Trekker News November 2022


Volunteers remove French broom from the Madera Open Space section of the Hillside Natural Area. We have been focusing on this section in recent years and have opened up entire areas that were once filled with broom. Photos by Dave Weinstein

Let’s remove invasive French broom from the Hillside Natural Area, with the first event this Saturday. Join Trekkers and El Cerrito Trail Trekkers to remove noxious French broom, which chokes out native plants and fuels wildfires. 

The ground will be soft so it will be easy to pull plants out. We will supply tools, gloves and tarps. Bring water and wear sunscreen. No experience necessary! All ages welcome (under 18 with guardian). 

We have two such events planned: Saturday November 19 and Sunday December 11, 2022, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet at north end of Regency Court. Rsvp or simply show up: 

Enjoy Trekkers’ holiday members appreciation party
. Celebrate the season and the end of one year and start of another at a Trekkers house party from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m on Saturday December 3. 

Trail Trekker members enjoyed a holiday party some years ago at a member’s home.

We invite longtime members and new members for good food, beverages, and social interaction to this party, which will take place both indoors and outdoors to accommodate all. Not a member? Bring your checkbook to join at the door, only $20 for a family annual membership, $500 to become a member for life!

If you’re a longtime member you will remember how much fun these parties can be, with Trekkers attracting some of the most charming personalities in our area. New to the group? We ensure that everyone feels welcome. All ages are welcome. Rsvp to to find out the address. Hope to see you there.

The Hillside Natural Area is a beautiful resource for wildlife, flora, and humans. Eucalyptus groves are one feature of the Hillside that will be studied in developing the management plan.

Coastal Conservancy Grant will pay for Hillside Natural Area study. El Cerrito has been awarded a State Coastal Conservancy Wildfire Resilience Grant for the development of a Fire Resilience and Forest Conservation Management Plan for the El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area.

The city’s Urban Forest Committee helped prepare the application. The $145,000 grant will pay for a consultant to work closely with the public to deal with issues including fire prevention, recreation and emergency access. 

“Notably,” the city writes in a release, “no matching funds are required.” In other words, this will not affect the city’s operational budget.

“City Staff will request proposals and select an environmental consultant who will assess the site conditions, prepare an environmental analysis, and guide the public process culminating in a comprehensive plan by Summer 2024,” the release says.

The project will involve the Fire Department, Public Works, and community groups. Among the goals are to create “defensible space to improve protection of El Cerrito homes located in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.’

“In addition, proper vegetation management practices will conserve and enhance the native oak and riparian woodlands, resulting in continued mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, improved community health, reduced stormwater runoff, and enhanced critical habitats, ecosystems, and watersheds.”

Trekkers will take part on this process and we welcome the attention to one of the city’s most important natural and cultural resources, the 100-acres Hillside Natural Area.

For more information, please contact the City’s Environmental Programs Manager, Stephen Prée, at  

Mark your calendar for Trail Trekkers annual meeting. This will be our first live, in-person annual meeting since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and it will be a special one. Besides the chance for members to vote for officers – and to nominate potential additions to the board – we will feature a very special speaker on the afternoon of Saturday January 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Garden Room of the city’s Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane.

The business meeting starts at 4, followed by the presentation 15 to 20 minutes later. Are you interested in joining the board or in learning more about leadership roles with Trekkers? Contact our president at

Join us to hear celebrated San Francisco filmmaker Judy Irving discuss her work and what inspires her, and show brief clips from her films focusing on the urban/wildlife interface.

Judy Irving is a Sundance-and-Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker whose theatrical credits include The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, a feature documentary about the relationship between a homeless street musician and a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco, and Pelican Dreams, about California brown pelicans and the people who know them best. 

Her many other film projects, including local gems like Treasures of the Greenbelt and Secrets of the Bay, are detailed on her nonprofit Pelican Media website.  In 2015 Judy was invited to become a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Her upcoming feature release, Cold Refuge, tells the story of people facing adversity who find meaning and community through Bay swimming. 

Volunteers at a Baxter Creek habitat enhancement and clean-up posed for a group shot after a job well done. This group including members of Cub Scout Pack 104.

Take part in the next Baxter Creek Work Party on Sunday, December 4, 10 a.m. to noon. Please join city staff and other volunteers at Baxter Creek Gateway Park in this jewel on the Ohlone Greenway. The activities will include litter removal, invasive plant removal and native plant care. 

All ages are welcome (under 18 with guardian). Please wear long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes. Bring water. The city will provide tools, bags, gloves, and sanitizer. There are no bathrooms at the park. We will meet at 10 a.m. at Conlon Avenue and the Ohlone Greenway. RSVP by email or phone:  or 510-215-4350

Baxter Creek Gateway Park Volunteer Days take place on the first Sunday of each month, except during major holiday weekends, in which case we will meet the following Sunday. 

Buy our El Cerrito Trail Map. The second edition of this map is available, Jenny K , and Pegasus books on Solano Avenue. Or you can buy a map from us or get one “free” by joining Trail Trekkers. Send $6 for a map to our treasurer, Pam Austin, 834 Kearny St., EC, 94530

Have you renewed your membership? It only costs $20 annually to belong to Trekkers, and $500 buys a life membership. Please renew now or join by going to our website and downloading the membership form.

And consider an additional donation as well. Funds go for trail work, to install trail signs, for a fund to purchase additional open space, as well as incidental expenses. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Trekkers thanks new and renewing members and donors:

Neil Dunlop

Hale and Madeline Kronenberg


El Cerrito Trail Trekkers board of directors:
Dave Weinstein, president,
Wade Huntley, vice president
Barbara Lass, secretary
Pam Austin, treasurer,
Clare Sheridan, member at large,
Melissa Hobbs, member at large,

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