Tags >> recreation
Feb 09
2009

Angel Island Immigration Station

Posted by Bruce Robinson in tourism , rights , recreation , parks , Marin , immigration , history , government , events , education , conservation

Bruce Robinson

 Newly preserved and restored, a rare piece of bay area history reopens for visitors on Sunday.  (See below for details of the reopening day ceremonies)

The federal immigration station on Angel Island, as seen above in 1915,  was reached by a long wooden dock which no longer exists. Most of the other structures remain, with the exception of the main administration building (seen in the left foreground in the photo below), which was partially destroyed by fire in 19xx.  The restored barracks building is on the hill to the right, with the station hospital on the far hill to the left. You can read a much more extensive history of the facility here

One of the interpretive park rangers at Angel Island, Casey Lee, describes and then translates a poem that was carved into the wooden wall in one of the smaller rooms at the Immigration Station barracks. It has been preserved and will now be on public display.

Poetic Waves  is a elegant and detailed website devoted to the poetry of Angel Island.

You can also read a more scholarly article about the carved poetry here.

The Grand Re-Opening of the U.S. Immigration Station at Angel Island will be celebrated on  Sunday, February 15, 2009 with a public Dedication Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This will be followed by public tours from Noon to 3 p.m. with presentations by storyteller Charlie Chin; performance artist/dancer Melody Takata, ; historical re-enactor Silvia Lange; and museum designer Daniel Quan.

 

Free admission, free tram service on Angel Island, and reduced rates on ferries from San Francisco and Tiburon are available. See schedule below. You must take the 8:45 a.m. ferry from San Francisco or the 8:50 a.m. ferry from Tiburon to attend the Dedication Ceremony. For complete schedule, visit www.aiisf.org.

Tram to U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island Schedule

Departs Ayala Cove at 10:00 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Trams will depart from the Immigration Station for Ayala Cove every half hour starting at noon. Visitors are encouraged to walk one mile to the U.S. Immigration Station from Ayala Cove as space on the trams is limited. Walk and enjoy the beautiful view of the Sonoma Valley and the Bay.

Visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park in advance at 415-435-5390.

Tiburon Ferry Schedule

Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry, 21 Main St., Tiburon, CA

Depart Tiburon-Arrive at Angel Island, Ayala Cove

Depart - 8:50 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Depart Angel Island-arrive at Tiburon

Depart 1:20 p.m., 3:20 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.

 

San Francisco Ferry Schedule

San Francisco Blue and Gold Fleet


Depart San Francisco Pier 41-Arrive at Angel Island, Ayala Cove

Depart - 8:45 a.m.- 10:35 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.

Depart Angel Island-arrive at San Francisco Pier 41

Depart 1:30 pm, 3:50 p.m., 4:35 p.m.

 You can check the weather conditions at the Island by looking at the Ayala Cove webcam here.

Feb 02
2009

Drought

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , tourism , Sonoma , resources , recreation , policy , parks , nonprofit orgs , media , Marin , legislation , jobs , government , food , fish , environment , economy , conservation , community , climate change , business , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

 

 

It's official.  The drought is back, and mandatory cutbacks in water consumption are imminent.

 

Water reserves are at or approaching historic lows in both Lake Mendocino (see at right) and Lake Sonoma. With seasonal rainfall totals  for the year also running well below normal, the outlook is not encouraging.To monitor how conditions are progressing--or not-- you can use this like to see the Sonoma County Water Agency's  graphs of declining water supplies   in Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma(pdf).

 

 

 

Amidst all the agricultural and economic impacts of the drought, Dick Butler of the National Marine Fisheries Service pointed out the obvious--that it is also bad news for fish.

 

To help get a jump on the rationing that is almost certainly coming our way, here are the Sonoma County Water Agency's

Top 10 Water Conservation Tips:

  • Reduce outdoor watering by one day a week
  • Find and repair leaks now
  • Inspect and tune-up your sprinkler system monthly
  • Water between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to reduce water loss from evaporation and wind
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean your driveway, deck or patio
  • Use a bucket and a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle when you wash the car, or take your car to a carwash that recycles
  • Cover pools and hot-tubs to reduce evaporation
  • Use front-load washing machines
  • Run the dishwasher and clothes washer with full loads only
  • Prevent and report water waste
Find more water saving suggestions here.

 

Jan 18
2009

Guerneville Early Days

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , transportation , tourism , Russian River , resources , recreation , history , environment , economy , construction , community , coast , author

Bruce Robinson

 

The history of Guerneville has been marked by a series of economic surges, most of them relatively short-lived.

 

 

 John Schubert

An early businessman named John Bagley may have been the most prominent citizen of the town that became Guerneville, but as Schubert relates,  Bagley chose to name it for one of his friends and business partners, rather than himself.

 

Before the train came out the Russian River from the Santa Rosa plain, some Guerneville area entrepreneurs tried using the river itself as a transportation corridor, but as John Schubert relates, that proved to be a short-lived experiment.

John Schubert,  is a Russian River historian and board member for the Sonoma County Historical Society as well as the Russian River Historical Society. His  Guerneville Early Days: A History of the Lower Russian River, covers the history of Guerneville up to 1910.

 

 


Schubert's self-published book received the 1999 Campbell Augustus Menefee Scholastic Award.

Fires, earthquakes, economic hard times and more have all taken a toll, at one time or another, on the Russian River town of Guerneville, as John Schubert details in this North Bay Report.

 

 

 

 

As logging cleared more and more land along the lower Russian River, some astute local businessmen came up with a plan to maximize their resources, by selling vacation homes in the area.

 

A common feature of these vacation homes was a wraparound porch, which John Schubert explains was far more practical when they were built than now.

 

Dec 10
2008

Osborn Preserve

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , volunteer , students , Sonoma , resources , recreation , parks , nonprofit orgs , history , fish , events , environment , conservation , birds , animals

Bruce Robinson

The legacy of an early conservationist now provides a hands-on, open air laboratory for Sonoma State students, just a few miles up the mountainside from their campus.

 

 

 Nathan Rank is a professor of Biology at Sonoma State University and has been Director of Fairfield Osborn Preserve since 2000. He received his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of California-Davis in 1990. His research interests focus on evolutionary ecology and population biology.

One of the benefits of having the Osborn Preserve nearby, says professor Rank, is that it provides a convenient way to observe seasonal changes within the same environment.

 

Fairfield Osborn Preserve was established by The Nature Conservancy in 1972 through the generosity of William and Joan Roth in honor of Joan's father, Fairfield Osborn. The Preserve was donated to Sonoma State University in 1997 for use as an educational and research site. In 2004, William and Joan Roth donated an additional 190 acres to the Preserve, nearly doubling its size, and including the scenic ridgeline of Sonoma Mountain.

 The Preserve occupies the upper slope at the center of the ridge (above) and is home to the headwaters and much of the watershed for Coleman Creek (below).

In addition  to the many grade school children who visit the Preserve each year, Rank explains that university students are also able to work on a considerable variety of research projects there.

Various hikes and other educational outings are offered at Fairfield Osborn Preserve. Information and registration forms can be found here .

Fairfield Osborn Preserve is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including the endangered California Red-legged Frog.

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