Recent Volunteering

Click on the link below the photo for a slide history of the project. Click here for info on all our projects.
From Rescuing Cerrito Creek at Creekside Park

Above: In January, volunteers braved rain to plant 100 Santa Barbara sedge starts on Cerrito Creek. The Native American basket sedge spreads by dense roots, and smaller plantings have flourished along the creek.

From Rescuing Cerrito Creek at Creekside Park
From Santa Fe Right of Way

Above: In January, Japanese students from English Studies International helped our Weed Warriors get a head start on spring weeds on the Santa Fe Right of Way.

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

Helping Nature in the East Bay – Hands On

All-volunteer Friends of Five Creeks works hands-on for clean water and healthy watersheds. We protect and restore natural areas that welcome both wildlife and people, from Berkeley to Richmond on the urbanized east side of San Francisco Bay. See map and slide shows of some of our restoration projectsPlease 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

Sun., Feb. 21, 10 AM - 12:30 PM: Help plant natives between the Bay Trail extension and the shore, near the mouth of Strawberry Creek. Details on our events calendar!

Sat., Mar. 5, 10 AM - 12:30 PM: Another work party near the mouth of Strawberry Creek and between the Bay Trail extension and the shoreline! We'll be joined by UC students from the Berkeley Project. Details on our events calendar!

Tues., Mar. 8, 7-9 PM: Bay Currents free talks presents "Engaged Locally and Globally" -- four young climate researchers from UC Berkeley talk about their fascinating research -- from the Sierra snowpack to dams in Borneo -- as well as their aims for the future. Details and spring talk schedule here. Sign up here to get our monthly e-news that includes all our events.

Are You Ready for El Niño?

Hooray, it's raining at last! 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.
  • Be prepared to pump out basements or other area that may flood, 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. For residents, El Cerrito provides bags at the Recyling Center; Albany and Berkeley at fire stations. Albany provides loose sand at the Oceanview Park parking lot. Hardware stores sell bags; soil companies sell sand.
  • Clean your gutters and the nearest storm drain, so that water can flow freely. Berkeley has an Adopt-A-Drain program.
  • 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: Even if the drought is over (and it's far from sure), we are facing 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.