Local Environmental Issues in Albany, California
Albany Hill: A Stewardship Opportunity - Barbara Ertter
The Value of Albany Hill - Barbara Ertter
Images of Albany Hill - Greg Jalbert
The Meaning of Albany Hill - Greg Jalbert
Albany Hill: A Stewardship Opportunity
Want to spend some active time outdoors this winter while "acting locally" for the benefit of the East Bay's native flora? Then consider participating in the Friends of Albany Hill on-going stewardship project to control invasive alien pest plants. Rather than being merely the bump covered with condominiums and eucalyptus next to the I-80/I-580 split, Albany Hill and adjacent Cerritto Creek represent an "island in an urban sea", providing a refuge for an unexpected diversity of native species that have disappeared from the surrounding flatlands. At last tally, approximately 130 native plants had been recorded, including the rare Michael's rein orchid (Piperia michaeli) and several species seldom found in the East Bay, such as the Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana).
This diversity is, however, seriously threatened by the rampant spread of several invasive non-native pest plants. Currently at the top of the "hit list" are English ivy (Hedera helix), Algerian ivy (Hedera canariensis), german-ivy (Senecio mikanioides), thornless blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius vsr. inermis), Stebbin's grass (Ehrharta erecta), bermuda-buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae) and French broom (Genista monspessulana). Eucalyptus are targetted only to the extent that they invade the rich oak forest on the north face; those on the top of the hill provide wintering habitat for monarch butterflies!
Volunteer work days are scheduled for the last Saturday of each month, starting at 9 am (generally ending around 1 pm). We generally meet at the Jackson streets turnaround, and sometimes at the north base of the hill, opposite Creekside Park at the end of Santa Clara Ave. Trails also originate at the ends of Madison, Taft, and Jackson streets on Albany Hill itself. Bring gloves and be prepared for poison-oak (Toxicodendron), which is unfortunately ubiquitous Pruning shears and other tools can be handy, depending on what plant is being tackled (ivy in December).
For further information, contact Barbara Ertter (643-0600; email@example.com)
Updated October 21, 1999