Bridgeview Pollinator Garden
Do you walk on the Bridgeview Trail? This trail goes along the edge of Dimond Canyon opposite Park
Boulevard and is bounded on one end by a series of switchbacks that go down from Monterey Boulevard
and on the other by the end of Bridgeview Drive. As you make your way down the switchbacks at the
Monterey Boulevard end of the trail, you enter redwoods that were last clearcut just after the great San
Francisco earthquake in 1906. These trees are 75 years old. Cross the creek on a little stone bridge and
go up to the trail on the other side. As you walk along, you’ll notice that the redwoods give way to a mixed oak/bay laurel forest, heavily infiltrated with invasive Algerian ivy. About a mile later, near the end of the trail, you come to a flat meadow.
The pollinator garden is located in what remains of a canyon. During the 1950s and ’60s, the City of
Oakland used the canyon as a construction debris dump. A mud cap was shoved over the debris, and the
site was abandoned, except for maintenance of the fire trail. This unnatural meadow, beaten by the sun in
summer and inundated by runoff from the hills in winter, has been invaded by some of the nastier and
more aggressive nonnative weeds. Pollinators, or our many species of native bees, butterflies, and
birds, don’t really use these invasive weeds for food. In fact, many of the grassy weeds are wind pollinated, and their pollen is not available for native pollinators.
In 2011 FOSC volunteers began working to create a pollinator garden on this site. Why a pollinator garden? As you probably have read, native bees are on the decline. Loss of habitat is the principle reason, although diseases of the European honeybee have also crossed over to the native bees. Today the garden is a sucessful refuge for many types of pollinators, and a beautiful park for the surrounding community.
Interested in joining us? We work on the first and third Sundays of the month, from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
Come to the end of Bridgeview Drive, park, and walk down the trail. We provide tools, gloves, and instruction. Bring water and maybe a snack to enjoy on the trail. Or just come and visit the pollinator garden! Find out what’s in bloom, and check around for pollinators—various types of bees, flies, wasps, beetles, butterflies and birds.