Marsh Exploring in Hayward

Article excerpt

Marsh exploring in Hayward

A salt marsh does not display its treasures readily to the causal visitor. Appearing monotonously flat and inhospitable from a distance, this fragile environment requires some patience and knowledge for its distinctive charms to be appreciated.

Instruction on the ecology of the Hayward shoreline marshlands is now available at a new interpretive center built Southeast of San Francisco by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. The attractive wood-shingled building houses a wet lab, where you can take a close look at the surprising variety of plant and animal life supported by the marsh habitat. An exhibit focusing on the natural and cultural history of the area will also soon be in place.

Hike, bike, jog, or bird-watch

Nearly 8 miles of trails suitable for hiking, biking, or jogging lead north from the center to the San Leandro Marina. You can explore them on your own or join one of the free informative walks and bike rides conducted by the center's naturalists. The trails wind through more than 200 acres formerly used for salt harvesting. The area has been restored to a natural salt marsh, representing the largest restoration of this kind on the West Coast. Also of interest is a moated preserve for the tiny salt-marsh harvest mouse, an endangered species found only around San Francisco Bay. …


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