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Creek Crossing at Plaza Less Risky – Thanks to Boy Scouts' Stairs

The risk of injury, or of getting wet, by taking the steeply sloped wilderness shortcut across Cerrito Creek from El Cerrito Plaza to Stannage Avenue in Albany is now greatly reduced, thanks to 18 sturdy steps installed by Troop 24 of the Boy Scouts.


In the past, if you tried your luck using a popular crossing spot on Cerrito Creek next to El Cerrito Plaza, you were taking your safety – and dryness – into your own hands. 

The makeshift path leading down to the creek from the Plaza was a slippery slope. It was being used for what some folks call the "Stannage ford," a kind of wilderness shortcut to the Plaza from Stannage Avenue in Albany. (Cerrito Creek is the border between Albany and El Cerrito.)

But now, thanks to a project by Boy Scout Troop 24 led by Eagle candidate Zach Saunders of Berkeley, you can step with greater safely, and more expeditiously, down to the creek from the Plaza. 

There are two sets of wide steps set firmly into the slope – one set of eight steps leading from the Plaza parking lot in front of Trader Joe's down to the creekside path, and the other set of 10 steps leading from the path down to the creek.

The project, done last month, was sponsored by Friends of Five Creeks.

"The original Eagle project was just to build steps from the creek to the path –this was the dangerous part," said Susan Schwartz of Friends of Five Creeks. "Zach is a great kid and, since they had time, took the initiative to finish all the way to the parking lot."

Peggy McQuaid October 21, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Thank you to the Friends of Five Creeks and the Boy Scouts for making a safer path for everyone.
Paul Giganti October 21, 2012 at 06:04 PM
As someone who walks that path by the Plaza weekly, I appreciate and admire the addition of the steps. They are nicely done. However, for those expecting a path across the creek and onto the street, they will be disappointed because it is still a dangerous struggle to get up the bank on the other side of the creek--there are no stairs; only very jagged, often damp, rocks to climb. Because of this, I'm afraid the steps will only encourage "camping" beside the creek in that spot. I wish the project somehow included steps up the opposite bank to make a complete crossing.
D. Mehrten October 21, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I walk to the plaza that way all the time, but never thought such a useful thing would be built due to impediments raised by "insurance issues" or "regulations" or "jurisdictions." Thanks.
D. Mehrten October 21, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Not to look a gift horse etc. but handrails would be a great addition.
Tatter Salad October 22, 2012 at 12:54 AM
If you're going to take a part nature, don't forget where you put the pieces. I guess that's how 'wildness' get's destroyed everywhere. "Well meaning" groups 'clean' a wild area to suit their own needs, and then... well, lets put in small bridge. Better yet, put a huge long pipe in, and asphalt over the whole thing.
D. Mehrten October 22, 2012 at 01:06 AM
This is hardly a "wild" spot, and folks have been scrambling across messily for some time. This may actually have less impact on whatever is natural here.
Tatter Salad October 22, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Copy that; I'll tell the salamanders and the frogs.
Robert Smith October 22, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Your fears are unfounded.
Robert Smith October 22, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Thank you for the stairs, they are very helpful.
Karen Nierlich October 24, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Thanks for the stairs. Often go that way.
Amy Smolens October 24, 2012 at 05:55 AM
I used the stairs walking home from the Plaza the other day. They were convenient, safe and still rustic. Not even close to "paving paradise." Thanks!


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