Creek Cleanup for the Salmon Was a Success

Since salmon need clean water both to live in and reproduce, we cleaned up an area of Walnut Creek where salmon usually come to spawn. Because of the homeless camps nearby, there were a lot of large objects like grocery carts, old clothing, and luggage, along with a lot of cigarette butts and fragments of packaging.  We didn't see a single plastic bag, however. We were not able to remove all the trash, but it's a lot cleaner than it was and we'll return next year.

Creek Restoration Project Continues in Civic Park Dec. 10

For our Saturday, December 10 workday, we'll finish cleaning up our planting site
and plant a few early things. No experience is required -- just a desire to make the creek a better place for both humans and wildlife.  Join us for some rewarding work, camaraderie, and a brief talk about an aspect of the work we're doing. 

For more information about workdays
To sign up, contact us.
Restoration schedule
Photos of past restoration days


Upcoming Events

Restoration workday:  Sat Dec 10 from 10:00am-1pm
Restoration days
monthly on the 2nd Saturday
2017 Annual Creek Cleanup:  Sat May 13, 8:45am
To sign up, contact us.


    New LAFCO Open Space Policy

    LAFCO, a powerful county agency that regulates growth and development, recently adopted a new policy that governs conditions under which agricultural and open space lands can be converted to urban uses.  We argued for a strong policy as a way of keeping watersheds from being further fragmented.  While the policy does not require mitigation as we would have liked, it is a lot stronger than it started out.  It will be reviewed in a year and can be further strengthened then if need be.

    Community Service Day Projects

    Friends of the Creeks sponsored two projects on Community Service Day this year -- a cleanup on Pine Creek, and for the more restoration minded, ivy removal in San Ramon Creek near Creekside Drive downtown.  The Flood Control District sponsored a second Pine Creek cleanup.

    Investigating Fish Habitat

    As part of our ongoing project to learn more about the fish in our creeks -- both what species we have and where they live -- we asked Gretchen Hayes, a geomorphologist, to teach us how to do pebble counts. This is a technique for assessing the quality of gravel beds for suitability as redds (the nests salmon build to lay their eggs).  After locating a promising spot, we laid out a grid, took a sample pebble from each intersection, and measured and recorded it to get a histogram of gravel sizes.

    Other Recent Activities

    Sandbagging:  As an experiment, we used sandbags to divert all the flow of San Ramon Creek from the bypass into the natural channel during the dry season to see whether it made a difference in the water temperature.  There wasn't enough extra water to make a difference, but we'll try again early next summer when there is more water (and more baby fish).

    Arundo Removal:  A group removed arundo from a stretch of creek bank below the Creekwalk in Civic Park East on August 14. A second group worked on Las Trampas Creek in September.  Slowly but surely, we are making progress against this invasive weed.

    Annual Creek Cleanup -- Thank you!

    Over 360 volunteers participated in this year's downtown creek cleanup.  We are overwhelmed by your response!

    Photos of the 2016 creek cleanup are available here.

    The 2017 cleanup will be May 13.  Plan to join us!

    volunteers clean the creek for the salmon

    Volunteers cleaned up the creek for the salmon on October 29.

    planting seeds

    In August, volunteers propagated native grasses for our winter restoration project on Civic Park's Creekwalk.

    ivy removal volunteers

    Ivy removal volunteers in San Ramon Creek on Community Service Day 2016

    volunteers doing pebble count

    The  volunteer on the left is measuring a pebble, while the one on the right is reaching into the water to select one.

    sandbags in the concrete channel

    Placing sandbags in the bypass channel to divert the flow into the natural channel, August 2016

    Young people removing arundo

    Volunteers cutting arundo  below the Creekwalk

    Crew 7 finds a lot of trash

    Crew 7 found a lot of trash in their area near Creekside Drive.