Consultant to lead the ecological park planning process
If participating in the creation of a wetland ecological park in Alameda is of interest to you, mark your calendar for the first public meeting on the master planning process for De-Pave Park, next Saturday, April 15, from 3 to 5 p.m. The in-person workshop will be outdoors at 1751 Monarch Street, near Building 25, on Alameda Point.
The city was awarded an $800,000 grant from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to create a master plan for the park. CMG Landscape Architecture secured a two-year contract from the city to create the plan.
In order to bolster the planning grant application, the city secured mostly pro bono services of CMG in 2020 to create a Vision Plan for De-Pave Park. By removing all of the pavement except for a strip to be repurposed as a trail, and reusing the crushed pavement for site contouring, the project will offset its own construction carbon footprint in four years. It will also mitigate the impact of the Navy’s original construction in less than 25 years, as opposed to the additional 220 years the current site would have required to become climate positive, according to CMG’s climate scorecard tool.
CMG will be taking community input, preparing at least two master plan alternatives, and preparing initial 30% percent construction drawings. They will also be engaging with seven Bay Area regulatory agencies that make up the Bay Restoration Regulatory Integration Team. The collaborative program was set up for local agencies to begin vetting projects in the early stages in order to make sure the project ends up being something that will be approved.
Additionally as part of the scope of work, CMG will:
- Work with the San Francisco Estuary Institute for scientific consultation on design.
- Partner with Literacy for Environmental Justice to develop a community stewardship program for plant propagation and long-term maintenance by volunteers and staff through a workforce development program with Alameda Point Collaborative.
Part of the beauty of De-Pave Park is that its tidal ecology will integrate with the existing wetland on the adjacent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) property, creating a significant urban wetland ecosystem and connecting people with nature. When the VA’s wetland expansion project is completed, the combined wetland area will total at least 38 acres, depending on which alternative is selected. The greater De-Pave/VA wetland complex will also provide more wildlife habitat and sequester more carbon.
One of the ideas suggested in the Vision Plan is to repurpose the rip rap boulders now holding up the shoreline in the Seaplane Lagoon and reposition them as fingers into the water that are dubbed habitat jetties. Rocky shoreline above and below water serves as habitat for seldom seen creatures and vegetation. Besides doubling the surface area of the boulders available as habitat, repositioning the boulders will also allow for the tides to begin encroaching into the new wetland.
Read more background details, including a video of CMG’s August 2020 Vision Plan presentation to the Alameda Recreation and Park Commission, at Alameda Point Environmental Report.
Contributing writer Richard Bangert posts stories and photos about environmental issues on his blog Alameda Point Environmental Report, https://alamedapointenviro.com/. His writing is collected at AlamedaPost.com/Richard-Bangert.