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November 7, 2017

Dear Skyliners,


Last week was a week of trail improvements and protecting young Live Oaks.  On Wednesday, we put wire cages around 12 young sapling oaks to protect them from deer browsing.  We selected trees with good-sized trunks and good roots.  Now they will grow like crazy.   I'll have some pictures next week.  On Sunday, we marked another 15 oaks to cage and protect.  And, we removed a bunch of fog drip thistle seedlings and more Euphorbia.


On trail work, we helped put in steps at the Steam Trains entrance on Monday; and, on Saturday, we helped realign the trail section through the Water Tank meadow.  More on trails in a bit.


We'll have regular days out this week:  Wednesdays will now be at 3pm with the change to Pacific Standard time.  Sunday is still at 9:30 am.  Please let me know if you can make it.


On Monday morning of last week, five of us set ten new steps at the Skyiline Trail entrance at Steam Trains.  We teamed up with volunteers from a group called Berkeley Pathwanderers.  They maintain the many paths in Berkeley.  


The steps were Eucalyptus that were milled by EBMUD from trees they had taken down.  They cut the steps to 3 feet and drilled holes in them for rebar.  Recycled steps from Eucalyptus, now isn't that something great!!


Here's me and John setting steps, working down from Lomas Cantadas:

John is a complete pro; he guesses he's set about 500 new steps in Berkeley paths.  I'm just the helper here, and a helpful eye on placement.


Here's the view from below, almost done:

We got a nice curve in the trail, to come around the drainage channel at the base.


Here's the final looking down from Lomas Cantadas:

There's a nice, level gravel platform now that is right at street level.  That's Francesca there; she's a regular both with Skyline Gardens and the Pathwanderers.  Thanks, Francesca, for getting them involved; and thanks to Steve for organizing the day.


And here's the final view looking up the trail:

It really looks nice; can't wait for you all to see it.


The other trail project was last Saturday, Nov 4.  This was the annual Bay Area Ridge Trail volunteer workday.  700 volunteers participated on the trail all around the Bay.  EBMUD sponsors a workday each year on the Skyline Trail segment of the Ridge Trail.  Close to 30 volunteers showed up at the Water Tank Meadow.  We divided into teams and re-aligned the trail through the meadow and reconditioned the trail further down.  Big thanks to Ranger Supervisor Mark Silva for pulling this all together with rangers, tools, tables and the works.  Chipotle provided free burritos.  The new trail there looks great.


Come check it all out!!


Happy Trails,



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