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Planting the Seeds
The FOSC Native Plant Nursery in Joaquin Miller Park is the “seedbed” for many of our other activities. It is here that we propagate and grow over 240 different species of plants native to the Sausal Creek Watershed, supplying close to 6,000 plants annually to local restoration sites and more to City of Oakland landscaping projects. Seeds are collected regularly on seed hikes and brought back to the nursery for planting. In addition to sowing seeds and transplanting, volunteers spend time watering, weeding, and pruning. At various times, staff and volunteers engage in construction work, installing irrigation equipment, and creating educational materials and signs. Working at the nursery provides an in-depth education in the propagation, care, and use of native plants, as well as the diverse ecological communities present in the watershed.
When we outplant natives into Oakland’s public parks and green spaces, we’re building a more diverse habitat for wildlife—the kind nature originally intended. In addition to supporting wildlife, there are other important effects of restoration:
Fire prevention—Native landscapes tend to be less fire prone, because invasive nonnatives create a denser fuel load.
Beauty and recreation—As we restore overgrown and once unusable areas, they become hiking trails or provide new vistas in places that formerly encouraged neglect and blight.
Inspiration and involvement—As restoration makes hillsides, canyons, and creekbanks more aesthetically pleasing and usable, neighbors often develop a sense of pride and ownership. Some become community watchdogs, reporting spills and sewage leaks in the creek, downed trees that prevent access or are safety hazards, and people fishing illegally.
The native plant nursery is our physical plant. It requires maintenance, equipment, supplies, and staff. Please help us keep the water on and the plants growing!