About Us

The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center opened in 1986 as a place where school groups and the general public could learn about the ecology, history and significance of the wetlands surrounding the San Francisco Bay.  Technically, our Bay is an estuary, a place where salt water and freshwater mix. We call this a “salt marsh,” but, in fact, these wetlands consist of a complex set of salt, fresh, brackish, and tidal ponds.  From 1856 through the 1940s, this area was used for salt production.  In 1980, land managers began removing dikes in order to restore tidal action to an area that was originally a mixture of tidal wetlands and associated uplands.

Who we are

Operated by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, the purpose of the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is to interpret the natural and cultural history of the area in programs attended by school groups, community groups and the general public.

An exhibit area and laboratory classroom offers students and visitors an informative, entertaining and hands-on experience when learning about the ecology of the Bay Area.

Naturalists lead programs to interpret the various habitats present among eight miles of hiking and bicycling trails. You may obtain a schedule of the current program events during your visit to the Center or by viewing our Interpretive Programs.

Things to do at the Center

  • attend interpretive nature programs presented by staff naturalists; make discoveries and be entertained in our large exhibit gallery
  • discover a rich abundance and variety of life forms in the salt marsh while hiking, bicycling or jogging among eight miles of trails
  • view a live animal displays of animals that live in the salt marsh and the Bay, such as leopard sharks and gopher snakes
  • observe the salt marsh and Bay from our outdoor observation tower
  • research wetlands and issues of the San Francisco Bay in the Resource Center

Who uses the Center?

  • school groups (pre-school, grade school, high school and colleges)
  • the general public
  • community, youth, environmental and teachers’ groups 
    professional clubs and organization