EARTH DAY in the HOOD                                     Neighbors of all ages gathered Saturday at the bottom of Willow Walk off Alvarado to show respect for the land we all enjoy. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day nationwide.  Our very own  neighborhood celebrated with its 14th Annual Earth Day clean-up of our public common spaces.  More than 30 people ages two and  up kicked things off with juice, coffee, bagels and camaraderie. (photo, right, Susan Mattmann; at table, Jeff Baird  with daughter; pointing, Ann Smulka and Millie Baird)


“I enjoyed meeting everyone and doing something visibly positive for the neighborhood,” said Winston Chou. “We were quite exhausted by the end, but there was lots left to be done. Everyone should try to pitch in when they can, and I recommend the experience highly. Actually, I’m wearing my little Earth Day pin, but I wish it was a bigger. The t-shirts we got in past years were better for publicity!”

By the way, Winston and his wife fell in love with the neighborhood while renting here.  Eventually they bought a house, and I was the lucky realtor — and by this time, a close friend — who helped make their dream house come true!

(photo, left, Harry Myler; right, Winston Chou)


Participants chose areas to invest their time in many ways: sweeping, pruning, clipping, raking and pulling weeds. My personal goal was to make the immediate area around the Vicente Place steps (up to Westview) a “thistle-free zone.”  We stuffed debris into large brown bags for pick-up by Oakland, as part of the city’s “Keep Oakland Beautiful” campaign.

(photo, left, John McClung; right, Marcia Tanner)

Other areas tended to include: Sunset Trail, Eucalyptus Steps, Claremont Hotel steps and Willow Walk path/steps.  A special thanks to three neighbors: John McClung , Jeff Baird and Freddie Rodriquez, for the installation of the steps made with tree rounds. 

(photo, left, Jane Barrett; photo, below, Wendy Leyden)

GARBER PARK OUTREACH  Really energetic folks partnered with members of Claremont Canyon Conservancy and the City of Oakland as stewards of Garber Park. 

Their focus is to clear fallen debris from the hillsides close to the Evergreen Lane entrance, remove invasive weeks and improve the trails throughout.  There are numerous ongoing stewardship projects, as well as interesting nature talks and walks.  

To participate or ask questions, feel free to email  our fearless leader Shelagh Brodersen, 

Claremont Canyon Conservancy

(photo, left, bottom or Willow Walk off Alvarado, after clean-up)

Directions to the Garber Park trailhead via Evergreen Lane: from Alvarado Road turn down Slater Lane, then turn right on Evergreen Lane.  The entrance is at the end of the street.  This is easy walking distance from Alvarado. For directions to Garber Park visit 

For more photos

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