No. 38: Joaquin Miller Park, Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery

Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery

The Friends of Sausal Creek grow natives to replant damaged areas and sell at fundraisers.

On previous Creek to Bay Days, I have hacked blackberry, French broom and vinca out of Dimond Park and waded in Sausal Creek to corral plastic yogurt lids and soda bottles. Feeling a little more sedate this year, I volunteered at the Native Plant Nursery transplanting seedlings.

Native Plant Nursery sign

The sign by the gate.

The walk to the nursery itself is a short-but-pleasant one: Following Sanborn Road past the Joaquin Miller Ranger Station, you take the fire road to the right, past the locked yellow gate. The nursery is about a quarter-mile down the road behind a cyclone fence.

Under the shade canopy, we pulled apart inch-high seedlings of snakeroot, columbine and sedge grass, repotting some for October’s native plant sale and others to help restoration efforts along Sausal Creek or its tributaries. A red-tailed hawk passed overhead, screaming angrily, and a hummingbird joined us under the canopy, taking a quick washcloth-bath on the damp leaves of a native grape.

Volunteers can work in the nursery most Saturdays of the month; it’s not physically difficult, but feels very rewarding. We all wished we could “sign” our seedlings and see how many survive to be set out in Oakland’s parks.

Getting there: Sanborn Road intersects Joaquin Miller Drive east of Highway 13.

Cool stuff in the neighborhood: The Woodminster Amphitheatre is running a community production of “Cats” right now.

More information: About the October plant sale and about volunteer opportunities can be found on the Friends of Sausal Creek website.

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