January 30, 2017 > Giant Dirt Pile Update: McLaughlin Eastshore State Park
The East Bay Regional Park District plans to start work this week on renovating a portion of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park in Berkeley, including the area that contains a highly visible, 53-foot pile of dirt.
The plan calls for the dirt pile to be lowered about 15 feet and spread around the parkland between the Seabreeze Market and Brickyard Cove. Trails, a picnic area, debris removal, native plant seeding and shoreline restoration are part of the long-term plan. In all, the Park District plans to move more than 100,000 cubic yards of dirt.
The dirt pile, which has been at the site for about a decade, is from contractors’ excavation projects around the Bay Area, including the sports fields at El Cerrito High School and UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. The Park District will remove a very small portion that’s contaminated and create several smaller hills to buffer the park from the freeway and create views for bird-watching and enjoying the scenery.
The Brickyard Cove area will be closed, beginning Wednesday, for several months while work is underway. The area should re-open by late summer.
Wildlife biologists surveyed the area last week and determined that it contains no nesting birds and no burrowing owls.
McLaughlin Eastshore State Park is an 1,854-acre, 8.5-mile-long park stretching from the Bay Bridge to Richmond. Named after Sylvia McLaughlin, a founder of Save the Bay, the park attracts thousands of visitors annually. The East Bay Regional Park District manages the park on behalf of the California State Parks department.
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, established in 1934. The system comprises 120,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.