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S E C T I O N 2 Outdoors Walk on the wild side Edgewood walks are window to California’s native wildflower past Photos by Kathy Korbholz Above: Despite its relatively small size as a protected wilderness area, Edgewood offers a surprising amount of biodiversity. Bottom: Silver bush lupine at Edgewood park By Kathy Korbholz Friends of Edgewood T hroughout the Bay Area, Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve, located near Interstate 280 and Edgewood Road in Redwood City, is famous for its spectacular spring wildflower displays. Edgewood contains an unusual and harmonious concentration of ecological zones. Its most important feature is its 160 acres of serpentine soils. Low in calcium and nitrogen, but high in magnesium and heavy metals, serpentinite is toxic to most plants. Over millennia, however, certain plants and animals have adapted to it. Because most species brought in with European settlement cannot live in serpentine soil, such areas form natural preserves of native plants and the animals that depend on them. Any time of year, Edgewood can show how See page 27 Spot an endangered checkerspot T he Bay checkerspot butterflies are back at Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve this year. This insect species, included on the federal endangered species list, is found on the Peninsula†nowhere else but at Edgewood. A scientific restoration program has been underway since 2007 to bring the population back to a self-sustaining level. The severe drought conditions this year threatened to cancel any efforts to bring additional caterpillars to Edgewood from their home south of San Jose, where there is a large and stable population. However, conditions suddenly changed and caterpillars were recently translocated. That means if the weather continues to cooperate, they should pupate into lovely butterflies and take flight. On March 29, chief scientist Dr. Stuart Weiss will lead a lucky few individuals on a walk through the restricted butterfly habitat at Edgewood. This is a special opportunity to see this rare and Photo by Michelle Le Bay checkerspot butterfly is on the federal endangered species list. beautiful insect, and learn about its plight and future from the man who is leading the efforts to save it from local extinction. The three-hour walk starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 29, in Redwood City. Space is limited, and you must pre-register to attend. Go to and click the Events menu to register and learn further details. By Kathy Korbholz, Friends of Edgewood. A March 19, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN25

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