Invasive plants on our fence bordering Berkeley public park


We recently purchased a house that backs up to a City of Berkeley public park on two sides.

There seems to be a chain link fence and a wood fence in parts, and just a chain link fence in others. I assume the chain link one belongs to the city and the wood one to us.

There are multiple invasive species growing along and up over the fence, and up trees in the park along the property line, including English Ivy and Bridal Creeper.

The Ivy specifically has nearly destroyed the wood fence on our side, which will be expensive to fix, but even more expensive to fix if the city requires us to do so without disturbing the ivy. I also don’t want these invasive plants all over my yard.

In an ideal world, I’d tear out both the ivy and bridal creeper completely (dig out the roots and rhizomes, and keep them cut back), and plant something native and less invasive instead but I don’t know if the city would be ok with that. If I can’t tear it out, and need to maintain the fence with the ivy trying to tear it down, it seems like the city ought to be liable to fix the fence. (It would have lasted much much longer without the ivy). I’m not sure what’s allowed and what’s not in terms of managing this.

I’ve emailed and called the Berkeley parks department, but haven’t heard back.

Are there posted rules somewhere about how to manage property lines shared with parks? Have you dealt with this? If it were a neighbor, I’d walk over and have a conversation but I don’t know who to talk to, since the parks department isn’t calling me back.

Any advice?


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I have neighbor who has invasive bamboo and they refused to do anything.I wrote to my congressman who referred me to someone in the City of Richmond who never responded after two attempts.I dug out any rhizomes I could find in my yard,which was like digging out rock and not easy.I dug a ditch about two feet deep where bamboo was approaching so it could not spread through my yard.I cut the invading plants just past the fence line in my yard so I could prop them with rocks and stop them.This caused some of the plants in their yard to look dead.If it looked like plants in the city park were dead you could complain to the city that the dead plants are a fire hazard.I have considered doing that but I am just so happy to have stopped the bamboo from taking over my yard.

I really encourage you to get your city councilmember involved with this. They know who in the city should handle this and they will either give you direct contact information or they'll contact the right department themselves. I have found that city workers are more responsive to complaints that come through the city council rather than from a citizen.  Google "Berkeley council districts" or similar to find out who your council member is and then email them. All of them have staff that deal with email from constituents.  My councilmember in District 8 is very responsive to email and yours might be too.  If not, they may offer meet-and-greets around the neighborhood. I also recommend getting on their mailing list and contributing to their campaign if they have helped you.