News Details

Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center Projects


The Baylands Nature Interpretive Center and Preserve, located at 2775 Embarcadero Road provides a unique opportunity to view a pristine salt marsh habitat and serves approximately 130 classes and camps, 3,000 elementary students and 80,000 visitors annually. The Boardwalk is part of the Baylands Nature Interpretive Center. Three Capital Improvement Program projects were approved by Council to address improvements to this site: Baylands Boardwalk Improvements (PE-14018), Baylands Nature Interpretive Center Facility Improvements (PE-15029) (completed in April 2017), and Baylands Nature Interpretive Center Exhibit Improvements (AC-14001).

Baylands Boardwalk Improvements project 

Based on a feasibility study and structural assessment, the boardwalk is in poor structural condition. This improvement project includes removing and replacing the existing boardwalk at the same location. The existing boardwalk was closed in 2014 due to structural deficiencies. Minor repairs were made in 2015 allowing public access to a 200-foot segment of the boardwalk.

Boardwalk's 200-foot segment open to the public

Project improvements include:

• Boardwalk demolition
• New structural supports
• New railings and decking
• New overlooks
• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades and compliance with current codes and standards and regulatory requirements
• Consideration of sea-level rise projections and a boardwalk design life expectancy of 50-75 years
• Locations for new exhibit improvements/signage (separate project)
• Matching the alignment and general configuration of the existing boardwalk

Council approved the design and environmental services contract with Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc. (BCA) on September 19, 2016. BCA began design for the new boardwalk and environmental services in October 2016. 

Project timeline:

Circulate environmental document                            September 2017
Complete final design                                                June 2018
Begin construction (pending regulatory permits)       September 2018*
Construction                                                              September 2019*
End construction                                                        January 2020*

* Should regulatory permits approvals take longer than the anticipated 18 months duration, the construction may begin in September 2019. The construction timeline avoids nesting birds in the Baylands by restricting work windows from September 1 through January 31.

Baylands Nature Interpretive Center Exhibit Improvements project

Project includes the replacement of worn or non-functioning exterior exhibits, signage, and graphics. With over 130 classes and 80,000 visitors, improvements should increase visibility and usefulness.

Eight interpretive stations have been constructed on the deck of the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center.  Each station was located adjacent to features of the building, special views of the marsh, or important phenomena.  In three of these stations, glass-viewing windows were installed to improve visibility of the mash from the railings.  Each station was constructed to fasten exhibit graphics to the railing for easy reading but with a low profile so that these signs do not block the view.

The exhibit design firm (S2 Associates) has been selected to complete the design of the railing exhibits and oversee fabrication.  

Current funding allows for exterior Interpretive Center signs only. Staff is seeking Grant funds for new Boardwalk interpretive signage.

Project timeline:

Complete fabrication and installation at Interpretive Center      Fall 2017

The Baylands Nature Interpretive Center Improvements Project

Project was completed in April 2017. The Baylands Open Space Education Program is continuing at the Cooley Landing and its Education Center located at the East end of Bay Road in East Palo Alto (Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 1:00pm - 4:00pm, and on Saturdays, from 12:00pm - 4:00pm).

Starting, May 8th the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center will be open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 1:00pm - 4:00pm, and on Saturdays, from 12:00pm - 4:00pm.   June 12th is the first day of Baycamp our youth summer camps program at the Center.

Newly renovated Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center

Projects Documents

May 3, 2017 Community Meeting Presentation
May 3, 2017 Community Meeting Flyer
September 19, 2016 City Council Meeting Interpretive Center Staff Report and Boardwalk Staff Report
June 28, 2016 Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting 
Staff Report
and Slideshow
March 22, 2016 Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting Staff Report and Slideshow
March 2016 Feasibility Report (Final)
October 2015 Parks and Recreation Commission Summary 
September 2015 Community Meeting Presentation 

Contact: Public Works Department
(650) 329-2295

Project Manager: Elizabeth Ames
Project Engineer: Megha Bansal
For Baylands Nature Preserve hours and information, see:

Last Updated June 21, 2016