May 13, 2017 | Spring on Fountain Walk

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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 died in the legislature in the early 20th century, and Sacramento was re-capitol-ized).

FullSizeRender (4)By the early 1990s, Fountain Walk was overgrown and unsafe. The efforts of the group that became FOFW brought it back to being a useful, pleasant connector between The Circle and Sutter Street below.

Skip ahead to just a few years ago, when a joint effort by FOFW, the Berkeley Path Wanderers and the City of Berkeley aimed to re-landscape the lower portion of Fountain Walk. The barren, dessicated planting beds on either side of the walk were cleaned up, improved and planted and a drip line was installed. But drought and other complications quickly claimed most of the new plantings.

A second effort followed, which included more amending of the compacted dirt, and planting of a more robust selection of plants. Now, about 2 years on, the beds alongside lower Fountain Walk are in full bloom.

That is thanks in part to the wet weather of this past winter, but mostly to the untiring efforts of a true friend of FOFW: Wendy Wells. Wendy, who lives along the Walk, has acquired most of the plants and done most of the planting, as well as provided water for the drip line that keeps the plants watered efficiently and regularly. Her neighbor, Ann Singer, has also pitched in.FullSizeRender (6)

I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Wendy for all the passion and elbow grease she has poured into helping make Fountain Walk such a lovely and inviting place to walk. If you see her on the Walk, say hello — and thanks.

— Michael Gray, FOFW President

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