Tom Butt for Richmond City Council The Tom Butt E-Forum About Tom Butt Platform Endorsements of Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt Accomplishments Contribute to Tom Butt for Richmond City Council Contact Tom Butt Tom Butt Archives
E-Mail Forum
Get High on Grass
May 15, 2003

A little known fact is that Richmond has some of the largest remaining remnants of native coastal prairie in the San Francisco Bay Area. One such area is on the San Pablo Peninsula, which includes land owned by the Navy (former Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot), Chevron and the City of Richmond (Terminal 4).

David Amme, a board member of the California Native Grass Association (CNGA) and the namer of "Molate fescue" will lead a field trip to observe and identify native grasses near Point Molate on Saturday, May 17, 2003. The announcement is copied below. The group will also be invited to follow the Point Molate visit with a stop at the University of California Richmond Field Station to look at another area of remnant coastal prairie.

Native grasses, which are generally perennial, are particularly fascinating even to non-scientists, because of their superior drought tolerance, fire resistance and nutritional value for livestock as compared to the European annual grasses that took over most of California in the 19th Century. European grasses die each year, generally by June or July, giving California that "golden" look. Native grasses, on the other hand, remain "green" throughout the year.

Saturday, May 17 Point Molate Grassland.

Join David Amme, CNGA board member, for a day visiting this unique coastal grassland, home of the Molate fescue. Point Molate is in the rain shadow of Marin County on the Potrero Hill peninsula north of Point Richmond with a spectacular view of Mt. Tamalpais and San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. See a classic preserved postage stamp prairie with soil profile and eat lunch on a native bentgrass meadow. The trip starts at 9:00 AM. Bring your field lens, bag lunch, sunscreen, a hat and water. Feel free to contact David Amme, field trip leader (510-622-8709), for information or questions.

Directions to the Point Molate Field Trip

Point Molate is on the East Bay peninsula separating San Francisco Bay from San Pablo Bay north of the San Rafael/Richmond Bridge. From the East Bay side take Highway 580 towards the San Rafael Bridge. Just before the toll plaza take the right at the Western Drive/Point Molate exit. Proceed straight at the first three way fork which gradually rises a hill curving more towards the north. The length of this road is a bustling parking area for the Caltrans Richmond Bridge retrofit project. As the road descends the hill, park at the parking lot on the right just before the “Point Molate Restricted Area” open gate. [From the Marin side of the Bay, after crossing cross the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge take the first exit at the Castro Street/Richmond Parkway Exit. Go straight through two lights on this road. Just after the road crosses under the 580 Freeway take the right San Rafael 580 on ramp which heads back to San Rafael. Take the Western Drive/Point Molate exit just before the toll plaza and proceed as described above to parking area.]