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Grow Your Oakland http://www.growyouroakland.org
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This page is always a work in progress...We've categorized this collection of links into food gardening, nature & environment, arts, local resources and volunteering. We've tried to keep things pretty local (i.e. in Oakland) but a few of these resources are located outside the city limits, especially in the food gardening category.

Contact us if you know of a site you think we should include!

Oakland Food Gardening & Related Issues | Nature & Environment | Arts & Community in Oakland | Local Resources | Volunteering |

Oakland Food Gardening & Related Issues

City Slicker Farms

City Slicker Farms increases food self-sufficiency in West Oakland by creating organic, sustainable, high-yield urban farms and back-yard gardens.

People's Grocery

People's Grocery is a community-based organization in West Oakland whose mission is to build a local food system that improves the health and economy of the West Oakland community.

Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project

Acta Non Verba is an East Oakland community-based and community-backed project whose goal is to provide fresh and affordable produce to an underserved population, and in doing so raise seed money for college funds for participating children and teens. Within the model of garden-as-classroom, children engage in a variety of activities that deepen their understanding of food production and strengthen their ties to the larger community.

Phat Beets Produce

Phat Beets food justice collective supports two certified clinic based farmers’ markets, one youth led school farm stand + community nutrition hub, and a youth market garden--plus they do a workshop series on a range of self-sufficiency subjects like food-growing and bike repair.

Pollinate Farm

Our own farm and garden supply right around the corner! Yolanda and Birgitt's Fruitvale shop stocks supplies for seed-to-table organic farming and gardening, food preservation, small scale livestock raising and beekeeping. They also offer classes and workshops and are happy to answer all of your gardening questions--we speak from experience on this one!

OBUGS Oakland Based Urban Gardens

OBUGs (Oakland Based Urban Gardens) builds healthy communities through programs involving school and community gardens and other green spaces.

Funk Town Farm

Funk Town Farm is a community garden located in the area known to locals as “funk town” in East Oakland. Funk Town farmers grow their own produce to use and sell at a sliding scale farm stand on Sunday mornings, and they raise chickens for eggs and involve the community in “sponsoring a chicken” and composting. They want to provide the neighborhood fresh organic fruit, veggies and eggs no matter what their socioeconomic status may be.

Ghost Town Farm

Novella Carpenter’s super informative & entertaining Oakland urban farming blog

Alameda County Master Gardeners

Alameda County Master Gardeners, check the ‘contact’ page for Plant Doctor Hotline info

City of Oakland Community Gardening Program

The City of Oakland’s community gardening program, where residents of all ages, cultures and backgrounds steward equitably distributed plots of land to grow organic vegetables, fruits and flowers.

East Oakland Boxing Association/Urban Fresh Gardeners

EOBA's Urban Fresh Gardeners was developed to increase access to organic plant starts for the East Oakland community. They're currently selling low-cost vegetable, herb, and flower plant starts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Check their site for details and more info on EOBA's programs for Oakland youth.

Forage Oakland

This North Oakland community fruit exchange connects locals with their fruit-growing neighbors to harvest and distribute the bounty of the area's fruit trees. Forage Oakland won props from the New York Times and is currently producing a guide to starting your own neighborhood fruit exchange.

Ploughshares Nursery

Specializing in edible, California native and drought tolerant plants, Ploughshares offers free educational workshops on gardening techniques, garden crafts, and techniques for preserving garden produce. Besides being a great garden resource, Ploughshares is also a nonprofit that trains and employs low income adults--100% of their sales support housing, job skills training, and other services for formerly homeless families.

Wondertime: Kids & Gardening, Recipes

vegetable garden recipes and tips for super basic kid-accessible gardening

Garden Fare Organic Edible Garden Design

Garden Fare's approach toward gardening involves a constant awareness that we are working with nature, not against it. We believe strongly that growing and sharing good food can help to strengthen communities. We aim to make our gardens and, more generally, organic food more financially and culturally accessible to the range of communities we serve.

All Edibles Landscaping

All Edibles' mission is to inspire and educate East Bay residents about the potential of their natural spaces by offering the collaborative design and installation of edible landscapes on their properties.

Meat Out Mondays

An e-newsletter with weekly vegetarian recipes—even if you’re an omnivore one meatless day a week has a positive impact on the environment (see the next link for a concise list of why)

No Impact Man

No Impact Man's excellent blog posting about why eating less meat is good for the planet

Clean North Organic Bug Control Suggestions

A great resource for organic bug control in your garden. Check the Grow Your Own Garden Guide for more resources about organic gardening.

Wikipedia's How To Farm Chickens in the City

Join the "urban chicken movement" and raise your own backyard flock.

Nature & Environment

Stop Waste: Reducing the Waste Stream for Alameda County

There’s no end to the info on this site: listings to every recycling opportunity in town, local climate change initiatives, bay-friendly gardening, hazardous waste drop-off (under ‘residents’), and much more.

Water Conservation at Home

Sent to us by the kids at Camp Price in Prentice WI, as a great resource for kids and families looking for water-saving ideas. Thanks Camp Price!

Scorecard: The Pollution Information Site

Some of the most important stuff to know about your community and your health. Get the lowdown on Oakland’s biggest polluters, Superfund sites, toxic chemical releases and other local pollution data.

Zero Waste Oakland

Info on recycling and other waste-reduction initiatives of the City of Oakland

Plastic Bag Recycling

Lists an Oakland location for plastic bag drop-off and a list of acceptable bags for recycling. Lots of grocery stores accepting plastic shopping bags, by the way.

Green Pharmacy Program

Listing of drop-off locations for unwanted pharameceutical

Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program

Info on water pollution prevention for homeowners and ways to get more involved in keeping Oakland’s watershed healthy

EBMUD Trails & Recreation

Info on trails and outdoor activities at EBMUD recreation areas. Check out the paddle boats at Lafayette Reservoir!

East Bay Regional Parks

Links to all the parks in the East Bay Regional Parks system, info on access, features and activities, plus way more…

Joaquin Miller Park

Joaquin Miller Park is one of Oakland’s greatest places to walk around. Look for trail maps and park history/landmark information.

City of Oakland’s creek programs

Creeks are one of the special wonders of Oakland. Get connected to Adopt-A-Creek, school presentations, Creek to Bay Day, and more.

Friends of Sausal Creek

Sausal Creek runs through the Dimond and Fruitvale/San Antonio neighborhoods. Download a trail and tributary map, learn about protecting fish and creek history and what the Friends are up to. Check the links page for more Oakland neighborhood creek associations.

Butters Canyon Conservancy

Butters Canyon Conservancy conserves wild landscapes in Butters Canyon, home to hundreds of species of wildlife and plants at the headwaters of Peralta Creek, just off Joaquin Miller Road.

Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue and Education Center

YUWR is dedicated to the rehabilitation of orphaned and injured wildlife living in urban city centers and education of the public about how to live harmoniously with our cities’ wildlife. Great info on dealing with injured wildlife (except birds).

Insect Sciences Museum of California

This Oakland museum has a wealth of cool local bug info, including the amazing guide ‘Lake Merritt and Greater Oakland Insects’. Their website is also loaded up with fun and interesting things--easy to use and very detailed field guides to local bugs, photobank and slideshows, activity and reference downloads and more.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum

Though it's not in Oakland the Lindsay (in Walnut Creek) is an excellent resource for learning about wildlife and what to do with injured wild animals.

Urban Ecology

Urban Ecology strives to create neighborhoods that are thriving, healthy places to live. They specialize in participatory land use planning that creates a common vision for change and policy advocacy that turns a community’s vision into reality.

Oakland Parks Coalition

Oakland Parks Coalition, a local volunteer effort working for cleaner greener parks, recognizes the importance of public parks to the health and well-being of urban dwellers. Since 2001 they've been encouraging and organizing stewardship as a means to improving the quality of Oakland's parks.

Get in touch with OPC to find out about adopting an Oakland Park!

Friends of Oakland Parks & Recreation

Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation generates funding and support for projects and programs to enhance and supplement recreational, environmental, educational, beautification and leisure activities offered through the Oakland parks and recreation centers. In other words they do a lot to add to our park experience.

Wildlife in the Oakland Hills

The pictures in this gallery document wildlife seen in the hills on the Oakland/Berkeley border

Birds of Lake Merritt

The city’s guide to birds you might see at the Lake, with photos.

Oakland Walks & Tours Calendar

We love this cool calendar that posts all the scheduled walks going on in town! Local favorite walking spots are listed--everybody loves Mountain View Cemetary, right?--but you can also find info on tours of lesser-known Jingletown and old Key Line routes, plus informative walks discussing Oakland zoning and history.

Walk Oakland Bike Oakland

WOBO seeks to improve neighborhood livability, vitality and sustainability by making Oakland a better place to walk and bike.

Cycles of Change

Cycles of Change works to improve the health and sustainability of our neighborhoods by increasing the use of bicycles as transportation, connecting youth with the extraordinary living systems of our local area, and building a diverse community of visionary young leaders.

Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

BTCEB's mission is to educate cyclists in responsible mountain biking, to advocate for appropriate access and to promote community among trail users so all may fully enjoy and preserve the natural spaces of the East Bay.

Scraper Bikes

Winner of an Oaklandish Innovator Award, Scraper Bikes builds custom rides with flash and style and has elevated the DIY bike to a true art form. The perfect mix of style and positivity, born and raised in Oakland.

10,000 Steps Oakland

10,000 Steps is a community-based creative stewardship project designed to increase the public’s aware of urban green space in downtown Oakland.

Oakland SOL: Sustaining Ourselves Locally

SOL is transforming a Lower San Antonio urban space into a center for sustainable living. They provide a space to model and teach environmentally and socially conscious living in an urban community.

Guide to Local Exotic/Invasive Species

Our bays and estuaries contain some of the most invaded marine habitats in the world—this site’s Species Gallery will help you identify and learn more about some of the most common invaders.

Save The Bay

Save The Bay is the oldest and largest organization working exclusively to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay. Check their site for great volunteering opportunities, education programs and info on issues affecting the health of our Bay.

Oakland Trails

Oakland Trails' mission is to promote, maintain, and enhance Oakland’s wildland parks and trails. They do free hiking tours, and can hook you up with fun volunteer opportunities keeping our hiking trails in good shape.

Oakland Geology

This blog has cool categories like Oakland geology views and the Hayward fault, local soil and rock info, and lots more about Oakland geology.

H2O House

Read the top 5 water-saving actions and take the home tour to learn about room-by-room water-saving opportunities

Greener Penny

Accessible tips on what’s ‘good, easy and green’

Arts & Community in Oakland

EastSide Arts Alliance

The EastSide Arts Alliance (ESAA) is an organization of artists, cultural workers, and community organizers of color who live and/or work in the San Antonio district of Oakland. EastSide puts on the annual MalcolmX Jazz Arts Festival in San Antonio Park, an Oakland must-go event in one of Oakland’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods (sorry y'all—you just missed it, make sure you're there next May).


Oaklandish not only produces cool Oakland apparel & goods—they also support local innovators and artists and put on free public events, all in the spirit of ‘promoting the strange luster and oddball spirit’ of East Bay life.

Oakland Art Murmur

Oakland Art Murmur is a coalition of art and cultural venues dedicated to increasing popular awareness of and participation in the arts in Oakland. First Friday Art Walks are a fascinating way to spend your first-Friday-of-the-month evenings.

Institute of Mosaic Art

Located in Jingletown, IMA is a world-class mosaic education and resource center offering expert instruction and a fun and welcoming environment in the largest mosaic education center in the United States.

ProArts/East Bay Open Studios

ProArts supports all kinds of Oakland visual art through Open Studios and exhibits and events year-round.

Favianna Rodriguez: Art & Activism

Favianna is a super-talented local artist doing gorgeous *and* powerful work, check her out!

Obi Kaufmann's SWEE[t]ART

One man’s perspective on and links to visual art in Oakland

greenkozi's Oakland graffiti photos

Documenting some of Oakland's many many amazing tags

Oakland Sidewalk Stamps

Ever notice the names and dates stamped into Oakland’s old concrete sidewalks? We’ve obsessed on them for years and just found this great Oakland stamp archive—thank you Andrew Alden!

The MSI: Creators of Beautiful Information

Check the fabulous works and blog of Marlon Sagana Ingram, our debut spotlight artist.


Querido Galdo's full-service graphic design studio. Click the Photo button on the home page to see his photos of Oakland.

Local Resources

Oakland Public Library

The OPL website is a great resource on many fronts, including the link-packed About Oakland page www.oaklandlibrary.org/aboutoakland.html. Even if you never read another book in your life, as an Oakland resident you owe yourself a visit to the Oakland History Room at the main branch by the Lake.

Oakland Tool Lending Library

Oakland’s Temescal Tool Lending Library currently offers over 2700 tools available for loan, as well as books and how-to videos. All the tools you need to dig that backyard garden!

Friends of Melrose Library

The Friends of Melrose Library raise funds and advocate on behalf of the Oakland Public Library, Melrose Branch. The Melrose Branch library serves a critical role in our community, and needs our support to continue to provide these services.

Oakland Heritage Alliance

Besides organizing interesting walking tours throughout the town, Oakland Heritage Alliance advocates the protection, preservation, and revitalization of Oakland's architectural, historic, cultural and natural resources.

511 Transportation Information

A really dense site with access to all the public transit systems serving the Bay Area—link to ferries, trains, buses, and trains, plan transit trips and download bicycle maps, get the latest Spare the Air updates…on and on.

Casual Carpool News

Pretty up-to-date info on casual carpool, posts about cars to avoid and carpool etiquette

City of Oakland Street Tree Program

Go here to sign up for free street trees! It’s a slow process (ours took a few months to show up) and it may be even slower now due to the city’s budget issues—however we highly recommend you get the ball rolling now, you’ll be really happy when the tree(s) finally shows up and your block moves a step closer to beautiful leafy green-ness.

Lakeshore Area Plant Exchange

Live by the Lake? Have plants you must prune or cull? How about trading your excess with others in your neighborhood? Take home new plants for your yard and have an instant new garden. All free.

East Bay Depot for Creative ReUse

Oakland’s coolest selection of everything cheap and excellent for craft and teaching projects, and so much more we can’t do justice to in this tiny sentence.

Ecology Center's Quick Guide to East Bay Resources for Sustainable Living

This page is packed with connections to East bay classes, organizations, books and tons of other avenues to ecologically sustainable daily living.

Oakland Parks & Rec's Radical Roving Recreation program

A new initiative from Oakland Parks & Recreation to address some of the most neglected of Oakland's youth. The program's goal is to change the attitudes of misguided and misdirected youth in Oakland by meeting them where they are —emotionally, spiritually, and physically—and introducing them to new opportunities and experiences.

Oakland Technology Exchange West

OTX-West is dedicated to eliminating the digital divide in Oakland. They do this in many ways, including distributing free home computers to Oakland students. A great place for the technically-tended to volunteer, and for the technology-obsessed to donate last year's laptop.

The ReUse People

The ReUse People sell building materials from 'deconstruction'—great stuff to buy for both economic and environmental reasons. Check 'retail sales locations' in right sidebar for local address info.

The Oak Book

The online companion to Oakbook magazine, a repository of interesting Oakland stories, events, political opinion and more.

Oakland Local: News & Community Voices

Centered on topics including environmental justice, food distribution, transportation, development & housing, and gender & identity, Oakland Local does original reporting and publishes information from local non-profits and community organizations within a range of Oakland neighborhoods.

Our Oakland blog

Ongoing discussion of local issues, plus interesting Oakland sign photos.

Oakland Streets blog

Discussion on a wide range of local issues with focus on city planning and land usage, plus lots of informative and interesting links

City Homestead blog

'Making a home in the heart of the city', with discussion of local events, food, design and politics.

Oakland Grown

Supporting Oakland’s local independent businesses and artists, with arts and community event listings

Chow Hound & taco trucks

Map and discussion of Oakland's taco trucks

Oakland FreeCycle

Receive and post listings of stuff people are giving away. We've picked up a camera, bricks, and solar system flannel sheets—never mind the goods we've passed on to new happy homes.

City of Oakland

The official website for the city of Oakland


Grow Your Oakland's local volunteer opportunity listings

Check out our Grow: Volunteer page for a great starter list of local volunteer opportunities

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