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Friend of the Month | Gary McCormick

Gary McCormick is a force! He is always finding creative ways to support FOSC and improve our parks.  


This last month alone, Gary has been out in our parks helping remove fallen trees, clearing culverts, passing out trail maps, improving nursery infrastructure, sourcing plant material, and attending board meetings.


Gary represents Oakland Trails, an all-volunteer organization that has collaborated with FOSC in trail maintenance and re-routes since his brother Stan Dodson founded it in 2015. 


But it doesn’t stop there! He is also a proud volunteer and member of Bicycle Trails Council East Bay, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, and Friends of the Regional Parks Botanical Garden. All of these groups keep him grounded and busy with our local parks daily.


“I have gotten to know and work with wonderful staff, board members, and other volunteers by joining these nonprofit organizations, and I hope more people will join too,” he shares. Often park users on a hike or a ride approach Gary while he’s doing trail work and will jump in and assist.


What motivates and keeps Gary engaged in all these collaborative efforts? He says, “Joaquin Miller Park and Dimond Canyon need our love! Currently it's the nonprofits and their volunteers that keep the trails open, the gardens around the Cascades lush, the dead trees and limbs removed, the trail signs readable, and the kiosks stocked with maps and bike bells.” 


His favorite trail is the Lower Palos Colorados trail in Joaquin Miller Park. “After a rain, hiking up the trail from Joaquin Miller Court to the meadow transports you from urban Oakland to what feels like the middle of Muir Woods or Mt. Tamalpais in an instant! There are numerous waterfalls and smells that make keeping the trails open worth it for all to enjoy.”


I see wildlife on early morning hikes and runs that I wish I could capture on a camera to share with all users of the park. In that vein, Oakland Trails will be starting a wildlife monitoring program using photo detection stations in remote, unprotected roadless and trailless areas within Oakland's wildland parks to help locate rare wildlife species. This program would help inform any future fuel reduction projects and help promote Oakland's system of natural areas and parklands,” says Gary. Oakland Trails will be seeking approval from the Oakland Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) and raising funds for the materials to make this program successful.


Thanks for all you do, Gary! Your hard work, support, and enthusiasm provide an enormous boon to the watershed.

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