On July 22 of last year, nearly 80 volunteers fanned out all over Berkeley, clipboards in hand, to walk all the paths in Berkeley and record their condition. With sharp eyes on signage, steps, handrails, and overgrowth, our volunteers gathered invaluable information to inform BPWA’s ongoing path improvement efforts.
Inspired by a Facebook post that she saw in January about an English grandmother who cleaned up 52 beaches in 2018, Elsa Tranter embarked on a mission to make Bay Area beaches better, one beach a week and one soda can at a time.
The Alliance’s fundraising target is $70,000, which will enable the addition of handrails to the most popular paths to make them safer for residents, especially those who might be mobility impaired or elderly. The funds will help to complete Columbia Path and potentially build Del Mar Path, and to make improvements in Glendale Path, Atlas Path, and Wilson Walk.
Consider taking one of three terrific new routes that walking guru Bob Johnson has created. They cover Upper Shattuck and the Marin Circle, Strawberry Creek Park and the Santa Fe Railway, and Berkeley Woods, a hilly neighborhood in Northeast Berkeley.
Developers of this hilly neighborhood built convenient paths so new residents could walk to and from shops, schools, and public transportation. Until 1958, the E train, the northeastern-most line of the old Key System, terminated just steps from the entrance to the Claremont Hotel; in fact, the train was originally supposed to end in the hotel’s lobby.
On the south slope of Claremont Canyon above the Claremont Hotel, lies one of the best-kept secrets in the Berkeley-Oakland Hills: Garber Park. This 13-acre City of Oakland wildland park has significant stands of big leaf maple, California buckeyes, regenerating coast live oak, and the typical understory found in woodland forests. Harwood Creek meanders through it in winter and spring.
Our newest path will also have a new name. Completed this fall, Keeler Walk (#32 on our map) soon will be christened John Muir Path. It is the 34th path that BPWA volunteers have built with wood timbers and connects Grizzly Peak Blvd. and Creston Rd., midway between the end of Euclid and Marin Aves.