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Jessica Sanchez                                                  Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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February 22, 2016                 
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Updated 1:41 p.m.*

 

     

View from Cooley Landing    
                                    Photo courtesy of Acterra     
A view of the San Francisco Bay from Cooley Landing Park


Home to shorebirds, leopard sharks, and bat rays, Cooley Landing provides a prime space for wildlife watching and breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding salt marshes.

Formerly a landfill for San Mateo County, Cooley Landing was turned into a park and it is now being transformed into a waterfront public space.

When the new education center is completed, Cooley Landing’s public space will have the potential to become a cultural and ecological hub for the residents of East Palo Alto.

On April 16, the City of East Palo Alto and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District will host a Spring Festival and Grand Opening of the Cooley Landing Education Center.

The event will start at 10 a.m. and include a grand opening ceremony with East Palo Alto's mayor and other elected officials at 11 a.m. There will be nature walks, community booths, art displays, food and kid’s activities. The event is free and open to all ages.

While the park’s trails and picnic areas were just opened to the public four years ago, the park has become an increasingly popular destination for runners, hikers, birders, and other visitors.

Cooley Landing Park is situated in the habitats of two endangered species only found in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse and the Ridgway’s Rail (formerly California Clapper Rail).

For over a year, Acterra, a local volunteer-based environmental non-profit, has been hosting community workdays at Cooley Landing to further restore the landscape by planting native species, testing water quality, removing invasive species, and cleaning up trash, with the goal of promoting a healthier, more biologically diverse ecosystem.

Acterra also hosts educational hikes and talks about the unique ecosystems of Cooley Landing’s tidal marshes, mud flats, and baylands.

Acterra has hosted local groups such as Ravenswood City School District, East Palo Alto Charter School, Eastside College Prep, and Youth Community Service.

For more information about the Spring Festival and the Cooley Landing Grand Opening ceremony, visit http://www.openspace.org/activities/district-events/spring-festival-and-grand-opening

For ways to get involved and volunteer at Cooley Landing, visit http://acterra.org/programs/stewardship/index.html or contact Jessica Sanchez at Jessica.sanchez@acterra.org, 650-701-3044

 

This article was updated to delete the word"environmental" from the title of the Cooley Landing Education Center.