Friends of Alhambra Creek

Alhambra Way Mural

This project was spearheaded by Jeff Sherwin, a Friends of Alhambra Creek member and Martinez resident. Jeff's vision and dedication transformed the blank, gray walls of the Highway 4 underpass on Alhambra Way into the current vibrant mural. The mural celebrates some of our remarkable local plants and animals.

Tim Hon, Steve Ha, Romali Licudan, and Eric Nodora make up the local art group, Illuminaries, who painted the mural, along with help from volunteers.

The mural was completed in January 2024.

360° Alhambra Way Mural Virtual Tour

Alhambra Creek Watershed Photo Gallery

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 people and agencies to participate in, and carry out, a wide range of projects.

The group meets at 6pm on the second Tuesday of each month. These meetings are currently held on at the Martinez Senior Center (818 Green Street, Martinez). Meeting agendas are uploaded to the Friends of Alhambra Creek Facebook Page and a Google Drive folder a few days prior to each meeting. To view the agendas, please click this Google Drive Folder link.

If you have any questions, please contact the Friends of Alhambra Creek at foac@ccrcd.org.

Visit our Facebook page

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What Are the Friends Up To?

Your place to find the latest information about the Friends' projects and events. Photos from these projects and events have been added to the Photo Gallery at the bottom of this page.

On 4/28/2024, HIDDEN LAKES PARK CLEANUP- A BIG SUCCESS!
Sponsored by: City of Martinez, Martinez Refining Company, Kiwanis, Friends of Alhambra Creek, Republic Services, Martinez Chamber of Commerce.
The community cleanup of Hidden Lakes Park was a huge success. There were 42 volunteers who canvased the area and picked up 72# of trash. We had Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Kiwanians, Martinez Refinery Company employees, and many people from Martinez and neighboring Pleasant Hill and Concord. Martinez City Council member Satinder Mali led the charge, even taking one for the team as he stepped into the lake, unexpectedly, for a plastic drink cup!
The event follows a similar clean up in downtown Martinez on February 3rd. That clean up netted 57# of garbage. Clearly there is always a need for garbage pick up.
PLASTIC remains a problem! There were bags of plastic Easter grass and eggs along with pink foil pacifiers- perhaps from a gender reveal party.
PLEASE remember to pick up after your parties and try not to use plastic for your decorations. We all know how damaging it is for our environment and the critters who share our world.

On 10/1/2023, the Friends participated in the WARD STREET PARKLET CLEANUP: Thanks to our City of Martinez Mayor Brianne Zorn for spear heading our cleanup of the Ward Street Parklet. Lots of work was accomplished by our small but mighty group. District 1 Councilman Jay Howard was first into the creek. We removed tires, cushions, lots of buckets of garbage, ivy, blackberries and invasive weeds. Our dumpster was filled in three hours! To date the area remains a nice place to view the creek and has become less of a flooding hazard. Martinez city workers keep the waterway clear of downed trees. Photos are below at the end of the page in he photo gallery. Friends of Alhambra Creek out there making a difference!

On 01/21/23, the Friends participated in a CCC Flood Control District planting event called Giving Natives a Chance in Concord, CA.

On 11/19/22, the Friends added native pollinator plants to the Alhambra Native Plant Trail, provided by funding from the Kiwanis Club of Martinez.

On 09/25/22, the Friends partnered with Mt. View Sanitary District and CCRCD for Coastal Cleanup Day 2022 at McNabney Marsh

On 9/25/21, the Friends removed stinkwort and trash from McNabney Marsh in Martinez.

On 9/18/21, the Friends partnered with Green Team to remove stinkwort and trash from the parking lot near the Martinez Dog Park.

On 7/24/21, the Friends partnered with Green Team to remove stinkwort along the walking trail behind the NorCal Courts near the Martinez Shoreline.

Friends of Alhambra Creek was featured in the June 2021 Wildland Volunteer Network bulletin by the California Invasive Plant Council.

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.

Creek Cleanup Interest Form

The Friends of Alhambra Creek (FoAC) have supported and participated in many creek cleanups within and surrounding Martinez. If you are interested in completing a creek cleanup with the help of the FoAC, please fill out the form by clicking the below button.

Google Form

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Creekside Property Management

Having a creek or waterway flowing along or through your property can be a blessing, but it comes with various potential challenges. According to Contra Costa Public Works, "If your property has a creek or a waterway flowing through it, it is your responsibility to maintain it. Typically private property extends to the center of the creek and not just to the fence line. These privately owned creeks are an important part of our county’s drainage system and are regulated by County ordinance, but they are not maintained by the County." To read more about your responsibility as a private creek owner from the county, visit this Private Creek Maintenance page.  

Here is a list of resources that may be helpful to you as a creekside property owner:

Please note, any work to alter a creek (widening, filling, dredging, reinforcing banks, etc.) may require permits from the County, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Contact these regulatory agencies for more information.

Plant a Native Garden!

Click the image to see full size. Click the bottom button to visit the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society's Guidelines

More information

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Visit our 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 currently held on the first Tuesday of every month (excluding August) at 6:30pm, on Zoom. Interested community members are welcome to attend AWC meetings. Come and share your ideas!

AWC Meeting dates for 2023 are listed below. If you would like to join a meeting and are not yet on the AWC email list, please contact Victoria Woolfolk for the meeting access info.

2024 AWC Meeting Dates:

January 2, February 6th, March 5th, April 2nd, May 2nd, June 6th, July 4th, August 1st, September 5th, October 3rd, November 7th, December 5th

More information

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Mt. View Sanitary District

The Mt. View Sanitary District (MVSD) provides wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal services for the northeasterly portion of the City of Martinez and adjacent unincorporated lands to the northeast. Their wetlands and pond restoration projects are one of a kind and provide both habitat and wastewater filtration.  Tours of their beautiful site are available to the public.

More information

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New Leaf Collaborative

The New Leaf Collaborative is a 501c3 non-profit corporation based out of Martinez, CA. They support learners in the following ways:

  • Provide and support hands-on learning and leadership opportunities to K-14 students in areas of science, nature and ecological literacy.
  • Cultivate structures for educators, students, parents and community members to work in partnership to link learning to real-life exploration, community-based projects and career focused pathways.
  • Conduct workshops for educators, students, parents and community members that promote holistic approaches to learning cultures.
  • NLC's Vision is "to connect community, resources, and expertise to students so that learning is linked to real-life exploration, community-based projects and career-focused pathways in order to cultivate healthy communities and individuals, intellectually curious learners, and responsible, ecologically literate citizens".
  • NLC's Mission is to "provide hands-on, experiential learning and leadership opportunities, in areas of science, nature and ecological literacy in order to nurture the social and emotional health of TK-14 students, educators, and community partners.

More information

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National Park Service

Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. NPS is the local steward of the John Muir Historical Site and Strentzel Meadow.

More information

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Friends of Alhambra Creek Photo Gallery