Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Landfill Loop trail - Apr. 30, 2011

Walking Distance: 2.82 mi.
Walking Time: 1 hr., 47 min. (10:28 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)
Start and End Point: WCCC Landfill parking area; Richmond, CA

I attended the opening ceremony for the new West Contra Costa County (WCCC) Landfill Loop trail in Richmond this morning. The dotted line (on Bay Trail map shown) forming the upper part of this loop is now a completed trail, that will be open during business hours of this sanitary landfill: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  (The Wildcat Creek connecting trail, shown as a dotted line running south to Wildcat Creek Regional Park will be opening later.)

It was a beautiful day and a great opportunity to walk with other trail supporters. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, I joined a small birding/Audubon group, and learned a few things about birds (not difficult given my level of knowledge).

The new stretch of trail opened up an area to the right/north of Garbage Mountain (created by former landfill operations over many years) -- with views of San Pablo Bay to the north, and gave walkers and bicyclists a look at Mt. Tamalpais across the Bay as well.

The only part of trail I missed this morning was the upper trail, for pedestrians/hikers, which peeled away (uphill) from the main trail, and then rejoined the main trail later as the trail was curving around to the south toward the Wildcat Marsh area. I'm sure there were nice views from this elevated trail as well.

Lots of brightly colored wildflowers were in bloom, and the grasses were turning from green to gold.

Thank you to all those who worked for the last several years to make this new trail possible, including TRAC (Bruce Beyaert and committee); Republic Services; the City of Richmond; the Bay Trail group; the East Bay Bicycle Coalition; and many other groups and individuals.

Wildlife Sightings:
7 Canada geese; 1 great egret and 1 snowy egret; 2 osprey; 9 little brown jobs (LBJs); 5 finches; 18 red-winged blackbirds; 2 swallows; 42 sea gulls; 2 plovers (semi-palmated); 1 hawk; 3 Western/Clarks grebes; 1 white pelican; 2 crows/ravens; 17 butterflies; 1 unidentified flying bug; 1 lacewing; 11 terns; 9 ducks; 1 spotted sandpiper, 1 least sandpipers (little guys); 28 unidentified brownish shorebirds (variety of UBBs); 1 willet; 1 large cloud of eye-level and above gnats; 2 coots; 1 dragonfly

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