From The Editor
How green is Oakland, and how green are you?
We set out to address these questions in this issue, our green issue, and what we found is that Oakland scores well on the eco-front. Home to heavy industry, the city earns accolades for its sustainability efforts and is championing efforts to reduce waste, abate air pollution and promote renewable energy sources. And, it turns out, being green is good for the economy, as well as the planet.
Reporter Jeff Swenerton plunges into the world of green for this special report on the greening of Oakland, exploring the community on seven different fronts, from air and water quality to waste and recycling. Swenerton, an authority on land-use and development issues, polls experts for practical advice on what we as Oaklanders can do to decrease our detrimental impact on the environment. He turns their ideas into easy-to-use tips for eco-friendly living. Our green report doesn’t stop there: Wanda Hennig reports on solar power guru Gary Gerber; Elise Proulx explores eco-minded home improvement; Stett Holbrook takes on e-waste; and Keri Hayes Troutman zeros in on the affordable prefab housing trend.
Oakland Magazine looks a little different this issue, and that’s because we’re printing it on 10 percent recycled paper and using an aqueous-based protective coating, rather than a petroleum-based one, on the cover.
The cover image is a combination of photography and illustration composed by Albany-based digital artist and photographer Mark Andrew Tinsley. Do you recognize the tree?
The city of Oakland patterned its current logo—a special commemorative icon commissioned for the city’s sesquicentennial in 2002—after this tree, according to the city’s marketing director, Samee Roberts.
It’s the de facto official Oakland tree, a coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) that has graced Frank Ogawa Plaza since 1917, planted there to honor Jack London, good friend of then-Mayor John Davie. The tree came from Mosswood Park, which had recently made the transition from private estate to city park, and the young tree was only about 10 inches in diameter when planted, says the city’s chief arborist, Dan Gallagher.
It is, of course, the very type of tree that gives Oakland its name—and a very fitting image to convey how Oakland is thriving on its way to becoming a model green city.
Judith M. Gallman