Grads give Strawberry Creek a bit of attention

Grads give Strawberry Creek a bit of attention

This past Saturday morning, a contingent of UC Berkeley graduate students awoke extra early, donned “play” clothes, and headed to campus to spend several hours giving our very own Strawberry Creek a bit of much-needed attention.

Grads listen as junior Nathan Bickart explains how to identify invasive grass.

The grads enjoyed their morning in the campus sunshine, as they socialized with each other and uprooted invasive grasses. Later, the cleared area will be replaced with native plants, as part of a continued effort to return the creek to its natural state. Right now, the plants are just seedlings, being tenderly cared for in the Native Plant Nursery, by Giannini Hall.

Nathan Bickart shows the grads how to identify and uproot invasive grass.

Nathan Bickart shows the grads how to identify and uproot invasive grass.

Many passersby paused to take photos and to inquire about the group’s efforts. Afterwards, the Graduate Assembly‘s Community Outdoor Cleanup and Outreach (COCO) Project, which organized the inter-departmental volunteer effort, also sponsored a pizza lunch for the students.

Grads pose with the invasive grass, as they loosen the soil from the roots.

Grads pose with the invasive grass, as they loosen the soil from the roots.

The volunteer session was led by UC Berkeley junior Nathan Bickart. Nathan has a deep level of commitment to the Strawberry Creek watershed, leading groups on volunteer projects multiple times a week throughout the school year and summer.

Nathan’s volunteer efforts are part of a larger campus project, the Strawberry Creek Restoration Program. The program first began in 1987 as the campus community rallied to protect the habitat.

Grads work side by side.

Grads work side by side, meeting new students from other departments, and helping to rid the hillside of invasive grass.

By any measure, both the efforts of the Strawberry Creek Restoration Program and the GA’s COCO have been a resounding success thus far. In the future, the campus community can look forward to continued restoration activity around the watershed, and grads can look forward to many more volunteer-oriented social events!

Interested in green efforts on campus? Check out UC Berkeley’s Office of Sustainability.

Looking for green funding for your student project? Check out The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), which is an ASUC-student led initiative to promote sustainability and green life right here on campus. TGIF is a proud supporter of the Strawberry Creek Restoration Program.

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  1. Galen D

    Any tips or resources to help identify invasives and natives? I live on a creek in Oakland and would like to do some restoration.

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