Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on preserving and connecting California's Parks & Wildlife Corridors

Saturday, December 25, 2010


A Wrap-up of 2010


Thanks to supporters like you – we dedicated over 10 new miles of trail in 2010, planned new trail all around the Bay region, launched a new web site with printable maps for all 330 miles of dedicated trail, and expanded our events and outings. With your help, 2011 will be our best year yet.


The Nation's Largest Urban Trail System Is Right Here



It is an oversight the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council is working to change.

11/24/2010--The Bay Area Ridge Trail is 400 consecutive miles of trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use created two decades ago to expose residents to the Bay in all surrounding counties. But the highest point of The City’s seven-mile portion of the trail misses the mark.
According to Bern Smith, South Bay trail director with the council, when the trail was created, organizers decided to avoid the peaks, which would have offered a 360-degree view but also a steeper climb.
“You’re walking right on the side,” he said, “not one or two blocks from Twin Peaks.”

Sixth Annual Peak to Peak Walk
Saturday, October 16, 2010
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM



There were 2 Ridge Trail dedications in Solano County:
McGary Road (Thurs, Sep 30) and the I-780 overcrossing (Sat, Oct 2).

Details below.
A 3.2-mile bikeway on McGary Road is opening, creating 9 miles of continuous Ridge Trail between Hiddenbrooke and Lynch Canyon Open Space. The link also completes the Solano County bikeway from Vallejo to Fairfield.

Where: McGary Road at Lynch Canyon Road. Enter from Red Top Road. Click here for a map.

Vallejo Times-Herald
The new roadway also will also add 3.2 miles to the 26.5 miles of the Bay Ridge Trail in Solano County. Funding for the McGary Road reconstruction work and bike lanes ...

Also opened: the Rose Drive Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge Path
The new multi-use bridge path provides a safe crossing over I-780 at the Columbus Parkway Interchange, replacing a very narrow lane and cement curb.
 It’s just a two-mile stroll or easy bike ride from downtown Benicia to the new path, which will provide great community connections in the area, linking neighborhoods north of I-780, the Vallejo Benicia Buffer and Blue Rock Springs Park, with Benicia State Recreation Area, Carquinez bluffs, and more along the Carquinez Strait. Smooth pedestrian connections are in place and final improvements for cyclists are being reviewed.

Benicia portion of ridgetrail—I-780 overcrossing



To learn about some of the wonderful opportuntities that we have to preserve habitats, wildlife corridors and recreational prospects, please read Dennis Cuff's article in the Contra Costa Times and view the slideshow for lovely sneek peaks of new lands.

East Bay park and conservation groups in recession land rush

By the end of the year, the East Bay Regional Park District will have bought 9,274 acres during 2009 and 2010 for  $45 million, park officials said. That amounts to 14.5 square miles, nearly a third the size of San Francisco. The shopping spree has increased park district holdings by about 10 percent, to 108,000 acres.

The park district isn't the only group snapping up land:

The Contra Costa Water District this year bought the first 600 acres of the thousands of acres it plans to acquire for open space to offset the environmental effects of expanding Los Vaqueros Reservoir.

Save Mount Diablo, a nonprofit land preservation group based in Walnut Creek, is buying six small parcels along Marsh Creek and elsewhere on the east side of Mount Diablo this year. It usually buys a one property every year or two.

The Muir Heritage Land Trust has acquired 506 acres in areas east of Hercules and in Lafayette in the past two years.

…The East Bay Regional Park District often buys much larger parcels from third- or fourth-generation ranch families to expand parks such as Black Diamond Mines near Antioch, Pleasanton Ridge and Vasco Caves near Byron.
In September, the regional park board approved an agreement to pay $6.4 million for the first 640 acres of a new park to open in Dublin's Doolan Canyon.



A Park is Born in Dublin--the 650 acre Dublin Hills Regional Park

by Dan Rademacher
The newest addition to the East Bay Regional Park District rides high on the Calaveras Ridge, with views from San Francisco and the Bay all the way around to Sunol, Brushy Peak, and Mount Diablo.
From the Oct-Dec 2010 issue
Published October 01, 2010

11/2010—Save Mount Diablo e-news

Fall 2010 issue--Dry Creek, Save Mount Diablo’s most recent acquisition property—we closed escrow in September—is only 5.18 acres but it is a spectacular and strategic purchase, with magnificent oaks near Cowell Ranch State Park in Brentwood and within a half mile of Brentwood subdivisions.

Since 1971 Save Mount Diablo has helped increase open space on and around the mountain from 6,788 acres to more than 100,000 acres - with your support we can save the next 80,000 acres. Read a letter from Art Bonwell, SMD founder.

With the help of our allies we have increased open space to over 100,000 acres since 1971. However, over 80,000 acres of Mount Diablo and its foothills are still at risk of being lost to development forever.





San Ramon in Contra Costa County—72% no


Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Cloverdale in Sonoma County (56 to 66% yes)

11/4/2010-Dear supporter of Greenbelt Alliance, Thank you.
Because of your support, we can proudly announce that after the votes were counted Tuesday night, all five of our endorsed local measures were victorious. It looks like Bay Area voters are truly embracing the Grow Smart Bay Area vision for the region through choices at the ballot box:

In Contra Costa County, San Ramon residents overwhelmingly defeated Measure W ( 71.91%), a measure that would have expanded the city's urban growth boundary to allow development in the Tassajara Valley, a critical wildlife habitat and agricultural area.
In Sonoma County, Measure O passed by 66.9%, renewing Santa Rosa’s urban growth boundary until 2035. Measure T won with 64.5%, renewing Petaluma's urban growth boundary through 2025. And in Cloverdale, Measure Q, which establishes the city's first urban growth boundary, passed by 56.7%.
Berkeley residents passed Measure R ( 64.21%). Now the city council has direction from the voters to put in place a plan for a sustainable downtown -- a plan that will put homes near transit and jobs and in the process reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Of those five, we’re particularly pleased that two Greenbelt Alliance-led campaigns, Measure W in San Ramon and Measure O in Santa Rosa, won with over 2/3 voter approval.



10/6/2010—from Greenbelt Alliance:

Who benefits from Measure W?
Measure W in San Ramon will destroy the Tassajara Valley and the Western Hills, and for what?  Who benefits?
Watch this 60-second video that identifies exactly who will capitalize on Measure W.
 For more on Measure W in San Ramon, visit, or read the endorsement from the Contra Costa Times (spoiler alert: the Times says vote it down.)



stories on Urban Growth Boundary attacks in Brentwood and San Ramon


IN SONOMA COUNTY: Setting good boundaries

Sonoma County's sense of place -- and its deserved reputation as a vacation destination -- has been preserved in large part by urban growth boundaries. In Sonoma, eight of our nine cities established urban growth boundaries between 1996 and 2000. Now, on November 2, voters can renew the lines in Santa Rosa and Petaluma and approve the first one in Cloverdale.

We give an enthusiastic "Yes!" vote to all three urban growth boundary ballot measures, but read our analysis of these measures to learn a bit more about each policy.
 And read our Ballot Guide for a full roundup of where Greenbelt Alliance stands on crucial open space and urban places ballot initiatives.




Your support last year allowed us to continue our legacy of advocacy, education and grassroots action on several fronts:
-- Opposing growth inducing land use actions in Morgan Hill and Gilroy,
--Participating in review of, and opposing, the proposed Redwood City Saltworks bay development project,
--Opposing the proposed Big Wave development in Pillar Marsh,
--Working with the City of San Jose to establish appropriate riparian protection policies.
-- For more 2010 accomplishments please see our latest newsletter, Green Footnotes, pages 10 & 11!



from greenbelt alliance:
The Concord Reuse Project Area Plan Book 1 and Book 2 was created for this purpose.

--The Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord, of which Greenbelt Alliance is a member, is still analyzing the document ( download Books 1 & 2 from the website), but so far the Coalition likes the clustering of homes and services near the North Concord BART station and that more open space has been set aside than what was planned in February.



Since 1980, MALT has permanently protected nearly half of the working farm  and ranch land in Marin County. I am deeply grateful to all our supporters who have allowed us to carry out this important work over the last 30 years.

But there is still more work to do...60,000 acres of irreplaceable farmland are still at risk. If you haven't yet made a 2010 contribution, you can help us reach our goal by donating to MALT today!




In this season of giving, a wonderfully generous Sebastopol family, which has asked to remain anonymous, has come forward with an inspiring and challenging gift — a $300,000 pledge to be matched dollar for dollar. Every gift we receive by December 31 will be matched by their extraordinary generosity. We hope you will consider making a year-end donation to help ensure that these and other projects are completed: adding 255 acres of protected redwood forest along the Sonoma Coast; restoring 1,000 acres of wetlands along San Pablo Bay, protecting wildlife corridors in the Sonoma Valley, and expanding our hikes and recreational activities at the Jenner Headlands.

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