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FoTC Newsletter
April 2001

FoTC Quarterly Meeting: Wednesday, April 25, 7 p.m. Temescal Library

Come to Temescal Library community room, downstairs, door in back, 5205 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.


Attend Oakland's Environmental Expo

Wednesday, April 18, 11:30am -1:30pm In front of City Hall, 14th St. and Broadway.
A Free Earth Day Environmental Forum showcasing local organizations (like FoTC!), businesses, and agencies (also Merritt College Environmental Studies Program.) Come visit at lunch. Volunteers needed to person the booth. Call 655-0341, or email: FoTemescal@aol.com.


Mark your calendar...

...for the following quarterly meetings: July 25, October 24, and January 23, 7 pm. also at the library.


A Special Thanks to Our Volunteers

Eliza Barclay: Project profiles, Pat Nagle & Sharon Joyer
Newsletter production: Susan Dembowski
Paul McGee: Vicente Canyon news
Margie Bowman: Thornhill reach rep. to Steering Committee, Vicente Canyon Neighborhood Assn.


Collaboration on Steering Committee

Creating a Steering Committee for FoTC
Call 655-0341 or email FoTemescal@aol.com
FoTC needs a membership organization structure, to perpetuate FoTC We now have over 400 members, dozens actively contributing, both within the organization, and also in collaboration with the Merritt College Environmental Studies Program. We are working on some 26 projects in the watershed!, Please volunteer to focus on one of the many types of tasks: Collaboration & Grantsmanship, Administration, Publicity, Clean ups and Planting, and Mapping. Your ideas are welcome ! You may volunteer within the context of a Merritt College Environmental Studies course in order to get affordable college credit.


Forming an East Bay Watershed Forum

In an effort to increase the number of watershed plans and amount of protection and restoration, FoTC is collaborating with Merritt College, the Environmental Science Institute (ESI), Alameda County Resource Conservation District, and Oasis to form the East Bay Fire And Watershed Convention funded by the California Department Of Forestry. You are invited to volunteer for this committee. Merritt college credit is possible through related workshops. We also have a paid part-time position for a multi-cultural intern to work on this project.


UPPER REACHES HAPPENINGS

NEWS FROM VICENTE CANYON
by Susan Dembowski & Paul McGee

Vicente Canyon, accessed by Vicente Rd. and Alvarado Rd. above Tunnel Rd. (Rte. 13), still retains much open land, open creek and many native plants. The canyon and Vicente Creek are increasingly threatened by new housing development. In March, a group of neighbors led by Bill McClung of the Vicente Canyon Neighborhood Association, and by Jim McKissock, a naturalist, worked on enhancement and restoration of native vegetation and creation of frog ponds fed by natural springs at Willow Walk, a public pathway on Alvarado Rd just above Bridge Rd. Some members of this group visited several sites on or near Vicente Creek which remain entirely or partly undeveloped, with a view toward organizing neighborhood work parties to eradicate invasive weeds and encourage growth of native plants, thereby reducing fire danger and increas-ing the habitat value and beauty of these sites. Permission from the land-owners is being sought.

Focusing on smaller sites offers immediate results and helps residents define goals for a canyon wide creek and green space preservation plan. A conservation easement is an applicable legal structure which reduces property owners' taxes, while protecting open space in which to maintain and enhance the creek, native vegetation, and wildlife habitat.

Trail Blazers: Lake Temescal to Sibley

A group of neighbors above the Caldecott Tunnel is working with land-owners/developers and the City of Oakland to include existing informal trail system into area development plans. The approach relies on good will, that both open space and a fair return for developers can be achieved by openly discussing the opportunities and constraints to strike a balance. This effort will provide a major link in a future hills-to-bay greenway corridor.

For information contact Steve Renten, ren-ten@pacbell.net.

Claremont Hotel: Possible Landmark Status

Berkeley/Oakland Neighbors of the Claremont, BONC, is currently working on preparing the official Oakland Landmark Application document to submit to the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board, possibly the first week of April. The Board may hear discussion of the Application at their May 14, 2001 meeting. BONC will also be preparing the National Register Landmark List application soon. Neighbors of the Claremont are concerned about expansion plans at the hotel. Harwood Creek, culverted under the site, is the key natural historical feature of the hotel. Landmark designation may provide opportunities to commemorate and recreate the creek as part of hotel improvements.

Email BONC: saveclaremont2001@yahoo.com. See their website: www.saveclaremont.org. Please Ask that Temescal Creek be part of the Landmark consideration for the hotel. Donations are welcome. Please make a check to: "Save the Claremont", and mail c/o J. Lehman, #2 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA 94705


ROCKRIDGE TO TEMESCAL NEIGHBORHOOD REACH HAPPENINGS

Interpretive Plan for the Rockridge-Temescal Greenbelt
A Chain of Creek Info, History, and Natural History

Committee of neighbors is making a plan to integrate the many new park features and the landscaping to tell the local story surrounding the creek. The Greenbelt enhances and opens up public land along Temescal Creek, the neighborhood's only open space. It will add safe access, im-prove vegetation, add play facilities, add artwork, more seating, and inter-pretation. Friends of Park and Rec., FOPR is reviewing the "Prop 12" elements to begin construction drawings for the Rockridge - Temescal Greenbelt project. Contact: Faith Fuller, FOPR, (510) 238-4719.

Completion of the Greenbelt still depends on individual and business gifts, which Friends of the Rockridge Greenbelt (FROGS) is soliciting. Over $32,000 of the $75,000 goal has been raised. Please consider a donation to the Greenbelt. Contact: Bruce Douglas at (510)655-0341. For more info, see the Rockridge News, and website, www.rockridge.org.


Greenbelt Cleanup

Saturday, April 21 (Earth Day), 9am to noon, join your neighbors for a fun day of park care and information about the Greenbelt construction. Meet at the DMV parking lot, nearest corner of Cavour and Redondo streets., one block east of Claremont Ave., 2 blocks north of Telegraph Ave. This is where phase 1 of the Greenbelt project will soon be built, including a pathway, landscaping, water/sand play, and a play structure. Future creek cleanup dates for 2001, Saturdays: July 14, September 15 (Creek to Bay Day). Call Margaret Pinter for info: (510)655-1767.


TNT Community Gateway Project

Next Gateway planning meeting: Saturday, April 28, 2001, 10 am, Temescal Branch Library (downstairs). Update from the March 17 planning meeting: about the former Pussycat Theater site, atop the creek at 51st St. and Telegraph Ave.: A development Idea: Children's Hospital would consider partnering in a child care facility development including open space accessible off hours for community purposes (a site for possible Temescal Creek commemoration?) The Northern California Land Trust, which helps develop affordable home ownership opportunities and helps community-based organizations to "take stewardship" of neighborhoods needing revitalization, could partner with the community to acquire the former theater site. Community design "charette"* Saturday May 5, 9am - 5pm, Carter Middle School, 4521 Webster St. * A workshop to produce four to six quick, fairly detailed alternative, conceptual plans for a development project. Put your two (or more) cents into creating designs for the future development, commemoration and recreation of Temescal Creek at the former theater site and parking lot atop the creek at 51st and Telegraph Ave. No design skills needed, supplies and refreshments will be provided. To register call Joan Marie Wood, 653-4576; e-mail: joanmariew@earthlink.net. Please provide your name, address, e-mail address, and phone. For other info: Steve Costa, 655-4818; e-mail sgcosta@earthlink.net.

Design "charette"* Results Presented: Saturday May 19, 10am - noon, Carter Middle School, 4521 Webster St. Community Art for New Temescal Post Office Public Review meetings: Saturday April 14, 10 - noon, and Thursday, April 19, 7 - 9pm, Temescal Br. Library (downstairs), 5205 Telegraph Ave. Proposed designs will be presented for the PostMark Temescal: A Community Commemoration Site permanent outdoor installation celebrating Temescal's history, culture and ecology, located on the Shattuck Avenue side of the new North Oakland Post Office. Look for the design proposals on public display at the Temescal Branch Library and in a 5000 block of Telegraph store window during the last two weeks of April. To find out more about PostMark Temescal, call: (510)653-7190, email: marksearch@earthlink.com.


EMERYVILLE REACH HAPPENINGS

TEMESCAL CREEK GREENWAY PLAN

The Report For Emeryville Is Available. See and purchase a copy: $ 22 in color or $ 5 for black and white. Report outlines the basic features and contacts for turning Temescal Creek into a vibrant, urban, green corridor. Call (510)655-0341. Earth Day in Temescal Creek Park. Festival: Saturday April 28, Noon - 4pm, In the park mid-block between 47th and 53rd Streets, just west of Adeline St. Come down for fun, food, vendors, artists, community groups and eco-businesses. FoTC needs volunteers to "person" a booth. To Volunteer: 655-0341. For info: call Crystal Savage at Emeryville Recreation Dept. 596-4395.

Intertidal Study

FoTC is a partner with Environmental Science Institute (see above) and Merritt College to produce a guide on how to restore the creek as it enters the bay. Another volunteer opportunity! Call (510) 655-0341 or email: FoTemescal@aol.com.


Merritt College Environmental Program SPRING Semester courses

(Jan-May) You can still register! Call (510) 436-2600, or visit website: http://ecology@atmerritt.net and http://www.peralta.cc.ca.us.

Ecological Design Workshops in the Oakland Hills
Call (510) 848-5713. May/June and September/October. Choose any or all evening or weekend workshops: Introduction: May 8, 7:00 p.m. at the Self Reliant House Environmental Center. Cost: $7.50 to $35. Scholarships available.

Energy Independence: Planning and installing solar electric, water and space heating.

Building for Green and Fire Safe Living
use of green materials to design fire safe buildings and landscape: a hands on workshop.

Local Community Planning: neighborhood control of decisions.

The Magic of Water in Ecological Design

Moisture and rainwater retention on-site. Hands on workshop to design and build a small urban garden rock, pool and drain swale recirculating system.

Sierra Weekend and environmental assessment of an historic ecotourist site; mapping, building materials ecological footprint, and ecological restoration at Berkeley Tuolomne Camp. Food and tent cabin provided.

Intro/Advanced GIS/GPS, Mon. eve. Marshland Restoration, some Thurs. eves, some Sats. & Suns. Environmental Geology, Mon, Weds, Fri. afts, or Weds. eve. Bay Area Field Studies, Thurs. 3/1 and some Suns.

Native Americans and the Bay Area Environment
some Thurs. afts, some Sats. & Suns.

Endangered Species of the Bay Area
some Thurs. eves., Sats. 4/21 & 4/28.


Creek Commemoration: Gateway Commons, San Pablo Ave.

The new owner-occupied live-work affordable housing development at 53rd St. and San Pablo Ave. is complete. Its four structures straddle Temescal Creek, and have creek-commemorating landscaping in the center, per Friends of Temescal Creek' recommendation! There is a cobble paved sidewalk section on San Pablo, marked "Temescal Creek", cobbles and boulders laid out along a creek meander, and murals symbolizing the creeks heritage at the tops of the buildings flanking the creek.


What About The Homeless? An Urban Park Reality

FoTC and Merritt College will interview the homeless park users, and investigate how to address their needs in park and greenway planning. Many friends have expressed interest. Thank you. We will contact you soon, as we proceed. If you are interested in this project call us! (510) 655-0341. (Also part of a Merritt College course, see above.)


Harwood Creek Area Residents In Berkeley Are Invited To Join FoTC

After flowing down Claremont Canyon, Harwood Creek, the northern most tributary of Temescal Creek, runs open past John Muir School and through some wonderful yards in Berkeley's Claremont Ave. and Uplands area. Please come to the meeting and let us know of your interests.


Bicycling watershed monitors

Tunnel road, Skyline and Grizzly Peak Road are very popular recreational cycling routes which roughly circumscribe the watershed. How about a group to watch for and report opportunities for restoration, and emerging problems in the watershed? Email: FoTemescal@aol.com.


Creek Markers for Telegraph Avenue

Jeff Norman and Beth Craven have produced 10 beautiful marker signs about the creek and its history. The 18" by 24" signs tell site specific stories and have images and maps locating the creek. We are working out a chain of prominent display locations atop the buried creek where it crosses Telegraph Avenue. We need volunteers to deliver/pick up printing, and help install the display. Info: 655-0341.


Thank you!

Thank you! If you can, please donate. Two dollars will help cover mailings. Send checks to:

Friends of Temescal Creek
448 48th Street, Oakland, CA 94609
510-655-0341 FoTemescal@aol.com.

Friends of Temescal Creek, has received assistance from the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program, the Strong Foundation, Emeryville, Oakland Public Works-Environmental Service Division, and the California Trails and Greenways Foundation, Merritt College, California Dept. of Forestry, the San Francisco Foundation, and Aquatic Outreach Institute.


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