Sausal Creek Educational Planters

Native Plants Showcased in the La Salle Planters

Mosaic Planter #1 Sponsored by Sorensen Family: Aquilegia formosa (columbine) and Heuchera pillosissima (alumroot)**NOT native to Sausal Creek Watershed!

 

Mosaic Planter #2 Sponsorship Avalible: Mimulus aurantiacus (sticky monkeyflower), Achillea millefolium (yarrow), and Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)

 

Friends of Sausal Creek

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Map by Karen Paulsell

Map by Karen Paulsell

In 1996, a group of local residents created the Friends of Sausal Creek to protect the creek and its watershed as natural resources for the benefit of the community. Since then, the nonprofit, volunteer organization has planted over 50,000 native plants and restored many sites up and down the creek, reclaiming habitat for birds, insects, small mammals, and even rainbow trout. All of the native plants that we use in our restoration efforts are grown by volunteers at our native plant nursery in Joaquin Miller Park. The volunteers collect seeds and cuttings on hikes in the watershed, then propagate them at the nursery.

The Friends of Sausal Creek leads community workdays year-round at more than a dozen restoration sites from the hills to the bay, and we lead hands-on environmental field trips for local schoolchildren throughout the year..

 

Check out our online volunteer calendar for a list of all of our upcoming events at www.sausalcreek.org.

 

Your Role in the Watershed

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Crop map

Map by Karen Paulsell

Oakland is blessed with natural abundance, but it won’t last long if we don’t protect it. What can you do to help? Well, think about the things you put on your lawn or that wash down your driveway or sidewalk. Do you use chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers in your garden? Do you wash your car in your driveway instead of at a carwash? Does your car leak oil, gas, or antifreeze? Do you wash paintbrushes with your hose instead of at the sink? All of these chemicals flow through the ground and into the creeks, bay, and ocean, harming vegetation and wildlife. Even water from your hose is toxic to fish, amphibians, and aquatic insects.

So minimize your use of garden chemicals. Take your car to a carwash where water is recycled. Put toxic chemicals down the drain so they can be filtered out at the water treatment plant and properly dispose of hazardous waste. Pick up after your pet, too, because harmful bacteria get absorbed and flow in the creeks and storm drains. And when you’re enjoying Oakland’s natural abundance in the parks or the woods, stay on the trail and off the vegetation. The entire ecosystem will thank you!

 

Native Plants for Your Yard

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Photo Credit Mark Rauzon

Photo Credit Mark Rauzon

Yarrow is a local native plant that is highly adaptable to garden usage and attracts butterflies and beneficial insects. It is found in grassland and coastal scrub plant communities and thrives in sun to partial shade. This perennial needs little water, but if watered it will become a larger clump and flower more profusely.

Sticky monkeyflower is a mainstay of our coastal scrub community, but it can also be found along woodland edges. Hummingbirds love visiting the light orange flowers. Like many native plants, it is drought tolerant once established. In your garden, it pairs well with California sage, California fuschia, soap root, coyote bush, and blue elderberry.

St. Catherine’s lace, or giant buckwheat, is a California native, though it is not found in the Sausal Creek Watershed. An evergreen shrub that can grow to six feet, it is attractive year-round. It attracts butterflies and birds, and will thrive in full to partial sunlight and little water.

Common wood mint, also called hedge nettle, is a charming understory plant, producing spires of mottled pink flowers that provide a good source of nectar and pollen for bees.

Plant local species in your yard; natives are drought resistant and support the local ecosystem.

 

History of the Watershed

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Photo Credit Mark Rauzon

Photo Credit Mark Rauzon

Imagine standing here just 250 years ago, as 2,000-year-old coast redwoods tower above you, reaching heights up to 300 feet. Grizzly bear, elk, and mountain lions stop to drink from the tributaries that flow freely through what is now Montclair Village. These tributaries are some of the headwaters of the Sausal Creek Watershed. They will join Shephard Creek Creek and flow on to become Sausal Creek further downstream. Ohlone Indians live well in this resource rich area with its diversity of habitats––chaparral, grasslands, oak woodlands, redwood forests, riparian, and coastal scrub. Wildlife is abundant, and the ecosystem is fully intact. Over centuries, the native plants you see here have evolved together with the native wildlife. They provide food for butterflies and birds, which in turn allow other species to thrive.

Now return to modern times. Oakland is still home to a thriving ecosystem, but we’ll lose it if we don’t protect it. Try planting natives in your own garden. By doing this you help re-establish the local ecology that has been lost through urban development.