To kick off the Fall season, Vicki & Dan welcomed an energetic young group of 20 volunteers from Sequoyah Community Church on September 24th to help complete the garden maintenance plan to get ready for Winter.

MISSION – Finish mulching the remaining Zones 6, 7, 8, plus 11A/11B and 12 at Gateway Gardens. This effort follows the BrightView Landscape abatement cleanup and the various volunteer groups detailing over the Summer.


The Sequoyah team was armed with shovels, rakes, wheel barrels, tarps, bags, buckets, a great attitude, and even a flying drone to help make short order of the Big Chief Tree mulch piles that have been curing at the garden.

Gateway Gardens has undergone a disciplined, systematic 6-month transformation starting this past Spring ’22 until now Fall ’22. This effort included the organization and cooperation of numerous parties to cost effectively develop a practical maintenance plan. This plan included zone site and irrigation maps, removing invasive plants & grasses, plus removing and/or pruning fire prone plants (e.g., rosemary, pepper tree, coyote bush, sage brush, tea tree, etc.), lifting the olive tree canopy, and then mulching the entire garden.


The Adopt-A-Spot Gateway Garden is looking amazing, which provides the community the opportunity to now fully enjoy the garden, plus provides a baseline to build on this season and beyond. Congratulations to everyone that has helped with this project!

Our next steps are to focus on the sister Firestorm Memorial Garden (at the other Hiller Highlands entrance off the intersection of Tunnel Road/Highway 13 and Caldecott Lane) in October to complete the same Fall season detailing and mulching. We are partnering with Bentley School and The Berkeley Project (Cal Berkeley) to help execute in these efforts after BrightView Landscape Services did a COMPLETE garden abatement earlier this Summer. The Firestorm Memorial Garden is a beautiful hidden gem.

DONATION REMINDER – Maintaining the gardens requires a lot of manpower, plus monetary donations from the NHCA community. Please consider supporting the North Hills Community Association’s Garden beautification efforts. Donations can be made by mailing a check (envelopes are available at the kiosk at either the Gateway or Firestorm Memorial Garden), or on-line: Click on the ‘DONATION’ link in the upper right-hand corner at

Thank you for your interest in the Gateway Garden & Pavilion and the Firestorm Memorial Garden. We have two unique community assets to be quite proud of following this season’s transformation.

Dan Conolly & Vicki Oliveira

NHCA Garden Committee Co-Chairs.

Drone pictures

Posted in Community, Gardens & Community.