Creek to Bay Day 2014: Lively and Ambitious Volunteers Spiff Up Temescal Creek and Greenbelt

Friday, October 3, 2014

Eighty-five volunteers wielding rakes, brooms, pick-up sticks, shovels, hoes, trowels, McLeod tools (useful for removing slough and berm from a trail and tamping or compacting tread), and plenty of muscle and enthusiasm spent three hours the morning of September 20 making the creek portion of the Rockridge Temescal Greenbelt a cleaner, prettier place.

Kids were especially active participants, including students from Chabot School's fifth-grade science classes, fifth- to eighth-graders from SquashDrive*, the Cub Scouts, and a number of children who came to volunteer with their parents.

Altogether, the group picked up 12 bags of trash, filled 80 brown paper leaf bags, and generated close to 10 cubic yards of prunings. What a crew!

Come take a walk along the Greenbelt path, and admire everyone's handiwork. You will notice some plants have been cut back and others have had dead branches removed. The root-clogged creek section by the big willow near the DMV building is clear again. Virtually all litter and many invasive grasses have been removed.

Participants found a total of 702 cigarette butts (counted by the Chabot students), an abandoned and broken shovel, exercise equipment someone left behind, and lots of paper food packaging and plastics. Now disposed of properly, this material won't be polluting the Bay or clogging our little creekbed.

Thank you to site captains Lee Patterson and Margaret Pinter; to Alem's Cafe (across the street from the DMV) for excellent coffee; to Eddie's Liquors on College Avenue for ice; to Michael Perlmutter, city of Oakland Environmental Stewardship Supervisor, Brazile Clark, Daniela Milian-Cavanecia and the landscape maintenance crews, all from the city; and to the 85 friends and neighbors who made Creek to Bay Day 2014 an amazing amount of fun and a great success.

* Ed Note: SquashDrive promotes academic, athletic, and personal growth through a program of squash instruction, individual academic support/tutoring, health and fitness instruction, and community service. More information via