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Railroad Kills Off Hope for Spring Flowers

When members of the Point Richmond Gateway Foundation turned out last fall to plant wildflowers on a plot of nearly an acre of land adjacent to the rehabilitated Trainmaster/Reading Room Building (now Mechanics Bank) in point Richmond, they were looking forward to a colorful spring. The land had been purchased from the BNSF Railroad last year, and had been carefully plowed, seeded with wildflowers and protected with straw mulch. Sprinklers had been installed to keep the soil damp during parts of November and December when rain was scarce.


Just as the seeds were beginning to sprout, BNSF inexplicably came onto the property that no longer belonged to them and sprayed the entire area with herbicide, killing everything, including the anticipation of colorful spring wildflowers.


The foundation is considering legal action but would like to speak with someone from BNSF first. Railroad people are notoriously difficult to communicate with.


For more information about the Point Richmond Gateway Project, see Mechanics Bank Moves to Historic Relocated Railroad Building, March 31, 2007, Mechanics Bank Historic Preservation Project Passes Final City Approval, April 26, 2007, ABC 7/KGO TV Covers Trainmaster Building Rehabilitation, June 21, 2007, Restored Santa Fe Reading Room to be Reborn as Mechanics Bank on October 29, October 25, 2007, Banking on Preservation, October 30, 2007 and Mechanics Bank Hits Home Run With Reading Room Rehabilitation, December 5, 2007.