Chevron Richmond’s donation of a mile-long stretch of coastline to extend the San Francisco Bay Trail was lauded Wednesday as a historic event that resulted from a crucial public-private partnership.
Chevron Richmond has donated the 20-foot-wide stretch of shoreline property to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), which will spend the next two years building a 14-foot-wide trail for pedestrians and cyclists with the help from voter-approved tax measures. The land extends from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to Point Molate Beach Park.
“It’s almost like undiscovered country,” said Robert Doyle, EBPRD’s general manager.
And though the trail area has been unused, the land “has a lot of history” that the public will soon be able to learn more about, said Laura Thompson, manager of SF Bay Trail.
Doyle said Chevron Richmond’s donation was necessary for the completion of the planned 500 miles of Bay Trail that will connect 46 Bay Area cities. He hopes the company’s contribution will serve as an example for future land discussions, as more public-private partnerships will be necessary to complete the trail.
Discussions are ongoing to extend the trail more than three miles beyond Point Molate on land owned by the city and Chevron Richmond, officials said.
“This is just the beginning,” Richmond Councilmember Jael Myrick said. “We are going to continue to work together…to have more access to the shoreline in Richmond.”
In all, about 335 miles of Bay Trail have been completed, said Thompson. In Richmond, 32 of the 42 planned Bay Trail miles are complete, the most of any city.
Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC), led by former Chevron USA environmental manager Bruce Beyaert, was credited for Richmond’s swift progress.
“We’re so ahead of so many other cities because of the work that Bruce and TRAC do every day,” Myrick said.