Sep 27 2021

Make the change to a healthier landscape now!

Piedmont Connect’s Fall FRONT Garden Tour and Related Events

Piedmont Connect’s Healthy Landscapes Fall Front Garden Tour begins Saturday, Sept. 25 and continues through Sunday, Oct. 3. During this period, Piedmonters can get sidewalk views of 14 selected front gardens featuring an array of drought-tolerant and native plant landscapes in neighborhoods throughout the City, from Baja to St. James Wood and from Moraga Ave. to Boulevard Way.

Check out for a map [or see below] of the street addresses, plus photos and complete descriptions of the front gardens explaining what, when, why and how the gardens were transformed from lawns or ivy patches into healthier landscapes.

Additionally, join Piedmont Connect for two related events during the week of the garden tour: On Wednesday, Sept 29 at 10:30 a.m., join Dick Carter’s Wednesday Walkers group for a guided tour of some of the gardens on the Fall Front Garden Tour. A special guest from Piedmont Connect will discuss the significant features of the gardens on Dick’s customized walking route. Meet at the Piedmont Exedra to participate in this free Wednesday Walkers’ walking tour.

On Thursday, Sept. 30, from 7 to 8:15 p.m., Piedmont Connect, with City of Piedmont technical assistance, will host a Zoom event “Living With Drought”. Join the live webinar via the link at “Living With Drought” will be moderated by dynamic Piedmont resident and water expert Eileen White, following an introduction by Piedmont Parks Manager Nancy Kent. Our Water Our World’s Suzanne Bontempo will give helpful outdoor water-saving techniques.

For the finale, three Piedmont residents whose gardens are featured on the Fall Front Garden Tour will inspire viewers with their garden transformations, explaining how they use the latest research to sustain healthy ecosystems and maintain chemical-free, water-efficient oases that support a diversity of wildlife. There will be time for viewer questions and answers following the presentations.

For residents wanting to reduce water use, limit garden maintenance work, adapt to climate changes, build drought resiliency, and attract beneficial life to the garden, fall is the time of year when planting is recommended. Hoped-for (and likelier) winter rains help young or relocated plants to establish new root systems naturally, without supplemental water. Cooler temperatures also impede a few common plant pathogens to which some young plants are susceptible.

Make the change to a healthier landscape now!

By Hope Salzer and Marjorie Blackwell, Piedmont Connect

>Healthy Garden Tour Map

> Descriptions and photos of gardens

>CONNECT garden tour 2021

Sep 22 2021


On Thursday, September 23. 2021 at 4:00 p.m.. the Piedmont Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee will meet via Zoom to consider a recommendation to the Piedmont City Council on how to spend $2,663,729, Piedmont’s COVID funds. 

To participate and view the meeting see the Agenda link below.

Of the $2,663,729 allocated to the City, $2,382,545 is tied to lost revenue and can be used in category 3 which, as noted in the full staff report linked below, may be used for any governmental services, including infrastructure projects. The remaining $281,183 must be used in accordance with the provisions of the other four categories.


By motion, recommend that the City Council allocate the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds as proposed by staff:

A. Devote lost revenue funds to address urgent facilities projects, prioritized as follows:

1. Dispatch Center Relocation\Remodel

2. Initiation of Master Planning Process for the Future of Police, Fire and City Hall

3. City Hall Basement: Digitization of Residential Property Files and Remodel Office Space

3. Fire Department Living Quarters Renovation 3. Recreation Department Building Renovation

B. Devote the remaining more restricted funds as follows:

1. Cover the City’s direct COVID related expenses incurred after March 3, 2021

2. Provide premium pay to Recreation Department personnel who were exposed on a daily basis to critical health risks while interacting with the public due to the nature of their jobs

3. Provide COVID-19 specific support to the Piedmont Unified School District by providing funding toward a temporary full-time school nurse to assist PUSD in its COVID-19 response. Such resource would be available to support the City’s Recreation Department COVID response needs as well.

AGENDA >2021-09-23 Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee Agenda

READ  FULL STAFF REPORT >2021-09-23 ARPA Funding Direction – BAFPC

Sep 14 2021

23rd Annual Harvest Festival

The City of Piedmont is excited for the return of the Piedmont Harvest Festival, now in its 23rd year, on Sunday, September 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This year’s Harvest Festival will feature all the fun events and activities you’ve come to expect, with a few new twists as we adapt to the new normal. The Piedmont Education Foundation Carnival is back and in full swing, the main stage will be jumping with the Jazz Festival, and the Food Trucks will be fired up alongside the Village Market Farmer’s market as usual. Also returning, as the heart of the event, will be the Piedmont Edibles Contest! Grow on Piedmont!

For full details of the Harvest Festival event, see our Events page

And don’t forget the Movie in the Park!

Harvest Festival Movie in the Park
Friday, September 17
Movie: “Bee Movie”
Bee Talk & Honey Tasting: 6:45 pm
Movie Starts about 7:20 pm
Piedmont Park

Aug 10 2021


The Piedmont Recreation Department (PRD) is creating community through our new Senior Meet-up Groups!

A meet-up is simply that—a group people that meet up to enjoy a common interest. Do you want to practice speaking French? Are you an avid bird watcher? Meet new people while playing, exploring, creating and doing the things you love. PRD will help promote and even supply your group with a meeting room.

Various ideas for Meet-up Groups!

Art Enthusiasts: Meet at different museums

Chess Club: Check mate!

Dog Lovers: Meet at various dog-friendly hikes

Documentary Scholars: Watch a documentary and discuss

Pickballers: Schedule a weekly pick-up game

Poker Night: Just don’t let it get ‘out of hand’

These are just a few of the ideas PRD came up with…e-mail > Eva Phalen and let PRD  know what activities you enjoy!

 To phone the Piedmont Recreation Department – call 510/420-3070 

Aug 3 2021

Regular Agenda:

1. Approval of Park Commission Minutes for June 2, 2021

2. Update on EBMUD Pipeline Replacement Project on Manor Drive

3. Update on Highland-Guilford Steps and Handrail Project and Adjacent Mature Coast Live Oak

4. Update on Drought Response in Parks and Open Spaces

5. Update on Regulation of Glyphosate Products in the City of Piedmont

6. Update on Heritage Tree Signage in the Parks

7. Update on “Walking the Perimeter of Piedmont” – A Self -Guided Walking Tour

8. Monthly Maintenance Report: Park, Open Space, and Street Tree Update for the Months of June and July 2021 Announcements, old business a

READ the full Agenda and ways to participate, staff reports, and minutes by clicking the link below:

Final Publish Park Agenda 2021-08-04

Jul 10 2021

Many gardeners know that pesticides are harmful to the environment and try to
minimize their use, but did you know that many of the plants that you buy come
pretreated with pesticides called neonicotinoids (neonics)?

Neonics are derived from nicotine, and these pesticides contaminate the entire plant for at least 10 years, as well as the soil they are planted in, the water they come in contact with, and the insects and pollinators that feed on them.

According to the Pollinator Posse, plants treated with neonics may be more attractive to
pollinators like bees, which may amplify their harmful ecological impact. Neonics are
considered a primary contributor to the massive decrease in bee and monarch butterfly
populations, along with climate change and habitat loss. Perhaps more alarming,
neonics are also linked to nervous system toxicity and reproductive disorders in

What can you do?
● Buy and plant wildlife-friendly, California native plants.
● When purchasing plants, read the plant label carefully or ask if they have been
treated with neonics. Let proprietors know that you prefer untreated plants. If in
doubt, shop elsewhere. Native plants are typically grown by specialist native
plant nurseries that do not use neonics. Luckily, Inner East Bay gardeners have
several neonic-free native nurseries nearby: East Bay Wilds Native Plant Nursery
in Oakland; Native Here Nursery in Berkeley; Oaktown Native Plant Nursery in
Berkeley; and The Watershed Nursery in Richmond. Ace Garden Center on
Grand Ave carries some (but not all) neonic-free brands and their native plant
section is quite small. Find a more complete list of Bay Area native plant
nurseries here.
● Buy organic produce whenever possible– it is not treated with neonics.
● Recognize that bites out of a plant leaf are a sign of a healthy ecosystem where
plants, pollinators, and other small lifeforms co-exist.

Pesticides are regulated at the federal and state levels. On the federal level, “Saving
America’s Pollinators Act” was introduced in Congress by the U.S. Representatives Earl
Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) in June 2021 and would require the
EPA to take action to stop pollinator decline. Several US states and communities have
also instituted regulations. California is currently considering whether to list neonics
under Proposition 65, based on neurodevelopmental and reproductive effects on
humans. The European Union banned the use of outdoor neonics in 2018.

The City of Piedmont follows federal and state regulations and, in 2010, adopted an
integrated pest management (IPM) program that focuses on preventing infestations and
using pesticides only in rare cases (to save a mature native tree, for example) and as a
last resort.

For more information about neonics, check out these resources: the Natural Resources
Defense Council, Beyond Pesticides, and the Environmental Working Group.

By Indira Balkissoon and Marianne Mitosinka of Piedmont Connect

Jul 1 2021

Following the Sunday, 4th of July Holiday, City Offices will be Unavailable and Regularly Scheduled Public Meetings of the City Council (July 6) and Park Commission (July 7) are Cancelled.

The next City Council meeting will be Monday, July 19.  The next Park Commission meeting will be Wednesday, August 4.

The City of Piedmont plans to reopen City offices to the public on Monday, July 12th

We look forward to serving Piedmonters again in person. In consideration for the health of our community, when entering City buildings, masks are required for people who are unvaccinated and appreciated for those who are. There may be some changes to the way our facilities operate, but Piedmonters can continue to expect the same high level of customer service they’re used to.
Services which have been made available online during the pandemic will continue to be available electronically. We look forward to announcing some additional ways the community can conveniently access and schedule city services in the near future!
City of Piedmont Announcement
Apr 30 2021
Re: May 3 Council Agenda Item : Grand – Lower Grand
Piedmont City Council
Dear Mayor King and Council,
          Spending funds on a Grand Ave – lower Grand bicycle improvement is a curious option for public funds as only beautification and limited bike safety will be addressed. In contrast improving the Fairview – Grand intersection accomplishes many concerns: bicycle safety, pedestrian Safety, significant traffic calming and significant Green Infrastructure (“GI”) compliance as this intersection is at the bottom of the hill and a bio-swale can be installed. The GI element is essentially very limited or not possible at Grand – lower Grand. Importantly, more beautification then the small project proposed at Grand and lower Grand is possible at Fairview – Grand as the multitude of traffic turning up Fairview off Grand is indicative of this intersection as a significant City Gateway and there will be  beautification of one of the two small commercial zones in Piedmont. Lastly the unsightly “gateway” of white plastic bollards will be eliminated.
          The 2014 Piedmont Bike Pedestrian Master Plan (“PBMP”) at p. 77 listed Grand/Fairview as a priority project and the report states “many requests from the public, creates sense of gateway into the city.”  The current Staff Report notes the PBMP as to Grand/Lower Grand intersection as “one needing additional traffic calming measures.” The PBMP places the Fairview Grand intersection as a higher safety priority; a permanent solution at this important intersection addresses multiple issues unlike the limited possibilities at Grand – Lower Grand.
          I urge Council to reconsider and use taxpayer funds in a more efficient manner that serves many more in town and accomplishes multiple needs by improving the Grand – Fairview intersection. Minimally, I ask Council to direct Staff to place a higher priority on the Fairview – Grand intersection.
Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident
April 30, 2021
Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Apr 28 2021
This year, the City of Piedmont’s Arbor Day Celebration will be held VIRTUALLY on Friday, April 30th.
Arbor Day Video:
The City has a link on their website of the Arbor Day video, which highlights the City’s 19 heritage trees, as well as, a presentation by Zach Parisa speaking about Piedmont’s own urban forest.

WATCH the Video >

Arbor Day Tree Planting:
The City will be planting three Yulan Magnolia in Dracena Park, in memory of Ralston Louie.
Chalk Art Contest:
Public Works is also hosting a Chalk Art Contest for our youngest residents. Participants can pick their favorite street or park tree next to a sidewalk, write the tree’s name in chalk along with any inspired artwork honoring the tree! Please send your photo of the artist and tree to Nancy Kent. If you need assistance identifying your tree, contact Parks & Project Manager, Nancy Kent!
Prizes will be awarded for the most creative tree art!
For additional information contact Nancy Kent at
or (510) 420-3064 
Apr 6 2021

Park Commission Wednesday, April 7, 5:30 pm.

Read about the Heritage Tree selection, flowers, minutes, Agenda, participation, and much more by clicking the link below.

Park Commission 4-07-2021