Sausal Creek and its tributaries run downhill west of Skyline Boulevard, then into culverts going underneath Highway 13 before reemerging among the Monterey Avenue second-growth redwoods just south of Park Boulevard in Oakland. Beaconsfield Canyon, a 5.5-acre open space in the Montclair hills, shelters one of these tributaries from development, preserving this stretch of creek for humans and riparian biota.
Before the pandemic, a restoration project improved the Beaconsfield Creek banks just above their culverted descent below street level. Friends of Beaconsfield Canyon have met on Saturday mornings since 2007 to weed invasive exotics and plant riparian understory plants native to the East Bay. Fortunately, mature coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) in the canyon survived nearby development, and rare black cottonwoods (Populus trichocarpa) grow and spread new shoots alongside the creek.
If you want to volunteer with Friends of Beaconsfield Canyon, contact them in advance by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Friends can provide loaner tools or gloves. If you bring your own tools, be sure to wipe them before and after with at least 70 percent alcohol to prevent the spread of Sudden Oak Death and other plant pathogens. The backyard you save from plant disease may be your own, along with Beaconsfield Canyon.
— Janet Gawthrop, Field Trips Chair, CNPS East Bay Chapter