Spring brings rhododendrons. The 2nd Annual Rhododendron Walk kicks off a weekend of floral fun on Saturday, May 2nd. Click here for details or download and print your passport here.
Last year’s show
Don’t miss our recent blog post on this fabulous weekend event!
Check out our latest Pinterest board full of local rhododendrons from Richard Jones of the American Rhododendron Society Noyo Chapter.
Glass Beach and the Coastal Trail Phase I are now open! Check out the details HERE.
Enjoy the quiet season in Fort Bragg! Ten great reasons to visit here.
*** Fort Bragg is now on Pinterest! Click HERE and follow us for for fun, photos and ideas! ***
Soft Opening, photo by Dan Gjerde
Coastal Trail celebrates soft opening January, 2015!
Glass Beach Access Is Open
Please refrain from entering the fenced off construction areas, as this is trespassing and you will be asked to leave.
The Coastal Trail Project
The City of Fort Bragg has been working for several years to complete the Fort Bragg Coastal Trail & Restoration project which will provide public access along the City’s coast for the first time in over a century. The construction project is funded with a $1.36M grant from the State Coastal Conservancy, a $4.8M grant from the Statewide Park Program (Prop 84 funding), and a $348K grant from Caltrans. The Coastal Trail project will be constructed in 2014 and 2015.
Phase I – Now Completed!
Granite Construction, the project contractor, began construction of Phase I of the Coastal Trail project in early August, 2014. This phase of the project will create 4.5 miles of trail on 82 acres of the old Georgia-Pacific mill site, restore over 20 acres of land to its former natural beauty, and provide three restrooms, two parking lots, 14 interpretive signs, two welcome plazas, and several unique benches designed by local artists.
The second phase of the Coastal Trail will provide a half mile of trail on a ten-acre site near the Georgia Pacific mill pond, five acres of restoration, benches, interpretive panels and stairs to the beach at Fort Bragg Landing, and is currently in the planning process.
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Talk of the Town
Noyo Center Community Learning Center rendering
In conjunction with Phase II of the Coastal Trail construction, plans are starting to move forward for the permanent home of the Noyo Center for Marine Science at the south end of the Georgia Pacific mill site. The map linked here provides the site plan for both the recently constructed and opened Phase I at the north end of the property, and the areas currently under construction in Phase II.
The planned campus will include a 5600 square foot Community Learning Center, The Whale House, which will be the new home of the Blue Whale skeleton, currently under restoration, and a proposed marine science research facility.
The Discovery Center is envisioned as the main public exhibit space accommodating up to an estimated 150,000 visitors per year. The main features will include:
- Aquaria, interactive exhibits, and touch pools
- Interpretation of sustainable design features
- Discovery Cafe
- Auditorium and small outdoor amphitheater
- Gift Shop
- Interactive courtyard and restored gardens
- Living Roof
Upon entering the Discovery Center, the visitor will be immediately surrounded by images and symbols of life on the Mendocino coast. Natural light will fill the building. Living organisms will entice the curious. Interactive exhibits will encourage exploration of resource connections to the environment, economy and culture. The general atmosphere will be designed to encourage the excitement of discovery. The exhibit areas will focus on the dynamic land-sea interactions of the coastal ocean, as well as life under the sea.
Near the end of the initial design process for the Noyo Center, a 73-foot blue whale was killed off our headlands in a tragic ship-strike. In a collaborative effort, we were able to retrieve the massive blue whale skeleton for research and display.
Overhead view of the Whale House proposed
Our plans for the Whale Hall are still being developed. Currently, we envision a mainly glass building, with connectivity to the Discovery Center, and allowing the casual visitor – perhaps walking the coastal trail- the opportunity to view this community treasure. This building will house the feature exhibit at Noyo, drawing visitors to the coast and into the Discovery Centre.
Once inside the building, visitors will be able to proceed downstairs for multiple viewing perspectives of the massive skeleton and to experience related interpretive displays. Because the blue whale has inspired so much passion from the community, the possibility of expanding this building into a natural history museum is also being explored.
Read the story of the Blue Whale Project here
Proposed view of the outside of Whale House
To learn more, or become a part of the future of the Noyo Center for Marine Science, follow the link. Or to donate to the ongoing restoration or the to help fund the overall project, click here.
[Read more from the Talk of the Town Blog]