|John Muir at home in middle age
Courtesy Library of Congress
|Northern California mountain mandarins
However, not my softball-sized navel oranges
|John Muir National Historic Park
For example, at the John Muir National Historic Site in the City of Martinez, the Park Service is helping local volunteers build a 3.5 mile trail that will connect the downtown train station (Amtrak) with John Muir home and gardens. The walk will highlight Alhambra Creek and native plant gardens along the route with connections to regional trails.
Also, in Contra Costa County, the Park Service reports helping locals work on completing the massive 500-mile Bay Trail that rings San Francisco Bay and encompasses 57,000 acres provides spectacular views and outstanding recreational opportunities. When complete, trails will connect shorelines in nine counties and allow hikers, bikers and skaters to play uninterrupted. In the past 25 years, about 310 miles of the alignment—over 60 percent of the Bay Trail’s ultimate length—has been completed.
If you have ever walked across the Golden Gate bridge, flown a kite along the waterfront in Tiburon, in-line skated on the Foster City levee, hiked through the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, or windsurfed off Candlestick Point, you have enjoyed a part of the Bay Trail. The 3.5 mile botanical spur to the Muir historic site is just one more piece in the massive trail puzzle.
John Muir was many things — inventor, immigrant, botanist, glaciologist, writer, co-founder of the Sierra Club, fruit rancher. But it was his love of nature, and the preservation of it, that he’s honored for today. Muir convinced President Teddy Roosevelt to protect Yosemite (including Yosemite Valley), Sequoia, Grand Canyon and Mt. Rainier as National Parks. The National Park System was born from that effort.
|A view from the new Bay Trail section near Richmond|
Today, the Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program helps communities throughout the nation protect natural areas and water resources and enhance close-to-home outdoor recreation opportunities.
With the help from the National Park Service and the Bay Trail Project, volunteers in the City of Richmond have completed 31 miles of Bay Trail – more than any of the other 46 communities working on the regional pedestrian and bike trail. The paths are uncrowded and the views spectacular. Find a map of the new trail additions at http://www.pointrichmond.com/baytrail/map.htm
If you’re itching to get outdoors, find more information about the Bay Trail online at http://baytrail.abag.ca.gov
To find out about preservation and trail building projects online in your state, visit www.nps.gov/rtca.
Rain or shine — see you in the garden or on the trail!