“Walking Watersheds” is a Wholly H2O initiative that seeks to change the way we think about and interact with the watershed ecosystems that sustain our East Bay communities. Rather than isolated drainage basins, our creek systems are vital, interconnected habitats that support our neighborhoods around the San Francisco Bay. The “Walking Watersheds” project seeks to shift our relationship to these incredible ecosystems by crafting in-depth stories around each creek’s unique and diverse history.
Using pocketsites.com, we are creating immersive and interactive walking tours of our local watersheds, beginning with Temescal, Sausal, Strawberry, Peralta and Wildcat Creek watersheds. We tell the stories of the creeks’ human and natural history along each path from headwaters to mouth. These stories educate participants on subjects like the creeks’ flora, fauna, reservoir water quality, erosion, restoration, day-lighting, as well as issues of racial discrimination and access in our Oakland watersheds.
Each walking tour includes livestream recordings featuring historians, scientists and community members, who share their relationship to the watershed and provide valuable insight into the social history and ecological reality of the spaces. We upload images, stories, and sound files of the watersheds from our participants to create a deep, community driven experience.
As these walks are streamed online, “Walking Watersheds” provides online environmental educational programming that can be used safely by teachers and parents amid the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. These walking tours can be experienced solo or in socially distanced groups on walkable one-mile sections of the creek trail, as well as virtually. When COVID-19 restrictions have passed, Wholly H2O will offer more in-person expert-guided tours.
Funded by Oakland, CA (February 2021)