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.
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.