The History

Strawberry Creek has served as an important feature of UC Berkeley’s landscape throughout history. Before the Spanish arrived in the 1700s, the Huchiun-Ohlone people lived in balance with the creek and the surrounding area. The creek provided them with potable water and diverse wildlife for fishing and hunting; in return, they maintained the landscape to encourage healthy growth and production of vegetation. Later on, during the gold rush of 1849…read more!

The Beginning of Restoration

Charbonneau piloted this sign campaign discouraging the public from dumping waste into storm drains.

Despite engineers’ attempts to control erosion with check dams, riprap and concrete reinforcement, the problem did not improve. In 1985 the UC Berkeley’s Environment Health and Safety office initiated restoration movement to search for long-term solutions to the creek’s polluted waters. Shortly there after, Robert Charbonneau began working for EH&S and collected extensive data about the creek and watershed area. Through his rigorous investigation, Charbonneau discovered several sources of contamination in the creek…read more!

Developments since then…

In recent years UC Berkeley’s EH&S has paired up with groups of volunteer students to clean out invasive ivy and revegetate the creek area with native California plants. EH&S has also taken several measures to reinvigorate the creek’s aquatic environment itself, furthering Charbonneau’s original plans.

Read more about student restoration activities at: UC Berkeley Strawberry Creek


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