Saving Tesla, Gem of the Diablo Range
This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse ecosystem, cultural and economic history, and preservation efforts surrounding Tesla, a 3,100-acre property in eastern Alameda County that’s threatened with development as an off-highway vehicle park.
Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve: Supplement to the Self-Guided Tour
If you want to discover which native plants still grow in the Oakland hills with minimal pressure from exotic species, then there are few better places to start than in Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve. Visitors can take a self-guided tour brochure at the trailhead and match plants listed with trail signs. Instead of repeating the brochure’s information, I’ll report on the trail plants beyond the brochure descriptions.
Native Here Nursery Reopens to the Public—with a Brand-New Website
We’re happy to report that Native Here reopened to the public on June 13. Out of concern for the safety and well-being of our customers and volunteers, at present we are only accepting online orders for curbside pickup. Although we regret that we weren’t able to serve our customers this past spring, our temporary closure due to coronavirus precautions did give us time to do a lot of projects at the nursery so we can serve customers better in the future.
Initiative to Save Antioch’s Sand Creek Area Headed to November Ballot
The Antioch City Council voted unanimously on June 9 to place the “Let Antioch Voters Decide” initiative on the November 3 ballot. The initiative aims to preserve natural features and wildlife habitat in the Sand Creek area—the largest contiguous open space in the Antioch city limits. Its passage will allow Antioch voters to approve any new projects in the Sand Creek Focus Area and will permanently require voter approval of amendments to the city’s urban growth limit line, a provision that will otherwise expire in December of this year.
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Skyline Serpentine Prairie Revisited
Nearly 30 years ago, I first walked through the remnant serpentine-soil grasslands of the Skyline Serpentine Prairie on a CNPS field trip. With restoration crews on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, I returned to the Skyline Serpentine Prairie in mid-April to check on the early wildflower show in this Oakland hills habitat. The April blooms provided new wildflower sights for me.
East Bay Calochortus: Photos, Figures, Facts, and Fun!
Common names such as butterfly mariposa, splendid mariposa, superb mariposa, and Diogenes’ lantern tip us off that the genus Calochortus is a thrill. And once again, the East Bay (Alameda and Contra Costa counties) has more than its fair share of that thrill. Here is a quick skip through the genus with the focus on East Bay species.