Trekker News August 2022


A Spanish-styled home at the corner of Lagunitas Avenue and Arlington Boulevard is one of the city’s loveliest and we will see it on our tour. Photo by Dave Weinstein

Join our Beautiful Homes Stroll and Socializing. Let’s enjoy views of Storybook, Period Revival and Mid-Century Modern homes and gardens, and notice rock outcroppings and other natural historical features, on this often steep route. 

A 90-minute walk will finish with socializing and refreshments on the rocky front yard of a Trail Trekker’s home. Sunday, August 21, 2022, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Meet: In front of a home at 2661 Mira Vista Dr., Richmond, near the El Cerrito border. Leader:  Dave Weinstein

Alan Siegel is among the most popular of our tour leaders, thanks to his deep knowledge, skills as a raconteur, and ability to connect with people. Here he is leading an earlier hike in the Hillside Natural Area. Photo by Dave Weinstein

Plant walking: A Healing Ritual. Alan Siegel, a volunteer docent with the East Bay Regional Park District’s Tilden Botanic Garden, will teach us to identify edible and medicinal plants in the El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area. 

We will learn interesting stories about how native plants have been used over the centuries and currently for food, medicine, and crafts by Indigenous peoples and cultures world-wide. A fall harvest theme with some focus on acorns, nuts, and berries. Sunday, September 25, 10 a.m. to noon, Schmidt Lane trailhead of the Hillside Natural Area, 7501 Schmidt Lane.

Please drop by the Trail Trekker booth at this year’s Solano Stroll. The wonderful Solano Stroll, which has filled Solano Avenue in Albany and Berkeley since its inception in 1974, is back in the flesh this year.

Trekkers will take advantage of that to spread the word about the trails and open spaces within our city to the approximately 100,000 people “from all over northern California, and beyond” that organizers say the event attracts to enjoy music, food, a car-free street, displays, and each other.

Our booth will be near Solano Avenue’s intersection with Key Route Boulevard, in Albany. We hope you say hello! We will have maps, nature and open space displays, and good cheer.

The 46th Solano Stroll takes place Sunday, September 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, September 10, a smaller event, “Strollish,” occupies the sidewalks. Trekkers will not be at that event, though it will undoubtedly be much fun. Support local merchants and restaurants.

Janet Gawthrop’s tour of native plants took hikers through the beautiful grove of coast live oaks that give the Live Oak Trail its name. She provides links for more information, and suggests books you can read. Photo by Dave Weinstein

Learn more about the Hillside Natural Area’s native plants and pollinators.
Those of us who attended Janet Gawthrop’s recent Plant Hike for Trail Trekkers learned an amazing amount about the plants of the Hillside, both native and non-native.

Janet, a member of the California Native Plant Society, also discussed the various online resources that people interested in the topic can read to learn more.
She asked Trekkers to post some links on our website.

Janet writes: “About plants and food, you can try "Bringing Native Foods Home," which you can find in publications at . All the past Flora issues can be read at the CNPS website.

“Concerning sudden oak death, aka Phytopthora ramorum the best information is always at, which has both the updated pathogen survey map for download, but also a lot of useful information on prevention of disease spread.

“There were also a lot of pollinator questions, so you might also direct folks to Art Schapiro's website  If you click the butterfly tab on the homepage ‘dashboard’ it will take you to an illustrated species list, with both common and Latin names.

“Finally for folks who want to experiment with ‘foraging,’ may I strongly recommend restricting collections to exotica, or garden native plants at home?  There are two books on edible plants: 
“Edible & Useful Plants of California, by Charlotte Bringle Clark, published in the UC Press California Natural History Series, and “The Flavors of Home, by Margit Roos-Collins, published by Heyday Press in 2016.  The earlier edition is out of print.”

Take part in the next Baxter Creek Work Party on Sunday, September 11, 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. 

Subsequent dates for 2022 are: October 2, November 6, December 4

Buy our El Cerrito Trail Map. The second edition of this map is available at three stores, Jenny K , Builders Booksource on Fourth Street in Berkeley, 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:

Lucy Ames
Karen Chapman
Patricia Christensen
Marianne Franck
Julio Garcia
Dan and Ashley Hall
Michele Hament
Rabia Mead
Rachel Melby
Alan Stanek

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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