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!