Firestorm Memorial Garden
Created in 1993 and dedicated in 1994, the garden honors the Oakland hills residents who lost their homes and their lives in the 1991 Oakland Hills Firestorm. A bronze sculpture at the southern end is surrounded by low walls bearing plaques with the names of the 25 people who died in the firestorm. A drinking fountain honors Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief James Riley, who died trying to save lives. It is an official stopping point on Oakland’s Scenic Route.
Frank H. Ogawa Firescape Garden
This site was opened in 1995 in conjunction with the North Oakland Sports Field. The garden was renovated in 2009/2010 with 2500 plants, including native plants on the east side of the parking lot and hummingbird, butterfly and ornamental plants on the west side. The OLC is also helping to restore and maintain the Temescal Creek tributary that flows through the Sports Field site. OLC is the Adopt-A-Park partner for the Oakland Public Works Agency for the entry garden and Temescal Creek vegetation management efforts. OLC works closely with the City of Oakland Wildfire Prevention Assessment District on vegetation management efforts in this location.
Installed in 2002/2003 to provide fabulous views of the Bay while informing visitors about vegetation management and emergency preparedness, the Gateway Exhibit Center has become a startling attraction alongside of Highway 24 as it exits the Caldecott Tunnel. The distinctive exhibit center was designed pro bono by local architect and fire survivor Peter Gray Scott, and has been the site for the 10th and 20th Firestorm Anniversary ceremonies. It is maintained by volunteers.
This site was added to the OLC roster in 2008 and is maintained in conjunction with the California Department of Highways under the “Adopt a Highway” program. Located at the Broadway and Keith Avenue intersection, it includes attractive plantings of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs.
Oakland Park Maintenance/ Beautification
Throughout the year OLC volunteers support park maintenance and beautification efforts many Oakland parks, including the Morcom Rose Garden, Lakeside Park, Montclair Park, Raimondi Park, North Oakland Sports field, Gateway Garden, FROG Park, South Prescott Park and Union Point Park. OLC is a member of the Oakland Parks Coalition.
For the past 20 years, OLC has helped develop and maintain gardens at many Oakland preschools, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. OLC helps secure plants, volunteers and grant funding to beautify school grounds and in promoting healthy, green living.
Vegetation Management in Hiller Highlands
Since the 1991 Firestorm, OLC has led efforts to remove flammable French broom concentrations from park/open space and private properties in Oakland’s Hiller Highlands neighborhood, which was devastated by the 1991 Firestorm.