The North Hills Community Association focus on Gardens & Community

Firestorm Memorial Garden

Created in 1993 and dedicated in 1994, the Firestorm Memorial Garden honors the Oakland hills residents who lost their homes and lives in the 1991 Oakland Hills Firestorm. A bronze sculpture at the southern end is surrounded by low walls bearing 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 others. The garden is an official stopping point on Oakland’s Scenic Route.

Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center

Installed in 2002/2003 alongside Highway 24 just to the west of the Caldecott Tunnel, the Gateway Exhibit Center educates visitors about vegetation management and emergency preparedness. With its fabulous views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, the Center has become a popular attraction, especially for bikers on their way up to Grizzly Peak.  Designed pro bono by local architect and fire survivor Peter Gray Scott, and maintained by volunteers, the center hosted the 10th and 20th Firestorm Anniversary ceremonies.

The Fire Resistant Demonstration Garden at Gateway models Oakland’s requirements for defensible space, including plants and mulches appropriate to our climate and topography.

Gardens & Community News & Notes

Scouts Complete Stair Repair

Scouts Complete Repair of 62 Steps at Gateway Fire Resistant Demonstration Garden Mason Chen, an Eagle Scout candidate from Piedmont Boy Scouts Troop 15, led a major effort over the spring and summer to replace a number of deteriorated steps in the garden. He and his team added Trex decking boards to the top of […]

Scouts Install Edging Along Firestorm Memorial Garden Sidewalk

Over the past few weeks, scouts from Piedmont Boy Scouts Troop 15 helped Eagle Scout candidate Nathan Catalano install Trex edging along the sidewalk on Hiller to retain the soil from the Firestorm Memorial Garden. As part of his project, Nate had to measure sections to determine how much Trex was needed.  Using donated Trex […]

Earth Day 2021

The NHCA Earth Day was celebrated by a number of volunteers enjoying the Gateway Exhibit and Gardens (Tunnel/Hiller/Caldecott Lane) admiring the beautiful vistas, placed granite rocks and color of the current blooming from succulents as well as Iris, Red Bud and Lilies. Participating in community volunteerism gave them an opportunity to meet new friends, learn […]

Nico Laub-Sabater leads Scout Project at Gateway

Eagle Scout Candidate Nico Laub-Sabater (Piedmont Boy Scout Troop 15) has led a multi-work-day project to beautify the Gateway Fire Resistant Garden over the last few months in coordination with the NHCA Garden Committee. Scouts weeded near the exhibit center and then planted succulent cuttings. The Gateway Fire Resistant Garden shows local residents how they […]

Celebrating The Piper’s 50th Anniversary at Gateway

NHCA Committee Chair Sue Piper and her husband Gordon, chair of the Oakland Landscape Committee, shared their 50th Anniversary with volunteers at Gateway. Many thanks to Mary Alice Rathburn for picking up the trash (she does so every week); and to volunteers Lia Turk, Laura Escobosa and Carolyn Burgess for weeding in the garden. It […]

Garden Volunteer Work Day

When:  Saturday, November 30, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Where: Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center & Garden (Tunnel Rd & Hiller Dr) What: Weeding, Planting & Mulching – Rain or Shine! Please RSVP: hillaryconlon@gmail.com Please join us for a fun family volunteer opportunity in our community! Wear closed toed shoes and clothes you don’t […]

Water Conservation

Conserving water in our homes and gardens needs to become a way of life in the Oakland Hills. Here are some practical resources: Water Conservations Tips from East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) http://www.ebmud.com/about-us/events/water-conservation-tips-east-bay-mud/ Conservation, Rebates and Upcoming Workshops from EBMUD Includes a home/landscape calculator, sign ups for a bi-monthly water usage report and home […]

Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center & Gardens Volunteer Work Day

Hillary Conlon, NHCA Garden Chair, along with Garden Committee Members, Gordon and Sue Piper, managed these incredible volunteers of the World Mission Society Church of God, who spent Sunday, May 26, 2019, working on the Gateway Garden and Gateway Extension Garden to remove fire prone weeds and brush. These volunteers have committed to complete 1000 Hours […]

North Hills Gardens

As of January 2018, the responsibility for the preservation and care of both the Firestorm Memorial Garden and the Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center will fall to the North Hills Community Association. Since these gardens are not just oases of beauty, but of education essential to the safety of the North Hills neighborhood, our new […]