By Kathy Chouteau
The Point Molate Bay Trail project has received the funding needed to complete its construction, which could be completed by the end of 2021, according to the Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC).
The City of Richmond and East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) have been awarded $2.2 million in funding toward the creation of 2.5 miles of shoreline Bay Trail stretching from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Trail to the northern border of Point Molate at Stenmark Drive.
The local funding was awarded by the California Natural Resources Agency as one part of $27.7 million for 19 different projects statewide that will increase access to the outdoors and bolster recreational opportunities for communities. Part of the Proposition 68-funded Recreational Trails and Greenways grant program, the local grants encompassed $1,000,000 for the City of Richmond and $1,202,830 for the EBRPD for the Point Molate Bay Trail project.
The Point Molate Bay Trail “will be more than a multi-use trail,” said Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC) Chair Bruce Beyaert. “It will provide the first public access to this shoreline, other than Point Molate Beach Park, since the Huichin tribe of Ohlones dwelled on this stretch of San Francisco Bay shoreline. The first mile of trail from the [Richmond San Rafael] Bridge will follow a shoreline easement granted by Chevron to EBRPD, while the remaining 1.5 miles will be on the City’s Point Molate property.”
According to Beyaert, the latest grants complete funding for construction of the $6.5 million Point Molate Bay Trail project when combined with Plan Bay Area Priority Conservation Area grants of $2.2 million, EBRPD funds from Measures CC, FF and WW and funds Chevron provided to the City of Richmond in 2009.
The funding milestone comes one year after the completion of the $20 million Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Trail, a 6-mile stretch of pedestrian and bicycle pathway connecting Point Richmond to San Rafael. Part of the 500-mile San Francisco Bay Trail, the project was also made possible after Chevron provided access to its land for construction of parts of the trail between Stenmark Drive and the bridge.
Two years ago when California voters passed the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68), $27.7 million was directed to the California Natural Resources Agency for grants providing non-motorized infrastructure development and enhancements that facilitate new or alternate access to parks, waterways, outdoor recreational pursuits, and forested or other natural environments to encourage health-related active transportation and opportunities for Californians to reconnect with nature, per the agency.
Learn more about the Point Molate Bay Trail project here