Friday, December 7, 2018

Bring on the Rain--Completed Watershed Erosion Control Project Will Safeguard Pipeline AND Native Plant Life

Crews have finished a key project to control heavy volumes of eroding soil and rock that threatened to damage a major drinking water pipeline along the Crystal Springs Reservoir shoreline below parts of the Sawyer Camp Trail. 

The specially fabricated "holey concrete" blocks, installed by hand into the hill, will allow returning young native plants to sprout through and around the newly stabilized slope. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Holey Concrete! Plant-Friendly Blocks Will Halt Erosion Near Sawyer Camp Trail

Crews have been installing vegetation-friendly concrete blocks into some slopes near Sawyer Camp Trail to stabilize them as part of a late-year erosion control project.  

The area is normally wetland habitat, and the innovative blocks are designed to allow future young plants to sprout through them and flourish after the project is finished. The work is being done to shore up the soil and rocks that were sliding into the nearby Crystal Springs/San Andreas Pipeline along the reservoir shore. 

The pipeline transports Crystal Springs reservoir water north to the San Andreas Reservoir and then the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant. Those local reservoir waters are then blended with Hetch Hetchy regional water for distribution to Peninsula and San Francisco customers. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving on the Watershed: Wild Turkeys—Pardoned by Circumstance

Wild turkeys flourish here and there throughout the Peninsula Watershed. Our watershed keepers are particularly used to a flock of 20 or so that routinely pass by their office, a mile or so in from the staff entrance near I-280. 

The approximately 36-square-mile space provides an ideal diversity of habitat for the opportunistic foragers, which roam a couple of miles a day to feast on grasses or scratch in the woodland leaf litter for insects, seeds, acorns, blackberries and other plant or animal fodder. 

Since the long-protected watershed is also designated as a State Fish and Game Refuge, the turkeys that dwell here are safe from one of THEIR potential predators, the human hunter. 

Happy Thanksgiving to them and  all of you, from all of us.    

Friday, November 16, 2018

Sawyer Camp Trail Closure Continues Through Today, Nov. 19

Monday, Nov. 19.—The Sawyer Camp Trail and other San Mateo County Park trails will continue to be closed through today because of the hazardous air quality. For updates, please check the County Parks Department news advisories at

Friday, November 9, 2018

Erosion Repair Work Begins Along Crystal Springs/San Andreas Pipeline

Map of Erosion Repair Locations
Repair of erosion damage along the Crystal Springs/San Andreas Pipeline adjacent to Sawyer Camp Trail is underway at two locations. The project has an accelerated time line to facilitate completion prior to fall/winter rains. The Trail will remain open throughout the construction process. If you would like to enlarge the above map please click on the following link

The contractor will remove the loose soil from the erosion sites, then compact a stable surface to hand-place interlocking concrete blocks to create a matrix. The blocks also will be connected by cables to hold them in place.

Hikers should be vigilant as construction vehicles will need to use Sawyer Camp Trail to convey workers and supplies to the construction sites. There also may be some weekend work. Construction is expected to be completed in December.

To contact the SFPUC about this project, please call 888-801-2661.

Crews at work on the Crystal Springs/San Andreas Pipeline along the Sawyer Camp Trail in San Mateo County.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween on the Watershed: The Bobcats Will Be Out Tonight

Happy Halloween, when the light of tonight’s nearly half moon should bring out the bobcats.

They’ll be in search of the rodent treats that are so much more abundant at night. However, if it were a moonless night, these mid-size feline predators have such poor night vision (in contrast with most other mammal species), they would stay in and opt for the less productive daytime hunting instead. 

Meanwhile, THIS Halloween night, rodents and other small night-loving prey--beware out there.  

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fifield-Cahill Ridge Trail at Year 15

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Peninsula Watershed’s Fifield-Cahill Ridge Trail Program. It offers members of the public their only recreational access to the normally off-limits 23,000-acre green space that harbors four local drinking water reservoirs and the natural waters that flow into them.

The trail itself is an approximately 13-mile stretch through long-protected old-growth conifer forest, fragrant coastal scrub, grassy serpentine ridgetops, and other native habitats. In the years since its 2003 opening, more than 20,000 people have participated in approximately 2,000 watershed excursions led by trained volunteer trail leaders. An additional new trail head provides a shadier, more evenly graded entry, and our trail leader corps is now 315 strong—with some still on board from day 1. 

Access is available by reservation on selected Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, when scheduled Ridge Trail events range from a gentle five-mile stroll to our 13-miler across the entire ridge, and several bike rides.

Most currently scheduled events have room for at least a few more. Check them out at Then sign up through our redesigned and security-enhanced registration system—just launched this anniversary year.