In 1968, the City of Mountain View undertook the daunting task of planning a regional park that would provide citizens with environmentally savvy recreation opportunities, and become a true respite in the region now known as Silicon Valley. The real challenge? To do it with 544 acres of junkyard, hog farm, two substandard dumps, low lying flood plains, and a sewage treatment plant! It was not until 1983, some fifteen years later, that the City’s plan came to fruition in the beautiful Shoreline Regional Park we now know.
That fifteen years of effort included raising the land fifteen feet to mitigate flooding. To accomplish this feat, the City imported approximately 2,400 tons of fill per day for thirteen years. San Francisco, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, and Daly City all contributed landfill. Income from this waste project helped pay for the design and development of the park.
In 1974, PG&E and the City of Mountain View with the Environmental Protection Agency began to research the feasibility of methane recovery at Shoreline. In 1978, the methane recovery system began producing some 600,000 cubic feet of raw gas from a twenty acre parcel per day. The gas was scrubbed and injected into a high pressure gas main for delivery to the City. The revenue generated supported the maintenance and operation of the Park. No longer economically viable, the gas production project ceased in 1993. With the 2001 energy crisis, a new project was started that utilized the gas to power two microturbines that can each yield about 70 kilowatts.
The centerpiece of the Park, Shoreline Lake is a man-made, 50 acre, salt water lake filled by waters pumped in from the San Francisco Bay that circulate back out into Permanente Creek. Water technicians regularly monitor the Lake to maintain consistent water quality. Predictable summer breezes and the snug, enclosed nature of the Lake make it ideal for learning to sail or windsurf. Mornings receive light winds — perfect for the beginner. In the afternoon, winds up to 25 mph blow across small wavelets and the local experts come out to play. Twenty-five feet deep at its deepest point, the Lake is considerably warmer than the Bay — in the 50’s during winter and 70’s come summer.
Just outside the Park is Shoreline Amphitheatre, Silicon Valley’s foremost concert venue. Some of the country’s biggest stars perform in this unique location that seats 20,000. The box office number is 650-967-4040.