Strawberry Creek Watershed Stewardship Program

Project Leads: Tim Pine, Carolyn Orson, Veronica Chew, Katy Nomura

Sponsor: Environment, Health & Safety, Strawberry Creek Program

TGIF Grant: $18,082

Project Theme: Habitat Restoration

Project Location

2012 Application Submission

Application Metrics

Status: In Progress

Project Description: Funding will expand Strawberry Creek Student Restoration Leadership Program, which will incorporate environmental education outreach, student/community member skill development, and water quality monitoring to prevent pollution of Strawberry Creek and foster environmental stewardship.

Goals: Foster environmental stewardship by looking at the entire Strawberry Creek Watershed and how the Berkeley community interacts with it. Design, construct, and install 5 interpretive signs along the Jordan Fire Trail, currently used by community members and students for running and walking. Update the Strawberry Creek Tour Guide Booklet to include the upper watershed along this trail with 5 checkpoints marked with interpretive signs. Conduct the Creek Care Campaign in which student participants will encourage and provide assistance to Northside businesses to take the Green Business Pledge by the Bay Area Green Business Program. Train students to take water quality samples and record parameters including total coliform, turbidity, pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids/conductivity, rapid bio-assessment, which will not only identify pollutants and establish background levels of contaminants for various points along Strawberry Creek, but will help to monitor the effects of the Creek Care Campaign and the interpretive trail. Increase biodiversity in the upper watershed by removing invasive species and planting natives through a joint effort between the first and second phase Student Leaders of the SRL Program.

TGIF Blog Posts about Strawberry Creek

2013 Poster

2012-2013 Accomplishments

  • 2 Interns hired! Veronica Chew and Katy Nomura.
  • Contacted community leaders: Met 4 of the Jordan Fire Trail "Regulars" while performing initial survey.
  • Completed the Initial Jordan Fire Trail Survey.
    • Number of people observed on trail, number of times people use the trail, awareness of flora and fauna along the trail, reasons for use of trail, presence of dogs, any suggested improvements; carried out at both entrances of fire trail and online.
  • Successfully applied for a TGIF Mini-Grant for a change in the water quality sensor purchase.
  • Updated the SRL Manual/Booklet by adding 5 natives and at 7 invasive species.
  • Designed 5 interpretive sign designs for installation along Jordan Fire Trail; signs are currently under content review.
  • Presented at the 2012 UC Berkeley Leadership Symposium Presentation.
    • Presented on environmental leadership to an audience of 5 students.
  • Successfully held Restoration Event 1 on 10/20/2012.
    • Focused on Invasive removal with a 15x4' area cleared; had 3 volunteers, 1 volunteer from Leadership Symposium audience.
  • Held 30 minute daily tours of Strawberry Creek Tour for Berkeley High Environmental Science Class from 10/23-10/25.
  • Held Restoration Event 2 on 11/11/2012 that focused on invasive plant removal and native plant planting.
    • 8 toyons were planted.
  • Conducted a Water Quality Testing Training from 11/13/2012 – 12/5/2012.
    • Total Coliform, turbidity, chloramines, and pH
  • Held Restoration Event 3 on 4/13/2013 with 25 volunteers, including members of Tau Beta Pi and students from the Environmental Students, Organizations, and Clubs DeCal.
    • Volunteers focused on the Lower Jordan Fire Trail, eliminating invasive hemlock and thistle.
  • Worked with Office of Sustainability to develop a Water Protection Protocol for the Green Event Certification process. 
  • Proposed 7 criteria for watershed protection protocol to be added to the certification checklist.

Next Steps:

  • In the process of registering local businesses for the Bay Area Green Business Program: Nefeli Cafe application registration completed; 6 other restaurants canvassed; Green Business Club started on campus.
  • Currently designing and testing tours for the Jordan Fire Trail tour.
  • Cal Dining is providing the Watershed Team with buckets for trash and recycling pick-up along Strawberry Creek for to reducing damage to the creek ecosystem and disposal to landfill. Have completed 2 pick-ups with more planned. 

2013-2014 Accomplishments
  • Hired interpretive trail sign designer, Melissa Kingman, from Elevation Design
    • Finalized five trail signs (Welcome, Pollution, Biodiversity, Water, and Fire), after undergoing multiple rounds of edits. 
  • Hired cartographer, Mark Williams from Eureka Cartography, to design a topographic map of the Strawberry Canyon area.
    • Completed and reviewed trail map draft.

Next Steps:

  • Complete trail map.
  • Develop tour process along Jordan Fire Trail
  • Increase publicity of the program.

2014-2015 Accomplishments
  • Quotes for printing of signs were obtained.
Next Steps:
  • Have graphic designer and EHS staff coordinate to obtain usage rights for signs.
  • Goal to have signs finalized and installed by end of Summer 2015

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.