The Oak Forest of Alameda is alive and well.

During our survey, we identified at least 405 properties which have Oak Trees.

Once everything was processed and plugged into our GIS systems, we were able to identify the footprint of Alameda’s “Bolsa de Encinal“.

1859 Coast Survey Map showing “The Encinal”.

What is la Bolsa De Encinal?

→Bolsa; Spanish, noun.: meaning bag, or purse

→Encinal; Spanish, noun.: meaning Holm Oak grove

→Alameda; Spanish, noun.: poplar grove

→Bolsa de Encinal: Purse of Oaks [It sounds better in Spanish.]
→Encinal de San Antonio: San Antonio Oak Grove

This place we call “Alameda” has been known by many names. All of them have referred to the oak grove (or forest).

La Bolsa de Encinal came about because this place (a peninsula) was like a little pouch or purse attached to the mainland. A purse of oak trees….

The Encinal, or Encinal de San Antonio, literally means “the oak grove”, or “San Antonio Oak Grove”.

And “Alameda” itself means a (poplar) grove of trees.

But make no mistake:
Alameda” is unceded Muwekma Ohlone Territory.

2024 Alameda Oak Tree Survey

Looking at this image, you might not be able to fully recognize the actual density of what we discovered represents an urban forest right where the “historic Bolsa de Encinal used to be.”

The real take-away was that you can’t talk about Alameda’s Oak Forest as a thing of the past.

Alameda’s Oak Forest

Sure, it can be hard to see when you’re surrounded by Victorian houses, and mid-century apartment buildings….

But when you take a step back and look at the big picture: you can see it clearly.

The Oak Forest of Alameda. Bolsa de Encinal.

Despite the fact that many of the oldest Oak Trees in Alameda have been felled by mismanagement, habitat loss, and development; there were still plenty of big old healthy Oak Trees that we found all over the city of Alameda.

We also learned that Coastal Live Oaks (queercus agrifolia) have been designated as a “protected tree” by the City of Alameda (A.M.C. §13-21.7[c]).

And that same code section states: “Any oak tree shall be replaced with a minimum of [two] oak trees”.

This means Alameda’s Oak Forest is not only alive and well, but the island itself is subject to some reforestation efforts.

Why did we perform this survey, anyway?

This survey was necessary to plan for the Alameda 2024 City-Wide Acorn Harvest; which is happening this September and October.

Check out the Oak Tree Registration Form to learn more about how property owners with Oak Trees can contribute to our first annual acorn harvest.

There are tons of opportunities for residents, local businesses, and organizations to participate in all of our 2024-2025 Cultural Arts & Educational Programming.

Sign up for the Alameda 2024 City-Wide Acorn Harvest here.

Open Call for Participation

If you are a property owner with an Oak Tree on your property, check out this Oak Tree Registry Form to learn about the specific ways property owners can contribute to our harvest.

Residents, Families, Friends, and Neighbors: Sign-Up for the Alameda 2024 City-Wide Acorn Harvest. Everyone is welcome!

If you represent a local business, organization, class, school, or community group, or tribe, and you want to participate in planning, organizing, and/or any other aspect of these activities, reach out via email.

Or, use the form below:

Harvest/Oak Tree Contact Form

    Preferred contact

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