Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

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Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

HSIC 25th.jpg

25th anniversary logo
Formation 1986
Type Nature center
Purpose Environmental education
Location
Region served
San Francisco Bay Area
Website http://www.haywardrec.org/hayshore.html
Remarks Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm; open weekdays for school programs
Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center building.jpg
Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is a natural history and ecology interpretive nature center located in Hayward, California. It is directly adjacent to the north side of Highway 92 as it approaches the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge, and is accessed from the highway by the last offramp in the westbound direction before the bridge toll gates. The Center was dedicated in 1986, and is operated by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District.

Nature center facility designed for natural and environmental education

A nature center is an organization with a visitor center or interpretive center designed to educate people about nature and the environment. Usually located within a protected open space, nature centers often have trails through their property. Some are located within a state or city park, and some have special gardens or an arboretum. Their properties can be characterized as nature preserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Nature centers generally display small live animals, such as reptiles, rodents, insects, or fish. There are often museum exhibits and displays about natural history, or preserved mounted animals or nature dioramas. Nature centers are staffed by paid or volunteer naturalists and most offer educational programs to the general public, as well as summer camp, after-school and school group programs.

Hayward, California City in California, United States

Hayward is a city located in Alameda County, California in the East Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a 2014 population of 149,392, Hayward is the sixth largest city in the Bay Area and the third largest in Alameda County. Hayward was ranked as the 37th most populous municipality in California. It is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census. It is located primarily between Castro Valley and Union City, and lies at the eastern terminus of the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge. The city was devastated early in its history by the 1868 Hayward earthquake. From the early 20th century until the beginning of the 1980s, Hayward's economy was dominated by its now defunct food canning and salt production industries.

California State Route 92 highway in California

State Route 92 is an east-west highway in the San Francisco Bay area between Half Moon Bay near the coast in the west and downtown Hayward at its junction with State Route 238 and State Route 185. It is most notable for being the route that traverses the San Mateo Bridge. It has interchanges with three freeways: Interstate 280, U.S. Route 101 in or near San Mateo, and Interstate 880. It also connects indirectly to Interstates 238 and 580 by way of Hayward's Foothill Boulevard, which carries Route 238 and flows directly into Route 92.

Tidal flat, afternoon, with power lines paralleling Highway 92 on the approach to the bridge Salt marsh hayward california.jpg
Tidal flat, afternoon, with power lines paralleling Highway 92 on the approach to the bridge

Activities

The Center focuses on San Francisco Bay wetland and shoreline ecosystems, and is itself located next to restored wetlands formerly used as salt ponds. The Center operates primarily as a resource center for local schools' educational field trips. It is open to the public on weekends. The center has a small permanent exhibit of native, aquatic life, and rotating exhibits of other related subjects. It is an access point to the San Francisco Bay Trail. Binoculars are on loan for birdwatching. On the other side of Highway 92 is Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, operated by the East Bay Regional Park District.

San Francisco Bay bay on the California coast of the United States

San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary in the US state of California. It is surrounded by a contiguous region known as the San Francisco Bay Area, and is dominated by the large cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

Wetland A land area that is permanently or seasonally saturated with water

A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, and support of plants and animals. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Whether any individual wetland performs these functions, and the degree to which it performs them, depends on characteristics of that wetland and the lands and waters near it. Methods for rapidly assessing these functions, wetland ecological health, and general wetland condition have been developed in many regions and have contributed to wetland conservation partly by raising public awareness of the functions and the ecosystem services some wetlands provide.

Ecosystem A community of living organisms together with the nonliving components of their environment

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the system through photosynthesis and is incorporated into plant tissue. By feeding on plants and on one-another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system. They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.

Wind powered Archimedes' screw along the San Francisco Bay Trail, adjacent to the center Archimedes screw at Hayward shoreline.jpg
Wind powered Archimedes' screw along the San Francisco Bay Trail, adjacent to the center

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