Saturday, March 5, 2:00 pm. Joaquin Miller Park. Meet at 2 pm next to the Monterey Avenue trailhead on the west side of Highway 13, just south of the stoplight for Park & Monterey. From there we will start through the hiker tunnel under 13 and up through Joaquin Miller Park. We’ll cross the blackberry thickets nearest 13 without delay, but then slow down as we get further uphill and into places with native plants. This beginner-level walk will feature cute flowering angiosperms, but we’ll also take in ferns and other non-angiosperm plants (such as conifers, mosses, etc.) as interest permits. Bring your East Bay checklist or Glenn Keator’s Plants of the East Bay Regional Parks, which works well in Oakland parks. You can also look up plant information at www.calflora.org and then work through the prompts and interactive map on “What Grows Here” function. We’ll try to be back at the trailhead around 5 pm, but we might be later if we find great plants. I’ll also talk at the general level (think arm waving) about historical uses of this watershed, and current restoration efforts of Friends of Sausal Creek. 

Led by Janet Gawthrop (janetgawthrop47@gmail.com).

Sunday, March 13, 2:00 pm, MacDonald Fire Road in Chabot Regional Park. Meet at the MacDonald Staging Area on Redwood Road in Chabot Regional Park. (Take Highway 13 south to Redwood Road exit, turn left onto Redwood Road after exiting, go over the hill. The MacDonald Staging Area is on the right about one mile into the valley. If you come to the entrance to Redwood Regional Park on the left or to Pinehurst Road, you have gone too far.) We will look for woody plants, many of which should be in bloom, including western leatherwood. An uphill walk but not too strenuous. Meet at 2:00 pm. (We are walking south/ southeast towards Castro Valley, so if you are late, just catch up.) Trip leader: David Margolies (divaricatum@gmail.com, 510-393-1858).

Sunday, March 20, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Kennedy Grove. Patra Dr, El Sobrante. We will take the Seafoam Loop and the Black Oak Loop. Bring lunch if you want. You can return to the parking area at 12:00, or continue on to Black Oak loop,  then return to parking area about 2 pm. Gregg Weber will be leading this trip to a botanically rich area in El Sobrante. In the shady areas under bay trees there is more plant diversity than you would expect, with many common natives, and some unusual ones. Under the oaks on the ridge there are whole different communities. Both kinds of false solomon’s seal, trilliums, Meadow rue, gooseberries, American vetch, shooting stars, cream cups, rein orchids, fritillaries, pipevine, madrone, Wight’s paintbrush, arnica, spotted coralroot, indian warriors, and more. This is a short 2.5 mile walk, with only a 400 feet elevation gain up to the ridge, and 150 feet elevation gain on Black Oak Loop.

Directions: From I-80, exit at San Pablo Dam Road and turn onto Castro Ranch Road in El Sobrante. From Orinda , take San Pablo Dam Road to El Sobrante, and turn onto Castro Ranch Road. Go two blocks on Castro Ranch Road, and then turn right onto Hillside Drive. Go about 1⁄2 mile to the end of Hillside Drive, and then turn left on Patra Drive and park near the trailhead. No entrance fees. Do not turn into the Kennedy Grove park entrance on San Pablo Dam Road.