Five Conservancy volunteers braved the heat and the pandemic and came out to the park this past Saturday to continue the work of green stewardship in the Native Plant Area. New volunteer Alivia Chegia, a native of Oakland who recently replanted herself in Berkeley, along with returning volunteers Nancy Nash and Lee Tempkin, joined Conservancy board member Jutta Burger and Volunteer Coordinator Bob Huttar in clearing invasive Kikuyu grass and other weeds from some of the native plants trying to survive in this challenging environment.
This area of the park, the only wooded expanse in the 90 acres, was planted in the mid-1980s by Design Associates Working with Nature (DAWN), a nonprofit group headed by the legendary local native plant gardener Charli Danielsen, joined by native grass expert David Amme, Cal graduate student Dave Kaplow and others. These 3.5 acres have seen minimal maintenance for decades. The Conservancy has won a UC Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund grant to begin a restoration of the native plant communities here and is waiting for the City of Berkeley’s Parks and Waterfront Department to OK the project. Meanwhile volunteer stewardship extends a loving hand.