(Burrowing Owl Update Below)
This coming Saturday, November 19, is an important day for the Native Plant Area in the southwest quadrant of the park. Thankfully saved from commercial conversion into a zip line and ropes course, this uniquely verdant oasis is due for a big refresher. Thanks to grants from the County of Alameda and from East Bay Community Energy, and with the support of the City of Berkeley, Chavez Park Conservancy volunteers will be planting more than 100 new California native plants there. It’s a big job, and you’re invited to join us. We’ll meet at the parking circle at the end of Spinnaker Way at 9 am. Bring sturdy shoes, long pants, and plenty of dedication. Gloves and tools will be provided. We’ll work until noon.
What we’re doing is to rejuvenate the Native Plant Area and to multiply the treasury of botanical wonders that attract the pollinators on which all of nature, and ultimately all life, depends. The Native Plant Area was established in the early 1980s as a pioneer project; you can read about its celebrated history here. In the decades following, it had minimal maintenance. Since then, a significant fraction of the plants set 35 years ago has aged out, and serious weed invasion has taken place. A hard core of Chavez Park Conservancy volunteers, aided in part by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, has cleared out deadwood and weeds and readied the area for planting.
After the planting day Nov. 19, volunteers will be needed about every two weeks in the absence of rain to get the new plants established. Why not build volunteering for native pollinators into your alternate Saturday morning schedule for the next year or so? You’ll meet great people, get fresh air and exercise, and do a good deed not only for the park, but for all of Planet Earth.
For details about the work, please contact Bob Huttar, Volunteer Coordinator, at 949 307-5918 or email@example.com.
Burrowing Owl Update
This morning, the Burrowing Owl had moved once again, this time back to its alternate perch just below the big fennel bush where its head can be seen from the paved perimeter trail. It’s been shuttling between this and the northernmost perch next to the California Poppy bush where it’s invisible from the trail. Yesterday I was concerned at its unusually subdued behavior. Today the bird was back to normal, standing erect and actively swiveling its head, as well as preening, yawning, and taking quick birdnaps.
On the walk up to the Burrowing Owl Sanctuary, I also saw my first Eared Grebe of the season. Here’s a snapshot. You can see more info about this bird in the park at this link.