Friends of Morcom Rose Garden

Friends of Morcom Rose Garden We are an organization dedicated to maintaining, improving, and, most of all, enjoying Oakland's Morcom Rose Garden, designed by landscape architect Arthur Cobbledick.
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Operating as usual

Wonderful opera in the garden today, courtesy of Angelique Alexander!  We thank her for her generosity in sharing her mu...
10/25/2020

Wonderful opera in the garden today, courtesy of Angelique Alexander! We thank her for her generosity in sharing her musical gifts!

10/22/2020

The turkey who has been attacking rose garden visitors has been captured and relocated on Thursday, October 22. Please return to the rose garden to enjoy remaining bloom of the season. Happy Autumn!

10/20/2020
Armando

Thanks for sharing your wonderful images of the garden!

What a wonderful place! I documented my visit in this video:

Weeding along the wedding cascade!
09/30/2020

Weeding along the wedding cascade!

Wednesday weeding!
09/23/2020

Wednesday weeding!

Check out this event!
09/21/2020

Check out this event!

Air was clear enough for volunteers to come work in the garden!
09/16/2020

Air was clear enough for volunteers to come work in the garden!

Please Help Stop the Morcom Rose Garden from Becoming a Homeless EncampmentThe problem:  As has been posted on ND with s...
09/08/2020

Please Help Stop the Morcom Rose Garden from Becoming a Homeless Encampment

The problem: As has been posted on ND with some inaccuracies, there are currently 3 homeless men and one dog living at the Rose Garden, despite numerous police visits getting them to leave for brief periods (hours, not days). One has been there for over a year, the other two less than a year. They do not appear to be mentally ill, just inconsiderate and entitled. They have recently been visited by several other homeless men. We fear some are contemplating joining them at the Garden.

Here are some of the problems that the neighbors, regular Garden volunteers and visitors are encountering. The men urinate and defecate when ever and where ever they want, despite bathrooms being open to the public and ridicule anyone who notices their behavior. (Two weeks ago in the morning, a homeless visitor defecated in the south end of the Pool! The City has yet to clean it up). They have left a large amount of soiled toilet paper, feces and a random collection of items behind the main “pool” building. They often fight (usually after drinking) with each other, waking neighbors in the middle of the night, cursing loudly and occasionally injuring each other, recently necessitating an ambulance response. They leave garbage wherever they are sitting or sleeping, rarely picking it up (amazing the volunteers have been cleaning up after them, but why should they have to, rather than tending the roses?). They often spread out across paths, blocking visitors’ access to parts of the park. Their dog has damaged beds and roses and his feces is usually not picked up, an unpleasant surprise for volunteers. Many people have told volunteers that they are frightened by the men's behaviors and fearful for the garden’s future. The men have been overhead saying what a great place the Garden is and have no intention of leaving.

For anyone responding that these men have a right to live in the garden, please immediately organize a group of people to clean their garbage, feces (dog and human) and soiled toilet paper on a daily basis, and visit every night to calm or counsel them when they are in drunken rages, awakening the neighbors. We look forward to getting this help, as do the neighbors, some now considering moving, given their helplessness and hopelessness that three men can ruin the peace and beauty of a lovely Garden and neighborhood.

Frustratingly, we believe our options are limited. Under current city guidelines, the police can only enforce their removal when they are fighting (several times a week), overtly threatening others (mostly each other), carrying alcohol openly (daily), and after the garden has closed in the evening (dusk). However, we are hoping that if enough people complain about their behavior to the police and Mayor's office, there might be success making it clear to these men that they are not welcome to disrespect and live in the Rose Garden.

If you witness misbehavior, please call the non-emergency police number: 510-777-3333, your name will be kept confidential. The Mayor's office contact is Phone: 510-238-3141, email: [email protected]. If you see litter or human feces Call 311 or use Oak311 or SeeClickFix. Photos of the problems they create are helpful.

08/05/2020

This message was received from Oakland Animal Services today:
Fourth Update to Temporary Closure
of Morcom Rose Garden

On June 18, 2020, consistent with the Oakland Animal Service’s original request and community-led outreach, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the agency charged with regulating wildlife in the state, approved the relocation of the male turkey from the Morcom Rose Garden.
In July 2020, CDFW staff made several attempts to capture the turkey, relying primarily on trapping using food attractive to turkeys. The park is full of accessible food, including evidence of human feeding, so this effort has been ended.
CDFW has now authorized staff from Oakland Animal Services to continue the effort, with a plan for CDFW to transport the turkey to a local wild area that has minimal human access and no access to hunters. This effort is ongoing.
As soon as the turkey is safely removed, the park will reopen immediately.
In the hopes of preventing another such situation, we will continue to work with our park volunteers, neighbors and visitors to educate everyone on the dangers of feeding wildlife.

07/15/2020
I am posting the following update from Ann Dunn of Oakland Animal Services.  Please see official notice above.
06/20/2020

I am posting the following update from Ann Dunn of Oakland Animal Services. Please see official notice above.

06/19/2020

Update on the male turkey at Rose Garden from Rosarian

This morning Ann Dunn, Animal Control Services, emailed the Morcom Rose Garden's Rosarian that no decision has yet been make regarding the tom turkey.

"There is currently a community-led effort to ask California Department of Fish and Wildlife to allow relocation. I am hoping that will be the resolution to this situation."

From Nancy: Many people have been contacting Animal Control wanting the turkey's life to be saved but also requesting that the CA Fish and Wildlife allow the rule of "no relocation of wildlife" to be ignored in this case, so that the turkey can be caught (not an easy job) and released elsewhere. We do not know whether, at the same time, attempts will be made to capture the hens and poults to relocate those as well. Volunteers are hopeful this will be the case, because the turkey population is not only destructive to the rose plants, their excrement is problematic both for visitors to avoid and volunteers to work near, given the strong odor. In addition, it is not easily removed from pavement, so that hoses and precious water are the only way to get it off. Taking time to clean turkey poop instead of weeding and pruning is not in our "job description," but our ultimate goal is to make the garden as pleasant to visit as possible, and the many complaints from visitors about the poop problem makes this task more compelling.

We continue to request that all but recently active volunteers (known as “Deadheaders”) stay out of the garden until the situation is resolved. In the past two days, the turkey ran after and attempted to peck five more people, none of whom were directly approaching it, some of whom were quite distant at the time of attack. In other words, despite the feeding having stopped at least two weeks ago, and very few people in the garden, the male turkey is still randomly agitated and aggressive. Animal Control has been told of the precise circumstances of each of these instances.

New Update from OASGarden to remain closed for approximately 2 more weeks
06/05/2020

New Update from OAS
Garden to remain closed for approximately 2 more weeks

Latest update from Oakland Animal Services
06/01/2020

Latest update from Oakland Animal Services

05/27/2020

The following is a post from our Resident Rosarian at our Garden. We posted this message for him on NextDoor today since he lives outside the neighborhood and knows that many people are concerned about the garden. As he also doesn't have FaceBook, we will be sure to forward comments to him.

MORCOM ROSE GARDEN ROSARIAN ADDRESSES TURKEY SITUATION

"I am the Rosarian and a volunteer at the Morcom Rose Garden, 700 Jean St., Oakland. The Garden is approximately eight acres with over 2,500 roses, some quite rare.

I am alarmed at the considerable misinformation contained in some of the NextDoor posts. Being at the Garden almost daily for the last several years, I'd like to provide some facts regarding the Tom, hens and the Garden.

For years, the only turkey at the Garden was a hen we called "Rosie." (All toms have been called "Tom", never "Gerald.") Every early spring and late summer a tom would drop by, mate and leave. No poults ever survived. However, three years ago a tom arrived and stayed. For the next two years he was fairly mellow as he started to develop a harem.

Assuming it was still the same tom, early this year there was a dramatic change in his demeanor. For the first time I started to see him attack people, generally jumping up on them and occasionally pecking them. This attack pattern became more often and more aggressive, at times quite vicious.

This is an important point... ALL of the many attacks I have observed were non provoked with the exception of one when a couple teenage boys provoked him. In many cases I was able to rush over to help the victim. Most were in shock, very frightened and sometimes in pain from pecks and scratches, their clothing torn. Imagine an elderly man or woman being blindsided by a 25 pound turkey with a very sharp beak or the screams of an attacked child or a woman sitting alone on a hillside on a quiet day when the tom, from approximately a half football field away, suddenly runs towards her and viciously attacks.

I've noted Next Door posts stating "The only reason the Tom is attacking is because he is provoked" or "because you tried to take a Selfie with him" or "A turkey won't attack unless you are too close to his hen and chicks." This may have merit in some cases but I assure you that is NOT the case with this tom! To those that are posting this misinformation it might be wise to delete such posts. I fear such posting might lull an innocent person to risk attack.

I started to document many of the physical attacks, forwarding information to Vector Control. I also encouraged those that had been attacked to contact the Mayor's office, Vector Control and/or call 311. As you may know, the Garden, as of a few days ago, was closed by Animal Control. I, as they, have compassion for the turkeys and there are people working for a solution.

Speaking from my standpoint as the rosarian and a guardian of the Garden, the turkeys do considerable damage to the roses. A wild tom will often build his flock to thirty or more hens. With one or two turkeys their damage is tolerable. With more, I fear for the Garden. The hens, in searching for grubs plus their natural nesting motions damage the beds and roses. My biggest concern is what happens right after we do the major pruning in January-February. To maintain a healthy plant and high bloom count it is necessary to rotate out the older canes for younger ones. After the hard pruning basal breaks (potential new canes) start to appear at the base of the plant. The volunteers finger-prune weak basal breaks so a few new strong canes will develop. The hens are pecking out these necessary basal breaks. This year with four hens I found notable damage in the garden. The bottom line... the Garden can tolerate maybe one or two turkeys, but a few more will seriously endanger the roses.

In closing, I have to give a plug for the Morcom Rose Garden. Last year over 75,000 people visited the Garden during the bloom season starting in early April (actually far more than this year)! The Garden is sometimes called "Oakland's hidden gem." It truly is."

Below is from Ann Dunn, Director at Oakland Animal Services. I will be at the park today, at the main entrance (700 Jean...
05/24/2020
Rose Garden Outreach.xlsx

Below is from Ann Dunn, Director at Oakland Animal Services.

I will be at the park today, at the main entrance (700 Jean St), from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. As the OAS director, I will have pretty limited availability to keep this going myself after today. I am hoping to give each of you sufficient orientation that you will feel comfortable to orient others, and that this can become a community effort. If you are available to help organize this and be a point of contact for new volunteers, please let me know.

Please use this schedule to sign up for a shift, and feel free to share this with other people who might be interested.

I am hoping we can get to a place where there are two people per shift, from 9 am- 5 pm, so no one is there solo. Animal Control Officers will be there as much as possible, but we have pretty limited resources, and they are stretched thin on calls from the community, so I don't want to over promise on that.

I got a wonderful response yesterday from most people who were hoping to enter the park, but were very understanding and supportive when they understood the reasons for the closure.

If I haven't already, I hope to get an opportunity to meet you in person.

Many thanks!

Ann's email is
[email protected]

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hliKxPa-Mr8-otOM1vxIn6roKkg1SfN2/edit#gid=1084819998

Sheet1 Sunday, May 24,Volunteer,Monday, May 25,Volunteer,Tuesday, May 26,Volunteer,Wedneday, May 27,Volunteer 9am-11am,9am-11am,9am-11am,9am-11am 9am-11am,9am-11am,9am-11am,9am-11am 11am-1pm,11am-1pm,Dayvid Jones,11am-1pm,11am-1pm 11am-1pm,11am-1pm,11am-1pm,11am-1pm 1pm-3pm,1pm-3pm,1pm-3pm,1pm-3...

05/23/2020

Morcom Rose Garden Temporarily Closed to Protect Wild Turkeys

Oakland’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Development has temporarily closed the Morcom Rose Garden to provide some time and space to work to prevent human – wildlife conflicts. We understand there is a family of turkeys in the park and the male has become aggressive toward humans. We also understand that some humans have been feeding the birds regularly in the park.
Out of concern for the public safety and the turkeys’ well-being, Oakland Animal Services, working closely with the Parks Department, has contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for guidance and support.
Following the State’s Keep Me Wild campaign, the City is asking people to please stay out of the park, to respect the prohibition against walking dogs in the park, and to never feed wildlife of any type. In the meanwhile, Oakland Animal Services will work with the Department of Fish and Wildlife on opportunities to help retrain the turkeys and will work to educate our residents.
As has been seen across the globe, the retreat of humans as they shelter in place has led to an increase in the visibility of wildlife in urban areas. The City of Oakland respects the rights of wild animals to inhabit their natural homes and encourages all Oaklanders to support the right of our wild residents to remain wild.

Please note that the tom turkey that is named Gerald in the SF Chronicle has also attacked people outside the park (one ...
05/23/2020

Please note that the tom turkey that is named Gerald in the SF Chronicle has also attacked people outside the park (one incident on Sunnyside Ave). He is NOT the same turkey that has been in the park for years, as people claim. Here is a picture of the tom that many of us called Tom from 2 summers ago. Gerald is missing a tail feather. Tom had all his tail feathers and was not aggressive even with new babies around him.

05/23/2020
Yesterday, Animal Control officers put up yellow caution tape and signs to discourage patronage to the garden, in hopes ...
05/23/2020

Yesterday, Animal Control officers put up yellow caution tape and signs to discourage patronage to the garden, in hopes that the Tom turkey would mellow out. The garden was fairly crowded this afternoon, and thankfully, “Gerald” didn’t attack anyone during the time I was observing. Please DO be aware of his presence. DO NOT feed!!

Friends of Morcom Rose Garden's cover photo
05/20/2020

Friends of Morcom Rose Garden's cover photo

The rose garden is now officially opened for volunteers and visitors. Come and visit to see the first bloom! Please wear...
05/20/2020

The rose garden is now officially opened for volunteers and visitors. Come and visit to see the first bloom! Please wear a mask and observe social distancing.

Address

700 Jean St
Oakland, CA
94610

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Comments

Another article about our infamous tom turkey from a different news source:
What a wonderful place! I documented my visit in this video:
Hi! Just checking in to see if the garden has reopened! Thanks for everything!
Is the rose garden open?
Is the Garden open again?
I have tried contacting the City Of Oakland about using the small space above the fountain cascade for our family to have a small memorial service for our mother. I have sent emails and left messages and it's been a week with no response. Does a party of about 15 need to rent the space for an hour or can we just set it up and use it.
Excited for the next few months.🥰
Our lastest eNews is out! A home for tiny homes, fighting sex trafficking, 1100 Broadway breaks ground, community meetings. Check it out! #OakD2
Where are the scented roses?