Weeding with the Coast Guard

Prionyx wasp nectaring on Pacific Aster (Symphyotrichum chilense)  in the Native Plant Area

This Saturday Aug. 27 all Chavez Park lovers will have a unique opportunity to go weeding with the Coast Guard. That’s right, volunteers from the Coast Guard Auxiliary will be ashore and join park volunteers in a stewardship morning in the Native Plant Area on the southwest side of the park. Meet at 9 am at the parking circle at the west end of Spinnaker Way. For details, contact Bob Huttar, Chavez Park Conservancy Volunteer Coordinator. All Chavez Park lovers are welcome and invited to join in.

Now that the shadow of BMASP has been lifted, plans for establishment of a Pollinator Garden in the Native Plant Area are going forward full steam. Actual planting can’t be done until the rainy season come November, but the Conservancy has just signed contracts with Civicorps for labor and with the Watershed Nursery for native plants.

Civicorps is an Oakland-based nonprofit that provides job training and education for young people in conservation and recycling. Planting a Pollinator Garden is squarely within the mission scope of the organization.

The plant order to Watershed is all in scientific names: Arctostaphylos densiflora, Frangula californica, Artemisia californica, Salvia leucophylla, Ceanothus thrysiflorus, Eriogonum fasciculatum, Eriogonum arborescens, Eriogonum latifolium, Phacelia californica, Achillea millefolium, Grindelia stricta var. angustifolia, Scrophularia californica, Epilobium canum, Stipa pulchra, and Quercus agrifolia.

Translation: Vine Hill Manzanita, Coffeeberry, California Sagebrush, Purple Sage, Creeping Blueblossom, California Buckwheat, Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat, Coast Buckwheat, Rock Phacelia, Yarrow, Marsh Gumplant, California Bee Plant, California Fuchsia, Purple Needlegrass, and Coast Live Oak.

In addition, six Torrey Pines (Pinus torreyana) will be supplied by the city’s Parks department, according to Jacob Several, landscape maintenance superintendent.

Funding for the Pollinator Garden comes via grants to the Conservancy from the County of Alameda via its Fish and Game Commission, and from the East Bay Community Energy foundation.

Bob Huttar and Jutta Burger, both members of the Board of Directors of the Chavez Park Conservancy, are leading and overseeing the Pollinator Garden project.

Regarding this Saturday’s outing, Bob Huttar writes:

The Coasties will primarily be doing the heavy work of removing dead standing small trees and shrubs. The other tasks that need doing are removing dried mustard, radish and assorted other annual weeds threatening the native plants. We don’t need to water our plants because last week Clyde helped me do this using the hoses the Conservancy recently acquired.

We will be out there 9:00-12:00 meeting at the parking circle at the bayside on the west end of Spinnaker Way. If you would like to help weed, bring gloves, hand clippers, trowels and/or hori-horis. If you want to prune, bring clippers, loppers and hand saws. Long pants and sturdy shoes/boots are best and don’t forget to bring water, a snack, sunblock and a hat.

Save the date of November 21st. We are moving forward with plans for putting in the Pollinator Garden. This week we made commitments to get the needed plants from the Watershed Nursery and field help from Civicorps corpsmembers. Also this week the City has ordered a storage bin for us to store supplies on site. 

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4 thoughts on “Weeding with the Coast Guard

  • Pingback: Native Plant Work Days

  • Bev come to the gardening events on saturday at 9:00 teach us about the weeds.

  • We need a long range plan of our own to present. We need to insist on a democratic process not this corporate style for profit Berkeley City Council that sees no reason to respond to the electorate. We need in person meetings in a place that is large enough to accomodate the public that comes and wants to participate in their community. They called a SPECIAL Meeting with 3 days notice on line to decide to continue to have meetings off line. They called on 4 Berkeley residents to voice their opinion and they all wanted hybrid meeting i.e. on line or in person both, a choice. This is how things will be pushed through if we don’t push ourselves. the pier/ferry plan; the dredging for large yachts, and on and on. They pick when the campus is on vacation to cut all the trees from another park as if we dont need parks. Maybe we could get needle facilities like SF? It’s an excuse and poor park management of that People’s Park space not the fault of homeless people being there. We need parks . Open land is scarce. There arent any large vacant spaces. They dont want us to congregate. They are ripping at our culture in a place we are invested in.

  • This is terrible. Typical nativism, where the plants that are surviving without water and feeding countless animals, including pollinators will be killed. Why? LEAVE THEM ALONE. And leave dead trees and shrubs alone because they are crucial for raptors and other animals to perch on, from birds to butterflies.

    “The other tasks that need doing are removing dried mustard, radish and assorted other annual weeds threatening the native plants.” These edible “weeds” are beautiful and feeding so many animals, not “threatening” anyone. Plant what you want, but leave what is needed alone.

    This reminds me of when Audubon, who didn’t know native from non-native, cut down the very plants that the Burrowing Owls were using and needing to hide behind, protecting them from the illegal dogs off leash. Why not put this energy into stopping that, since it’s dogs that killed the remaining owls?


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