Ravenswood Ponds Levee Maintenance and Habitat Enhancement

Northern Shoveler

Building New Trails & Wildlife Habitat

About the Project
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge began a levee maintenance and habitat enhancement project at the Refuge’s Ravenswood Ponds in July of 2018, on lands directly south of the City of Menlo Park’s Bedwell Bayfront Park. Maintenance work will shore up and repair pond levees, and, as part of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, ponds will be enhanced to create and improve wildlife habitat and build a new public trail. Maintaining levees and enhancing habitat require importing large quantities of soil. Trucks need to drive through the Park entrance and on part of a San Francisco Bay Trail/Park perimeter trail that loops around the edge of the Park to reach Refuge lands. They also use the Park’s front parking area. To protect public safety, the impacted Park areas and trail segments will be closed when trucks are present. A flagger, barriers or fences will block access to those areas. When work is occurring, affected trail segments will generally be open for public use on weekends, and on weekdays after 5 p.m. When work is not occurring, trails will be open. Please follow all trail closure signage and fencing. The closures are for your safety heavy trucks are operating.

Project Benefits

Bicyclists on Trail

  • 294 acres of new tidal marsh
  • 37 acres of ponds improved for ducks and shorebirds
  • A new trail and viewing platform between Bayfront Expressway and the southern edge of Bedwell Bayfront Park 
  • Improved All-American Canal levee to protect pond bordering the north and east sides of the Facebook campus.

Further information about this project is available below.

Stay informed!



Start in July 2018
Finish in 2021

Current Project Maps

News & Updates
Note: This information based on construction activity is current as of March 31, 2020. As new information becomes available, we will provide additional updates.
As construction at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge continues, workers have completed a parallel track for trucks that will remove truck traffic from most parts of the San Francisco Bay Trail in the City of Menlo Park's Bedwell Bayfront Park. 

The construction work by Refuge contractors began in July to bring soil through the Park to the Refuge's Ravenswood complex, in order to maintain and protect shorebird pond levees.

Specific continuing construction impacts to the Park include:

  • Park Entrance: Trucks travel through the Park entrance. However, the entrance remains open to public vehicles through the construction activities. The pedestrian/bicycle trail entrance has been shifted to the south. Work areas will be separated from public users by fences, signs and/or barriers, and flaggers are present near the park entrance when trucks are active.
  • Parking: The Park’s front parking area is closed off, but other Park parking will continue to be available further up Marsh Road.
  • Trails: Aside from the 1/4-mile San Francisco Bay Trail segment along the Park's southwest corner, the rest of the Park's extensive trail network will not be impacted. Trails sections impacted by trucks will be open for use after 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays.
  • Truck traffic: There is increased truck traffic exiting Highway 1 at Marsh Road, and at the vehicle entrance/exit area of Bedwell Bayfront Park. 

What to expect during construction
The Refuge and the Restoration Project are working to minimize traffic and trail access impacts. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we conduct important levee maintenance and prepare for habitat and trail construction later in 2020.

When will trucks operate?
Work is limited to Monday through Friday during the day. No weekend work is allowed, and crews will take off for major holidays. Trails will be open during weekday hours when trucks are not present.

How long will the overall project last?
From 2018 to 2021. Project managers expect the bulk of the soil will be brought to the site during the 2018-2019 season. Some trucking may take place in spring 2020, as well. Construction of the restoration project elements within the ponds will likely continue through the 2021.

Traffic Impacts: What are the expected traffic impacts?
Trucks will be exiting Highway 101 directly along Marsh Road. There will be increased traffic at the vehicle entrance/exit area of Bedwell Bayfront Park.

Park Impacts: Which roads, parking areas, trails and trail access points are going to be impacted?
Trucks will exit Highway 101 at Marsh Road and use Marsh Road to enter Bedwell Bayfront Park. They will then drive along the area now devoted to the Park’s front parking area, and turn right onto the Bay Trail/Park perimeter trail, traversing this trail along the west side of the Park to Refuge lands. In order to protect pedestrians and bicyclists, a new pedestrian/bicycle entrance, to the south of the existing entrance, will be established [indicated in blue on the map]. The park access trail closest to Marsh Road will be closed to pedestrians and cyclists, as will the Marsh Road crossing area.

The goal is to complete that work by the end of 2021. Updated maps will be provided showing the current portions of trails that are closed or impacted by construction. The primary work season is expected to extend from May to October.

Will there be signs and people on hand to help?
The soil hauling company Pacific States has certified traffic controllers who will be on-site with flags when trucks are active on site. Flaggers will be stationed at the pedestrian crossing area at the entrance to the park (as indicated on the map). Signs indicating trail closures will be located at the entrance to the park and at intersections of the Bay Trail/Park perimeter trail and park trails.

How can members of the public access the City’s free compost pile at the entrance to Bedwell Bayfront Park?
Trucks may hinder the public’s ability to drive up and collect compost from the pile during weekday work hours. The compost pile would always be available on weekends and during the week before 8 AM and after 5 PM. We are consulting with the City to determine if the City would prefer to temporarily relocate the compost pile.

Background & History
Environmental & Community Benefits

The levee maintenance and habitat enhancement work will provide a variety of environmental and community benefits including:
  • Enhanced and restored habitat for endangered and native wildlife
  • New recreational trail and viewing area

Initial Construction Work
Work in summer and fall 2018 will be levee maintenance focused on shoring up levees. The mission of Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is to manage its acreage to conserve fish, wildlife, and plants. The Refuge contains many levees that are battered by winds and tides. The Refuge keeps these levees in good condition by adding new soil, so they can continue to protect the integrity of the ponds that are important foraging and breeding habitat for many waterbirds.

South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project Phase 2 Ravenswood Construction
Work began in fall of 2018 on South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project’s Phase 2 plans for Ravenswood.

Ravenswood Phase 2 Map (pdf, 1.1 MB)

What the Project will accomplish:
Habitat Restoration:

Create 294 acres of tidal marsh south of Bedwell Bayfront Park. The new habitat will feature 8 acres of new upland areas along the Park and the All-American Canal levee so wildlife can escape storms, high tides and sea level rise. The work at Pond R4 will be accomplished by breaching the levee between the pond and San Francisco Bay to let in Bay tides. Work includes improving the All-American Canal levee to protect 270 acres to the west, Pond R3. This pond borders the north and east sides of the Facebook campus. It will be kept as dry salt flat for threatened western snowy plovers to nest.

Habitat Enhancement:
Transform 37 acres of ponds between the Bayfront Expressway and Bedwell Bayfront Park into shallow water habitat for ducks and shorebirds.

Trail and Viewing Platform:
A new trail will run from the Bay Trail on Bayfront Expressway south of Chilco Street through ponds to reconnect with the Bay Trail at the southern edge of Bedwell Bayfront Park, creating a loop around Ponds R5/S5. A new viewing platform midway along the trail will offer views of three different types of bird habitat, the duck ponds, newly developing wetlands and dry nesting habitat for the threatened western snowy plover.

Links for More Information