Parks Recreation & Waterfront
Parks Recreation & Waterfront

Marina Topic Listing

Berkeley Marina - The Marina's 52 acres of water and 1100 berths can accommodate vessels 16 feet to 110 feet in length. Surge and rough water are eliminated by an entrance breakwater. Berths include dock boxes, water hook ups, electrical outlets, night lighting, locked gates, restrooms with showers, and parking . On the north end of the harbor there is a full service boat yard with an on the water fuel dock, a four lane boat launch ramp and an area for trailered boat storage . On the south side of the Marina there are 3 restaurants, and a small boat hoist. Also on the south side of the Marina are Adventure Playground and Shorebird Nature Center.  [more...]

Marina Facility Map - Berkeley Marina facility map and information. [more...]

Adventure Playground -   [more...]

          Shorebird Park/Strawbale Nature Center information     - Strawbale Visitor and Nature Center                         To get back into the Marina Experience web pages click here

Open to the public -Tuesday -Saturday  9-5
9-1:00 Tues- Fri -Classroom programs may keep us in the other building so if you call first, we can be sure to help you.

The City of Berkeley’s Shorebird Park Nature Center is the first municipal strawbale building in the United States. It has a solar hot water radiant system to provide heating year-round in the cool marina climate, and a solar photovoltaic electrical system to power the aquariums, computers, lighting and other equipment.   Our  Straw Bale building  is  the Nature/Visitors Center and Office. Here you'll find  a 50 gallon salt tank, a 30 gallon fresh water tank and displays on Marine mammals and birds.The building itself is a display on green building.  The Visitors' Center provides information to visitors concerning all areas of recreation and marine conservation and education.  We do group tours which include watching a video on the process of building this building.
Our  phone number is 510- 981-6720,and  the  fax is 510 981-6725
 Schools and/ or teachers who would like more information should contact the center's program coordinator Patty Donald.  This is also the office for the Adventure Playground, and we do the Shoreline cleanups year round. We  need volunteers for our Bay Interpretive training program to help with our education programs during the school year. [more...]

Shoreline Clean Ups &  Adopt a beach programs - Thank-you for your interest in helping the planets oceans.
Individual's, families and groups are welcome to join us each month on the third Saturday for small clean-ups that meet here at the Shorebird Park Nature Center. Clean-ups begin at 9 and go until 11:30. Please PRE-REGISTER  so we can email you additional information and waivers for children if necessary. Let us know who many are in your group and ability range, so we can pick the right location for you. WE NEED YOU ! All this rain has flushed our streets clean and has made our shores filthy. [more...]

Berkeley Marina Lien Sales - Information regarding lien sales held at the marina [more...]

CESAR CHAVEZ PARK WORK ALERT - click links below for more information [more...]

Berkeley Marina Experience Programs -


 Berkeley Marina Directions
 Additional Map 

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The City of Berkeley Marina Experience and Adventure Playground Programs  delight over 80,000 adults and children each year.

Children of all ages can come to play in the Adventure Playground. Come visit the Shorebird Park Nature Center. Our Strawbale building  shows how beautiful "Green materials" can be for your home and how good they are for the environment. Inside we have a Bay Aquarium, a fresh water tank, fish, birds, and exhibits. The new Classroom area is used to teach docents, teachers, and school children about the ecology of their estuary, watershed, and the Bay.

 Volunteers are encouraged to:
 * "Adopt a beach" and join our shoreline clean-ups the third Sat of each month.
*Help in the Adventure Playground passing out tools and paint and making it safe. If you have a skill in wood working, enjoy making toys or just offering to assist young carpenters, please come.

* Help us maintain our new native plant garden. We need help weeding and watering. 

* Help us teach our education programs. We provide a Volunteer Bay Interpretive Training Program for interested adults to help provide teachers and students with high quality environmental education programs. Gain skills in teaching outdoor environmental education.  Brochure available here 

Please go to the sub-pages of these sites below for more information. Please feel free to contact us at 981-6720 or email at  


What's New?  

Summer program registration for most programs are full. There are still spaces left in the canoeing program. Learn the parts of the canoe, Paddling strokes, play keep away and learn self rescue and canoe over canoe rescue. Must be 9 years and older.

Check this website Link after March 12 for more information about what is still available.  You must come in person to register. Cash and check only.

 Descriptions of each program are found on this brochure that you can down load.2106 Summer brochure

 Jobs at adventure playground! .-We are  looking for subs and staff for weekdays and weekends during the summer. Apply NOW! Closing May 6th.

Adventure Playground Recreation Leader Part-time  $12.17- $26.24/hour (depending on experience). Application and Questionnaire Do you love working outdoors with kids? Like to build, paint and get really dirty? Come work at the Adventure Playground.

The Adventure Playground is a one-of-a-kind facility where staff encourage children to play and build creatively using tools and donated materials. We are looking for hard working people who enjoy helping children to use their imaginations to play and create projects using a variety of tools and techniques in a safe, resourceful and creative way. We are looking for people with sharp eyes, a willingness to take initiative, positive communication skills, and a great attitude.

Qualifications: Must be at least 17 years of age. Must have at least two years of progressively responsible experience in recreation, education, child development or related field. One year of college education can be substituted for one year of work experience

School Year Programs

 Teachers, The lottery for the school year 2015-2016  is closed now. Next year  You can download the lottery form information from this site . We offer programs November-June. Join us for what has been called the "Best field trip ever!":  birds, fish, bay scientist, low tide, marine mammals, and sailing programs. Teachers rarely share information about these high quality trips so they don't have any competition! Hands on emersion. 2-5 ratio.If you prefer the form to be mailed to you, contact us to be put  on our mailing list. You can also subscribe to this website for an alert when it is available.   

Shorebird Nature Center &  Classroom

Shorebird Nature Center 
Open to visitors Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Unless we are teaching in the classroom on Wed- Friday 9-1, then we are open 1-5 p.m.
 If you would like to visit these unique buildings, you may take a self guided tour. 

Here is an informational brochure about the Shorebird Park classroom which is a green portable. The 200 gallon tanks have Native Bay and lake fish and invertebrates. The microscope lab offers an inside look at Bay invertebrates and plankton for classes, teachers and students who participate in our programs.

 STRAW BALE BUILDING.Inside our Straw bale building, we have a small Bay aquarium, a  tropical fresh water tank, a fish and bird exhibit and exhibits about how trash is affecting the wildlife in and around the Bay and ocean.  This environmentally sensitive building is our  office and visitors center. Check this link for information and pictures. The full photo documentary and green items are available to see inside the  building, or see our new Wind turbine generator working outside.
For a guided  tour of our straw bale building and the "green" components and to see the DVD of how it was made, Please call 510 981-6720, let us know how we can design the talk to meet your needs.$62. for an hour program and tour.


Shoreline Clean-ups

The third Saturday of each month we offer a Shoreline Clean-up. Call first, 510 981-6720 to let us know how many are in your party. We will send you information on how to prep your group.
 We meet at the Nature Center 160 University Ave. Berkeley Marina. between 9 &10 a.m.  We will provide you or your group with a viewing of our plastics education presentation and have a brief discussion about plastic impact on the environment. This will meet your group's service learning project requirements. We will also have you sign a waiver, give you a safety talk and lead you to the clean-up site. We encourage you to bring your own bags and reusable buckets, but if you don't have them we can supply bags and gloves. Bring your own personal non-disposable water bottle.  The third Saturday of each month all of us (animals) need your help!  April 23, will be the Earth day clean-up. Email us to register at

 The next International clean-up event will be Sept 17th, 2016. It is the largest research project in the world. The data collected will help change the law about marine dumping. 80% of the debris we clean-up comes from off our streets. We need you and your groups to help pick it up. Plastic is impacting the oceans globally. Learn how you can help the marine mammals, birds and turtles who are affected by this. Come help us with this international event. For more info see the web site here! 


BayInterpretive training program

   Volunteer Bay Interpretive Training Program Continuous- sign up anytime. Click on this link to find answers to the most asked questions, see the program description for the 2015 -2016 trainings, and download an application. We instruct you on how to help us as we teach the classes. Or you can specialize and help with the burrowing owls. Your minimum commitment is 14 hrs a month- including the trainings.Call 510-981-6720 for information or to have a form and brochure mailed to you.


Adventure Playground

 Adventure Playground - Closed weekdays. Closed when raining.  

The playground is open 11-5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays .

 Drop off's must be picked up by 4:30pm. 
 Adults have fun too! Please leave your cell phone( and work) in your pocket and come and play with your child. Your job is to encourage, be a gofer and make safety suggestions if they forget. Please help with safety on the zipline by going over the rules with your child. Ask for help if they want to land with style.

 Groups of 5 or more need to make reservations at least a month in advance. Weekend dates available. Come join the fun!

Weekday group reservations ( 10+ children) available now if we have staff available on the date you choose. There are no more 10-12pm reservations slots left in May.

Want to drop your child and his friend off? Fill out the registration form for children 7 yrs and older who "drop in" the Adventure Playground for three hours only without a parent- For $10.00. Pick up is at 4:30p.m. Have their parents fill out the form and sign the waiver which you need to bring when you come- No waiver, no drop off. If you signed one in the school year, we require a new one filled every summer. "Playment" cards are available in the Nature Center Tues.- Sat. for drop-ins for 5 visits each card. Helpful for  Sundays when the Nature Center is closed. 


Who We Are

The Marina Experience Programs are under the City of Berkeley's' Recreation Division of the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department. The programs are run by Patty Donald, Coordinator,  and  Sharon Peterson, Assistant Coordinator, Naturalist/ RAL Loren Rasmussen 
Patty Donald, Naturalist Coordinator and creator of these programs was awarded the 2008 Jefferson Award and the Coastal Hero Award in 2009. 
Sharon Peterson is our new Assistant Coordinator, coming to us with wonderful experience from the City of San Ramon, E.B. R. P. D. and more! . Stop by and say Hi!.   

*(pdf) This is a pdf format, if you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, please download from City's download site. If you are unable to access this information online, please participate by contacting us via email, telephone (510) 981-5150, or TDD (510) 981-6903.) [more...]

Bay Interpretive Training Program- BayITVolunteer training for the Education Programs  - On this page you will find information regarding adult volunteer training for education programs that  teach students 5yrs - and up.
Docent Training Program (Bay IT)
The Bay Interpretive Training Docent program (Bay IT) trains volunteers to help lead educational programs for children and adults at the Berkeley Marina.Training are ongoing with a new program each month. A formal, fun, hands-on training  and teaching experience for docents  happens October through August.  We train for a program, teach that program to kids, then train for the next  program. 
If you are interested, please fill out the application and send it in. Docents are now required to have a current T.B. test and be fingerprinted. We will pay for the fingerprinting and give you paperwork when you sign up. So don't wait! Start the process! Working with us will be really fun and educational!docent sail training
Bay Interpretive training applications can be downloaded here: 
Feel free to email us at

Most asked questions:

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Parks Recreation & Waterfront, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-6700
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903