Environment

It's easy to learn to appreciate the natural world by watching for birds along Alameda's shoreline in late fall and winter during migration season.

Should Alameda’s schools go solar? School board members will discuss the merits tonight of moving forward with a plan to install solar panels atop Alameda’s public schools.

Fresh water conservation efforts are occurring at a seemingly unlikely place: The local car wash.

Local environmentalists fear changes Alameda Municipal Power – which bills itself as “the greenest little utility in America” – plans to make to its solar program could bring an end to new solar installations on the Island.

Plans are underway to convert a weed-infested dirt lot in West Alameda into fields of dreams for the city’s youth sports teams.

Gardens, biking and hiking trails, a lawn-fronted gazebo and covered picnic pavilion are some of the features proposed for the new Jean Sweeney Open Space Park that’s planned for 22 acres of onetime Alameda Belt Line property.

Photo courtesy of Lori Fujimoto.

Lydia Bird’s introduction to the Alameda Raptor Monitoring team came six years ago, when its coordinator knocked on her door in search of Cooper’s Hawks. Bird had been noticing the raptors in her neighborhood for years, but didn’t know that much about them.

Three years later she saw some of the medium-size hawks strolling on her sidewalk, so she got in touch with the coordinator, Harv Wilson, and was pulled into the team, which scans thousands of tall trees each year in search of a handful of nests in an effort to protect the hawks and their young fledglings.

“It’s this amazing world going on over our heads,” Bird said. “There’s this whole little wild kingdom going on four stories up.”

Alameda's public school students are forsaking the gray bin, putting paper and food scraps in their place. We've got a nifty infographic detailing the schools' progress over the past five years and the equivalent environmental impact, at the jump.

Five years ago, city leaders adopted a plan aimed at reducing Alameda’s carbon footprint. And community members formed a group, Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda, to help promote the plan’s emission reduction goals and gain the public’s help in reaching them. This Wednesday, April 24, the city and CASA are teaming up once more to celebrate their achievements at a Climate Protection Forum, where they will highlight the results of a Greenhouse Gas Emissions report, and spotlight local climate heroes.

The Bay-Eagle Garden offers bursts of green. Photo by Kristen Hanlon.

On a quiet stretch of Eagle Avenue between Bay and St. Charles streets is an oasis of green known as the Bay-Eagle Community Garden. It takes up about two-thirds of a city block and is bordered by a small playground and homes managed by the Alameda Housing Authority. On a drizzly, overcast morning in late March, a few dedicated gardeners were at work weeding, preparing their plots for spring planting, and harvesting vegetables for the Alameda Food Bank. I spoke with Jane Jackson, who has seen the transformation of “a heap of broken glass and garbage” to the productive garden it is today.