Rachel Harris soaks tule reeds on Claremont Creek. Photo: Sandy Friedland

Sandy Friedland, who walks all around Berkeley, spotted an unusual sight Saturday on her early morning stroll.

Claremont Creek south of John Muir School is usually fenced off to keep children away from the water. But Rachel Harris, who teaches gardening and science at John Muir Elementary School had opened the fence to teach basket weaving to a class of 15 fourth and fifth grade girls. Harris was showing her students how to soften the tule reeds in water and then weave them. She sat on the bank of the creek to demonstrate the technique.

The students belong to the Girls Outdoor Club, which introduces them to nature. In the process, they learn about themselves, Harris told Friedland.  The club is sponsored by the Open Circle Foundation, an East Bay organization dedicated to trying  “to improve the quality of life in a community, and enhance the human experience of the natural or urban environment.”

“This sighting made my regular morning walk quite special,” said Friedland.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...