Visiting the Pond Complexes
Visit the Restoration
Bedwell Bayfront Park, Menlo Park (Views, Trails)
Bedwell Bayfront Park was built on the site of a former landfill. The landfill has been turned into natural-looking hills covered with grasses, bushes, and scattered eucalyptus and pine trees. A complex network of paths covers the hills. They range from old paved landfill roads, to new smooth gravel bikepaths, to narrow rugged footpaths. Surrounding the hills are former salt ponds, salt marshes, and sloughs. Along the park road are several parking lots and a restroom.
An overview at the top of the hill, built by the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, looks out over ponds managed by the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, including Pond R4, planned for restoration to salt marsh in coming years, and Greco Island – one of the largest remaining tracts of historic tidal salt marsh in the South Bay.
Directions: To reach Bedwell Bayfront Park, take the Marsh Road exit in Menlo Park from Hwy 101 and head toward the Bay. At the end of the road, past Bayfront Expressway, is the park entrance.
More information: City of Menlo Park page for the park
Ravenswood Ponds (Views, Trails)
Edging the Dumbarton Bridge, the Refuge’s Ravenswood ponds offer views of shorebirds and the Bay. South of the bridge, Pond SF2 provides shallow water bird habitat and man-made nesting islands. A Bay Trail spur for walking and bicycling, 1.4-mile round-trip, edges the pond along the Bayshore. Two platforms overlook the 260-acre pond’s waters, providing spots to view and photograph shorebirds and ducks. During the spring and summer, nesting terns and American avocets can be seen using the islands.
Pond R1 is the largest of the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge’s ponds. It is located on the northwest end of the Dumbarton Bridge. From fall to spring, this pond is a good place to see foraging shorebirds and dabbling ducks. The Ravenswood Trail at Pond R1 is nearly a loop at 3.25 miles. It is approximately 4 miles total when returning to your car. The trail is closed to hikers and bicyclists during waterfowl hunting season in late October to late January. Check the Refuge’s website for dates.
The SF2 and Ravenswood trails connect to the Bay Trail that crosses over the Dumbarton Bridge, offering great views of the Restoration. The east side of the bridge leads to the Refuge Visitor Center at 2 Marshlands Rd, Fremont.
Directions: To reach the Ravenswood ponds from the south, take the Willow Road off-ramp from Hwy 101. Head west toward Bayfront Expressway, and then go east on Bayfront Expressway. Just before the bridge, take the Ravenswood Unit (Pond R1) exit to the right, which leads to a parking lot along the bridge’s south side. Or, continue driving under the bridge to park on the north side of the bridge for closer access to Pond R1’s Ravenswood Trail.
Phase 2 construction activities begin
The Restoration Project completes its first major construction, 30 nesting islands and other enhancements at 240-acre Pond SF2 by the Dumbarton Bridge for shorebirds and threatened western snowy plovers, plus a 0.7-mile trail and two viewing platforms.
A hillside interpretive station opens on a hillside at Menlo Park's Bedwell Bayfront Park, offering views of pond habitat and historic salt marshes.
Project managers finalize a 50-year Restoration Plan! The Plan establishes an adaptive management process, so that ecological factors guide the extent of salt marsh restoration; based on scientific data and the needs of multiple protected species, the Project will restore from 50% to 90% of the ponds to salt marsh.
State and Federal agencies and private foundations acquire 15,100 acres of commercial salt ponds in the South Bay from Cargill Inc. for $100 million. The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project launches to oversee multi-decade restoration of the ponds to achieve wildlife habitat, recreation, and flood protection goals.
Documents Related to this Pond Complex
Planning: Foundational Documents
Planning: Phase 2
|Alviso Opportunities and Constraints Memo|
|Handout - Alviso|
|Project Management Team's preliminary thinking on possible Phase 2 actions|
|Meeting Summary for August 4, 2015 Draft EIS/R public meeting|
|Handout - Ravenswood|
Planning: Phase 1
|Pond A16-A17 CDFG Approval Letter (October 2011)|
|Pond A16-A17 Environmental Action Statement (November 2011)|
|SBSP Phase 1 Restoration Alternatives Maps|
Planning: Programmatic Planning
Planning: Initial Stewardship (ISP)
Planning: Initial Science Planning
Permitting: Phase 1
|Consistency Determination #CN 10-03—Bay Conservation and Development Commission (October 17, 2008)|
|Final Amendment to Regional Board Permit (February 2012)|
|Permit No. 7-03—Bay Conservation and Development Commission (October 14, 2008)|