click here to download a flyer of the Workshop Series.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS and we hope to see you in
Garber in January.