Human History

Human settlement in the San Francisco Bay Area dates back 7,000 years to early Native American settlements. Today, the region is a teeming metropolis of 6 million people that collectively challenge the health of the region’s ecosystems. How it got this way — from Spanish acquisition to the Gold Rush boom and on to contemporary battles over land development — is a story that prompts a deeper understanding of our place in the landscape.

Year of the Bay sets sail

November 01, 2012 by Dan Rademacher

On November 1, the historic ship the Alma set sail from the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park on the ...

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From the Redwoods to the Sea at Purisima Open Space Preserve

September 27, 2012 by Lisa M. Krieger

For over 130 years, Lobitos Ridge has been climbed only by cattle. So when we push open a stiff gate ...


The River Through Time

July 13, 2012 by Robin Grossinger

There's a lot more to the Napa Valley than wineries and fancy food. Look closely and the landscape reveals clues to a past full of greater ecological complexity, from beaver ponds to vast freshwater marshes. New research into that history may point the way to a more biodiverse future.

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Point Reyes: Fidel’s Place

July 01, 2012 by Greg Sarris

Three days after the Indian--I'll call him Fidel--avenged the assault on his wife and slayed the young rancher who'd committed the horrible deed, the posse of vigilantes pursuing him found him, not near the small settlement of Marshall, but across Tomales Bay on a ridge; and not in a thicket of coyote bush and low-growing fir where he might've hidden, but in the middle of an open grassland.

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Amongst marshes, a salty past

May 18, 2012 by Eric Galan

The Hayward regional shoreline consists of over a thousand acres of marshes and seasonal wetlands. At low tide sandpipers and black stilts wander about the mud flats searching for food, while cyclists and runners exercise along a 5-mile trail.It’s hard to imagine that more than a hundred years ago, mounds of salt covered these same Hayward marshes like a fresh blanket of snow. The salt attracted harvesters, going way back to the original inhabitants.

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A Wiggle in Time

March 14, 2012 by Kelly Hackett

If you ride your bike in San Francisco, chances are you have discovered The Wiggle, and you’re probably thankful you did. The meandering one-mile route from Duboce Ave to Fell St. saves cyclists from notoriously steep hills as they make their way from downtown to western neighborhoods.There's a reason why the riding is easy. The bike route was a once stream bed in a place called San Souci Valley, now thoroughly transformed into the Victorian-dotted neighborhoods of Duboce Triangle and the Lower Haight.


Hidden Villa Memories

January 01, 2012 by Jean Rusmore

Jean Rusmore first visited Hidden Villa as a college student in 1942, and she’s been going ever since.

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Students explore origins of popular Thanksgiving dish

November 23, 2011 by Paul Epstein

Making the most of a popular Thanksgiving dish and Native American agricultural traditions, students at Frank Havens School planted a "Three Sisters" garden. The fifth-graders planted squash, corn and beans together – known as succotash -- in an effort to demonstrate how the plants help each other grow without the need of chemicals and how, when combined, provide complete nutrition.

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Bay Area Nature 100 Years Ago, Through the Eyes of Painter William Keith

October 17, 2011 by Aleta George

The Saint Mary's College Museum of Art is honoring California landscape painter William Keith a century after his death with 150 paintings from the college's permanent collection. "The Comprehensive Keith: A Centennial Tribute," on view through December 18, 2011, includes dozens of Bay Area views, from Pacheco Pass to San Anselmo. Some are startlingly familiar. Others are lost to roads and subdivisions. All will help you see local nature with new eyes.

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Artist Finds Graphic History at the Farallones

August 15, 2011 by Juliet Grable

Artist Eva Chrysanthe has always been intrigued by the Farallon Islands, those distant humps on the western horizon. But when she discovered a trove of old letters about the islands, she discovered a dramatic story that's taking shape as a new graphic novel about the Farallon Egg Wars. She'll talk about the project this Thursday in San Francisco.

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