Jim Luini, an Orinda resident and community volunteer for nearly half a century passed away this month at 85 from a non-COVID-19 related illness. Jim was a long-time member and recent President of Friends of Orinda Creeks (FOC). Click here for a nice article about Jim from the Orinda News. Memorial donations to Friends of Orinda Creeks' Restoration Fund in Jim’s name can be made by clicking on the Donate tab. We will all miss Jim.
Chevron, a San Pablo creek side property owner, has made a second donation of $5,000 to the restoration effort. Thank you Chevron for your very generous contribution to our local creek and community.
WHEN: Sunday October 20th, 2-4PM.
WHERE: Garden Room, Orinda Library, 26 Orinda Way, Orinda.
HOSTED BY: The Orinda Historical Society
Join us for a presentation by the Friends of Orinda Creeks on San Pablo Creek's history and future, including a showing of Caleb Elkind's award-winning short documentary "A Fish Tale". Presenters include Reg Barrett, Brian Waters, Cinda MacKinnon, and Michael Bowen. Learn about our creek's history as well the progress towards a restoration of the creek as it flows through Orinda Village.
Caleb Elkind's A Fish Tale, a short documentary about restoring trout to the San Pablo Watershed, won "Best Short Documentary Film by a Middle School Student" at the Lamorinda ShortDocs Film Fest. Learn a little about the natural history of our creek from FOC's Brian Waters and Toris Jaeger by watching the film here:
Nice Job Caleb!!
Recognizing the need for a revitalized downtown facing a restored San Pablo Creek, the city is launching an important and ambitious planning effort known as the Downtown Precise Plan. As described in the Lamorinda Weekly, the city’s Request For Proposals (RFP) from consultants emphasizes the creek as a centerpiece of any downtown development. Friends of Orinda Creeks applauds city staff and the council for its leadership, and we look forward to continued coordination to ensure that the restoration plan under development by Friends of Orinda Creeks is incorporated into the city’s plans.
FlowWest is currently working on the hydraulic modeling required for the Next Level Design Plan. The modeling and designs should be ready for review by the City this summer.
Meanwhile, City planner Adam Foster wrote and submitted a grant application for Prop. 1 funds for creek restoration, which aims to use our 30% plan and take it to the 60% design level. Included is planning for a trail and green infrastructure. The application affirms our partnership with the City and their commitment to the project. Long-range future plans may include possible daylighting of the creek below Bank of America to the 1920 bridge.
In addition, Contra Costa County Flood Control has offered to transfer their creek lot to the City for restoration purposes. The City is starting the process of “due diligence” in order to accept the parcel.
The Restoration Project has received the official support of EBMUD. Click here to read their recent letter to Mayor Inga Miller regarding the alignment of the Downtown San Pablo Restoration Plan with EBMUD's own East Bay Watershed Master Plan which "strives to improve water quality, increase biodiversity and provide opportunities for the public to enjoy" the local watershed.
The Orinda Association's February edition of the Orinda News featured a nice column about the restoration based on an interview with Friends of Orinda Creeks' President Bob Stoops (note correct spelling) and Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary's Paul Bettelheim. You can read it by clicking here!
FlowWest out of Berkeley, CA has been selected to provide the engineering basis for a restored San Pablo Creek. FlowWest has worked on similar projects throughout California and has the experience and capability to develop what’s known as The Next Level Design Plan. This will advance the Preliminary Restoration Plan to a 30% design level and provide cost estimates for the final design, permitting and construction costs.
Importantly, the Plan will include three (3) concept level designs of creek and restoration alternatives to present to the City and adjacent property owners. Gentle meanders will most likely be a part of the final design in order to restore functionality. Click here for FlowWest's Example Design and here for their full proposal.
Friends of Orinda Creeks has released a request for proposals to advance the Preliminary Restoration Plan for San Pablo Creek (2001) to a 30% Design Plan. Design details at the 30% level shall:
Based on stakeholder interviews conducted in 2017, ULI - an outside consulting firm tasked with providing expert, multidiscipline advice and recommendations to Orinda regarding the future of Downtown Orinda – uncovered strong community interest in integrating San Pablo Creek into the planning of downtown Orinda and “converting the creek into a usable community asset.”
The ULI report concluded “San Pablo Creek represents a huge opportunity for downtown…San Pablo Creek could someday become a defining feature of Orinda.”
FOC presented the Preliminary Restoration Plan for San Pablo Creek to the Orinda City Council in October 2001. The council voted to support the plan and to work with FOC in their implementation efforts.
A preliminary restoration plan for San Pablo Creek was commissioned by Friends of Orinda Creeks and funded by EBMUD in conjunction with the California Regional Water Board SEP program in July, 2001.
The Plan was developed by an engineer and hydrologist with Water Resources Institute (WRI). They used historical documents to calculate channel dimensions (capacity), equilibrium channel slope, valley slope and meander ratios with the goal of recreating a natural channel that is stable and provides increased flood control. The plan also included a creekside path and native revegetation.
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FOC, PO Box 883, Orinda CA 94563 TaxID: 90-0666255