H.A.R.D. operates two nature centers that promote environmental awareness, stewardship, and a connection with nature. Learn more about each location and its offerings below.
Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center (HSIC)
Perched on stilts above a salt marsh, the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is your introduction to the ecology of the San Francisco Bay Estuary. It features exhibits, programs, and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect, and stewardship for the bay, its inhabitants, and the services they provide.
Mission: The mission of the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is to foster the connection between people and the San Francisco Bay-Estuary by providing environmental education and recreation programs. Our goal is to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect, and stewardship for the Estuary, its inhabitants, and the services they provide.
Brief History: The center opened in 1986 as a place where school groups, community groups, and the general public could learn about the ecology, history, and significance of the wetlands surrounding San Francisco Bay. The San Francisco Bay is an estuary, a place where saltwater 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.
About the Trail: The adjoining park and trail system is called the Hayward Regional Shoreline and is operated by the appears to be an empty link with target https://www.ebparks.org/parks/hayward#about East Bay Regional Park District. The Hayward Regional Shoreline is a mosaic of landscapes that extends across nearly seven miles of diked trails adjacent to the San Francisco Bay. The shoreline trail is part of the San Francisco Bay Trail and passes through and around mudflats, salt marsh, grasslands, and salt evaporation ponds.
Plan a Visit: Individuals, groups, and families are welcome to visit the trail throughout the year. Please remember that many shoreline areas provide nesting and feeding grounds for wildlife. In order to minimize human intrusion upon the plants and animals, please remain on the trail while you observe wildlife.
Group Programs: Education programs for school groups, scout groups, and other private groups are available on select dates. Birthday Parties are not available at this time. View the appears to be an empty link with target /DocumentCenter/View/7824/Nature-Booking-Flyer-March-2022 Nature Education Program Flyer for more information. To request a booking, fill out our Program Request Form.
Sulphur Creek Nature Center (SCNC)
Nestled amongst the oaks, Sulphur Creek Nature Center is a hidden oasis tucked into the Hayward Hills. It is a wildlife education and rehabilitation facility that features local wildlife on display, a discovery center, educational programs, a wildlife hospital, volunteer opportunities, and activities designed to connect people and nature.
Mission: The mission of the Sulphur Creek Nature Center is to instill a sense of responsibility for the welfare of our world by bringing people and animals closer together through wildlife rehabilitation and education.
Brief History: In the 1960s, a member of the public found a lost little rabbit and named it Happy. Unfortunately, Happy lost his home and needed somewhere to stay. The community created a home for Happy at the local community center (now San Felipe Community Center) and an animal sanctuary was born. In 1970, H.A.R.D. acquired the property at 1801 D Street; the site was used as a wellness retreat and its wells drew sulphur water from the springs. Sulphur Creek Nature Center was formed and slowly grew into the place we know and love. A refuge for people and wildlife, hidden in a suburban neighborhood.
Plan a Visit: Bring the family and enjoy the outdoors as you peruse our outdoor bird and mammal enclosures, take a peek in our Discovery Center and view our resident amphibians and reptiles and check out our new local wildlife spotlight display. Sulphur Creek is a great spot to have an outdoor lunch with the family.
Volunteer Opportunities: Interested in helping out at Sulphur Creek? visit Volunteer Opportunities | Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, CA (haywardrec.org) for more information!
Sulphur Creek is recruiting volunteers. Some common volunteer jobs include Animal Care, Education/Docent, Gardener, Clerical, and Wildlife Camp Counselors (Summer) - counselor sign up and training is District operated, click the link for more information.
- All volunteers must be aged 13 and up, submit a TB test, and adults must be fingerprinted.
- Shifts are generally once per week and 2-4 hours in length.
- Due to the training required, we ask for at least a 1-year commitment.
Donate to Sulphur Creek: Interested in supporting Sulphur Creek but unable to volunteer? There are many ways to help out, below are a few options for donating to Sulphur Creek.
- appears to be an empty link with target http://The mission of the Sulphur Creek Nature Center is to instill a sense of responsibility for the welfare of our world by bringing people and animals closer together through wildlife rehabilitation and education. Amazon Wish List- this easy and quick method allows you to choose from a list of needed items.
- appears to be an empty link with target https://www.haywardrec.org/DocumentCenter/View/1898/Sulphur-Creek-Donation-Form?bidId= Monetary Donation - Food, general supplies, and veterinary care all add up! Monetary donations support Sulphur Creek by offsetting the annual operating cost.
- appears to be an empty link with target https://www.haywardrec.org/DocumentCenter/View/78/SCNC_AdoptionApplication?bidId= Annual Sponsorship - Take part in our Adopt-an-Animal program. Sponsor one of Sulphur Creek's resident animals for $85.00 per year. Fill out an application today, choose your sponsored animal from our appears to be an empty link with target https://www.haywardrec.org/DocumentCenter/View/79/Adopt-an-Animal-Names-List?bidId= resident animal list.
- Other in-kind donations or donation drives - have items you think we may be able to use? Interested in setting up a donation drive? Email us at Nature@HaywardRec.org
Wildlife Rehabilitation: Sulphur Creek's Wildlife Rehabilitation program is temporarily closed. Staff and volunteers are still diligently caring for resident animals. Here are a few tips if you have found a appears to be an empty link with target https://www.haywardrec.org/DocumentCenter/View/3602/I-Found-a-Baby-Bird---Now-What?bidId= baby bird or a appears to be an empty link with target https://www.haywardrec.org/DocumentCenter/View/3603/I-Found-a-Baby-Mammal---Now-What?bidId= baby mammal. Need more assistance? appears to be an empty link with target https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/Rehab/Facilities CA Fish & Wildlife lists additional wildlife rehabilitation centers.
Wildlife Education Group Programs: Education programs for school groups, parties, and other private groups are available on select dates. View the Nature Education Program Flyer for more information. To request a booking, fill out our Program Request Form.
Sulphur Creek is permitted through the CA Fish & Wildlife Department, US Fish & Wildlife Department, and the US Department of Agriculture.