Lime Ridge

Most people speed past Lime Ridge driving between Walnut Creek and Concord, California. This guide will give you a deeper, inside look at the place--its history, its plants and animals, and the fun you can have exploring its woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral. Sponsored by Save Mount Diablo & Thomas J. Long Foundation, 2012. Featuring Seth Adams, Heath Bartosh, Scott Hein, and Lesley Hunt. Music from Banks of the River by Phil Heywood.

Who’s leading this expedition and what will we see?
Music: “Backtracking.” Speakers: Seth Adams, Heath Bartosh. Photos: lime mining, from quarriesandbeyond.org/states/ca/quarry_photo/ca-contra_costa_photos.html
Learn about an alternative staging area and a successful restoration project in Lime Ridge North.
Speakers: Lesley Hunt, Seth Adams. Photos: of Lesley, David Ogden; great egret, Brad Heckman; oak seedling, David Ogden; bulldozer, Lesley Hunt; "Oct 2008" barren pond, Brad Heckman; willow planting, Brad Heckman; trail on dam, Brad Heckman; Pacific tree frog, Lesley Hunt; Lesley and pearly everlasting, David Ogden; rattlesnake, Brian Murphy.

Imagine Lime Ridge at the beginning of the 20th century . . .
Music: “Country Blues Picnic," Phil Heywood. Speakers: Seth Adams. Topics: lime mining, Cowell cement, Lime Ridge Open Space history. Photos: lime mining, courtesy Save Mount Diablo; Cowell Cement Plant illustrations courtesy of Cowell Historical Society, cowellhistoricalsociety.org/html/cement.html; “Concord Approves Lime Ridge Bond,” from Oakland Tribune

Explore a leafy, hidden drainage that will take you toward the peak of Lime Ridge.
Music: “Slippery Slope,” Phil Heywood. Topics: hidden drainage, coast live oaks, California buckeye, hoptree, poison oak, purple needlegrass, Datura
Speakers: Seth Adams, Heath Bartosh.


One of Mount Diablo’s rare plants thrives on edges.
Speaker: Heath Bartosh

A panoramic view of progress made by local conservationists over the past three decades.
Music: “Back in Big Horizons,” Phil Heywood. Sounds: meadowlarks. Topics: View on east side, development battles in late 20th century
Speaker: Seth Adams.

A carpenter finds two phlox species on Lime Ridge that were previously unknown to scientists.
Speaker: Seth Adams


In a few years, the rusty old fence and communications towers will be gone, and you’ll enjoy unobstructed views of everything from the peak of Mount Diablo to the Delta and beyond.
Music: “Lazy Eights,” Phil Heywood. Sound: wrentit. Topics: cell phone towers, views. Speaker: Seth Adams.

Where the wild things are, including hummingbirds, whipsnakes, and a plant called chamise. 
Music: “So Long John,” Phil Heywood. Sounds: wrentit, orange-crowned warbler, blue-gray gnatcatcher. Topics: types of chaparral, fire pros and cons, diversity in chaparral and on chaparral edges, seasons of chamise, island conservation, blue-gray gnatcatcher, how hummingbirds defend territory. Speakers: Seth Adams, Scott Hein. Photos: Anna’s hummingbird, Alan Vernon, Wikipedia Commons.

How a colorful reptile helps lower the incidence of Lyme disease.
Speakers: Scott Hein, Seth Adams. Photo: Ticks, Brad Norman (ARS Consulting).

Just beyond Lime Ridge Open Space there’s an unusual plant community called desert olive scrub--but mostly mile after mile of grass. Learn who manages this these lands and how they provide an essential connection to Mount Diablo State Park. 
Music: “Great Gray Water,” Phil Heywood. Speakers: Seth Adams, Scott Hein. Sound: meadowlark. Topics: Mangini Ranch, desert olive scrub, western whiptail, sagebrush lizard, Ginochio Ranch, grazing, fiddlenecks, meadowlarks. Photos: desert olive, David Ogden; Mangini monument, Sherry McCreedy.

Are you a patient person? That’s what it takes to get a glimpse (or a whiff) of botanist Heath Bartosh’s favorite Lime Ridge plant.
Speaker: Heath Bartosh. Photos: Heath Bartosh. 

As we wind down the hillside towards the staging areas, you’ll learn about the ridge’s wildlife, including badgers and turkeys.
Music: “Country Blues Picnic,” Phil Heywood. Sound: turkey. Topics: landscape rearranged by mining; badgers, turkeys. Speakers: Seth Adams, Scott Hein. Photos: badger, Gary Stolz (USFWS). 

Finally, nod to a new generation of oaks, look for red-winged blackbirds and white-tailed kites. Also, ponder the meaning of this place.
Music: “Backtracking,” Phil Heywood. Sound: red-winged blackbirds. Topics: oak restoration, white-tailed kites, red-winged blackbirds. Speakers: Lesley Hunt, Seth Adams. Photos: oak restoration, David Ogden; white-tailed kite close-ups, Joe Oliver; Lime Ridge aerial, Bob Walker, courtesy Oakland Museum.
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