The single-track trail along the creek looks quite inviting: just wide enough for hiking, with no fallen limbs or nasty briars sticking out, a canopy overhead. It all seems so natural. But Melvin Johnson knows better. As operations coordinator for … Read more
Trails are the main way we access most of the Bay Area’s diverse and abundant open space. Despite that, it’s easy to forget that trails have to be planned and built by someone. However, for the East Bay Regional Park District, which has over 1,000 miles of trails, this is a full-time job. At places like the newly-opened Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, trail planners must balance people’s desire for access with the needs of native plants and animals.
The Cosumnes Preserve near I-5 in the Central Valley is a surprising mosaic of flooded rice fields teeming with birds, breached levees creating new forests, and a river reclaiming a landscape.
Marin County is already home to many spectacular trails for recreational cyclists, hikers, and walkers, but there’s a new trail in the works for commuters—the kind who prefer spokes and sneakers to cars. Designated as one of four communities nationwide … Read more
The East Bay Regional Park District and other parks agencies own and operate an impressive array of shoreline parks in the East Bay. Visit a different one every week, and you’d still be busy for at least four months. Here’s … Read more
The old saw about weather in San Francisco—if you don’t like it, walk a block—could also be applied to Bay Area soils. Nonconformity in Bay Area rocks, along with varied topography, climate, and vegetation, has resulted in a great variety … Read more
Long, long ago, in a time before time, the place where we now live was a deep sea. Beneath the waters, however, the earth stirred. A coast range was lifted up. Rains fell upon the bare slopes. Rivers and streams … Read more
It is often the smallest things that get overlooked, and life in the soil is probably the most neglected habitat of all. Tilling the soil or weeding the garden puts us in touch with a few members of the soil … Read more
General Information Sources and Websites Bio-Integral Resource Center www.birc.org (510)524-2567 Extensive information resources for least-toxic pest management. California Integrated Waste Management Board www.ciwmb.ca.gov/organics/gardening Information and resources for organic materials management and home gardening, including grasscycling, home composting, and worm composting. … Read more
Organic matter is the most important part of the soil because it is fodder for the many organisms that keep soil alive and elastic. And because it is consumed by these organisms, soil organic matter needs to be replenished. The … Read more