Shoreline Park, Mountain View
The city of Mountain View bought the site in 1967 to build a recreational facility. However, the cost of importing earth to raise it by 20 feet in order to prevent flooding was too high, so it was instead operated as a landfill accepting garbage from San Francisco. Shoreline Park opened in 1983, with some initial problems from methane fires. In 1987, Shoreline won the League of California Cities' Helen Putnam Award for public works.
Features and trails
Shoreline Park now features an 18-hole links-style golf course with pro shop and driving range, Shoreline Golf Links, and a 50-acre (20 ha) artificial lake. On the lake's eastern shore is the Shoreline Aquatic Center, which offers sailboat, windsurfing, kayak, canoe, rowboat, and pedalo rentals, as well as sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking classes. The adjacent Shoreline Cafe is open daily and offers a variety of food to lake goers. Shoreline Amphitheatre is next to the golf course. The Rengstorff House, a historic Victorian mansion moved to the park from its original location elsewhere in Mountain View, and Michaels at Shoreline Restaurant are also in the built-up area of the park.
Walkers, runners, bike riders, et al., can enjoy miles of paved and unpaved trails, some of which are part of the San Francisco Bay Trail. A good description of a loop trip can be found here. The trails connect to the Stevens Creek Trail at the eastern edge of the park and the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve on the western edge.
Through the developed park, one reaches a wildlife refuge at the edge of the bay, where many birds can be seen at almost any time.
Meadowlands near the mouth of Permanente Creek in Shoreline Park provide critical remnant habitat for western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia), a bird that has vanished from many counties in the Bay Area. The owl was listed as a Species of Special Concern (a pre-listing category under the Endangered Species Act) by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1979, and its Bay Area population continues to decline. In 2008, City of Mountain View evicted a pair of burrowing owls so that it could sell a parcel of land to Google to build a hotel at Shoreline Boulevard and Charleston Road. Eviction of the owls is controversial because suitable alternative habitat has vanished due to suburban sprawl. Development continued to encroach on the owls' habitat when, in 2010, the City of Mountain View approved Google's plan to build a 6.9-acre recreational park for its employees, so that they can play tennis, disc golf, shuffleboard and other activities on Google property that is part of the owls' foraging area. Although there were hundreds of burrowing owls in Santa Clara County when monitoring began in the 1980s, now there are only 35, with three breeding pairs raising ten eggs at Shoreline in 2011 (less than half the number of young in 2003).
Family of Burrowing owls
Great egret and ducks
Great blue heron and ducks
Canada geese in Shoreline Park
- Dylan Hernandez, San Jose Mercury News, "Shoreline goes from trashy past to 'oasis': Shoreline Park Was Built with San Francisco's Refuse, Money", Twin Cities.com, Pioneer Press, February 25, 2007, updated March 3, 2007.
- "Shoreline Park Reaches Maturity", San Jose Mercury News, June 4, 1988.
- "Dump-De-Dump-Dump That's Fanfare for Mtn. View's Dump Conversion at Shoreline", San Jose Mercury News, October 14, 1987.
- Daniel DeBolt (2008-01-10). "Burrowing Owls vs. Google:Pair of birds found on Google's hotel site will cost city $150,000". Mountain View Voice. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- Priyanka Sharma (2010-10-08). "Google's proposed park threatens rare owls". Peninsula Press. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
- Daniel DeBolt (2011-09-02). "Will a new plan save the burrowing owls? Audubon hopes to rescue city's favorite bird from decline". Mountain View Voice. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- A video on the history of the park is available at the Mountain View Public Library.
- Mountain View - Shoreline Park, Bay Trail, Association of Bay Area Governments
- Shoreline at Mountain View, City of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, Bay Area Hiker
- Burrowing Owl Conservation organization
- Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society
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