Saturday, March 13, 2010

Glen Cove debate

Plans by Vallejo to turn a scraggly stretch of waterfront on the Carquinez Strait into a park with paved parking, trails and restrooms are infuriating local Ohlone Indians who say the 15-acre site is sacred and should be left alone.

The property is Glen Cove Park, a spot that was the site of a 3,500-year-old Ohlone village and shell mound where thousands of people were buried.

The settlement is one of the oldest Ohlone sites in the Bay Area and among the few that has eluded development. But for decades, Vallejo has wanted to convert the wildland to a park with a portion of the Bay Trail, picnic tables and a pastoral array of native plants.

"What we want to do is return it to what it was 100 years ago," said Steve Pressley, maintenance and development manager for the Greater Vallejo Recreation District. "As an agency, we have a responsibility to the public as a whole, and we need to consider all the components, not just the needs of Native Americans."