Friends of Orinda Creeks is happy to share this short film (in two parts) "A Walk Along San Pablo Creek." Filmed by boardmember Reg Barrett, the videos capture the sights and sounds of springtime San Pablo Creek as it flows its 1,400 feet through Orinda Village. The film begins upstream behind the Chevron Station and Clean Cleaners building, and concludes behind the old BofA building where the creek goes back underground.
The walk follows the San Pablo Creek Path, maintained by Friends of Orinda Creeks and its dedicated volunteers. The film also shows the recently completed Phase I Restoration, just behind the Vintage Office Building, as well as many of the native plants that have "volunteered" or been planted.
Orinda received a whopping 5.15 inches of rain in just over 24 hours. Below are some pics of San Pablo Creek in Orinda Village and, at right, at the SP201 dam near Manzanita Dr. For more rainfall stats and videos of the event go to Our Creeks>Creekwatch in the menu above.
The contest is open to all District 16 residents. This is a great chance to showcase the beauty of our local watershed. More details can be found by clicking here.
A group of FOC Board members, together with an OIS student who is a prospective Eagle Scout, worked for two hours in early January to install staff gages and a stilling well that houses a water depth and temperature data logger. They then measured the dimensions of the creek channel at the installation. The data logger stores readings every 15 minutes, and will allow FOC to calculate the flow over time. When storms occur, San Pablo Creek rises as the watershed around Orinda produces runoff. By combining that information with precipitation, we will begin to be able to predict how much the stream will rise in response to forecasted rain. The datalogger also records water temperature, an important factor for knowing if trout can prosper in the downtown reach of San Pablo Creek.
Enjoy the slide show below of our board (and their dogs) hard at work!
After October's heavy rains FOC board member Brian Waters alerted EBMUD to the fact that the opening in the SP201 dam on San Pablo Creek near Bear Creek Rd was yet again blocked with debris. Brian received the WIlliam Penn Mott Jr Environmental Award in 2017 for his diligence in making sure this opening was kept clear, allowing for trout passage for the first time in many years.
We are pleased that EBMUD has now cleared the debris. On the right is the debris behind the opening before it was removed and below are pictures after the removal.
Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan invited Friends of Orinda Creeks president Bob Stoops, Mayor Amy Worth, Vice Mayor Dennis Fay and Chamber of Commerce VP Juliet Don plus many others to the banks of San Pablo Creek to present $125,000 in State funds for the downtown creek on Nov 5, 2021. FOC initially requested the funds for restoration and trail design and a check will be issued to The City of Orinda. Click here to view the related press release issued by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan.
Restoration of San Pablo Creek has been the vision of FOC for almost three decades. Downtown San Pablo Creek was put in a concrete straitjacket in 1958. Five years later the channel blew out in a storm leaving behind broken concrete, eroding banks, and a loss of flood protection (photo below, left.) It continued to deteriorate over the years, though riparian vegetation has managed to reestablish a foothold on the broken banks, in part due to the replanting by FOC (photo below, right.)
This gift presents a tremendous chance to make a permanent trail along the creek as we complete restoration design plans. To learn more about progress towards our Phase I Restoration visit our restoration news at restoresanpablocreek.org/news.
Click here to see details about our recent progess towards a restoration of San Pablo creek as it flows through Orinda village, including the creation of an access trail, $125K in state funding to advance future creek restoration and trail construction, and the beginning of final design work on a restoration of short section of the creek.
Friends of Orinda Creeks participated in the 2021 California Coastal Cleanup Day by hosting a downtown San Pablo Creek cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 18. About 40 people attended the event and walked the creek banks and bed, picking up trash. It was thickest around the dumpsters that unfortunately line the bank at the backs of the parking lots. Approximately 475 pounds of waste was collected, including illegal landscape and construction waste that was dumped at the back edge of parking lots. Volunteers came from not only Lamorinda, but also Walnut Creek, Danville, and Concord. The improved creekside trail from behind Chevron to the Safeway parking lot allowed the crews easy access. Go visit your newly cleaned San Pablo Creek in Downtown Orinda!
The Friends of Orinda Creeks and our Frog stole the show this year at the Orinda Parade. Thanks to Board Member Leesa Evans for organizing our group and for creating the gorgeous paper mache frog. It served as a great reminder to Orindans that they have a creek and riparian habitat running through their town and in need of restoration. Thanks also to Tom and Cinda Mackinnon, Toris Jaeger, Tom Morehouse, Brian Waters (in his vintage Porche), David Hop, Steve Evans (on his electric bike) and Connie Stoops for joining our group and leading the cheer and passing out candy.
On Saturday, September 19 an enthusiastic group of volunteers (40-45 individuals ranging from 12 years to 80) under the direction of Friends of Orinda Creeks (FOC) could be seen picking up trash and clearing brush along San Pablo Creek in downtown Orinda. This section of creek, from Chevron to B of A, is notorious for illegal trash dumping and littering. FOC announced a staggered work shift program which began at 9 AM and finished at noon. Volunteers arrived at 9, 10 or 11 and worked for an hour or more along the creek. The staggered shifts were designed to emphasize social distancing. Masks were mandatory. Volunteers included FOC Board members, Next Door Orindans, and male and female Scouts from Orinda Troops 303B and 303G. Leaders and parents from the Troops were also there to help.
Huge piles of trash, debris, brush, one chair, a printer, and one car bumper were brought up from the creek and piled up for pick-up by the City of Orinda on the following Monday. FOC would like to thank all of the Coastal Clean-up Day participants and Orinda staff Scott Christie, Public Works/Engineering and Steve Ecklund, City Maintenance Supervisor for coordinating the pickup and removal of debris.