May 23, 2021 | Spring in Full Flower on Fountain Walk

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Friends and neighbors:

As COVID restrictions begin to ease, the weather is getting milder and more of us are venturing out. If you haven’t been on Fountain Walk in a while, now if a terrific time to make the short stroll there.

Fountain Walk plants




Spring has spring in the planting beds that border the lower walk. These beds, revived in 2014 through a joint effort by Friends of the Fountain and Walk, the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association and the city parks department, have been lovingly tended for the past several years by Fountain Walk neighbor Wendy Wells. Her dedication (and green thumb) has made the walk a destination for plant lovers and urban hikers. (Wendy and her neighbor also have provided water for the drip irrigation lines the beds depend on. You can read more about her here.)




The reclamation and restoration of Fountain Walk was one of the founding efforts of what became Friends of the Fountain and Walk. The historic walkway above and alongside the Sutter-Solano Tunnel was part of famed architect John Galen Howard’s original design, along with the Fountain at The Circle and the surrounding balustrade, for what would have been the grand entrance to a new California state capitol grounds (an effort that failed in the early 20th century).

Maintaining the Walk is one of FOFW’s primary efforts. Volunteers regularly weed and trim and clear leaves and other debris, and donations to FOFW help ensure repairs to its century-old balustrades are repaired as needed, so it remains a pleasant pathway.

If you’d like to visit Fountain Walk as its garden comes into bloom, you can enter from the top on the south side of The Circle, or from the staircase at its base, where Sutter Street enters the Solano Tunnel. A locator map is below. And if you see Wendy out working on the Walk, say hello — and thanks.

— Michael Gray for the FOFW Board of Directors

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