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

Ice Cream Social Highlights!

Hello Fellow Neighbors, It’s already been a week since the NHCA held their Ice Cream Social. What a great day it turned out to be. More than 100 people ventured to the Gateway Garden and Pavilion where we had mild weather, a beautiful garden venue and wonderful views of the Bay. Recap below: Free Ice […]

Reminder: Ice Cream Social on August 19th

A friendly neighborhood reminder!  The North Hills Community Association Ice Cream Social – Plant Sale/Raffle Fundraiser is coming soon! Please come out and visit with your neighbors, enjoy our beautiful community garden, while delighting in free Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. Our District 4 Councilwoman Janani Ramachrandan, as well as other city officials, are also planning to stop […]

Gazing and Grazing with the Goats!

Gazing and Grazing with the Goats! We had a large turnout for our first community pop-up event on Tuesday, June 20, from 4-6 pm. Lots of nearby hills neighbors, along with others not so nearby, came to view the goats on the hills across from the Gateway Garden and Pavilion along Hiller Drive. Children and adults […]

Oakland Tech Inaugural Day at Gateway Garden – Sunday Nov 13th

Oakland Tech Inaugural Day at Gateway Garden – Sunday Nov 13th Another volunteer day spent in the Gateway Garden! On Sunday, November 13, Dan and Vicki met with members of the Ecology Club from Oakland Technical High School to help with garden cleanup. This volunteer garden day was initiated by Ava Stern who started Oakland Tech’s Ecology […]

The Berkeley Project – STRIKES ONCE AGAIN!!

The Berkeley Project – STRIKES ONCE AGAIN!! On a beautiful, crisp, clear October 23rd Sunday morning, Vicki & Dan once again welcomed 25 of “The Berkeley Project” student volunteers to Gateway Garden to finish up late season detailing to get ready for Winter. Many of the students took a bus to a local meeting spot […]

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) – Mulching Away at Firestorm Memorial Garden, Thursday October 12th

Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) – Mulching Away at Firestorm Memorial Garden, Thursday October 12th   On a beautiful crisp Fall Thursday morning, Vicki & Dan welcomed a dozen volunteers from two Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) groups to help spread mulch at the Firestorm Memorial Garden. This effort was done to prepare the garden for Winter after BrightView […]

Chevron Day @ Gateway Gardens & Pavilion – Sept 15, 2022

Chevron Day @ Gateway Gardens & Pavilion – Sept 15, 2022 On a beautiful early Fall Thursday morning, Vicki & Dan welcomed 18 hard-working Chevron volunteers to help at the Gateway Garden. The objective was to follow the garden maintenance plan in getting the garden ready for Winter after a Summer of garden clean-up and detailing with the help of […]

Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation/ Schnitzer Steel Conquer Gateway Garden! 

Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation/ Schnitzer Steel Conquer Gateway Garden!  On a bright and sunny August 25th afternoon at Gateway Garden & Pavilion NHCA gardenco-chairs Vicki Oliveira and Dan Conolly held their first corporate garden volunteer event with Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation and partner Schnitzer Steel from Oakland. It was a hard-working Schnitzer group […]

OPD Grubensky Bench Ceremony

City of Oakland police Officer John Grubensky was killed as he tried to evacuate a family from their home during the deadly Oakland Hills Fire on October 20, 1991.  When his body was found he was laying on top of a woman’s body whom he was trying to rescue. The firestorm was due to an […]

Hey, What’s Happening @ Gateway Gardens?  Lot’s This Season!

Just ask the Goats, Garden Volunteers and the BrightView Landscaping team. Over the past few months, the Gateway Garden Committee has solicited these services to remove the garden’s invasive grasses and plants. The garden is in great shape for the North Hills Community volunteers to maintain the Gateway Garden moving forward. Join us each Friday […]

Great Resource: Wild Life in the North Hills

“This website documents wildlife and wild plants found in the hills on the border between Oakland and Berkeley, California. The area covered is roughly bounded by Tunnel Road, Domingo Avenue, Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, and Grizzly Peak Blvd., with emphasis on Claremont Canyon and the surrounding hillsides” Check it out here

UC Berkeley project day

On a beautiful sunny day, Saturday, March 12, about 20 UC Berkeley volunteers helped with weeding in the Demonstration Garden on Old Tunnel Road. The North Hills community Association garden committee, led by Celine Gyger, organized the event. It was a great success as the students are very energetic and bagged several dozen giant green […]

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 […]