Advice about City of Berkeley Parks

Parent Q&A

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  • Hello,

    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?


    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.

  • BBQ and picnic areas around Berkeley

    (5 replies)

    Hello, I'm looking for a park where I could organize a picnic with BBQ for a company of 8-10 adults and 3-5 kids. Could anyone recommend a decent place, not too crowded, with BBQ and bathrooms, somewhere in Berkeley or its neighbourhood (El Cerrito, Albany, Kensington)? Do you need to make a reservation to have a picnic?

    Many El Cerrito parks have BBQ areas, and all have bathrooms (buy a bathroom key at the Community Center and it is good forever).

    All the info is here:

    You technically don't have to have a reservation, but if someone else does make a reservation, then your group could be left without a picnic table or BBQ. For example all the picnic/bbq areas at Arlington Park are often reserved on weekends.

    Tilden Park has a lot of picnic areas both large and small, with BBQ grills and either their own bathroom, or they are nearby. You can reserve the big ones (35 people and up) ahead of time to ensure you get the spot you want. Or just arrive early and stake out your spot.

    We just had a really nice birthday party at Lake Temescal and we reserved the spot in advance online. Most of them are close to the parking lots, have grassy open space for running around, and are close to drinking fountains and toilets. You can use the same link as the comment for Tilden Park and the website shows a picture of each of the picnic sites.

    It sounds like you want easy in- town access so my first suggestion is Codornices Park.  There are BBQ grills at the end of centerfield (off the grass) of the baseball diamond.  More special is to go from there across the creek to the picnic area at the big chimney.  Berkeley req does reserve for you, but I'd think not necessary unless a weekend.  Another close by,  but small and private location is Remoullard Park on Regal Road above Euclid

    Our more favorite suggestion would be Tilden and specifically the Spillway Picnic Area.  It is east of the great lawn at Lake Anza.  Their parking lot was closed last month...but parking in the over-flow lot next to it is actually closer to the BBQ sites.  Seven tables, lovely location, short 2 minute wLk from over-flow parking lot (gravel). If you don't know Tilden, easiest directions is from top of Spruce Street to Anza Lake.  You also go right by the Merry-Go-Round and could easily stroll between the two.  Good luck.

    Tilden is great. Codornices park in Berkeley has reservable group picnic areas. Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. Lake Temescal is farther away, but really nice.

Parent Reviews

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

Indian Rock—up the stairs first on the south side for age 5!