High Street Neighborhood News

by Adelle Foley

Friends and neighbors at the first Ygnacio Neighborhood Garden work day. Photo by Rosa Gonzalez.

Melrose Branch Library Closed Until May 11

' As I write this column Melrose Branch Library is closed until Tuesday, May 11, for a major window renovation. Library Aide Vic Vickers told me that books on hold can be picked up at the Dimond Branch (on Fruitvale above MacArthur). Look for the Melrose staff at that site, too. Books can always be returned to any branch or the Main Library. Deputy director Gerry Garzon predicts that we'll be greeting Branch Manager Sandra Toscano and a Children's Librarian at Melrose when it reopens in May.


From Vacant Lot to Neighborhood Garden'

' On Saturday, March 6, the community gathered at the vacant lot on Ygnacio and Vicksburg to begin its transformation from a trash-strewn patch of dirt to the Ygnacio Neighborhood garden. More than 30 neighbors watched as the Aztec Kalpulli Kiaketzalli dancers blessed the land. The name translates to precious rain/lluvia preciosa. The crowd also munched their way through the potluck and donations from El Huarache Azteca and the Land + Life collective. There were representatives of Melrose High Hopes NCPC, Melrose Leadership Academy teaching staff, and those who live nearby. They enthusiastically pulled weeds, removed rocks, and spread soil and mulch. Some of the weeds have been left in the ground to provide space for native insects. Work will continue on Saturdays, spearheaded by Project leader Rosa Gonzalez, who told me that the goal is to use the lot as a space for the neighborhood to come together to grow healthful food and get to know one another. An added bonus could be garden classes for the students and teachers of Horace Mann Elementary School just across the street.


Earth Day at Courtland Creek, Horace Mann and Redding/Courtland

' Now that the days are longer and daylight saving time has returned, it's time for Earth Day. This year Oakland will celebrate this annual event on Saturday, April 17. Join your neighbors at 9 a.m. at the Brookdale entrance to Courtland Creek Park, Horace Mann School (Ygnacio and Congress) or the Walgreens parking lot at Redding and Courtland. All the groups will be cleaning up and weeding, and the Horace Mann team will complete the landscaping at the Vicksburg hillside. Bring your gloves, hats, sun screen, and your enthusiasm.

Fly Away, Bird!

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Huge bird casually

In the middle of the street

Taking in the scene

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Laughing children looked

Motionless grey and white: "Izzz,

That a seagull bird?"

' Adelle Foley can be reached at jandafoley\@sbcglobal.net.