3.5 - Land Use

The built environment in the upper Strawberry Creek watershed is dominated by institutional activities
(Figure 5). The Berkeley central campus and Lawrence Berkeley Labs account for most of this area. Buildings, parking lots, small lawn and open areas, as well as roadways and walkways are included in this category. Twelve percent of the watershed is comprised of residential land uses, one-third of which are multi-family units in North Berkeley (Table 4). The only commercial area is the compact Euclid Avenue district on North side.

Recreational land uses consist of impervious artificial surfaces such as Kleeberger Field, Memorial Stadium, and the Haas Recreation Area. Open space refers to large turf areas such as playing fields and extensive lawns. Urbanized areas in the watershed include institutional, residential, commercial , and recreational land uses which comprise about 425 acres (37%) of the total watershed area. 

The upper canyon portion of the watershed is predominantly undeveloped. Vegetative cover in the canyon consists primarily of north coastal scrub which is extremely dense and rich in species composition. This vegetation type occurs in three phases commonly found in the hill area. First, coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis) invades previous grasslands. The second phase occurs on drier south facing slopes and often is found among rocky outcrops. It consists of a mixture of coyote bush, lupine (Lupinus sp.), sage (Salvia sp.), monkeyflower (Mimulus sp.), and nine-bark (Physocarpus capitatus). The last phase of north coastal scrub is the most dense and is made up of poison oak (Toxicodendron diversalobum). coffeeberry (Rhamnus califomica), blackberry (Rubus vitifolia), nine-bark, rose (Rose sp.), ocean spray (Holodiscus discolor), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), currant (Ribes sp.), gooseberry (Ribes sp.), blueblossom (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus) and elderberry (Sambucus sp.). This scrub and mixed grassland is generally found on ridgetops and areas with shallow soils, such as south and west facing slopes.

The second major vegetative type is woodlands which consists of oak-bay woodlands and eucalyptus stands. Oak-bay woodlands are comprised of California bay (Umbellularia caHfomica), California buckeye (Aesculus califomica), and coast live oak (Ouercus agrifolia). Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), madrone (Arbutus menziesii). Monterey pine (Pinus radiata), and red and blue gum (Eucalyptus spp.) are also present. This vegetation type possesses a variable but frequently rich understory containing poison oak, blackberry, ·hazelnut, elderberry, madrone, and numerous other shrub and herbaceous species. The oak-bay woodland occurs on moist valley bottoms and in deeper soils, generally north and east facing slopes. Eucalyptus (E. globulus) plantations include uncut trees as well as stands reestablished from stump sprouting. The understory in eucalyptus stands is commonly restricted to poison oak and a light cover of grass and thistles. Numerous slopes were planted with eucalyptus in the early 1900's.

The final vegetative type is coniferous plantations which were planted in small groves throughout the canyon. The majority of the stands are monterey pine. Plantations planted along Panoramic Hill along the southern edge of the watershed consist of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), and monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa). The understory of densely spaced plantations is essentially open and covered with thick litter. As the forest matures it may become more open, allowing poison oak, coffeeberry, french broom (Cytisus monspessulanus). and other shrub species to become established.