at Coliseum Gardens
CC SA-BY Our Oakland

Lion Creek (also Leona Creek; formerly Arroyo del Leon or East Creek) is a stream flowing out of the Oakland hills, starting near the Crestmont neighborhood north of Redwod Road. It is joined by Horseshoe Creek at Leona Heights Park, flows through the Mills College campus where it is joined by Chimes Creek, and eventually is joined by Arroyo Viejo in a channel near the coliseum, where it drains to the estuary. As with many creeks in Oakland, Lion Creek runs through culverts in more places than it is above ground.

The water in parts of the upper creek has long been a gross orange color with a rotten-egg smell because of run-off from the Leona Heights Sulfur Mine. "Some neighbors describe it as the Love Canal, or the River of Tang." 1 The water is abnormally acidic, leading to high levels of iron oxides (e.g., rust) and other metals.

In 2014, a cleanup and encapsulation project of the property reduced the run-off into the creek. 1

near the sulfur mine
CC SA-BY Our Oakland
at Coliseum Gardens
CC SA-BY Our Oakland

Links and References

  1. Oakland's Leona Creek to lose odd orange hue after cleanup SFGate February 22, 2014