Category Archives: Member Events

Our Trees and Climate Hike Proved Intriguing

David Ackerly leads group of hikers

David Ackerly and Trekkers

July 2019: Trail Trekkers’ most recent hike, Trees and Climate, proved fascinating, with 20 people discussing the future of the Hillside Natural Area – and of the entire natural world – with tour leader David Ackerly.

Ackerly, who lives in El Cerrito, knows the topic well. He is the dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources and a scientist who has been studying climate change and its global and local effects for years.

Trekkers ponder trees during hikeAmong the topics he discussed was, what can and should scientists and members of the public do to ensure the health of our local forests as climate change makes it difficult or impossible for existing trees to flourish in their once comfortable neighborhood?

Watch for the next such hike, as we plan to do a similar version of this Trees and Climate hike in the fall.





List of trees of interest found above Schmidt entrance to Hillside Natural Area.

Remove Invasive Species with Friends of 5 Creeks July 20

Neil Tsutsui attacks a patch of broom

Neil Tsutsui attacks a patch of broom

Trail Trekkers will be working with Friends of Five Creeks on this valuable effort to restore native habitat in the Hillside. Please join us.

Saturday, July 20: Help reduce fire danger in the El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area, 10am – 12:30pm

Join Friends of Five Creeks in El Cerrito’s beautiful Hillside Natural Area, to continue a years-long effort of removing invasive, fire-prone French broom, in order to reduce fire danger and promote biodiversity.

From the entrance at the south end of Regency Court (across from 1520 Regency), the group will walk to the area’s welcoming central meadows between oak groves, talking about history and nature. Work is not heavy unless you want it to be, but part of the fire-road walk is reasonably steep. Poison oak is always a possibility, kids should be middle-school aged or older, and all should wear long pants, long sleeves, socks, and closed-toed shoes with good traction. Bring sun protection and a re-usable water bottle. We supply gloves, snacks, tools, and good company.

For information, please email Groups of more than 5 please RSVP. Otherwise, just show up!

Successful Broom Pull will be followed by another — soon

It didn’t take long for Beth Molnar, a member of the EQC, to produce this pile of pulled broom.

Our most recent work party, the Madera Open Space broom pull, proved a great success despite its timing – just after the fiercest rains we’ve seen in a while, and with downpours and hail forecasted for that day.

Still, 11 people showed up on Saturday February 16 for this event, spearheaded by the city’s Environmental Quality Committee’s Green Teams and organized by Howdy Goudey. Trekkers co-sponsored.

Broom, a bully of an invasive plant that has in the past decades taken over acres and acres of the Hillside Natural Area, is threatening to reclaim the Madera-Julian Trail, which connects Madera Open Space to the Julian Steps and thus to Motorcycle Hill.

This is a crucial and historic trail in the Hillside Natural Area. It is – so far – the only direct link via trail between the southern and northern areas of the Hillside Area.

The Madera-Julian Trail is facing an invasion of fast-growing broom.

When Trekkers and the El Cerrito High Mountain Biking Team won the support of Trust for Public Land back in 2013 on plans to buy the Madera Open Space, Trust bought in because the purchase would link the two sections of the Hillside.

If Trust hadn’t helped us, the city would never have been able to acquire Madera Open Space and add it to the publicly owned Hillside Natural Area.

Hence, we’d better do what we can to keep this trail passable. (It is a trail that Trekkers created back circa 2012, 2013.)

Watch this space and keep an eye on your email in-box. Green Teams and Trekkers plan another work party at this spot soon.

In two hours on February 16, our crew – a mix of longtime volunteers and welcome newcomers – managed to remove stacks of broom – by the roots of course. Working up close to plants – freeing new live oaks that had been engulfed by broom – is a much more intimate way to enjoy the Hillside than just walking through it.

The views were great as clouds scudded by and the sun came out, and the creek was cascading wildly.

Jacob pulls broom along the Hillside trail

We were careful, of course, to watch out for poison oak, which is starting to leaf.

Then, just past noon, our anointed quitting time, the sky darkened but it didn’t rain. It hailed.

See you at our next broom pull.

Members Enjoyed an Appreciation Party

Long time members Tim Aaronson, David Lingren and Ilana Schatz enjoy the party

Just to show members of El Cerrito Trail Trekkers how much we appreciate them — and to encourage more to join — we threw a members appreciation party in late February.

About 50 people rsvp’d and 42 attended. Mary Barkey supplied wonderful, homemade, vegetarian pizza. Not one slice remained at the end of the night. Pam Austin, our treasurer, brought roasted vegetables. Mais Jafari brought treats of Jordanian cuisine. Others contributed food and drinks as well.

Oh yes, Mary’s lemon cake and cookies.

The entire Trekkers board was there — Pam, our treasurer and VP, Mollie Hazen, our communications director, and Mark Miner, secretary and web master and chief trail builder.

We met people new to us, and some who were new to Trekkers. We believe many people at the party will remain involved with our dynamic group, which needs more people for increased dynamism!

Surprisingly enough we did not play any vinyl. Aimee Haire and Jim Rasmussen in the record room.

Many long-timers were there as well, including several former and founding Trekker board members. People were at the party who have been working in the East Bay for decades to improve the community, along with newcomers who are sure to be part of the community’s future.

Trekkers plans further social events, maybe some at local watering holes. We also plan an outdoors members event in the spring or summer. Watch for it. And join!

Dave Weinstein