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FoTC Newsletter
January 10, 2001

FoTC Quarterly Meeting

FoTC Quarterly Meeting: Wednesday, January 24, 7pm, Temescal Library
Come to Temescal Library community room, downstairs, door in back, 5205 Telegraph Ave., Oakland Mark your calendar for the following quarterly meetings: April 25, July 25, and October 24, 7 pm. also at the library.

Vicente Canyon Creek Planning Possibilities

A special discussion with the North Hills Phoenix Association, Vicente Canyon Neighborhood Association, the Vicente Canyon Hillside Foundation and Jill Butler from the California Department of Forestry (CDF). We will focus on setting community goals fitting within a long range general Temescal watershed vision. What are your values for Vicente Canyon open space: views, paths, wildlife habitat, fire safety, security, bank stability? Possible community actions are: forming a planning committee, creating a state registered land management plan through the CDF, and helping land owners protect open space through conservation easements. For example; a combination of conservation values with pre-fire vegetation management can combine fire hazard reduction with stream restoration to gather more interest and support than fire management would alone. Merritt college will host workshops in related topics.

North Hills Phoenix Association meeting

North Hills Phoenix Association meeting Jan 18, 7:30pm, Highlands Country Club,110 Hiller Dr., Oakland. Hosted by council member Jane Brunner. Officer elections, then a presentation about resources for creek protection by Leslie Estes, of City of Oakland, Office of Public Works, Environmental Service Division and Carole Schemmerling of Urban Creeks Council. See Website www.nhphoenix.org.

Forming an East Bay Watershed Council

Over the years, there have been a number of groups which have been working on some or all of our East Bay creeks. FoTC, as a partner with the Environmental Science Institute (ESI), Alameda County Resource Conservation District, Merritt College, and Oasis In The East Bay Fire And Watershed Convention funded by the California Department Of Forestry to help connect with other watershed groups to brainstorm possible collaborative efforts. You are invited to volunteer for this committee. Merritt college credit is possible through related workshops (see course schedule on back). We also have a paid part time position for a multi-cultural intern to work on this project.

Creating a structure for 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! All This activity necessitates a membership organization structure, with people focusing on the many types of tasks:

Collaboration & Grantsmanship: Interviewing; getting schools and community groups involved with both Temescal projects as well as east bay watershed council brainstorming. Planning new projects and their funding.
Administration: Recruiting and supporting other volunteers, steering committee, maintaining membership database, newsletter production, working with webmaster on website maintenance.
Publicity: Distributing newsletters, arranging for, and posting creek signs.
Clean ups and Planting: Planning , publicizing, and participating in cleanup and planting in "Temescal Canyon", in and above the North Oakland Sports fields, in Vicente Canyon, and in the Emeryville intertidal reach of the creek. Leading or participating in hikes, boating the creek mouth, and on the ground workshops for fire and ecosystem vegetation management.
Mapping: creating a database of projects.
Other: your ideas are welcome You may volunteer within the context of a Merritt College Environmental Studies course in order to get affordable college credit.


Trail Blazers: Lake Temescal to Sibley: A group of upper watershed homeowners is working with landown-ers/developers and the City of Oakland to include existing informal trail system into area development plans, and swapping land to assure quality open space and accommodate development. This effort dovetails with North Hills Landscape Committee vegetation management efforts at North Oakland Sports Field. Together these efforts can provide a major link in a future hills-to-bay greenway corridor. For info contact Steve Renten, renten@pacbell.net.
Skyline Estates mitigation project: You may have seen the scarred hillside and creek bed below Skyline Drive and immediately above the Caldecott Tunnel. The City of Oakland, Department of Water Resources, and a consultant to the developer are urging the developer, Ed Latin, to fund a restoration and planting project at North Oakland Sports Field as mitigation, in addition to restoring the creek bed in the new development. The developer impacted 300 feet of creek channel and surrounding hillsides with unapproved grading and road building beginning 2 summers ago.
Claremont Hotel: Possible Landmark DesignationBerkeley/Oakland Neighbors of the Claremont (BONC), the Oakland Landmark Advisory Board to the Planning Department, and the hotel owners are moving forward with an application for landmark status for the hotel and site. 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. To help with the Landmark designation research call: Wendy Markel (510)644-1060, markel2811@aol.com.
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 recrea-tional 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.


Rockridge-Temescal Greenbelt Is Funded Greenway Corridor between Telegraph & College Community meeting on January 22, 7pm Peralta School, 460 63rd St. (enter playground on Alcatraz, a bit above Telegraph). Design choices and priorities for the Greenbelt. Sponsored and led by Jane Brunner. Decisions need to be made by the community.

City Council has approved $450,000 of Prop 12 funds for phase II (to fulfill the master plan)of the Greenbelt project. 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 in-terpretive information about the creek and history. Completion 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. To be on the mailing list, please contact Janet Hansen at (510)238-4719.
Greenbelt Cleanup Saturday, January 20, 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 Sts., 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: Jan 20, April 21 (Earth Day), July 14, September 15 (Creek to Bay Day). Call Margaret Pinter for info: (510)655-1767.
TNT Community Gateway ProjectCommunity meeting on Thursday, January 11, 7:30pm Faith Presbyterian Church, Webster and 49th St. In late November, a group of Temescal and Rockridge neighbors met with Council member Jane Brunner and staff from a number of city departments to explore some possible scenarios for the site, including some short-range, temporary "green space" uses and the possibility of the city acquiring the property for an eventual community use. Money seemed to be the biggest hurdle to the city's playing a role. Meanwhile, the southern California-based owners of the vacant lot, understanding that the property is heavily encumbered by the liens placed on it by the city, has no plans to develop or sell the site. Members of the Gateway Project committee are now looking further at possible options. Come to the community meeting for a detailed report on these options. Info: (510)547-4104.
Creek Markers for Telegraph Avenue Jeff Norman and Beth Craven have produced 10 beautiful marker signs about the creek and its history. The design builds on the aesthetic of the successful Temescal Neighborhood History Project, and uses designs created by local youth. We are working out a prominent display location atop the buried creek at Telegraph Avenue. We need volunteers to deliver/pick up printing, and help install the display. Info: 655-0341.
Community Art for New Temescal Post Office Public meeting on Thurs., March 15, 7pm and Sat., March 24, 10am, Temescal Branch Library (downstairs), 5205 Telegraph Ave. A core committee of neighbors is starting a process to find participants, fund, create, and install community inclusive art at the new post office next to Genova's. The core team has identified some key aspects of the site, one of which is Temescal Creek which flowed right through the site, which will be commemorated in the piece. Neighbors, artists, merchants, students and workers from north Oakland are invited to attend one of the two meetings to learn more about the project, contribute your ideas and explore ways you might help to build what we hope will be a meaningful gathering spot and urban place to get in touch with the watershed. Info: (510)653-7190, email: marksearch@earthlink.


TEMESCAL CREEK GREENWAY PLAN: The Report For Emeryville Is Available. See and purchase a copy: $ 22 in color or $ 5 for black and white. Re-port outlines the basic features and contacts for turning Temescal Creek into a vibrant, urban, green corridor. Call (510)655-0341.
What About The Homeless? An Urban Park Reality FoTC and Merritt College will interview the homeless park users, and in-vestigate 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.
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 4 structures straddle Te-mescal Creek, and have creek-commemorating landscaping in the cen-ter, 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.
Orient & Western Office Bldg., Shellmound St. Public hearing Thursday, Jan 25, 7pm Emeryville council chamber 2449 Powell St. 2nd Floor. Come and help impress city council and the developer of the creek's im-portance and the opportunity to enhance the creek at the site as outlined in the Temescal Creek Corridor in Emeryville, Design Guidelines.
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: /www.ecology@atmerritt.netand: www.peralta.cc.ca.us, Ecological Design, Installation and Maintenance, Call (510) 848-5713, some Sats.(workshops mentioned above) and Sun. 6/10. 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.


Thank you! If you can, please donate. Even $2 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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