Contra Costa Resource Conservation District has worked with volunteers and stakeholders in the Alhambra Creek Watershed since 1995. For background information about these community groups click on the listings below.

Upcoming Events:

Alhambra Creek Watershed:

    • Saturday, September 20Alhambra Watershed Cleanup Day at Pacheco Marsh. Led by Friends of Alhambra Creek

      Sign-in at 8:30 am. Program ends at noon.Sign-in Location: East Bay Regional Park Districts’ Martinez Regional Shoreline, Martinez. MEET IN THE PARKING LOT at the NORTH END OF FERRY STREET.  We will carpool to a site east of 2801 Waterfront Rd.

    Saturday, September 27-National Public Lands Day, John Muir National Historic Site: Volunteers will plant 1000 plugs of native grasses. 10AM. Meet at the JMNHS visitor center.

Alhambra Watershed Council

Meetings are typically held on the first Tuesday of the month. Contact Lisa Anich if you have questions. Click on the title above to learn more about the council. We are currently working on several projects. Interested community members are always welcome at planning group meetings. Come and share your ideas!

Upcoming Meetings in 2014:

The next AWC meetings will be on August 5th, September 2nd, October 7th
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: 255 Glacier Drive, Martinez (County Public Works Dept. Conference Room A)

Friends of Alhambra Creek

FOAC meets on the 4th Tuesday of most months at 6:00pm. Click on the title above to learn more about FOAC. For future meeting dates and agendas, please contact friendsofac@gmail.com .

Meeting Location: Martinez City Hall Upstairs Conf. Room, 525 Henrietta Street, Martinez.

 

Friends of Alhambra Creek Activities:

Strentzel Meadow Restoration Workdays: - usually 1st and 3rd Saturdays -- (9 am - Noon)

Join Friends of Alhambra Creek at their ongoing restoration of Strentzel Meadow in Martinez. A beautiful meadow owned by the National Park Service and is being restored as part of a project to reduce flooding in the surrounding neighborhood, improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat. This site also includes a Demonstration Butterfly Garden.

For information or to volunteer, please contact Lisa Anich or Elaine Jackson

Directions to Strentzel Meadow

Alhambra Valley Creek Coalition
This long-term project seeks to stabilize the eroding creek banks along a one-mile stretch of natural riparian corridor. Several steps have been taken towards this goal. In 2011 two significant projects were completed:

  • A biological habitat survey was conducted that found this one-milereach to be suitable habitat for 4 protected species: the Redlegged Frog, Western Pond Turtle, Steelhead, and a critical connecting corridor for Alameda Whipsnake which inhabits the upland areas on both sides of the creek at this location. The study was done by biologist Jeff Alvarez of The Wildlife Project with funds provided by the Rose Foundation.
  • A demonstration and test site of native habitat plants was installed at the upstream end of the project area. This site serves as an example to other homeowners of what can be accomplished; regular monitoring for plant survival and growth will help guide plant selection for future habitat restorations in this area.
  • A homeowner workshop was held to allow the other 45 landowners in this project to see the restored habitat site, to hear results of the habitat survey, and to discuss next steps toward the project goal. For more information contact Jamie Menasco at 370-1808 or avcc@softcom.net

    Resources

    Day Hikes in Alhambra Watershed

    Alhambra Watershed Council Brochure

    Alhambra Creek Watershed Resources Inventory
    (Only Table of Contents online; contact us for a hard copy)

    Alhambra Creek Watershed GIS Data Set
    (Only Table of Contents online; contact us for a hard copy)

    Analysis of 10 Channel Cross-Section in Alhambra CreekAlhambra Creek Watershed Flooding and Downtown Revitalization

    Information about native plants suitable for home gardens, and non-native invasive plants to avoid

    Alhambra Creek Watershed Management Plan (April 2001)
    Available on CD, hard copy or in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
    This 242-page document is the product of the three years of work by the Alhambra Creek Watershed Planning Group. The document has a wealth of information about Alhambra Creek and is illustrated with color maps and photos.

    To use the CD you will need a PC with MS Word and a CD-ROM drive. We recommend that you copy the 140 MB Word document to your hard drive for easier access. To obtain a CD, please contact Lisa Anich (925) 787-6746.

    Alhambra Creek Watershed Plan - Goals and Recommendations Table

    The Alhambra Watershed Management Plan Appendices is a comprehensive companion to the Plan with natural resource information (water, geology, soils, and wildlife biology) as well as watershed enhancement guides and resources. Unfortunately, the Appendices are not available in electronic form. However, the Appendices can be borrowed from Contra Costa RCD.

    About the Alhambra Creek Watershed

    Alhambra Creek Watershed Map
    (A large map of Alhambra Creek Watershed is available. The map includes aerial photos and shaded relief views of the watershed, 50 and 100-year floodplains, restoration projects, trails and open space. It can be obtained from Lisa Anich)

    The Alhambra Creek Watershed covers approximately 16.5 square miles in north central Contra Costa County in Northern California and encompasses a portion of the City of Martinez. The land in the upper Alhambra Creek Watershed is used for parks and recreation, grazing, tree farming, and semi-rural living. The main stem of Alhambra Creek flows through open space, wildlife habitat, residential neighborhoods and then through the commercial area of downtown Martinez before it discharges into the Carquinez Straits through a tidal wetland. The valley floors along tributary creeks are mostly residential/agricultural areas. There are no reservoirs and no heavy industry in the watershed. An oil refinery is located just over the ridge to the east, and two railroads and a freeway cross the watershed.

     

    In November 1995, the Environmental Alliance, a local non-profit organization, asked the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District for assistance in preparing a watershed management plan for Alhambra Creek. The two organizations began to build community support and seek funding to support a planning group.

    The City of Martinez had experienced flooding on a yearly basis and had been searching for solutions to this problem for many years. The floods of 1996 galvanized the people of Alhambra Creek watershed. The town of Martinez experienced heavy damage and the upper watershed was damaged by severe erosion, flooding and silting. The community realized that to solve these problems the entire watershed system needed to be evaluated.

    The stakeholders in the watershed were identified and asked to participate through the Coordinated Resource Management and Planning (CRMP) process, forming the Alhambra Creek Watershed Planning Group. A diverse group of stakeholders contributed to the plan:

    RanchersEnvironmental Alliance
    FarmersCattlemen’s Association
    ResidentsMuir Heritage Land Trust
    East Bay Regional Park DistrictAlhambra Valley Improvement Association
    National Park ServiceFriends of Alhambra Creek
    City of MartinezMartinez Chamber of Commerce
    Contra Costa CountyUrban Creeks Council
    Contra Costa Resource Conservation DistrictContra Costa Flood Protection and Water Conservation District
    Citizens Land AllianceEnvironmentalists
    Central Contra Costa Sanitary DistrictContra Costa Farm Bureau
    TeachersHomeowners
    Business OwnersMunicipal workers

    From 1996 to April 2001, the planning group received grants from the California Department of Conservation, the Contra Costa Clean Water Program, and CALFED to fund the salary of the Watershed Coordinator and to pay publication and meeting costs. The watershed plan was published in April 2001. At that point the group changed its name to the Alhambra Watershed Action Group and began work to implement the plan's goals.

    In 2004, the Alhambra Watershed Action Group evolved into the Alhambra Watershed Council with the mission to continue implementation of the Watershed Plan, act as a community resource, and provide a forum for new ideas and projects that will promote the health and vitality of the entire watershed community.

    Goals Presented in the Alhambra Creek Watershed Management Plan

    1. Reduce flood damage and conserve stormwater.
    2. Prevent excessive erosion and conserve soil resources.
    3. Protect and improve water quality.
    4. Reduce wildland fire damage.
    5. Encourage coordination of City and County General and Specific Plans with each other using the watershed as a planning unit.
    6. Support economically and environmentally sustainable land uses while protecting private property rights.
    7. Promote a sense of a watershed community.
    8. Maintain and restore fish and wildlife habitat and native plant communities consistent with environmentally and economically sustainable land use.
    9. Maintain and enhance the quality of life by providing increased opportunities to appreciate and enjoy watershed resources.

Contact Lisa Anich

925-787-6746

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