Alhambra Creek Watershed

Alhambra Creek Watershed

Alhambra Creek is a stream in Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the ​San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. Alhambra Creek drains into the Carquinez Strait at Martinez, via the historical Arroyo del Hambre. Alhambra Creek and its valley take their name from Cañada del Hambre, Spanish for "valley of hunger," apparently because of some unknown incident involving starving Spanish soldiers. The name appears on diseños repeatedly and appears on an 1842 land grant, Rancho Cañada del Hambre y Las Bolsas. Although technically Alhambra Creek only refers to the upper section of 2 miles, and the United States Board on Geographic Names in 1943 confirmed Arroyo del Hambre as the name for the lower creek, Mrs. John Strentzel, John Muir's mother-in-law, did not like the name and renamed the lower creek also as Alhambra Creek. Currently, the entire creek is commonly called Alhambra Creek, and Arroyo del Hambre Creek and Franklin Creek are considered its two tributaries.

The Alhambra Native Plant Trail

Visit the gardens created by volunteers from Friends of Alhambra Creek and the California Native Plant Society to get ideas for your very own California native garden at home!

The goal of the Alhambra Native Plant Trail is not only to educate residents about our native flora, but also to create a wildlife corridor through Martinez for birds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects.
Learn more about The Alhambra Native Plant Trail.

Informational Materials:

Visit our Watershed Partner Groups

Alhambra Watershed Council

The Alhambra Watershed Council (AWC) is a stakeholder group that was established in 1997 to produce the Alhambra Creek Watershed Management Plan (2001). The group’s mission is to protect and enhance the health of the Alhambra Creek Watershed by educating the public about the watershed, providing a forum for new ideas and projects, and acting as a community resource.

By representing diverse stakeholder interests and promoting healthy natural systems, the AWC aims to support the health and vitality of the entire watershed community. Contra Costa County, Friends of Alhambra Creek, National Park Service, New Leaf Collaborative, Mt. View Sanitary District, and residents are among the active participants. Past projects include the Alhambra Creek Watershed Map and Festival and the Strentzel Lane Flood Reduction Project. The AWC receives coordinator support from the CCRCD.

Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month on Zoom at 6:30pm. Interested community members are welcome to attend AWC meetings. Come and share your ideas!

AWC Meeting dates for 2022 are listed below. If you would like to join a meeting and are not yet on the AWC email list, please contact Lisa Damerel for the meeting access info.

2022 Meeting Dates

January 4, February 1, March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, September 6, October 4, November 1, December 6

Friends of Alhambra Creek

Established in 1991, Friends of Alhambra Creek is a volunteer group that brings people and Alhambra Creek together to protect the health of the Creek and its surrounding community. They have collaborated with other groups and agencies to participate in and carry out a wide range of projects.

​The group meets on the third Tuesday of every month and is currently holding meetings on Zoom. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Friends of Alhambra Creek at


Lisa Damerel


Lisa Damerel

Skills: Horticulture, invasive plant removal, CA native plants & animals, grant writing

Fun Fact: Lisa was a Girl Scout throughout elementary and middle school. Lisa climbed to the summit of Huayna Picchu and visited the Peruvian rainforest in 2016.

Lisa Damerel

Lisa is from Los Angeles, CA. She has a BA with Honors in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a Professional Sequence in Editing certificate from UC Berkeley Extension. She worked in publishing for 10 years, primarily editing educational materials including science textbooks and curricula. Her passion for nature led her back to school to study horticulture at Diablo Valley College where she earned a Nursery Technician certificate. She joined the CCRCD’s staff in January 2019. She likes hiking with friends and family, eating chocolate, creating beautiful things, and rooting for the Oakland A’s.