field trip options

Developed in 1957, this 1.5 acre working hydraulic model was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers to test the effects of Congressman John Reber's 1940 plan for two large freshwater reservoir dams in the Bay Area. As a working hydraulic model, it was used by engineers and scientists to study currents, tides, the mixing of fresh and saline water, alongside navigation channels and human pressures on the Bay's ecosystem. Constructed out of 286 5-ton concrete slabs, the Bay Model is no longer used as a research tool, but remains an impressive feat of analog simulation.

With Ranger Linda Holm, US Army Corps of Engineers.

02 Zanker Recycling Municipal Landfill + Construction Debris Processing

This tour offers a glimpse into the material afterlife of the built environment. At the Zanker Facilities, debris ranging from concrete, reinforced concrete, wood waste and demolition debris is crushed, sorted and processed for further reuse. Careful sorting, efficiency, future product value and sustainable practices are utilized, making the deconstruction of buildings as much of an art as building them.

Zanker was the first plant in the US to have mechanized demolition recycling. In 1989, the facility was designated to receive all the post earthquake generated materials from the Marina District of SF. Zanker is currently working on an In Vessel Composting (IVC) initiative with GreenWaste Recovery, Zero Waste Energy and the city of San Jose.

With Matt Begin from Zanker Recycling

03 SSF Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plant

Where does all our wastewater go? Answer: The ocean. But before your toilet water becomes ocean water, it gets treated and cleansed through a three stage system. In primary wastewater treatment, solids are removed. Secondary wastewater treatment uses biological treatment processes to remove residues and 90% of organic contaminants left after the primary treatment stage. Tertiary treatment removes any remaining contaminants. At the SSF secondary wastewater treatment plant, 9 million gallons of water per day is treated and cleansed for the areas of Colma, South San Francisco and San Bruno.

With Manuel Dos Santos, Plant Operator, City of South San Francisco

04 Polaris/Eagle Rock Levin-Richmond Terminal

Take a peek behind the infrastructure that builds our infrastructure. At the Levin-Richmond Terminal, 1.5 million tons of construction aggregate is unloaded each year. Equipped with high speed conveyors, sand, gravel and other construction aggregate shipped from Vancouver quarries on Panamax freighters are unloaded at 5,000 tons per hour. After unloading, the aggregate is sent via truck to rail at the Richmond terminal, which interchanges with Union Pacific and BNSF Railways, and sent to cities and towns across the country.

With Brian Rodinsky, Terminal Operations Manager, Eagle Rock Aggregates

05 Oakland Tribune Tower is FULL!

THIS TOUR IS FULL! Please see other tours

John Law will open up the Oakland Tribune clock tower and give a tour for visitors. The Oakland Tribune Tower is almost 90 years old and remains a remarkable piece of architecture, singular in its typology for the Bay Area. The neon sign and clock face is maintained by Law.

With John Law, Central Services

06 Surveillance History Walk

THIS TOUR IS FULL! Please see other tours

DEMILIT will lead participants on a ludic walk near the main Oakland Police complex of Jack London Square, bisected by the I880. The walk will explore the architectural scale of policing presence in Oakland through multiple strategies. Participants can bring their own own cameras, sound recording devices, sketchpads and other devices for psychogeographic exploration.

07 OruKayak-ing

THIS TOUR IS FULL! Please see other tours

OruKayak demonstration and test kayaking in the Bay. While the bike bridge from East Bay to SF remains incomplete, OruKayak is part of a larger trend in integrating alternative transport modes in the Bay Area, utilizing collapsible structures and capitalizing on the area's vast network of waterways.

With Anton Willis from OruKayak