‘Old Survivor’ documentary released online


Oakland, CA – October 24th, 2019

After a year-long run of local screenings and film festivals in America and abroad, the latest documentary by Oakland Trails and Pinecone Pictures has been released online to the public. Originally premiered at the Chabot Space & Science Center in October, 2018 during the Centennial Celebration Week of Save the Redwoods League, the film highlights “Old Survivor,” the only remaining old-growth redwood tree in the East Bay hills, and tells the story of Oakland’s resilient, ecologically amazing, and now-protected redwood forest.

Featuring Save the Redwoods League, the East Bay Regional Park District, and City of Oakland parklands, the film promotes outdoor recreation and open space networks, encourages stewardship, celebrates local history, and educates the viewer about redwood forest ecology.

To watch the 20-minute documentary, visit: https://oaklandtrails.org/old-survivor/

New Trailhead Kiosk at Lower Palos Colorados Trail

This new trailhead kiosk was donated by Oakland Trails, and includes a “You Are Here” map, information about redwoods, emergency contact information, and a map holder. Special thanks to Save the Redwoods League for their contribution to the message board content.

Back in May, we began the process to receive permission from the parks department to install a new kiosk at lower Palos Colorados Trail. With permission granted in early November, we raised the necessary funds within a few weeks, then got the installation approved by Oakland Public Works. Total budget: $2500

Thank you to our sponsors!

Dimond Public Safety Committee, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, Save the Redwoods League


Rachel Broadwin, Zandile Christian,  Kristen Del Simone, Pamela Eguchi, Laura Escover, Marysue Fisher, Brendan Irvine-Broque, Sam Kaufman, Sara Kay, Margaret Langston, Heather Phillips, Katie Murrin, Anand Nene, Raymond Ritter, Beverly Smrha, Lisa St Regis, Mike Udkow, John Vallerga, Marta Yamamoto

the post holes needed to be 3-feet deep
post hole cement and a level came next
Special thanks to Park Patrol volunteers Doug, Chris, Gary, and Kristen (not pictured) for help with the assembly and installation of the new kiosk
As we were loading the tools back in the car, we observed our first customers.

Oakland Trails Releases Old Survivor Documentary Film




October 11, 2018

OAKLAND, CA – OAKLAND TRAILS is proud to announce the release of its second documentary film project, Old Survivor: Celebrating Oakland’s Redwoods, featuring the last known old-growth redwood tree in the East Bay hills, and connecting viewers to the history and ecology of Oakland’s redwood forest. Contact Oakland Trails to attend or host a screening. (Details below.)

With 750 people in attendance, the film premiered on Tuesday, October 9 at Chabot Space & Science Center during the Centennial Celebration Week of Save the Redwoods League, a week-long series of events commemorating 100 years of protecting California’s redwood forests. The League’s President and CEO, Sam Hodder, spoke at the premiere and stressed the importance of restoring the young, recovering forests that surround and sustain the remaining ancient trees, like Old Survivor.

“The Old Survivor film is a terrific story with many heroes, from the nonprofit partners and public agencies that steward our parks to the redwoods themselves,” said Hodder. “With only five percent of the original, ancient coast redwood forest left standing today, Old Survivor and the young forest of the East Bay that surrounds it are evidence that 100 years is just the beginning of our work to save our redwood forests. Together with our supporters and partners, we can now focus our effort on a new era of conservation by restoring what we have lost.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was also in attendance. After viewing the documentary, she publicly thanked Stan Dodson, founder of Oakland Trails and executive producer of the film, for his gift to Oakland.

“Old Survivor” features the East Bay’s only remaining old-growth redwood tree, to tell the story of Oakland’s historic, ecologically amazing, and now protected redwood forest. Featuring Save the Redwoods League, City of Oakland Parks, and the East Bay Regional Park District, the film promotes outdoor recreation and open space networks, encourages stewardship, celebrates local history, and educates the viewer about redwood forest ecology.

Oakland Trails worked with filmmakers Emily Fraser, with whom Dodson co-produced “Trailhead “ (2015), and Nicholas Berger. Together, Fraser and Berger make up Pinecone Pictures.

To host a screening event, contact Oakland Trails at https://oaklandtrails.org/contact/. To purchase a private copy, attend an upcoming screening event as listed at https://oaklandtrails.org/old-survivor-events/. With film festival submissions pending, the new film isn’t scheduled for release online until summer, 2019. To view the trailer, visit the film website at https://oaklandtrails.org/old-survivor/.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Goundas Diiullo, Communications Director, Oakland Trails        
Phone: (510) 842-3676
Email: [email protected]

Ashley Boarman, Landis Communications, Save the Redwoods League
Phone: (415) 359-2312
Email: [email protected]

About Oakland Trails
Oakland Trails is an all volunteer organization dedicated to promoting, maintaining, and enhancing the City of Oakland’s wildland parks and trails. Oakland Trails was founded by Stan Dodson in 2010, and is sponsored by the Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation. For more information visit OaklandTrails.org.

About Save the Redwoods League
Save the Redwoods League, one of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations, is
connecting generations of visitors with their peace and beauty. With more than 20,000 supporters, the League has protected more than 200,000 acres of irreplaceable forest and helped create 66 redwood parks and reserves. For more information, go to SaveTheRedwoods.org, or to sign up for updates, please visit SaveTheRedwoods.org/signup.

About East Bay Regional Park District
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful parklands and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties to the east of San Francisco. The system comprises 121,397 acres in 73 parks, including over 1,250 miles of trails. Preserving a rich heritage of natural and cultural resources and providing open space, parks, trails, and safe and healthful recreation, an environmental ethic guides the District in all of its activities. Visit ebparks.org

World Premiere of “Old Survivor: Celebrating Oakland’s Redwoods”


Join us on opening night as a special guest of Oakland Trails!

Presented by Oakland Trails in association with Pinecone Pictures, our new 22-minute documentary highlights “Old Survivor”, the last known remaining old-growth redwood in the East Bay hills, and tells the story of Oakland’s resilient, ecologically amazing, and now protected redwood forest. This free event will feature multiple screenings, guest speakers, and a reception outside the theater doors where you’ll be able to mingle with the filmmakers, partnering nonprofits, and our many supporters. Refreshments will be served from 6pm–9pm.

Save the Redwoods League – A Centennial Celebration Event

The World Premiere of Old Survivor will simultaneously serve as Save the Redwood League’s Centennial Celebration in Oakland. Join us as we recognize the 100th anniversary of Save the Redwoods League and celebrate their conservation legacy to protect California’s incredible coast redwood and giant sequoia forests in the last century.

Old Survivor World Premiere Event
Tuesday, October 9, 5:30pm–10:00pm
Chabot Space & Science Center
Showtimes: 5:45, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15, 9:00
Runtime: 22 minutes

This is a private event for members and special guests of Oakland Trails. To receive an invitation, join our newsletter by September 15 at OaklandTrails.org/sign-up



Poison Oak Blitz 2018


Every year since 2010, once the rainy season is behind us, Oakland Trails volunteers grab some tools and hit the trails in Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park to cut back overgrowth, including blackberry, impeding tree branches, brush, and yes, poison oak.

Clearing poison oak ‘reachers’ off Sequoia-Bayview Trail
Cutting back berries, fennel, and mixed brush from Old Cañon Trail
The steps on Palos Colorados Trail after a good haircut
The taming of the thimble berry

Bootleg Trail near the Meadow


Bootleg (unauthorized) trails are a growing problem in Joaquin Miller Park, and all trail users are to blame. On this particular hillside near the meadow, we witnessed mountain bikers riding/sliding down through the area, while hikers and runners would use it as an uphill shortcut to Sanborn Dr. Erosion was burying the Sinawik Trail, trail users were exposed to safety hazards, and Palo Seco Creek below was experiencing negative environmental impacts.

Meeting with Oakland Public Works staff, Oakland Trails volunteers, along with members of the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay, came to a consensus for a plan to block the top of the scarred hillside with temporary fencing and signage, while installing a split-rail cedar fence below to protect the creek.

Leading a group of 18 volunteers from Impossible Foods, we got to work installing the fencing and signage.

Please respect this work led by local mountain bikers and hikers working together to mitigate negative impacts caused by inappropriate park use. Trail users will be safer, and the creek and watershed will be healthier.

Special thanks to Oakland Public Works Environmental Services, the Bicycle Trails Council, Ashby Lumber, and volunteers from Impossible Foods.

Camp Trail Reroute Project


Back in February, we came to the conclusion that the Camp Trail had become too rutted to be enjoyed by any type of park user. Like most trail damage, water was the culprit, but it wasn’t the seasonal creek’s fault that the trail and it were sharing the same alignment!

We invited Oakland Public Works, Friends of Sausal Creek, and the Bicycle Trails Council for a site visit to determine the best plan of action. We all agreed that the trail needed to be moved, so we did a native plant survey, transferred some bracken ferns, cleared a fallen tree, then flagged the new route away from the seasonal creek. (On our first real work day, the filmmakers for our upcoming documentary, “Old Survivor”, came out to film our collaboration).

After two weeks of preparations, including flagging the new trail, clearing brush, and putting some fresh paint on a PAL Camp storage shed that was near the new route, we were ready for a big work day.

Park Patrol volunteer Sara K. is also an employee of Airbnb, and with their Week for Good community service event coming up, she engaged me to lead a project for her group. We decided to use their help – with more than 20 volunteers – to build the new trail. Along with leadership from the Bicycle Trails Council, we met on a foggy Wednesday morning and got to work.

With more than 30 volunteers involved, from Oakland Trails, the Bicycle Trails Council, and Airbnb, we had not only built the new trail, but also blocked off the old one so it could return back to nature.

A big thank you to our partners on this project: Oakland Public Works, the Bicycle Trails Council, our Park Patrol volunteers, and Airbnb.

Refurbished Trailhead at Lower Palos Colorados Trail


The old gate at lower Palos Colorados Trail (pictured above), after decades of service, failed and fell over in the summer of 2017. So back in October, Oakland Trails volunteers started planning for construction of a new gate and improved signage. We teamed up with the Bicycle Trails Council, then started the project by having our chicane design approved by Oakland Public Works, Oakland’s ADA Compliance Director, and the Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission.

With permission in place from the city, and a USA dig complete, the Bicycle Trails Council purchased the fence materials, and Oakland Trails harvested redwood tree fall for the path edging, procured new signage, and began to restore the old sign. And on a Monday in March, we were lucky to get OPW staff to help dig some post holes for us, so we got to work.

The finished trailhead:

Special thanks to the Bicycle Trails Council, Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development, and Oakland Public Works for their partnership on this project.


Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 10

Today was a double! We started by filming an important collaboration: volunteers from Oakland Trails, Friends of Sausal Creek, the Bicycle trails Council, and staff from Oakland Public Works teaming up to begin the Camp Trail reroute. These groups work together monthly if not weekly. From clearing logs to harvesting bracken fern rhizomes, we couldn’t make a real documentary about Oakland’s wildland parks without getting these men and women in it.

Then, it was my turn to be in the hot seat.

Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 9

I don’t know anyone who wasn’t shocked and saddened to hear that Annie wasn’t running for reelection to Oakland’s City Council in November. She’s been a huge supporter and important partner for our work in Oakland parks. Today we had a chance to capture our friendship.


Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 8

Meet Jason Mitchell, an East Oakland kid who is now the director of Oakland Public Works. To meet the demands of maintaing our city and our parks, he’s leading the department through a series of changes, depending on technology and collaboration, including with Oakland citizen volunteers.

Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 7

Since October, 2017, we have been assisting OPD’s newly resurrected mounted patrol, helping the officers to get reacquainted with the trail system, and helping to temperament train the horses. Today we got some footage of OPD and Park Patrol volunteers riding the trails together in Joaquin Miller Park.

Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 6

Emily Burns is not only the lead scientist at Save the Redwoods League. She is one of only a handful of leading experts studying to understand the wonders of the redwood forests. Participating in her interview today – inside Joaquin Miller Park’s redwood grove – was educational and inspiring (to say the least).

Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 5

Part 1

We started the day by having an in-depth discussion with Robert Doyle, General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District. Mr. Doyle, who started working at for the park district 40 years ago as a ranger, talked us through the district’s storied history, modern day successes, and future goals.

Part 2

In the afternoon, we met up with a group of young ladies from First Place for Youth, an organization that offers critical support to foster youth between the ages of 18 and 24. There’s no volunteer activity I love more than leading Oakland youth and youth group leaders on a hiking tour in Oakland’s redwoods. Starting in Joaquin Miller Park, we made our way up to Redwood Peak before heading back down the hill.

Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 4

Today we interviewed an old friend, Nicholas Williams, Director of Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development.

An Oakland native who left for college, then ran recreation programs in Atlanta and Minneapolis before coming back to Oakland in 2016 to lead our parks department, Nicholas gave a touching tribute to his dad, who he connected with as a child in Oakland parks. He also gave a detailed description of the rebranding of his department from OPR to OPRYD, and his commitment to connecting kids to nature.

Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 2

On a rainy Thursday morning, we met up with Oakland youth from Skyline High School. They were on a science field trip in Redwood Park led by Save the Redwoods League and East Bay Regional Park District staff.

Despite the cold, wet weather, everyone was in great spirits to learn some science. The 9th grade biology students conducted the same experiments that professional scientists perform to measure the biomass of individual redwood trees, and log in measurements of ferns.

We also found some interesting critters on an exploratory hike through the area.

We finished the day by interviewing a few of the students, and Deborah Zierten, Education & Interpretation Manager for Save the Redwoods League.

Causeway in Dimond Canyon


Last winter, a large bay tree slid down the hillside and landed smack dab in the middle of the Dimond Canyon Trail. We were able to move the trail around the still-living tree, but a lot of impermeable soil, aka muck, now plagued the area. With any rain at all, about 30 feet of trail turned into a mud pit.

You can see above that a trail user laid out some plywood to help navigate through the affected area, but in early February we engaged Oakland Public Works staff to plan a more permanent fix. The plan was simple: build about 30 feet of causeway, or raised trail, to improve the route. A bridge was included in the design to allow any rain runoff to make its way to nearby Sausal Creek.

With approval in place from a Public Works Supervisor, we teamed up with Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC) to finalize the logistics and pick a work day. Oakland Trails would fund this project, procuring and prepping all the needed materials, then meet up with FOSC’s monthly trail crew to install it.

We picked up the materials, about $900 worth of redwood, deck screws, and rebar, then staged the project at my home in Oakland. There, my brother and I drilled out the holes for the rebar and pre-built the bridge.

On the morning of the workday, we delivered the materials to the Dimond Canyon Trailhead, staging it all near the four yards of gravel provided by the City of Oakland.

Having met up with the FOSC trail crew, we hand-carried the timbers and the pre-built bridge to the site, then began framing out the causeway.

Once the frame was secure, we started filling it with gravel, tamping in the crusher as we went along.

After completing the project, we were lucky to get some good rain to test the drainage. We were pleased to see it working as planned.

Special thanks to Friends of Sausal Creek, Ashby Lumber, La Farine Bakery, and Oakland Public Works for partnering with us on this project.

Please donate to our stewardship programs.

Press Release: Feb 6, 2018




February 6th, 2018

OAKLAND, CA – OAKLAND TRAILS is proud to announce the launch of its second documentary film, Old Survivor: Celebrating the East Bay Redwoods. The project is now in pre-production with filming to begin in March, 2018.

“We are thrilled to follow up the success of our first film, Trailhead, with a celebration of Oakland’s amazing redwoods,” said Stan Dodson, film producer and founder of Oakland Trails. Trailhead, released in October 2015, has since been screened in over 60 venues around the San Francisco Bay Area, and can be streamed online at https://OaklandTrails.org/watch/.

The upcoming film will feature iconic “Old Survivor,” the East Bay’s only remaining old-growth redwood, as the centerpiece to tell the story of the East Bay’s historic, ecologically-amazing, and now-protected redwood forest. Featuring stories from Save the Redwoods League, City of Oakland Parks, and the East Bay Regional Park District, the film will promote outdoor recreation and open space networks, encourage stewardship, celebrate local history, and educate the viewer about forest ecology, connecting people to the redwoods in their own backyard.

Oakland Trails is working with filmmaker Emily Fraser, who co-produced Trailhead. Runtime is anticipated to be approximately 20 minutes.

The Premiere Event will be held at the Chabot Space & Science Center on the evening of Tuesday, October 9, 2018, and will simultaneously serve as Save the Redwoods League’s Centennial Celebration in Oakland. Local partners and community groups will be invited to table at the reception, where 1,200+ attendees are expected over the course of the evening.

Corporate sponsorships are still available. To learn more, visit the film website at https://oaklandtrails.org/old-survivor/.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Goundas Diiullo, Communications Director                                                        

Phone: 510-842-3676

Email: [email protected]

Download a pdf of this press release HERE.

Filming “Old Survivor”: Day 1


Our first day of filming was with experienced drone operator Jonathan Clark. He captured some amazing overhead shots of Oakland parkland, close-ups of Old Survivor, and some beauty shots in Leona Heights and Dimond Canyon. We could get film permits for the drone only in the dead of winter, avoiding nesting season.

Oakland Trails & Park Patrol honored by Oakland Public Works

On Thursday, November 2nd, Oakland Public Works hosted their annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, where leaders of all the Adopt-a-Spots in the City of Oakland are invited to gather for a celebration. A few programs are usually singled out and given an award, and this year, on behalf of Oakland Trails and more than fifty Park Patrol volunteers, I was honored with the Parkland Steward Award.

Our more than 60 volunteers should all be proud of this and the work we’re doing in the parks. We’re making a very positive impact and the City of Oakland recognizes and appreciates it.

See you on the trails,

Stan Dodson
Executive Director
Oakland Trails

Palos Colorados Trail Reroute

Like most trails in the region, the Palos Colorados Trail in Joaquin Miller Park took a beating last winter. The above-average precipitation was much needed, but water is a trail’s most destructive force. The heavy rains caused many trees to fall, and landslides took out whole sections of trail. To respond, Oakland Trails volunteers cleared several fallen trees, shored up four slides, and moved the creek crossing upstream to help ensure hiker safety. We saved this biggest project for last.

As you can see in the picture above, the trail below the bay tree was failing. With a steep drop off below, this very narrow section of trail was sliding into the creek and had become unsafe.

To begin planning the repair, I met on site in August with Oakland Public Works staff, including a maintenance supervisor and arborist, and trails expert Dee Rosario. Together, we assessed the failing trail and devised an appropriate plan to fix the problem. With confirmation that the large bay tree was healthy and could not be removed, we agreed the trail would have to be moved to above the tree. This would require about 80 feet of new trail. To accommodate the reroute, a crib wall would have to be built below the tree, and a full bench would need to be cut into the hillside above the tree.

To prepare for this project, I escorted Public Works staff to the site – about 1/2 mile up the narrow trail – so they could help us by clearing out thorny blackberries and poison oak with power tools (the ferns in the picture were spared and transplanted nearby). Next, over several volunteer work sessions, we would begin working on the crib wall.

Back in March, several eucalyptus trees fell across the bottom of Cinderella Trail. Because eucalyptus is naturally rot-resistant, we stashed the cleared tree trunks alongside Sunset Trail for any future needs. It was from here that we’d gather free material to build our crib wall.

Green eucalyptus is dense and heavy. We cut the logs to lengths we could handle, then carried them one by one almost 3/4 mile to the work site.

We also had to hand carry the necessary tools and other materials to the site, including digging tools, 5/8″ rebar, and sledgehammers.

Work on the crib wall began. The cross pieces in the first layer were secured nearly two feet into the hillside for stability.

The crib wall was constructed with 3 foot pieces of 5/8″ rebar.

Over ten work sessions with crews of 2–4 volunteers, we continued to supply the work site with materials so we could finish layering the crib wall. With the crib wall almost complete, it was time to cut out the trail above the tree so we could close the old trail and open the reroute.

On a Sunday in late September, we enjoyed the help of the Friends of Sausal Creek trail crew. By the end of their work session, the new trail had been formed. Over the next few days, Oakland Trails volunteers would come back to put in the finishing touches. We added some timber supports to the uphill side of the trail, and installed a few steps.

With our work almost finished, we reached out to Public Works staff for an inspection. It passed with flying colors! This trail should be safe and accessible for another 20 years.

We’d like to Oakland Public Works, Friends of Sausal Creek, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, Rob Werner & Siew Chan Werner, Ashby Lumber, and the Optimist Club of San Leandro for their support with this project. Also thanks to Park Patrol volunteers Gary, Evan, Chris, Paul, Nelson, John, and Luke for your many hours of hard work!

Total volunteer work days: 16
Total volunteer hours: 150

Upcoming Screenings of TRAILHEAD

There are two upcoming screenings of TRAILHEAD, our 20-minute documentary featuring Oakland’s wildland parks and stewardship. Both screenings will include an opportunity for Q&A. We hope to see you there!

 Friends of Joaquin Miller Park Annual Meeting
Monday, September 11, 7:00–9:00pm
Joaquin Miller Park Community Center
3594 Sanborn Dr, Oakland, Ca.
(showtime at 7:05pm)
download the event flyer


Temescal Street Flicks
Thursday, September 14, 5:00pm–9:00pm
Kasper’s Plaza – 4521 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, Ca.
(showtime at 7:30pm)
visit their website

Footbridge on Dimond Canyon Trail

We recently constructed a footbridge on the Dimond Canyon Trail. This project spanned an open culvert on an otherwise accessible trail, improving the creekside path for hikers, mountain bikers, those with strollers, and anyone with mobility challenges.

This project was approved by the City of Oakland, and funded by Oakland Trails. To donate to our ongoing stewardship projects, please click HERE.

My team: thanks much to Henry from the Bicycle Trails Council, Luke from Park Patrol, and Ashby Lumber.

Park Patrol Celebrates 1st Anniversary

At this time last year, we had just launched Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol. So now, it’s time to celebrate our first anniversary! We’ve grown to be 44 volunteers strong – hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, and dog walkers – all using our training to help welcome and assist park users, address park maintenance issues, and assist OPD and OFD in emergencies.

We’ve logged 3,043 volunteer hours and have assisted 2,802 park users. We’ve led free hiking tours, removed litter and graffiti, and this winter, when the trails took a beating, we cleared more than 200 fallen trees, keeping the trails open and safe for all users.

We’re also team players. We proudly collaborate with the Bicycle Trails Council, Friends of Sausal Creek, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, and Oakland Public Works. We’ve led youth, church organizations, and corporate teams in park work days, and we continue to work closely with OPD and OFD to help improve emergency preparedness inside the parks.

We need your support

Our stewardship programs require funding for tools and materials. We are an all-volunteer organization, so your tax-deductible contribution goes directly to support our mission to help promote, maintain, and enhance Oakland’s wildland parks and trails. Since launching our fundraising campaign in late June, we’ve reached nearly 1/3 of our $3000 goal for summer stewardship projects. With donation levels as low as $10, every little bit helps! Please donate HERE.

Extended fencing along Fern Ravine

A few years ago, in an effort to protect the redwood grove at the top of Fern Ravine Trail in Joaquin Miller Park, Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC) teamed up with Volunteers for Outdoor California (V-O-Cal), Oakland Parks & Recreation (OPR), and Oakland Public Works (OPW) to construct a rustic, split-rail cedar fence. Since the construction, the redwood understory protected by the fence has thrived. This week, in an effort to finish the project that was only partially funded, Oakland Trails embarked on a mission to extend the fence as originally approved.


Jan–Feb, 2017: Meeting on site with all the stakeholders, the project to extend the fence was approved by FOSC, OPR and OPW. Oakland Trails then began raising the funds needed for the project.

Mid April: OPW agreed to provide staff to help drill the post holes using heavy equipment. May 25th was set as the work date.

Early May: The materials needed – split rail fencing, gravel, and screws – to match the existing fence were custom ordered at Ashby Lumber. The total project bill, including their generous discount for our non-profit organization, was $1200.

May 23: The materials were picked up by Oakland Trails volunteers and hand-delivered to the site.

May 24: Oakland Trails volunteers prepped the materials and the work site.

May 25: Construction began at 8:30am. OPW’s Michael Allen drilled the post holes while Oakland Trails volunteers installed the posts and rails.

140 ft of new fence was installed by lunch! What a crew!!

We’d like to thank the following sponsors for their support of this project and our volunteers: Ashby Lumber, La Farine Bakery, Farmer Joe’s Marketplace. Special thanks also to Oakland Public Works, Friends of Sausal Creek, and Dee Rosario.

OPD Partners with Park Patrol volunteers

Back in January, I reached out to Oakland Police Department Area 3 Captain Freddie Hamilton with an idea to pair up OPD officers and Park Patrol volunteers with the goal of improving emergency preparedness in Oakland’s wildland parks. He approved the community policing beat priority, and we launched the joint patrols in February, 2017.

To learn more about this important collaboration, read the East Bay Times article by Sarah Tan HERE.

Oakland Trails featured on “KBLX Cares” with Sterling James

“KBLX Cares” is a community spotlight show hosted by Sterling James. They invited me in this week to talk about Oakland Trails and the work we’re doing in and for Oakland Parks

The 15-minute radio segment aired on Saturday, February 25, but can also be heard on their blog.

Please click HERE to listen.

We talked about our stewardship, hiking tours, Trailhead, and Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol. And, as always, I was proud to give a shout out for our community and our parks.

2016 Executive Summary

Our mission is to promote, maintain, and enhance Oakland’s wildland parks and trails.


We are proud to share the details of our accomplishments in 2016 with the community, including our supporters, collaborating organizations, and City of Oakland agencies. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.


With our newly released documentary, TRAILHEAD, Oakland Trails hit the ground running in January of 2016. For most of the year, we had weekly presentations at local theaters, schools, senior centers, and community halls. With the brisk fundraising that came with the screening events, we invested in trail projects. Hand saws, trail building tools, and redwood lumber were purchased for projects including the installation of trail steps, a new foot bridge, and year-round trail maintenance. With the launch of Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol, we were able to outfit our 35 volunteers with uniforms and other supplies. We also led 18 free hiking tours, providing outdoor recreation education for youth, adults, and seniors.

Budget Summary

Starting Balance: $5,156.68
Income: $18,704.96
Expenses: $14,607.80
Available funds: $9,253.84

Details of Income

Donations received from 59 individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations: $12,196
Retail sales of Oakland Trails merchandise at 40 events (screenings, hiking tours, art festivals, etc.): $6,508

Log of Volunteer Hours in 2016

Trail Work: 241 hrs
Promotions (screenings, hiking tours, other outreach events): 306 hrs
Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol: 1,436 hrs
Admin: 100 hrs
Total Volunteer Hours: 2,083


Users: 11,598
Sessions: 16,365
Page views: 25,891

Social Media

Follow us on Instagram: @oaklandparkpatrol

We launched our account in November, 2016.
Posts: 131
Followers: 51

Screenings of TRAILHEAD

01/13/2016: St. Paul’s Towers
01/21/2016: Sequoia Diner
01/24/2016: Sunday Assembly at Oakland Peace Center
01/25/2016: Chabot Space & Science Center (PPNA Annual Meeting)
01/27/2016: Urbano Cellars Winery
02/01/2016: New Parkway Theater
02/10/2016: Grand Lake Theater
02/11/2016: Grand Lake Gardens
02/25/2016: Octopus Literary Salon
02/26/2016: Oakland Museum of California
03/15/2016: EBRPD Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol
03/20/2016: Albany Filmfest
03/25/2016: City Commons Club
03/31/2016: deFremery Recreation Center (OPR Foundation Annual Meeting)
04/04/2016: Berkeley High School
04/17/2016: San Francisco Green Film Festival
04/18/2016: Released on-line (OaklandTrails.org/watch)
04/23/2016: Ale Industries Taproom
05/03/2016: Glenview Neighborhood Association
05/11/2016: Oakland Main Library
05/21/2016: Nature Friends Tourist Club
05/24/2016: Friends of San Leandro Creek
06/16/2016: REI Berkeley
06/22/2016: Dimond Recreation Center
06/27/2016: KTOP-TV10
07/07/2016: KTOP-TV10
07/22/2016: San Francisco Frozen Film Festival
08/02/2016: Sustainable Lafayette “Open Space” Film Series
08/21/2016: Lindsay Wildlife Experience “Nature Speak” Series
09/09/2016: Oakland’s Short, Short Film Festival
09/12/2016: California Independent Film Festival
09/16/2016: New Parkway Theater
09/17/2016: New Parkway Theater
09/22/2016: REI Berkeley
10/20/2016: Epworth UMC, Older Adult Ministries
10/25/2016: Dorothy C. Wong Senior Center

On-line plays: 1,526

Hiking Tours

We led 18 free hiking tours:

01/01/2016: Dimond Park to Chabot Space & Science Center
02/15/2016: Dimond Park to Chabot Space & Science Center
02/15/2016: Dimond Canyon Park
02/21/2016: Dimond Park to Chabot Space & Science Center (private tour for Girl Scout leaders)
04/25/2016: Joaquin Miller Park (private tour for SF 3rd graders)
05/21/2016: Dimond Park to Joaquin Miller Park (private tour for Nature Friends Tourist Club)
05/30/2016: Dimond Park to Chabot Space & Science Center
07/04/2016: Dimond Park to Chabot Space & Science Center
07/17/2016: Joaquin Miller Park (private tour for Redwood Heights Neighborhood Assoc.)
07/25/2016: Joaquin Miller Park Redwoods Tour (3X)
09/05/2016: Dimond Park to Chabot Space & Science Center and back to Dimond
09/11/2016: Joaquin Miller Park Redwoods (private tour for “Jack & Jill of America”)
09/12/2016: Joaquin Miller Park and Redwood Park
10/10/2016: Dimond Park to Joaquin Miller Park and back
11/24/2016: Dimond Park to Chabot Space & Science Center
12/25/2016: Dimond Park to Chabot Space & Science Center

Miles: 92
Attendance: 370

Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol

Co-founded with Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington, we launched Park Patrol in June. We held 7 training sessions, bringing the total number of volunteers to 35. Our diverse group of men and women includes hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and dog walkers.

Total hours: 1,436
Number of park users assisted: 1,388

Trail Improvement Projects

Our stewardship programs are active in Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park:

  • Cleared 86 fallen trees
  • Installed 30 redwood steps on hiking trails
  • Replaced the bridge over Palo Seco Creek on lower Palos Colorados Trail
  • Improved drainage on Palos Colorados, Sunset, Sunset Loop, Big Trees, Sinawik, Sinawik Loop, Sequoia-Bayview, Wild Rose, Old Cañon, and Bridgeview trails
  • Cleared a landslide on Cinderella Trail
  • Maintained the drains under the Bridgeview Trail cement footbridge
  • Cleaned graffiti from Big Trees, Dimond Canyon, Old Cañon, Sequoia-Bayview, Sinawik, Sunset, and Wild Rose trails
  • Repaired 15 trail markers, and installed 6 new trail markers in Joaquin Miller Park


TRAILHEAD collaborated with the following City of Oakland agencies and nonprofit organizations:

  • Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay
  • Dimond Business & Professional Association
  • Dimond Improvement Association
  • East Bay Regional Park District
  • Friends of Joaquin Miller Park
  • Friends of Sausal Creek
  • Girl Scouts of America
  • Glenview Neighborhood Association
  • League of Women Voters of Oakland
  • Montclair Village Association
  • Oakland Fire Department
  • Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation
  • Oakland Police Department
  • Oakland Public Works Agency
  • Oakland Parks & Recreation Department
  • Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington
  • Oaklandish
  • Oakmore Neighborhood Association

Here, we’re collaborating with BTCEB on fallen tree removal.

In the News

“Oakland Trails: Dimond to Chabot”, Our Oakland Blog
“Ambassadors help park users navigate trails”, East Bay Times
“Montclair: ‘Short, Short’ film festival slated”, East Bay Times
“Walking in Oakland – #8”, The Urbanist
“Raising Awareness in Oakland’s Dimond Canyon”, Oakland Mama Blog

Community Education

We hosted two educational events:


Welcome to Oakland Y

⋅ 12/21/2016
⋅ 11/22/2016
⋅ 10/18/2016
⋅ 10/03/2016
⋅ 09/16/2016
⋅ 08/18/2016
⋅ 07/21/2016
⋅ 06/21/2016
⋅ 05/20/2016
⋅ 04/18/2016
⋅ 04/01/2016
· 03/16/2016
· 02/16/2016

With gratitude,

Stan Dodson, Executive Director
December 31, 2015

Water Wonderland

I captured these videos from my phone during and after the big storm early January. There’s water flowing where I’ve never seen water flowing before. And there’s A LOT of water where I’m used to seeing it.

Sunset Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, January 10, 2017

Palo Seco Creek, Palos Colorados Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, January 10, 2017

Palo Seco Creek, Bridgeview Trail, Dimond Canyon Park, January 10, 2017

Sequoia-Bayview Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, January 11, 2017

Sequoia-Bayview Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, January 11, 2017

Get to know EBRPD Ward 2 Candidates

EBRPD Ward 2 Candidates’ Forum

Co-hosted by OaklandTrails.org and the League of Women Voters of Oakland on
Wednesday, October 5, 2016. All four candidates participated.


Prepared by OaklandTrails.org as a follow up to the forum
(three of the four candidates responded)

Long and short answer questions:

Describe your skill set, and how, if elected, you hope to add diversity to the current board of directors. (100 words max)

Kent Fickett: Advanced degrees in conservation and environmental management. Direct legislative and regulatory experience in Sacramento and Washington DC. I am a creative thinker who has lead local environmental efforts to stop the land development of future regional parks. I have visited most of our regional parks. I have served on a number of public and private Boards of Directors. I have visited numerous parks and trails in the US and around the world. With this extensive and balanced background I will challenge staff and other board members to think out of the box about how to address future issues involving preservation, usage and staffing at our Regional Parks.

John Roberts: I hold a Master of Finance degree, the Chartered Financial Analyst and Financial Risk Manager designations, and work as a Federal Bank Regulator protecting our deposits. The Board currently lacks user group advocacy where even well-established user groups may face accessibility pressures going forward. I will work towards maintaining equestrian and dog walker access, and for the development of sustainable trails to support our need for all types of recreation. I am Latino and will ensure equality and integration is implemented. For more about my commitments, do not hesitate to contact me at 949-379-9437, [email protected], or browse my Website: http://JohnRobertsDemocracy.com/

Dee Rosario: My 37 year career as a Park Ranger, Park Firefighter/Fire Lieutenant, and Park Supervisor of Redwood Regional Park from 1996-2013, gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my abilities in leadership, budget control, planning, crisis management, and public relations. If elected I would be the first Asian-American to be seated on the Board of Directors. I will actively work with new contacts I have made in my campaign, to look for environmental leaders in the communities of color and encourage them to give their voice to the Regional Parks.

Audree V. Jones-Taylor: no response

Describe at least one example of how you’d propose to increase recreational opportunities in Lamorinda. (50 words max)

Kent Fickett: Complete the Lafayette Moraga trail from the Commons to Country Club Drive in Moraga. Promote BART to Parks program for reduced weekend fares for trips to new Concord Hills Regional Park. Improve trail linkage from Olympic Blvd to Iron Horse trail at Rudgear Road.

John Roberts: With my Community goal, Lamorinda can better voice how local parks are run. Also, my Accessibility goal includes facilitating connections with the local trail network, whether through sustainable trail development, or the purchase or partnering for greenbelt access points. The closer the parks, the more we will use them.

Dee Rosario: I would advocate for the following: The completion of the trail connection between the Wilder Development and the Bay Area Ridge/Skyline National Trails in Sibley and Huckleberry Regional Parks; opening the land bank holding in Las Trampas; continuing to work with EBMUD in maintaining the Lafayette Moraga Trails.

Audree V. Jones-Taylor: no response

Should the Park District support Oakland’s effort to complete the Bay Trail along their shoreline, and if so, how? (50 words max)

Kent Fickett: Yes. Champion an exclusive trail route through the Port of Oakland using elevated trail crossings on heavy truck and rail routes to get trail users up and away from heavy traffic areas. Joint venture with Port to share costs and provide educational opportunities about Ports roll in Bay development and preservation.

John Roberts: Yes. Bond funds should be used to acquire properties creating greenbelt access and avoiding street crossings. Families should be able to connect parks in a safe, environmentally-friendly way. Others can use the trail to commute to work, ride safely to catch the ferry, etc.

Dee Rosario: Yes! The EBRPD is already in negotiations with the Army Corps of Engineers to transfer the channel along the Alameda Estuary to the EBRPD and the City of Alameda. This will allow the City of Oakland to extend the Bay Trail underneath the High Street and Fruitvale Bridges using existing Oakland DD funds.

Audree V. Jones-Taylor: no response

Statement/position questions:

For each statement, the candidates were given a choice between two positions
and not allowed to elaborate.

Mountain bike access is unfairly restricted in Ward 2 parks.

Kent Fickett: I agree
John Roberts: I agree
Dee Rosario: I disagree

To expand its resources in maintaining existing parks and developing new ones, the Park District should try to rely more on the use of volunteers.

Kent Fickett: I disagree
John Roberts: I agree
Dee Rosario: I agree

Seniors should be given access to bicycle-legal trails with Class I (pedal assist) e-bikes.

Kent Fickett: I agree
John Roberts: I agree
Dee Rosario: I agree

The Park District should develop new campsites along the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

Kent Fickett: I agree
John Roberts: I agree
Dee Rosario: I disagree

With a choice between protecting natural resources and increasing public access, what is your priority:

Kent Fickett: Protecting natural resources
John Roberts: Increasing public access
Dee Rosario: Protecting natural resources

Do you have more questions for the candidates?
Click on their names, below, to visit their websites.


Kent Fickett
John Roberts
Dee Rosario
Audree V. Jones-Taylor

Honored by Oaklandish as their Nonprofit of the Month

Shop at Oaklandish TODAY (Sat, 10/15) to support our work in the parks!

oaklandish logo

In their continued support of our all-volunteer organization, Oaklandish will donate 10% of all proceeds from their Dimond Shop on Saturday, October 15, to OaklandTrails.org. And from noon–4pm, we’ll be offering our new Oaklandish t-shirt design, Trailhead DVD’s, and more!

Saturday, October 15, 10am–7pm (visit our booth noon–4pm)
Oaklandish Dimond Shop
3419 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland 94602

Connect with Oaklandish to learn more about their quality goods and love and support of Oakland neighborhoods:

Web: http://oaklandish.com/
Instagram: @oaklandishhq
Twitter: @0aklandish (with a zero)


Our new shirt!

a tribute to Oakland’s redwoods


Candidate Forum for East Bay Regional Park District Ward 2 Board Member

This forum took place on Wednesday, October 5. To watch the video and read an accompanying questionnaire, click HERE.

sutterJohn Sutter, the East Bay Regional Park District Ward 2 board member for nearly 20 years, announced in February that he will retire. This leaves the Ward 2 seat open to an all new slate of candidates this November.

Get to know the candidates!

Co-hosted by OaklandTrails.org and the League of Women Voters of Oakland, join us on Wednesday, October 5, from 6:30pm–8:30pm for a candidate forum at the Trudeau Center at Redwood Park (11500 Skyline Blvd, Oakland, CA). Moderated by the League, each candidate will have an equal chance to respond to questions from the audience.



The East Bay Regional Park District is governed by a seven-member board of directors, who are publicly elected to serve four-year terms. Each Board Member represents a specific geographic area of the Park District. The District itself comprises all of Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Ward 2 represents: most of Oakland, Piedmont, Canyon, Moraga, Orinda, Orinda Village, Rheem Valley, Lafayette, Rossmoor, and part of Walnut Creek.

Parks in Ward 2 include: portion of Briones, Anthony Chabot (north of Keller Ave. if extended east), Claremont Canyon, Huckleberry, Leona Open Space, a small portion of Las Trampas, Redwood, Roberts, Sibley, and Temescal.

The Candidates

All four of the registered Ward 2 candidates have accepted their invitation to participate in this forum:

Audree V. Jones-Taylor
Dionisio “Dee” Rosario
John Roberts
Kent Fickett

You may click on their names to visit their websites.

* All candidates, candidate supporters, and audience members must follow the League of Women Voters’ ground rules. Please read them HERE.

Details of this forum

East Bay Regional Park District Ward 2 Candidate Forum
Wednesday, October 5, 6:30pm–8:30pm (includes a 30-minute post-forum reception)
Richard C. Trudeau Conference Center, 11500 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619

For video of the forum, click HERE.


A special thank you to the East Bay Regional Park District for sponsoring this event.


Celebrate your Earth Day service with us!

Join us at Ale Industries’ “Jingletown Jazz Room” for free screenings of TRAILHEAD!

With 86 city-wide Earth Day events going on in Oakland this Saturday, Ale Industries invites the community to a post-party in their taproom with cold beer and free screenings of TRAILHEAD.

Saturday, April 23, 4pm–7pm
3096 E. 10th St, Oakland, CA 94601

3 FREE Screenings + Producer Q&A: 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm.

OaklandTrails.org chosen “Nonprofit-of-the-Month”


Never Elsewhere has chosen OaklandTrails.org as their “Nonprofit-of-the-Month”, with 10% of all online purchases in April going to support our work in Oakland’s wildland parks. They’ve also created a special coupon code for OaklandTrails supporters. Use “CPS2016” at checkout to receive 10% off.

Who is Never Elsewhere? They are an Oaklandish sister brand with cool designs that venture outside of Oakland. So if you have a special connection to SF, SoCal, or many other cities and regions, you can get the same quality you know and love from Oaklandish, but the proceeds will stay right here to benefit our work in Oakland. Visit http://neverelsewhere.com/ to see their line.


Walking in Oakland

As written for The Urbanist, a SPUR publication (#8 in the list)

Oakland’s Urban Gateway to the Redwoods and Beyond

In 2007, after opening a new location of La Farine Bakery in Oakland’s Dimond District, I moved into the neighborhood. With I-580, a major AC Transit bus transfer hub, and an easy connection to BART just a block away, I quickly learned how accessible my new community was. But soon, I realized even grander access – Oakland’s Dimond neighborhood connects through parkland to the Bay Area Ridge Trail and over 500 miles of trails that span the entire East Bay.

dimond park strollers(2)
Dimond Park

Dimond Park, at only 200 feet elevation, was at the end of my street and just two blocks from the bakery. Tucked between the Dimond, Glenview, and Oakmore neighborhoods, it is comprised of 14 acres of urban park including playgrounds, picnic areas, grassy fields, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and an active recreation center. Its paved paths wind through the park amenities, along Sausal Creek, and through towering redwoods and majestic oaks.

WP_20151204_004 (2)
El Centro trailhead in Dimond Canyon Park

At the top of Dimond Park, crossing sleepy El Centro Ave, you’ll enter Dimond Canyon Park. You may have noticed this wooded canyon below the top stretch of Park Blvd, but what you may not know is that it’s home to ninety acres of gorgeous wildland park and trails. Dimond Canyon, Old Cañon, and Bridgeview Trails connect and wind through the oak, laurel, and redwood forests along Sausal Creek. At the top, almost two miles from Dimond Park, you’ll reach Monterey Blvd, where a pedestrian tunnel under Hwy 13 invites you to enter Joaquin Miller Park.

Palos Colorados Trail in Joaquin Miller Park

At the Palos Colorados trailhead, the lowest entrance to Joaquin Miller Park, you’ll experience one of the Bay Area’s most beautiful trails. The thick canopy and year-round creek make you soon forget you’re in the middle of a city. Bringing you to the heart of Joaquin Miller Park’s 550 acres and expansive trail system, you’re now connected to the Piedmont Pines, Woodminster, and Joaquin Miller neighborhoods, with the opportunity to choose from a dozen different routes that connect to the Bay Area Ridge Trail. While some areas of Joaquin Miller Park are developed – it’s home to a Ranger Station, Community Center, picnic areas, fenced dog runs, and the historic Woodminster Theater – most of Joaquin Miller Park is natural and wooded, with an exceptionally well-maintained trail system, thanks to collaborations between the City of Oakland and volunteers. You’ll find redwood groves, chaparral, year-round streams, and expansive views of the entire Bay Area.

WP_20150313_021 (2)
Junction atop lower Palos Colorados Trail in Joaquin Miller Park

Crossing Oakland’s Skyline Blvd at more than 1500 feet elevation and almost five miles from Dimond Park, you’ll reach Redwood Regional Park and the Bay Area Ridge Trail. You now once again have many options: take the 339 bus line from Chabot Space & Science Center (just a ten-minute ride) back to Dimond, loop around for a round-trip hike of nine miles that will bring you back down the hill, or keep going towards Tilden Park, Moraga, San Ramon, or Hayward…the list goes on.

WP_20121210_002 (1)
Sunset Trail in Joaquin Miller Park

This urban connection to the East Bay’s vast network of parks, trails, and open space is incredible. You literally could hike for days and days, and never touch the same piece of ground twice.

Stan Dodson, Oakland resident and manager of La Farine Bakery in Oakland’s Dimond District, has worked as a volunteer to promote and maintain Oakland’s wildland trails since 2008. Learn more at OaklandTrails.org

Sausal_Trails_Map_FINAL_2015 (1)
Trail map courtesy of Friends of Sausal Creek


Read More

Creeks and Waterfalls in Joaquin Miller Park

Donate to Oakland Trails

Here are my favorite spots in Joaquin Miller Park (some seasonal, some year-round, and all more spectacular after a day or two of rain):

Palos Colorados Trail – Palo Seco Creek runs the length of lower Palos Colorados Trail. It’s a year-round creek, but with any rain it swells quickly, funneling all the smaller creeks in Joaquin Miller Park before joining Sausal Creek. The site and sound of water rushing through this deep, wooded canyon makes for a unique and awesome Oakland experience. The middle section, as pointed to on the map above, offers the best view of waterfalls. *Sections of this trail are steep and narrow, and can be slippery in all conditions. Only experienced hikers should use this trail.

Fern Ravine Trail (seasonal waterfall) – Whether you make your way up from Sunset Loop Trail, or reach the top via Sequoia-Bayview Trail, you’ll get a great view of a long, cascading waterfall from the upper third of this trail section. *This trail is steep and narrow, and requires intermediate to advanced hiking skills.

Cinderella Creek from Sunset Trail – This creek is easily viewed from Sunset Trail, a wide and relatively flat trail that traverses the mid section of the park. Once you reach the creek intersection, a few steps up along the wide banks will treat you to a natural section of creek under a wooded canopy.

Sinawik Trail (semi-seasonal creek) – This is an easy to moderate hiking trail that bends through mixed redwood forest along Palo Seco Creek. Loop back on the middle section of Palos Colorados Trail. You’ll get close to the creek while using these trails.

Steps for Hiking Trails

fern ravine steps #1

Special thanks to the Baird Family for their help on Fern Ravine Trail! –July, 2016

Oakland Public Works and the Oakland Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission have approved our plan to replace and add almost 30 new steps in Joaquin Miller Park. This work will be performed on lower Palos Colorados and Fern Ravine Trails, both hiking-only trails. To protect the watershed, we will not be installing wood treated with chemicals – only pure, ethically harvested redwood timbers will be used for this project. Please click on the donate button to fund one or more steps with a tax deductible contribution (all funds are processed through our 501c3 fiscal sponsor, the Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation).

One New Step $40

Phase 1 of 4



TRAILHEAD at the Oakland Museum of CA

Join us on Friday, February 26 at the Oakland Museum of CA for two FREE screenings of TRAILHEAD in the James Moore Theater. Generously hosted by the East Bay Regional Park District and the Regional Park Foundation, this event will share the evening with the museum’s “Friday Nights @ OMCA“, where outside the theater will be live music, food trucks, and adult beverages.

Following both screenings at 6:30pm and 8:00pm will be a Q&A session with producer Stan Dodson and retired Park District trails coordinator Jim Townsend.


TRAILHEAD draft4 poster 26feb16 EBRPD

Get your chance to see TRAILHEAD

Please check the homepage for the current list of upcoming screenings.


on the micTRAILHEAD will be released online at the end March, 2016. Until then, the film is being reserved for film festivals, local theaters, and private screenings in partnership with OaklandTrails.org and your business or organization (check the homepage for the most current listings).

We have a portable 80″ screen, HD projector, and a small but powerful Bose sound system. If you would like to help promote Oakland, its wildland parks, and its park volunteers by co-presenting this 20-minute documentary, please contact Stan Dodson here.

What people are saying about TRAILHEAD:

“A complete triumph.”
Matthew Lonergan, Steering Committee Chairman, Oaktoberfest in the Dimond

“TRAILHEAD is a tremendous tribute to the beauty of Oakland.”
BB Borowitz, Glenview resident

“It left us both swelled with pride.”
Bryan Beyer, Oakland resident and Realtor

“WOW…an amazing video that will promote our park and our
outdoor culture for a long time to come.”

Emily Rosenberg, Chair, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park

2nd Big Screen Event!

Screening on Friday, October 16 at the New Parkway Theater


5:45pm – Screening room opens
5:55pm – Introduction by Stan Dodson, producer
6:10pm – TRAILHEAD
6:35pm – Q&A with Stan Dodson

DVD’s and other TRAILHEAD merchandise will be for sale at this event. All proceeds benefit Oakland’s wildland parks.

The New Parkway Theater
474 24th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

What people are saying about TRAILHEAD:

“A complete triumph.”
Matthew Lonergan, Steering Committee Chairman, Oaktoberfest in the Dimond

“TRAILHEAD is a tremendous tribute to the beauty of Oakland.”
BB Borowitz, Glenview resident

“It left us both swelled with pride.”
Bryan Beyer, Oakland resident and Realtor

“WOW…an amazing video that will promote our park and our
outdoor culture for a long time to come.”

Emily Rosenberg, Chair, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park


Help us find the next venue! Contact Stan here.

The Premiere Event at Chabot Space & Science Center

premiere lineWhat a great night in Oakland!

As guests started to line up for the first screening, the TRAILHEAD team and I experienced the excitement we had anticipated. We have so many to thank for this wonderful film project and the successful premiere event – nonprofits, local businesses, corporate sponsors, private donors, city departments, and elected officials.

Here’s what people have had to say:

“A complete triumph.” –Matthew Lonergan, Event Chair, Oaktoberfest in the Dimond

“That was really a quality production and it left us both swelled with pride for Oakland.” –Bryan Beyer, Glenview resident and local Realtor

“WOW. WOW! What a wonderful night Stan produced as well as an amazing video that will promote our park and our outdoor culture for a long time to come.” –Emily Rosenberg, film participant and Chair, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park

“Last night we were delighted by Stan Dodson’s documentary, TRAILHEAD. If you love Oakland, and we do at Downtown Subaru of Oakland, you feel so proud of our city when you see this film. It was brilliant, covered Oaklands unique history of purchasing land for the parks that we enjoy today. It also interviewed volunteers who give their time to keep our parks beautiful, well tended and safe. We are proud to have been a major sponsor of this event.” –Dan Varosh, Downtown Subaru of Oakland

Event slideshow – as seen at the World Premiere


the team

the facility

bairds and me

on the mic

photos by Judi Q., Gene A., Nicholas B., and Jean Q.

TRAILHEAD documentary World Premiere on Wednesday, October 7

Hot off the Press!

Click here for an article published in the
Montclarion on Friday, September 25!

The Premiere Event is SOLD OUT!

TRAILHEAD is seeking sponsors for more big screen events in Oakland and the greater Bay Area! To get involved, please contact Stan Dodson here.
Eventbrite - TRAILHEAD - Film Premiere Event


Thanks to generous support from AT&T, Downtown Subaru of Oakland, Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington, and Big Wave Media, the film premiere will be a FREE community event. Thanks also to Chabot Space & Science Center for their partnership on this special evening.

For all of the event details, please visit: trailhead.eventbrite.com 

Dimond Canyon Trail Markers

trail marker installation photos

As of November 22, 2015, all nine mosaic trail markers have been installed. Thank you donors, artists, and volunteers for your help in making this project a reality! – Stan Dodson

“Dimond Canyon gets trail markers, thanks to volunteer”, by Mimi Rohr


Mosaic teamOakland Trails led the effort to install new trail markers in Dimond Canyon Park. This City of Oakland open space spans 90+ acres, connecting the Dimond, Glenview, Oakmore, Montclair, and Piedmont Pines neighborhoods. In the heart of the Sausal Creek watershed, it is lush with a mixed forest of oaks, buckeyes, willows, bay laurels, and redwoods.

The trail system runs the length of the open space, between El Centro Ave and Monterey Blvd. Sandwiched between Dimond Park and Joaquin Miller Park, it forms part of the celebrated link connecting Dimond Park to the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

IMG_2212 (2)Why mosaics?

Unfortunately, graffiti can be a problem in this otherwise beautiful park, and the few existing trail markers  (now removed) were badly vandalized. Repurposing an idea implemented to curb graffiti on litter containers , we designed the concept, then engaged Whitney Smith Pottery for the name plates, and local artist Roberto Costa to produce and install the finished mosaic tiles.

This project received the following endorsements:

  • Oakland Parks & Recreation
  • Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission
  • Oakland Public Works
  • Michelle Doppelt, Dimond Recreation Center Supervisor
  • Stephanie Benavidez, Supervising Naturalist, Oakland Parks & Recreation
  • Friends of Sausal Creek
  • Dimond Improvement Association

The Plan

With the City of Oakland’s permission secured, we actively fundraised for this project. In the end, nine mosaics were installed in the trail at every trailhead and trail intersection as illustrated below:

We need your support!

The budget for this project was $3,000. To continue our work in this trail system, your tax deductible contributions, large or small, are greatly appreciated. DONATE.


TRAILHEAD is sponsored by the Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation,
a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Exciting New Partnerships for the Film Premiere!

TRAILHEAD is proud to announce exciting partnerships with Downtown Subaru of Oakland and AT&T as Presenting Sponsors for our upcoming documentary, anticipated for premiere in early October, 2015!

Downtown Subaru of Oakland is helping make possible not only the premiere event for the film, but also far-reaching publicity for this worthwhile project in the East Bay and beyond. Dr. Mohamad Khan, General Manager of Downtown Subaru of Oakland, stated of the company’s support of the project, “As part of our commitment to our community, Downtown Subaru of Oakland is proud to support this documentary. Oakland is unique in the number of trails and parks within its city limits. We want to help our community learn about these parks so that Oaklanders enjoy the trails and come out as volunteers to help maintain them.”

A huge thank you also goes out to AT&T for its generous funding towards this film project. AT&T’s contribution has helped to ensure that the premiere event at Oakland’s beautiful Chabot Space & Science Center will be free and open to the community at large.

“As a local supporter of environmental stewardship and education, AT&T is proud to sponsor this inspirational documentary about the history and people behind Oakland’s outdoor trails,” said Daren Chan, Area Director of AT&T External Affairs. “We are truly fortunate to enjoy such stunning natural resources in our own backyard.”

So many others have given generous support in the form of their time, resources, and energy. Please visit our sponsor section and return the favor by supporting our partners! Considering this huge collective effort, we certainly look forward to showing the world the real, natural, and tangible beauty that is accessible right here in Oakland.

Please stay tuned for details about the exciting release of the film – coming soon!

The Oakland Neighborhood Project

The Oakland Neighborhood Project is proof enough that Stephen Texeira loves Oakland. A professional photographer and longtime Oakland resident, Stephen has launched a project that lets other passionate Oaklanders tell their own Oakland story.

I met Stephen while doing my initial outreach for TRAILHEAD back in January, and was honored by his invitation to represent Dimond. As I see it, our goals are very similar – we both strive to improve Oakland’s story…just by telling it!

Please visit Stephen’s site to explore Oakland and see how you can get involved.


photo: © stephen texeira photography – TexeiraPhoto.com

Hot off the Press! Great article at Oakland Local

On Thursday, I led Oakland Local reporter  and four of her friends on a three-hour hike from Dimond Park to the Chabot Space & Science Center, where we then hopped on the 339 AC Transit bus line for a ten-minute ride back to Dimond. It was a fantastic day in Oakland parks, and her article does a great job of capturing the spirit of my passion for the trail system. Click here to read the story.

339 AC TransitAfter a great hike and a few cookies packed in
from La Farine, the bus ride back was a breeze.
Thank you, Nastia (left), and Oakland Local!


For a map of the route covered in the story, click here.

It’s a wrap!

wrapToday, I was in the hot seat. And with the conclusion of my interview, it’s a wrap! It has been a blast working with Emily and Henry throughout the filming process. Also fun was working with the multiple groups and individuals the film will feature. I’ve made many new friends, and strengthened old ones along the way.

For a preview of the film content, scroll down through my filming journal – it’s detailed day-by-day. There will be more news to come, but as for the release date, count on enjoying the fruits of our labor sometime this summer.

See you on the trails!

– Stan Dodson
Executive Producer

Filming: Day 16 (part 2)

emily2To start the second half of our filming session, we interviewed Emily Rosenberg, Chair of the Friends of Joaquin Miller Park Board of Directors. This all-volunteer group is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders – hikers, dog walkers, bikers, equestrians, preservationists, historians, and neighbors – all dedicated to preserving and promoting Oakland’s premier 500+ acre wildland park. She discussed FOJMP’s history, their many recent accomplishments, and their plans for the future. FOJMP’s monthly meetings, held on the 2nd Monday of the month at the Joaquin Miller Park Community Center from 8:30am–10am, are open to the public.


We then headed over to Sequoia Arena in Joaquin Miller Park, where Mia and Rebecca – members of the Metropolitan Horsemen’s Association and volunteer mounted patrol in the East Bay Regional Park District – graciously put on a show with their beautiful horses (we’ll save the gorgeous trail riding footage for the film).






Filming: Day 16 (part 1)

mikeToday was all hands on deck for a full day of filming. We started by interviewing Mike Udkow, retired physician and President of the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay. I feel it’s important to promote the organizations that take care of the trail system, and no other group has put more effort into trail work – we’re talking hard, physical, and smart labor – than the BTCEB. As a stakeholder member on the Friends of Joaquin Miller Park Board of Directors, their monthly workdays in Joaquin Miller Park tackle many challenging maintenance issues:

  • Ecological – rerouting trails out of seasonal creeks and away from sensitive habitats, including the redwoods
  • Safety – rerouting trails with excessive grades and dangerous intersections
  • Stewardship – blocking illegal or “social” trails once they’re formed by renegades

BTCEB, the oldest mountain bike club in the nation, greatly appreciates the access to Joaquin Miller Park and Dimond Canyon Park, and will continue to promote the sport, help maintain the trails, and educate their members on how to be responsible trail users.

Filming: Day 15

This film would be nothing without some doggies in it, so today, Charlie, Simone, and Abby were the stars. Joaquin Miller Park has two large fenced-in dog runs – one for bigs and one for smalls – so we captured a whole bunch of off-leash fun. Thanks to Gary and Vanessa for bringing their playful pooches out to goof around and even pose for the cameras! Thanks, also, to the new friends we met. It was another friendly day in the park!





Filming: Days 12–14


Since January, I’ve been so busy producing a film about the trail system (on top of my day job), that I haven’t found time for hikes or trail runs! Today, that changed, as for the next three days, I’ll be strapping on a GoPro and hiking from La Farine in Dimond to the top of Joaquin Miller Park near the Chabot Space & Science Center – 4.5 miles and nearly 1300′ elevation gain – all on beautiful trails in Oakland.

Maybe five seconds of the footage will make the film, but it’s a great excuse to work and play at the same time.

Filming: Day 11

I met Henry at the Bishop’s Walk Trailhead in Joaquin Miller Park at 6:30am. From there, we hiked in the dark with the gear up to Lookout Point in order to capture the sunrise. Except for getting mauled by mosquitos, it was a beautiful morning.




Then, Henry tried to keep up with me on the Sinawik Trail, following behind me with the “steady cam” for some live hiking footage. By the afternoon, we were doing the same in three gorgeous areas of Dimond Canyon Park.


Filming: Day 10

We weren’t able to film much today, because…well…the gray sky just wasn’t very pretty. We got some good b-roll from the surrounding business districts, though, doing our best to hide it. We started the day at the Montclair Farmers’ Market, then headed to Dimond.





Filming: Day 9

jtDimond Park connects by trail to Dimond Canyon Park, Joaquin Miller Park, and to the Bay Area Ridge Trail and beyond. Today, we interviewed Jim Townsend, Interim Chief of Design & Construction for the East Bay Regional Park District, from a scenic trail location in their jewel – Redwood Park – to talk about that “beyond”.

I’ve been enjoying the Regional Park system for more than 25 years, so it was a pleasure to hear Jim talk about the history, successes, and plans for the future – and a brief description of the more than 500 miles of trails (!) to which Dimond Park is connected. This park system, the first of its kind in the U.S., was created in the 1930’s. And even though the country was in the grip of The Great Depression, our forebears voted to tax themselves to form the assessment district. Amazing.

For a descriptive time-line of East Bay Regional Park District history, created to help celebrate their 80th anniversary in 2014, please click here.

After Jim’s interview, we captured footage from the Cascades area of Joaquin Miller Park.



jm horse


Filming: Day 8

After seven full days of filming amazing group projects and interviews, today we set our own schedule. Henry wanted some “beauty shots”, so this afternoon, I took him straight to the Palos Colorados Trail in Joaquin Miller Park. It was his first visit. He was not disappointed.


PC steps




Filming: Day 7

Farmer Joes Marketplace - DimondWe were down one filmmaker, but we didn’t miss a beat. We started the day at sunrise on the roof of La Farine, which offered us a grand view of Farmer Joe’s Marketplace and the hills beyond. We then started documenting my hike from Dimond to the Bay Area Ridge Trail. With a camera following me, I walked from the bakery until I entered the park from its two Dimond neighborhood entrances: the end of Dimond Ave, and off Fruitvale Ave near the tennis courts. Henry filmed as I continued to the entrance of Dimond Canyon Park from El Centro Ave until I disappeared into the woods.

nbThen, I gave Henry a tour of the Dimond Business District for some b-roll (def: supplemental or alternative footage). We spent most of our time in and around Farmer Joe’s, but we’ll be sure to visit Paws & Claws and Hive, the place to bee the next time through. More, too, from Dimond will be shot for consideration in the final cut.

Thanks to Noel Black, Keep Dimond Clean volunteer, for helping us out by following Henry with the boom mic!

Next was an interview with Deidre Joyner at Bellanico Restaurant & Wine Bar in Glenview. She’s a local, experienced realtor, so today we asked her to describe the neighborhoods and business districts that connect to the parks and trail system. It was very interesting to hear her thoughtful descriptions, including the architectural charms, history of the neighborhoods, and opportunities the heart of Oakland has to offer a business and homeowner.



Filming: Day 6

LF amHighlighting the neighborhoods connected to the trail system will be another important aspect of this film, so we started the day by getting some early morning shots at La Farine Bakery.

Then, we moved up to Joaquin Miller Park where we captured a hiking tour I led for young men from Brother’s on the Rise. Background: in 2013, the Program Director at Brothers on the Rise contacted Friends of Joaquin Miller Park (FOJMP) asking if one of their members would be willing to lead some young men on a hiking tour. At the time, I was on their board, and I jumped at the chance.

BOTR HTBut, we discovered a scheduling problem. While it is possible to take public transportation to Joaquin Miller Park, they didn’t have enough time to accommodate two bus transfers to and from the redwoods. I proposed a “transportation grant” program to FOJMP, and they agreed to fund the cost of a passenger van rental for the youth organization. Problem solved. The youth had an efficient mode of transportation to the trailhead so we could spend maximum time enjoying the park. Today, we continued that program and had a super fun hike with the youth from Allendale.

Special thanks go to long-term La Farine employee, John “Poopy” Olson, for hanging out with the extra equipment while we filmed the hiking tour.

sunsetWe finished the day with Emily and Henry getting a taste of the amazing view from the Sunset Trail near Castle Dr. If you’ve never experienced this vista, contact me and I’ll help you find it.

Brothers on the Rise is a dual direct service-systems change organization which responsibly empowers male youth to achieve individual success, develop healthy relationships and contribute to a more just and equitable society. We accomplish this through comprehensive gender-responsive, culturally appropriate, preventive, pipeline programs that directly serve boys and young men of color. We also provide capacity building for schools, nonprofits and public agencies through training, coaching, curriculum development, consulting, convening, research and writing – all empowering the community towards more effective and equitable practice. Through these programs, BOTR and its partners help to raise, educate and develop boys into responsible, peaceful, caring and productive young men. Brothers on the Rise is based in Oakland with programs impacting youth, families, teachers and providers throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

Friends of Joaquin Miller Park (FOJMP) are hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, dog owners, cross country runners, historians, writers, and neighbors — all dedicated to maintaining, preserving and enhancing the rich natural legacy that was originally the home of the late 19th Century poet and environmentalist, Joaquin Miller. FOJMP is sponsored by Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit corporation in Oakland, CA. Join today!

Filming: Day 5

tp2Today was a long but exciting day of filming! First, we captured a trail improvement project performed by the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay for Cinderella Creek and park users on the Sunset Trail. Background: In the summer of 2013, the very steep bottom section of Cinderella Trail in Joaquin Miller Park was rerouted to eliminate a dangerous trail intersection and to control erosion in the watershed. It was a massive project that included several groups – Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, Volunteers for Outdoor California (V-O-Cal), Bicycle Trail Council of the East Bay, Oakland Parks & Recreation, and Oakland Public Works. A new 1/3 mile of trail was designed and constructed, while the old, over grade trail was closed off.

Last November, park stewards noticed that the barriers had been removed by other park users, and this problem section of trail was once again being used. Public Works was notified, and a collaboration of volunteers and city staff got together and planned an immediate fix. Today, we filmed the workday from that collaboration.

mk1Then, we packed up the gear from deep in the park and headed to Friends of Sausal Creek’s native plant nursery. There, we interviewed Michelle Krieg, FOSC’s Restoration and Nursery Manager. She did an amazing job in a beautiful setting.


Filming: Day 4

fojmp logo #6The Oakland Parks & Recreation Department strives to have an advisory council for each of its 100+ city parks. On every second Monday of the month, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, with their diverse Board of Directors, meets to aid the city by identifying issues and opportunities to enhance the experience in Joaquin Miller Park’s more than 500 acres for Oaklanders and visitors alike. Today, we visited their board meeting to film them in action.

After updates on several on-going projects, including new kiosks and signage to reduce trail-use conflicts, the bulk of the meeting was dedicated to helping Robert Kennedy, Public Works Park Supervisor II, and Rebuilding Together Oakland’s Rachel Matthews, Program Director, plan specific projects for up to 500(!) volunteers who will descend on the park over two Saturdays in April.

Friends of Joaquin Miller Park (FOJMP) are hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, dog owners, cross country runners, historians, writers, and neighbors — all dedicated to maintaining, preserving and enhancing the rich natural legacy that was originally the home of the late 19th Century poet and environmentalist, Joaquin Miller. FOJMP is sponsored by Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit corporation in Oakland, CA. Join today!

Rebuilding Together Oakland (RTO) works collaboratively to repair and renovate the homes of our most vulnerable neighbors. High-impact community facilities that deliver programs and resources to under-resourced communities may also be eligible for consideration. Click here to learn more about the many ways you can support RTO’s work.


Filming: Day 3

DE3In the Sunday solitude of his office at the Alameda Sun, author and Oakland historian Dennis Evanosky offered Emily, Henry, and me a rich story. For ninety minutes, he described the landscape, wildlife, and aquatic life in the Oakland hills pre-Europeans, including the resources in our area that attracted the Ohlone Indians. He discussed the arrival of the Franciscans, the Spanish Navy, and the Mexican takeover. Then came the arrival of the northern Europeans in their search for gold, and the riches gained by many settlers – including Hugh Dimond – who although failed in his bid for gold nuggets, was very successful in “mining the miners”.

abbeyHis description of the vast redwood forests, and their exploitation in the mid 1800’s, was heart-wrenching. But then he lit up talking about Cincinnatus “Joaquin” Miller, obviously one of Mr. Evanosky’s favorite characters.

Do you know how and when our parks were finally saved from developers? We were a bit surprised!

Filming: Day 2

day2 check listToday, we filmed Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC) working with EarthTeam and juniors and seniors from Skyline High School’s “H2Oakland” program. The work included native plantings, trail work, clearing invasive ivy, and leadership training. And after lunch, they learned how to find, identify, and survey insects from the creek area. We were in another gorgeous Oakland park location: the Monterey Redwoods area of Dimond Canyon Park.

Formed in 1996, Friends of Sausal Creek is a group of community members protecting Sausal Creek at a grassroots level. The Friends recognize that citizen participation—from residents to decision-makers, teachers, and students—is critical for building a long-term commitment to protecting Sausal Creek as a natural resource for the greater Oakland community. Click here to learn more about the many ways you can support FOSC’s programs.

EarthTeam programs empower youth to become lifelong environmental stewards. Students implement action projects that provide active learning about environmental science. They engage in peer-to-peer education activities, sharing their school-based service-learning projects with other students. EarthTeam’s leadership opportunities promote pathways to college and environmental science and technology careers. Click here to learn more about how you can support their many programs to educate and involve youth.

The Skyline Watershed Internship“H2Oakland” is a collection of Juniors and Seniors from the Green Energy Academy at Skyline HS that are devoted to making the Sausal Creek Watershed cleaner and greener. Throughout the course of the year, students participate in community restoration projects and are given opportunities for leadership on campus and in the community with Friends of Sausal Creek.

day2 toolswater, gloves, tools, native plants, and snacks…an excellent
set-up for a day of volunteering

day2 groupplanting native sedges and rushes along the
banks of Palo Seco Creek

day2 worksitesjust five of the more than twenty FOSC worksites

day2 bugssurveying and identifying insects

day2 cranecrane shots over Palo Seco Creek

Filming: Day 1


Not a bad first day at the office for Emily and Henry! They stored their extra equipment alongside Cinderella Creek in Joaquin Miller Park, then got to work capturing footage of the planning stages for an important park safety project that will be featured in the film – a collaboration between Public Works and the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay.

This is the type of project that Oakland can be proud of! Non-profit organizations – fueled by volunteers – working with city staff that appreciates the help.

Formed in 1987, BTCEB has been a leader in encouraging low-impact, environmentally friendly mountain bike riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, and grassroots advocacy.

Friends of Joaquin Miller Park are hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, dog owners, cross country runners, historians, writers, and neighbors — all dedicated to maintaining, preserving and enhancing the rich natural legacy that was originally the home of the late 19th Century poet and environmentalist, Joaquin Miller.


Drinking Fountain Replaced

A successful collaboration between volunteers and city staff

The leaky drinking fountain that was capped off and removed from the top of Big Trees Trail in Joaquin Miller Park has been replaced! What started out as a Public Works service request by the Friends of Joaquin Miller Park is now a newly installed, ADA-compliant drinking fountain at Redwood Glen, a much used area of the park.

get a drink2 get a drink1

We’ll feature another successful collaboration in the film. Stay tuned!

Now Offering Private Hiking Tours!

hikingtourIn my continued effort to promote the trail system that connects Dimond Park to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, I am now offering private hiking tours for routes that include Dimond Canyon Park and/or Joaquin Miller Park. To learn how to set one up for you and your group, please visit the “Hiking Tours” page.

This is a great opportunity to learn new trails, and also to introduce the trail system to your friends, family, and co-workers.

See you on the trails!
– Stan Dodson
Trails Volunteer

Pre-Production has Begun!

Dear community,

I am excited to announce that I have signed the contract with the filmmaking team!

I’m proud of the diverse list of supporters for this project, including non-profit organizations, businesses, city staff, elected officials, and individual donors – from all over Oakland – proving this campaign to be an incredible community building project for The Town.

Our fundraising work is not done, however. While we’re approaching our minimum goal to make the film, more funds will be needed to promote and distribute the finished film in July. Your on-going support will help us reach a wider audience. Click here for a description of “donor benefit packages”.

With pre-production underway, it’s time now to make a beautiful and educational film about the trail system, the volunteers taking care of it, and the neighborhoods connected to it. Thank you again for your valued support!

– Stan Dodson
Executive Producer

Donations are tax deductible, processed through our fiscal sponsor Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in Oakland, CA. Tax ID# 94-2751052

Back to the Beginning

P1010303I’ve enjoyed volunteering in Dimond Park, Dimond Canyon Park, and Joaquin Miller Park since 2008, shortly after I moved into the neighborhood and discovered them. I’ve rebuilt trail beds, trimmed thorny blackberry and poison oak off the trails, and painted over graffiti on the Leimert Bridge. I’ve spread city-supplied gravel over muddy parking areas, cleaned litter out of Sausal Creek, and even helped update Oakland’s emergency dispatch database, making sure that every trail name and park facility was included and spelled correctly.

There are hundreds of dedicated volunteers taking care of all aspects of the parks. Friends of Sausal Creek, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, and the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay (just to name a few organizations) work year-round in these parks, up and down the hill. Like me, they love this place, and are inspired to give back.

But then, in the summer of 2011, I decided to lead a hiking tour on behalf of the Dimond Improvement Association. The first one had a handful of people, mostly friends from the neighborhood. The next one had more, and by the tenth tour, I was leading a group of almost thirty people from Oakland, and often Berkeley, Alameda, and San Leandro!

If only I would have kept track of how many times I’ve heard this from a Dimond Park-area local:

“I’ve lived in [insert the name of your neighborhood here] for twenty years, and I had no idea I could hike from Dimond Park up to the Bay Area Ridge Trail!”

But, they found out. They found out what they were missing, then started bringing their friends along with them. And I found my volunteer niche.

P1010458While many do great volunteer work maintaining the park facilities and trails, my focus is to promote them. I’ve taken adults, inner city youth, and seniors on hikes. I’ve led two-mile hikes, and six-hour treks from Dimond Park to Tilden Park (about 13 miles), and to Moraga (about 10 miles). I take pleasure in exposing locals and visitors to something new, showing off our beautiful trails, creeks, and woods, and our local businesses and neighborhoods.

Making a documentary film had been my dream, but one that seemed unattainable. Fortunately, in October of 2014, I met Emily, Katherine and Henry, who had recently completed the M.F.A. Documentary Film & Video Program at Stanford University and moved to Oakland.  When I pitched this project, they were excited and they understood my vision for the film. So, I got to work. I received permission from the city, secured a fiscal sponsor, then by late December, began fundraising.

In just three months from its conception, with my outreach, the partnership with Friends of Oakland Parks & Recreation and the City of Oakland, and the generosity of this community at large, we are almost there. We are on target to shoot the film in March (while the grass is still green!) and we should have a finished documentary by July of this year – a beautiful, educational film about the trail system, the volunteers who take care of it, and the neighborhoods that are connected to it.

As of January 31, 2015, we have raised $12,000 towards our goal!

The minimum budget for this film project is $15,500. With continued support, be it by your donations or by your willingness to share this project with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and customers, we’ll begin the production of this film very soon.

With gratitude for this greater community’s amazing spirit and generosity,

– Stan Dodson
Executive Producer

Donations are tax deductible, processed through our fiscal sponsor Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in Oakland, CA. Tax ID# 94-2751052

News: Piedmont Pines ~ Montclair ~ Deidre Joyner ~ Oakmore ~ I Need Your Photos!

Please help spread the word…we’re getting closer to sharing this story about the trail system, the volunteers taking care of it, and the neighborhoods connected to it.

One really great benefit from this project is that it’s connecting the neighborhoods that are connected to the trail system. On Monday night, I attended the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association’s annual meeting to promote the film, and made lots of new friends. That neighborhood connects to Joaquin Miller Park, and will be part of the story. This morning, I presented the film project to the Montclair Village Association. They, too, with their connection to the trail system and the Sausal Creek watershed, have generously invested in this film.

I’ve chosen a real estate professional to participate in this project: Deidre Joyner. Thank you to all who contacted me. To select one, there were many great candidates that I had to pass up, but I’m proud Deidre is involved. We’ve worked together to promote this region for more than a decade.

I’m still looking to connect with the Oakmore neighborhood. If you can help, please contact me here.

BTCEB two-man crosscut sawI’ve had fun filling up the website’s slideshow with many beautiful pictures from the trails, and also some of volunteers (a big thanks to the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay volunteers who last Thursday, with their two-person crosscut saw, removed that HUGE tree that angled across the Sequoia-Bayview Trail in Joaquin Miller Park). Thanks for all the positive comments on the growing display!

I’d like to ask YOU to submit a favorite photo from your street. If you live near Dimond Park, Dimond Canyon Park, or Joaquin Miller Park, your neighborhood is part of this story. Please email one (1) of your favorite photos to: [email protected] (landscape orientation is preferred – 1MB is a good size). Please be sure to label the photo with the street name and neighborhood, and yours may be featured in the slideshow.

THANK YOU to the growing list of neighbors who have become sponsors and supporters. And remember, sharing this project with your friends, family, and co-workers is another important way to show your support. It’s all appreciated…every little bit helps.

See you on the trails!

– Stan Dodson
Executive Producer

Donations are tax deductible, processed through our fiscal sponsor Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in Oakland, CA. Tax ID# 94-2751052