Sunday, April 22, 2012

Last looks: Doyle Drive, Richmond Field Station

Joel took some good pictures this month of mid-century relics about to be gone: the Doyle Drive connector to the Golden Gate Bridge, which is scheduled for at-long-last demolition next week, and the wild lands of the UC-Berkeley's Richmond Field Station, once a toxic manufacturing site, now a precious wetland oasis, and soon to be further built over by the Lawrence Berkeley Lab expansion.

Below is rickety old Doyle Drive, pictured next to the new span replacing it.

Below are pictures from the Richmond Field Station, which has natural riches described midway down on this miscellaneous UC "About" page:

"The open areas of the Field Station are also prized for their research and habitat value. The site contains one of the largest and best preserved remaining areas of native coastal grasslands that were once prevalent throughout the Bay Area. The adjacent stands of eucalyptus provide a home for wintering monarch butterflies and nesting raptors. The bay marsh and mudflats provide additional habitat for a variety of flora and fauna, including the endangered California Clapper Rail, as well as an opportunity for the Berkeley campus to use these areas for teaching and research."

The trees pictured along the road are the ones where the monarch butterflies cluster in season.

Right now the site hosts UC research offices, a library depository, and an EPA lab.

A few years back, a research project added to the wetlands by digging miniature research models of Southern waterways in open lands at the Field Station.

Already, says Joel, the construction people have filled in the sweet little Kissimmee River (not pictured here; maybe we'll do an item later). He's sad about that.

 A cool thing, though: if you look up "expansion" on the Lawrence Berkeley Lab Web site, it tells you about galaxies.

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