Habitat Restoration Days for Sabercat Creek in Fremont, CA


Left: Volunteer with a naturally recruited California buckeye (Aesculus californica) she has just provided with a plant basin, site 3.
Right: Volunteers with a mass of invasive Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) stems they have uprooted, site 5.
What: Join the City of Fremont’s Environmental Services for a day of habitat restoration work. Tasks vary by time of year, but may include planting and care of native trees, shrubs, and perennials; identifying and flagging native plants that have volunteered; creating plant basins to hold more water and weed mats to discourage weed growth; adding or refilling DRiWATER tubes to help new plants until they become established; weeding around native plants; removing invasive (aggressively opportunistic exotic) plants; sheet mulching; pruning trees and shrubs, removing fire ladder, seed collection; seed planting; creating cages to protect native plants from being eaten by deer or other wildlife before they become established; and cleaning up any trash found in the area. 

Left: Students with a native plant for which they've just refreshed a plant basin and provided a bigger browse protection cage, site 3.
Right: Volunteer with a coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) for which he's created a new plant basin and browse protection cage, site 5.

Left: Volunteers removing invasive thistles and poison hemlock at site 5.
Right:Volunteers removing Himalayan blackberry at site 3.

Left: Volunteers digging invasive Himalayan blackberries out from under rip rap, site 2.
Right: Alsion Montessori student volunteers hauling a massive load of Himalayan blackberry stems and roots they've removed, site 5.

Left: Volunteers with the dead wood they've pruned out from under the mature elderberry behind them - reducing fire ladder at site 2.
Right: Volunteer holding DRiWATER gel, removed from its plastic casing, before installing into a tube, site 3.
Left: Volunteers creating a plant basin around a native coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) seedling, site 5.
Right: Volunteer with a clump of invasive Harding grass (Phalaris aquatica) he has removed, site 5.

Left: Volunteer cutting open a DRiWATER gel pack, to remove the gel from its plastic casing, site 2.
Right:Volunteer prying a huge invasive Algerian ivy (Hedera canariensis) stem off of a mature coast live oak being shaded out, site 4.
Left:Volunteers shimmying a browse protection cage up on its rebar in order to weed the plant basin of a coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), site 5.
Right: Volunteers weeding, refreshing plant basins, fixing or expanding cages, and observing, site 3.

Left: Volunteers harvesting coast live oak acorns to be planted, along trail.
Right: An impromtu work party rounded up by a Sabercat neighbor & volunteer, refilling DRiWATER tubes and weeding out Himalayan 
blackberries, site 3.

Left: Volunteers preparing to open cage, site 5.
Right: Volunteer cradling DRiWATER, site 2. 


the 1st Saturday of each month, 9am-noon (It'll be the 2nd Saturday for Jan 2016.)
some weekdays (variable dates, days and times)

Additional work parties may be scheduled...

(Please scroll down to the bottom of this posting for the upcoming work party schedule, or click on the "Schedule..." link to the left.)

Who: Volunteers of all ages are welcome. A signed waiver form is required for each participant. No Waiver, No Participation. Children under the age of 12 require an accompanying adult unless prior approval is obtained from the workday supervisor - Sabrina Siebert. This volunteer opportunity will fulfill community service hours. Please bring any forms you will need to have signed.


Left: Volunteers preparing plant basins for common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus) transplants, site 4.
Right: Volunteers of all ages from the Church of Latter Day Saints, volunteering for Earth Day, site 5.

Groups: Can contact Barbara Silva by email or via phone (510-494-4575) to schedule their own special program dates/hours. 

Left: Logitech volunteer work day, site 5.
Right: Earth Team volunteer work day, site 5, with another volunteer,Miranda, as well as staff Barbara and Sabrina.

Where: The City of Fremont has five restoration sites along Sabercat Creek, and the work parties will end up being at whichever site needs the most work. Parking can be limited, so please carpool, bike, bus or walk if possible. Please check tripplanner.transit.511.org for public transportation routes and schedules.

Sabercat Creek Restoration Project Sites

(Click on maps to expand them; click again to zoom in further.)
Please note that the closest restrooms are not within easy walking distance; they are located at Old Mission Park, on Ibero Way off of Pine Street.

Sites 1, 2, and 3 are most easily accessed from the trailhead at Via Orinda, off of Luzon Drive. The nearest bus stops are the northeast corner of Washington Blvd. and Weigand Ct. (from the Fremont BART, take AC Transit 217, then 210), and at the southeast corner of Washington Blvd. and Luzon Dr. (from the Fremont Bart, take 212, then 210). Please check tripplanner.transit.511.org for further details.

Site 2 is at the bottom of that first trail, where it forms a T with the trail along the length of the creek. Go over the rip rap (rocks) to the left (east) of the bridge and cattle gate, and you’ll be in Site 2.

To get to Site 1, turn right (west) at the T and follow the trail across the bridge. Keep right at the fork near the concrete structure. Continue along the trail until there is a metal fence at your right (north) side. Site 1 is north of this fence, on a very steep slope, and there are trails down into the site a bit further to each side of the fence. Look out for poison oak, as it is common throughout this site.

To get to Site 3, turn left at the T and follow the trail until you see an area to your right (south) with metal chicken wire cages around many of the shrubs on the south side of the creek. There may also be a mulch pile along the trail on the near (north) side of the creek.

If you are approaching Site 3 from the trailhead at Quema Drive (instead of Via Orinda), take the trail down the slope, then where it forms a T, turn right and walk west. When you see a mulch pile and many caged plants to your left, you will be at Site 3. It looks like the closest bus stop to the Quema Drive trailhead is at Washington Blvd. and Palm Ave. For those coming from the Fremont BART station, you could take AC Transit 212 and 210, or 217 and 210. Please check tripplanner.transit.511.org for further details.

Sabercat sites 1, 2, & 3 map

Site 4

From the trailhead at Quema Drive, just off of Paseo Padre Parkway in Fremont, CA, walk down the hill (generally south). When the path T’s into the path along the creek, turn left (east). Go through the cattle gate, and site 4 will be to your right (south). Those bringing cars usually park along Quema Drive. For weekday after-school work parties, those coming from Mission San Jose High School could take AC Transit Route 624 to the stop near Paseo Padre Parkway and Quema Drive, but would need to arrange for alternate transportation home. For those coming via BART, you could take AC Transit 212 and 210, or 217 and 210. It looks like the closest stop is at Washington Blvd. and Palm Ave. Please check tripplanner.transit.511.org for further details.

Sabercat Creek Site 4

Site 5

Sabercat Creek site 5 is located along Becado Place in Fremont, CA. Those bringing cars usually park in the cul-de-sac at the end of the street. Again, parking is very limited, so please carpool, bike, bus or walk if possible. The nearest bus stops are at the northwest corner of Bryant St. and Pine St. (from the Fremont BART, take AC Transit 212, then 210), and at the northwest corner of Mission Blvd. and Cedar St. (from the Fremont BART, take AC Transit 217). Please check tripplanner.transit.511.org for further details.

Sabercat Creek site 5 map

Please note that the closest restrooms are not within easy walking distance; public restrooms are located at Old Mission Park, on Ibero Way off of Pine Street. Please plan to use a restroom before attending a work event.


  • Tools and a small supply of thorn gloves (the smallest we have is a small adult size, so kids might prefer another option).
  • Water to refill bottles.
  • Rubbing alcohol and/or Tecnu.

Please bring:

  • A signed waiver form. No waiver, no participation.
  • A reusable water bottle.
  • Outdoor work attire (hats, sunscreen, sturdy closed-toe shoes/boots and long pants are recommended; a long-sleeved shirt is desirable, since there are lots of prickly plants).
  • You are welcome to bring your own gloves and tools (if so, please label them).
  • Community service hours forms, if applicable.
  • Printed map to confirm exact site location.

Required: All participants must sign a waiver form; minors under 18 years of age must also have a parent or legal guardian sign their waiver forms. Even if you handed in a waiver form for a previous volunteer event, we need a new waiver form for each new event. Children 12 or under require an accompanying adult.

Caution: Our sites include some poison hemlock, which is poisonous if eaten, and skin contact with it may result in a rash. There is also a lot of native poison oak around the edges of some sites, and in some cases in areas where we might be walking. Most of it was marked with red marking flags and/or red flagging tape this spring.  Some sites have native stinging nettle, although most of it is marked with flagging tape, too. Contact with this plant might result in stings and temporary discomfort. It should be possible for those who are sensitive to these plants to avoid them. We will have rubbing alcohol and Tecnu along to remove oils/irritants from poison oak and poison hemlock.


Please check this Eventbrite page for volunteer events hosted by the City of Fremont Environmental Services.


Please note that we have 5 different locations where we are working on restoration, and sometimes we may not know definitively which site we’ll be working on until a week or two before the work party, at which point we will share that information through Eventbrite and this Google site.

Please visit our Sabercat Creek Riparian Habitat Restoration Google Site. (We hope to add more info about the native and exotic plants on our restoration sites soon).

The Friends of Sabercat Creek Facebook Group is a social forum for those interested in the goings on at Sabercat Creek to share photos, thoughts, and more!


City of Fremont Volunteer Opportunities (including Environmental Services)

Schedule of future work parties…

We'll be having Sabercat Creek Habitat Restoration work parties on the 1st Saturday of most months (except July and September, when it'll be the second Saturday), from 9am-noon. We'll also add other work parties to the schedule as the needs of the plants/sites demand them.

October 1, 2016 (1st Sat), 9am-noon Sabercat Creek Habitat Restoration, Site 2; & Site 3 if time allows https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/habitat-restoration-days-for-sabercat-creek-in-fremont-ca-july-dec-2016-tickets-26067514638

October 22, 2016 (4th Sat), 9am-noon, Make a Difference Day - Sabercat Creek Habitat Restoration, Site 5 https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/make-a-difference-day-2016-habitat-restoration-at-sabercat-creek-tickets-27202249661

November 5, 2016 (1st Sat), 9am-noon Sabercat Creek Habitat Restoration, Site TBA https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/habitat-restoration-days-for-sabercat-creek-in-fremont-ca-july-dec-2016-tickets-26067515641

December 3, 2016 (1st Sat), 9am-noon Sabercat Creek Habitat Restoration, Site TBA https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/habitat-restoration-days-for-sabercat-creek-in-fremont-ca-july-dec-2016-tickets-26067516644


You may also be interested in checking out our Coastal Cleanup Day event:

September 17, 2016 (3rd Sat), 9am-noon, various locations (Please click on the link for more info): https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/coastal-cleanup-day-2016-tickets-26163921995