A ceremony to rename McLaughlin Eastshore State Park in honor of community leader and Save the Bay co-founder Sylvia McLaughlin is set for Saturday, November 16, 2013, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the University Avenue park entrance in Berkeley.
As a tribute to Sylvia McLaughlin’s extensive environmental activism and her strong role in saving the San Francisco Bay, and in recognition of her leadership efforts to help create Eastshore State Park, the California State Legislature, in a bill authored by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, approved the renaming of Eastshore State Park as the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.
The event also will celebrate the leadership and community activism that helped to create this beautiful state park treasure. Ms. McLaughlin is on the program to speak, along with Senator Loni Hancock, Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Park District Board Treasurer Whitney Dotson, and others.
McLaughlin Eastshore State Park is one of the most outstanding achievements in the history of open space protection, resulting from decades of citizen efforts to protect San Francisco Bay as a public open space resource. The 8.5-mile State Park is a recreational facility harmonious with its natural setting. The East Bay Regional Park District manages the park for the state, and owns the property with California State Parks.
The backdrop for this event is Eastshore State Park’s 72-acre Berkeley Meadow where a five year, $6 million restoration project was completed in April 2011. The meadow was once a landfill that has been transformed into wetland habitat, planted with native grasses and scrub species to provide habitat for the white-tailed kite, northern harrier, western burrowing owl and other birds and animals.
About Sylvia McLaughlin. Over the last four decades, Sylvia McLaughlin has been influential in many grassroots ecological efforts to safeguard the San Francisco Bay region, including the co-founding of Save the San Francisco Bay Association in 1961, which was critically involved with protecting 2,000 acres of the Bay from becoming a proposed dumpsite. These grassroots actions subsequently led to the signing of the McAteer-Petris Act of 1965 which mandated the preservation of San Francisco Bay and the protection of the bay from indiscriminate filling. The McAteer-Petris Act also established the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, a state agency entrusted to safeguard the San Francisco Bay.
Continuing her deep regard for the San Francisco Bay, Sylvia subsequently cofounded Citizens for Eastshore State Park (CESP) along with Dwight Steele and many other community volunteers to advocate the creation of a publicly accessible shoreline along the east shore of the Bay.
About the East Bay Regional Park District. The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay. The system comprises 114,000+ acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning. www.ebparks.org