Friends of Five Creeks
|Type||Parent organization is a registered non-profit|
|Purpose||Wildlife habitat protection|
|Headquarters||Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin|
|Parent organization||Berkeley Partners for Parks|
Friends of Five Creeks is a regional community volunteer organization founded in 1996 by Sonja Wadman originally dedicated to the stewardship of creeks in northern Alameda County and western Contra Costa, California, United States. Education about wildlife and restoration is also a major facet of the FFC's mission.
The organization is dedicated to improving creek habitats for environmental, flood control, pollution filtration, and beautification reasons. The original five creeks were Cerrito Creek-Middle/Blackberry, Marin Creek, Codornices Creek, Schoolhouse Creek and Marin/Village Creek, however the organization's involvement has expanded to all the creeks in the area including the communities of Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Richmond, and the surrounding unincorporated areas. Susan Schwartz the organizations leader states that the organization like other "friends of" groups would not have gotten off the ground without help from the Urban Creeks Council. The group holds up to 40 events a year where the volunteers work on refuse collection, graffiti removal, removing culverts in addition to plating native vegetation and removing invasive species. There is a monthly work party to pick weeds and showcase the area's natural habitats with a new site each month. The organization is registered with the California Coastal Commission.
The organization organizes more than 40 work parties each year, providing direction and tools for groups of volunteers who work to restore a section of one of the creeks.
Cerrito Creek runs from the El Cerrito hills to the San Francisco Bay. The organization has daylighted and restored a portion of the creek along the parking lot of El Cerrito Plaza Shopping Center. Further down stream part of the creek runs through Pacific East Mall's parking lot, where it forms the border between Richmond and Albany. This portion of the creek was daylighted and restored by the organization in 2003. Berkeley Daily Planet columnist Ron Sullivan reports a statement from FFC's Susan Schwartz that Pacific East Mall landscapers in Richmond have used herbicides, and speculates that this could explain her (Sullivan's) observations of dead grasses, plants and trees along the creek path near the mall's property line. Furthermore, Sullivan reports allegations and concludes from seeing the rsults that small native shrubs were mowed, and reports allegations that the mall has not agreed to a written maintenance plan as required by its use permit.
In 2001 the organization received two separate grants totaling $400,000 to work on the restoration of Codornices Creek. In the 1990s the Friends of Five Creeks discovered the reappearance of steelhead and rainbow trout at Codornices Creek while performing restoration work. The "Friends" are also lobbying for the creation of public space adjacent to the creek for a new Whole Foods supermarket and parking structure along the stream's banks in U.C. Village.
The organization also helps to restore and work on some non-creek areas such as the Berkeley Meadow and Eastshore State Park in addition to blight abatement, and trash collection activities at local parks. Working with Citizens for Eastshore Parks FFC is studying the possibility of daylighting a portion of Schoolhouse Creek.
Friends of Five Creeks works with school groups to educate them about the creek and bay environments.
- "Articles of Incorporation of Berkeley Partners for Parks". "Endorsed (1884392) and Filed in the office of the Secretary of State of the State of California on Mar 18, 1994."
- The Right Shade of Green / We're being invaded by alien species. Kurt True. 29-04-2003. Retrieved 28-01-2011.
- Friends of Five Creeks. California Coastal Commission. 2011. 27-01-2011.
- Environmental advocate nurtures a love for nature. Shellah Moody. San Francisco Chronicle. 05-10-2008. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- "Worldwide Work Party" with Friends of Five Creeks . El Cerrito Patch. 2011. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- Creeks. El-Cerrito.org. City of El Cerrito website. 2011. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- Kauffman, Turk; Puchall, Lauri (May 2006). "Paved Paradise in Berkeley". European Social Ecology Institute. Retrieved 2011-01-28. "In recent years, grassroots groups such as... Friends of Five Creeks are attempting to daylight and restore the local network of creeks and bring back wildlife to the watershed."
- Water warriors / United Creeks Council quietly fights to bring streams to light. Katherine Redding. San Francisco Chronicle. 03-04-2003. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- Friends of Five Creeks Never Stops, Catch Up With Them Sunday. Albany Patch. 2011. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- Environmental advocate nurtures a love for nature San Francisco Chronicle, October 5, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2011]
- Cerrito Creek watershed map. Museum of California. 2011. Retrieved 23-01-2011.
- Garden Variety: An Ecological Calamity Below Albany Hill. Ron Sullivan. Berkeley Daily Planet. 26-01-2007. Retrieved 23-01-2011.
- Creek mouths along the Bay Trail in Berkeley, Albany, and south Richmond. Susan Schwartz. Friends of Five Creeks. 09-03-2004. Retrieved 25-01-2011.
- Beth El decision set for Tuesday Berkeley Daily Planet, July 21, 2001. Retrieved February 1, 2011
- Friends of Five Creeks
- Crampton, Matthew; Martin, John (2007), A Re-design Proposal: Connecting Whole Foods Market and Codornices Creek, University of California, OCLC 657366554
- Berkeley Takes Action. Global Work Party. 10-10-2011. Retrieved 31-01-2011.
- Eastshore State Park’s Berkeley Meadow Restoration Nearing Completion. 2010. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- Friends of Five Creeks. CalRotract. 16-02-2010. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP) E-Newsletter. December 2004. Retrieved 27-01-2011.
- Environment for learning / At one Oakland alternative school, lessons grounded in ecology help guide students onto the right track, San Francisco Chronicle, November 14, 2003. Retrieved February 1, 2011