From Tilden

Above: In November, UC Berkeley students from the KAPI pre-law society helped shrink the once-huge patch of cape ivy in the Tilden Nature Area -- and enjoyed a picnic plus feeding animals at the Little Farm!

From El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area

Above: Prospect-Sierra 8th graders had fun pulling big broom in the Hillside Natural Area on their November service day. Below: Students from Albany Middle School also joined in at the Hillside Natural Area, along with UC engineering students from honor society HKN.

From El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area
From El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area
Click here for more on these and other projects.

Helping Nature in the East Bay – Hands On

Friends of Five Creeks is an all-volunteer group working hands-on for clean water and healthy watersheds. We protect and restore natural areas that welcome both wildlife and people on the urbanized east side of San Francisco Bay. See map and slide shows of some of our restoration projects.

Please join us in:

  • Work parties restoring native vegetation and wildlife habitat, lessening erosion and flooding, providing trails and green corridors.
  • Free guided walks open to all.
  • Tuesday morning weekday weed warriors in varied natural areas.
  • Public education including free Bay Currents talks, e-newsletter, signs, publications, web sites, appearances at festivals, and more.
  • Advocating, participating in political processes, and partnering with agencies and other groups.

For information or to arrange a work party for your group, contact or (510)848-9358. Click here to subscribe to our e-newsletter. Click here to donate or join!

New and Seasonal

Sat., Dec. 5, 10 AM - 12:30 PM: Help plant natives on Cerrito Creek at the foot of Albany Hill! Details on our events calendar!

Thursday, Dec. 17, 9 - 11 AM: Strawberry Creek campus stroll for for ages 50+. Details on our events calendar!

Monthly Bay Currents Talks resume in January, on second Tuesdays in the beautiful St. Albans Parish Hall, 1501 Washington (at Curtis), Albany. Refreshments 7 PM, talks begin promptly at 7:30 PM. Talks are free, but seating is limited. Sign up here to get notices of future talks or our monthly e-news that includes them.

Fall shoreline wildflowers are in bloom, and migrant shorebirds are returning. See our slideshow and video here.

Are You Ready for El Niño?

Hooray, it's raining at last! If a drenching winter breaks the drought, here are some tips on being prepared:

  • Know whether you are in a flood or slide zone. The Association of Bay Area Governments has a general flood-zone map (not reliable for specific properties) here and slide maps here. If you are in a flood zone, consider flood insurance.
  • Caulk cracks and holes where ants or other critters might enter.
  • If you have a basement or other area that may flood, be prepared to pump water out with a sump pump or simple venturi fitting for hoses.
  • Know where to get sand bags, and lay in a stock if you think you may need them. Most cities make them available, usually through fire departments. Hardware stores sell bags; soil companies sell sand.
  • Clean your gutters and the nearest storm drain, so that water can flow freely. Some cities have adopt-a-drain programs.
  • Mulch your garden to increase absorption and slow runoff. If you have a bare slope, consider covering it with biodegradable erosion-control mesh, planting with seeds or starts of drought-tolerant groundcovers in the gaps.
  • Consider a rain garden (sunken permeable area) if you are not in a slide area or other area where water soaking into soil could be harmful. Info here.
  • Consider a cistern or chain of rain barrels to catch rainwater. A single barrel is ineffective -- an inch of rain on a 1000-square-foot roof generates over 600 gallons of water! To calculate likely runoff, convert the roof area to square inches (multiply square feet by 144), multiply this by the depth of rain to get cubic inches, and divide by 231 (1 gallon = 231 cubic inches). Info here.
  • Put together emergency supply kits for your home and car. Info here. Review emergency plans, such as how to contact others if you are separated. Don’t try to drive through flooded streets!

Why save water -- and how: Facing drought and climate change, California needs to curb use of water and water-related energy. Our information sheet outlines why you should save water and how to do your part-- from tips with links, to rebates and free stuff, to background with links to research, position papers, and current issues.

About Us

Friends of Five Creeks, founded in 1996, is an all-volunteer citizens group operating under the fiscal sponsorship of Berkeley Partners for Parks, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. Our decisions are governed by bylaws and made by a board drawn from our volunteers.

Our meetings, talks, and walks are open to all. Check our events calendar for schedule.

Mission: Friends of Five Creeks believes that the health of creeks and watersheds supports the health of urban environments.

Friends of Five Creeks mobilizes volunteers of all ages to restore, maintain, and enjoy the creeks and watersheds of the East Bay from North Berkeley to Richmond. In year-round work parties, we help revitalize creeks, improve habitat and water quality, eliminate invasive plant species, and increase public access and stewardship.

We prune, weed, dig, plant, and remove trash from creek sites and their watersheds. In collaboration with like-minded civic organizations, we assist and advocate for restoration projects, and build and maintain paths. To increase public understanding of environmental processes, we publish and post information, design and install interpretive signs, and host speakers and events.