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  Tourists in Richmond?
July 15, 2005

In case you missed it, please see the West County Times article below by Rebecca Rosen Lum entitled "Bay Trail Building Projects Continue". It is especially noteworthy that Berkeley and Oakland-based groups are bravely venturing to Richmond, California’s most dangerous city, for Bay Trail and shoreline park recreational opportunities.  I think that as long as they don’t buy or sell drugs or engage in gang activities, they’ll survive to return home and tell about it.

Regional Shoreline Park Outings in July - August

East Bay Regional Park District has scheduled naturalist outings in Point Pinole, Miller/Knox and Point Isabel Regional Shorelines and even kayak trips to Brooks Island Regional Preserve. To view the dates and options, go to http://www.classweb.ebparks.org/eConnect5.2/Activities/Activities.asp?SCheck=4231%2095758&SDT=38520.6905671296&sectionId=44 and select a park of interest. Options include:

Brooks Island - July 30; August 13 & 20

Miller/Knox - July 10

Point Isabel - July 30

Point Pinole - August 21

Path Wanderers' WWII Ship Building Tour Aug. 3

Path Wanderers' tour of WWII ship-building history

10 am Wednesday, August 3

Information: Bruce and Sandra Beyaert, 510 235 2835 or beyaert@earthlink.net

Berkeley Path Wanderers' First Wednesday walk explores exhibits of the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park on a level three mile walk

on the Bay Trail. Bring binoculars for good bird viewing. Meet at 10 am Wed., Aug. 3, at Shimada Park, Richmond. (Exit I-580 on Marina Bay Parkway; drive

south toward the Bay; in almost 1 mi. enter Shimada Park parking lot on left). For information contact walk leaders Bruce and Sandra Beyaert, 510 235 2835 or

beyaert@earthlink.net. For a Richmond Bay Trail map, go to http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/trac/.

Wednesday Bike Rides After Work from Berkeley to Marina Bay and Return

Join weekly bike rides from Berkeley to Richmond's Marina Bay and return. Meet in the Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc. (MIG) courtyard at 5:30pm (800 Hearst Avenue/cross St. 5th) or at the foot of the bicycle bridge (at the end of Addison Street) at 5:45pm. (This tour is not sponsored by MIG) It's about 15 easy miles round trip (except for the hill behind the race track!). We ride out to Amini's Deli, have a sandwich, ride about 1/2 mile to the end of the trail and ride back (arriving at MIG at 7:45/8:00pm). The group keeps a fair pace  - except for looking at great blue herons -  but doesn't race along by any means. The preliminary schedule calls for rides every Wednesday in July and August except August 3. For information, contact Jane Kelly at janek@migcom.com.  


Posted on Fri, Jul. 15, 2005

Bay Trail building projects continue

By Rebecca Rosen Lum


As the sun dapples water in the San Francisco Bay, a group of bicyclists pauses to watch the watery flap of great blue heron. The riders are making their weekly jaunt along the Bay Trail, from Berkeley to Marina Bay.

"It's flat, follows the beautiful coast line, and leads to Amini's Deli, where every freshly made sandwich comes with an orange," said Jane Kelly, who leads the group. "On the return ride early evening, wispy fog often drifts from the water across the trail, and there's a magical air to the ride as the shorebirds call out to each other."

Walkers, in-line skaters, parents with babies in buggies and dog owners with their best friends in tow like it, too.

Richmond has more Bay Trail than any other city on this contiguous, 500-mile hike-and-bike route, and is soon to add nearly three more miles.

Ultimately, the trail will link 47 cities, connect the shoreline of all nine Bay Area counties, and encircle San Francisco and San Pablo bays. More than half has been completed.

"This is a picture I've been trying to paint for years," said Councilman Tom Butt. "There are many faces to Richmond, and one is this spectacular waterfront. Luckily, we have a very hard-working, very astute group of people doing this Bay Trail thing. It keeps forging ahead like the Transcontinental Railroad, and one day it will be done."

The private, nonprofit Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC) has won enough lucrative grants to build 20 miles of Bay Trail. The group works with city officials, East Bay parks and businesses.

Much of the trail, from the southern stretch of the city up to Point Richmond, is done, leaving relatively short gaps to be spanned.

Three projects are now in the works or are soon to begin:

• Richmond Parkway Bay Trail Gap: This project will fill in a one-mile gap along Richmond Parkway between Pennsylvania and Gertrude avenues, linking the city's northern and southern shoreline parks, neighborhoods and elementary schools. TRAC obtained three grants, totaling $500,000, to pay for the project, which includes orientation and interpretive exhibits.

• The Ferry Point Tunnel will gain lighting, and its elevated sidewalk will be doubled in width. The sidewalk along Dornan Drive to the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline will also be widened. The price tag: $388,000, paid for by the Association of Bay Area Governments Bay Trail Project and the California Coastal Conservancy. Work is under way. The scenic trail, which includes interpretive exhibits, is expected to be open this fall.

• Plans for a 1.4-mile loop around the West County Landfill have just been approved by the Richmond Design Review Board. Republic Services is seeking bids on that project.

"It is just beautiful out there," TRAC Chairman Bruce Beyeart said. "You can look out over Wildcat Marsh, Point Pinole -- it's just very scenic."

The organization is also applying for grant moneys to fund Bay Trail access to Shipyard 3 and the SS Red Oak Victory. Planners are studying how to ring Point San Pablo, from the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge to the Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor.

Beyeart said the time is right to participate in any one of several scheduled outings that make use of the Bay Trail.

"It would be great to have people come out, now that so much more of it is done now," he said.  

East Bay Regional Park District has scheduled naturalist outings in Point Pinole, Miller/Knox and Point Isabel Regional Shorelines, and kayak trips to Brooks Island Regional Preserve.

To view the dates and options, log onto www.ebparks.org, click on WebReg, then on "programs and activities," and select a park. Options include Brooks Island on July 30, Aug. 13 and Aug. 20; Point Isabel on July 30; and Point Pinole on Aug. 21.

The Berkeley Path Wanderers' First Wednesday walk explores exhibits of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park on a level, three-mile stretch of the Bay Trail. Participants will meet at Shimada Park at 10 a.m. Aug. 3. For more information, call 510-235-2835 or e-mail beyaert@earthlink.net.

Also Wednesdays, cyclists meet for a weekly ride from Berkeley to Marina Bay and back. Participants meet at 800 Hearst Ave. at Fifth Street at 5:30 p.m. No ride is scheduled for Aug. 3. For more information, contact Jane Kelly at janek@migcom.com.

Reach Rebecca Rosen Lum at 510-262-2713 or rrosenlum@cctimes.com.