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Success Stories

Joseph S. Emery Park: A Walking & Biking Path with Bay-Friendly Attitude

Emeryville is fast becoming a hot spot for new urban green spaces that have earned the Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape label. One of the latest is a winding pathway tucked behind a shopping area on San Pablo Avenue, between Park Avenue and 45th Street. Here the City of Emeryville and Pixar converted a strip of land adjacent to the company's 22-acre campus into a Bay-Friendly pedestrian and bike path. A diverse array of California native plants provides shelter and food for wildlife and a slice of greenery for local residents, shoppers and workers.
The park is named in honor of Joseph S. Emery, the city founder whose mansion occupied the site in the 19th century. The site was later the home of the Oakland Oaks baseball stadium and then a Del Monte Cannery. 


  • The site's soil was amended with compost to increase its organic matter content to 5%, improving soil and plant vitality and increasing the ability of the soil to retain moisture
  • All impervious surfaces drain to bioswales and other features designed to keep rainwater out of stormdrains
  • Instead of thirsty turf that provides little habitat, the landscape features low water using California native plants
  • The irrigation system is plumbed for recycled water
  • The City of Emeryville requires that the park be maintained using Bay-Friendly practices  


  • 185,000 gallons of irrigation water saved annually compared to a conventional landscape
  • 91% of landscape construction and demolition waste recycled
  • 32 tons of local, recycled compost and 50 tons of local, recycled mulch used
  • 98% of new plants are low water species
  • Bay-Friendly landscape practices reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 26 tons CO2E


Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape score: 71

Year rated: 2011

Bay-Friendly Rater: Cynthia Greenberg, Placeworks