In early June, Napa Climate NOW! hosted the “The Road to 350,” a 3-day bicycle extravaganza to
build awareness about climate change, identify the many positive steps that are being taken up and
down the valley, highlight the joy of alternative mobility options like biking, and raise funds for climate
work. The event consisted of 3 days of 50-mile or 50-kilometer rides – a nod to the critical number of
350 parts per million, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere above which life as we know it is
severely threatened. Here you can read about all the Napa climate points of interest that they visited.

June 4 Tour De Napa Climate Points of Interest

The Napa River – The launching spot for our ride is Kennedy Park, built in the historic flood plain of the Napa River, which runs from Mt. St. Helena to San Pablo Bay, draining a watershed of about 426 square miles. This tidal river has historically been prone to seasonal flooding during wet winter months, particularly when heavy rainfall runoff and high tides coincide. Projected sea level rise from climate change would have made this even worse.  Fortunately, the Napa River-Napa Creek Flood Protection Project, supported by federal and matching local funds, and backed by a strong local community coalition, applied “living river” principles to protect a 6-mile stretch of the Napa River running through Napa town, and has been quite effective.  It is a great example of Climate Resilience in action.

To see an interactive map on the effects of sea level rise throughout the Bay Area and the US, visit this NOAA site:

The Vine Trail – We’ll begin our ride on the Vine Trial, an ambitious project alternative mobility and recreation project being championed by The Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition, a grass-roots nonprofit.  According to the website, the Coalition’s vision is “to build a walking/biking trail system to connect the entire Napa Valley–physically, artistically, and culturally. We are working to design, fund, construct, and maintain 47 safe and scenic miles of level, paved, family-friendly, pet-friendly, free-access Class I trail, stretching from the Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga.”

To become a member of the Coalition, make a donation, or learn more, visit

NVC Solar Array– As we ride north from Kennedy Park, we’ll soon pass the 1.2 Megawatt solar farm at Napa Valley College, installed in 2006.  The 5,565 solar panels cover a PV surface area of about 150,000 sq. ft., and utilize a solar tracking system mounted on pedestals and raised to leverage an untapped asset—a floodplain that is otherwise unusable. The generated electricity provides enough power to run the campus through the daylight hours (40% of its total energy load) – equivalent to the power needed to run 1,000-1,200 homes. The project has allowed the college to redirect several hundred thousands of dollars per year from utility bills to classrooms.

For an up-to-date summary of the cost of solar panels, the rate of payback, and cost per watt, check out this informative website:

If you are planning to install panels on your home, note that 350 Bay Area has partnered with Earthwise Energy to give 350 Bay Area members exclusive solar savings.  Napa Climate NOW! is a 350 Bay Area group.

Silverado neighborhood (50 mile riders only) – we will be riding through the Silverado neighborhood, which lost 134 homes during the 2017 Atlas Peak fire. The ferocity of that wildfire, and the damage it wreaked, are indicative of the dangers in store for the Napa Valley as global warming continues unabated, and as the region and state experience deepening and prolonged droughts.  The Silverado neighborhood has since become a Napa Firewise Community.

To learn more about what it takes to become a Napa Firewise Community, visit

Train Track and Rail Arts District – The train track was originally built in 1864 to connect Calistoga to the ferry in Vallejo, and later connected to Benicia and Suisun.  For 58 years, the track was utilized by Southern Pacific as a freight branch line, from the mid 1930s until 1987, at which time the railroad petitioned for abandonment. Since then, the track, owned by Napa Valley Railroad, has been exclusively used by the Napa Valley Wine Train, a private excursion train primarily servicing tourists to Napa Valley, running from Napa to St. Helena. A July 2003 study examined the feasibility of acquiring right of way between St. Helena and Calistoga, adding commuter service on the route. This study included consideration for connecting with other mass transit services beyond the Napa Valley and increasing freight service. It is time to revisit the conclusion of this study and others, in light of the need to reduce the use of single occupancy vehicles and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Napa Valley Wine Train has partnered with Napa Valley Vine Trail and Local Arts Community to create the Rail Arts District (RAD) Napa.  This project supports artists installations along the cross town commuter path section of the Napa Valley Vine Trail. Learn more about the Rail Arts District at

Domaine Carneros – Since its founding in 1987, Domaine Carneros has made sustainability a priority. Founding winemaker and CEO emeritus Eileen Crane has made sure that the winery lives as lightly on the land as possible while producing top quality grapes and wine. Indeed, she believes that growing grapes and making wine sustainably actually makes better wine. She has led the winery to be on the cutting edge of numerous green, renewable, and climate-sensitive programs.

In recognition of these efforts, Crane and Domaine Carneros were named as the Napa Climate NOW! 2020 Climate Champion in the Business category.  Read more at

Huichica Creek Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Vineyard – This demonstration farm is a project of the Napa Resource Conservation District (RCD).  The RCD purchased the 20-acre property in 1991 with proceeds from the State Coastal Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Board with the goal of demonstrating a practical, economically viable agricultural system that can co-exist with, and become part of, a sustainable natural system.  According to the RCD website, “An important goal of the farm is to demonstrate sustainable farming practices including the promotion of proper soil health, carbon farming, erosion control, water conservation, and irrigation scheduling. The vineyard includes multiple cover cropping systems, vegetated avenues, large compost applications, a small biochar experiment, hedgerows, and multistory cropping (with apple trees). As one of the field trial and demonstration sites for the North Coast Soil Health Hub, RCD staff will conduct soil sampling to measure carbon content, perform Soil Health Assessments, and continue implementing the property’s Carbon Farm Plan.”

We’ll be stopping for water and snacks, and hearing more about this exciting project from Miguel Garcia; Sustainable Agriculture Program Manager for the RCD, and Ruby Stahel, RCD Conservation Project Manager.   Learn more at

June 5, 2021 Napa to American Canyon and Mare Island Climate Ride Climate Points of Intere

Napa Valley Vine Trail  — 47-mile walking & biking trail system from the Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga.  We’ll ride on a 7-mile stretch from Napa to Yountville.  The Vine Trail has been planted with over 300 new trees.

Napa District Office for Congressman Mike Thompson, 2721 Napa Valley Corporate Dr, Napa  —  Serving as Napa County’s Congressman since 1998, Thompson is a member of the Congressional Bike Caucus.  He said “Climate change is the gravest threat we face today.”  In 2019 he signed on as an original cosponsor of the Green New Deal.

Napa Sanitation  District’s Wastewater Treatment Plant  —  Provides recycled water for vineyard and landscape irrigation, uses solar panels and an anaerobic digester to provide renewable energy for plant operations.

NRWS Composting Facility, Devlin & Tower Road  — Composts food scraps and green waste using a Covered Aerative Static Pile (CASP) system.  Food scraps make up 26% of wat households throw away.  Composting keeps food scraps out of landfills and methane (formed when food rots in anaerobic conditions) out of the atmosphere.

Wetlands Edge Park, American Canyon  — Contains an old landfill.  In the 1990’s American Canyon was able to buy 460 acres that include wetlands and the Clark Ranch property.  This has been restored and is now a part of over 2,000 acres of open space along the Napa River.

American City Corporation Yard, Wetlands Edge & American Canyon Road  —  The city will be moving out of this property and turning it over to the American Canyon Community & Parks Foundation.  ACCPF will develop a Wetlands Ecology Center to house their many programs focused on conservation and environmental science.

San Francisco Bay Trail, from Hwy 29 to Sacramento St. along White Slough  —  A planned 500-mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay.  There are currently over 350 miles in place.  White Slough is an example of the inexorable force of Nature. After several yearly levee breaches from the Napa River to the west, this formerly impounded area, slated for future development, was declared to be a natural part of the Bay and moved into the jurisdiction of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. A natural tidal action returned to these mudflats that now host hundreds of waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and gulls. Black Rail are known to breed here and it is suspected that the California Clapper Rail does so, as well. The Saltmarsh Common Yellowthroat also breeds here, as do Least Terns. All seasons have good birding potential.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard  —  Founded in 1854, this was the oldest Naval installation in the Pacific.  It officially closed in April, 1996.  Vast natural habitats and a summit of panoramic vistas span seven counties and create stellar views of Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. Diablo and the East Bay hills. Inlets and surrounding salt marshes protect rare plants and habitat. Shorelines, piers, wetlands, coastal chaparral and grasslands attract and support a wide diversity of wildlife.

Located within this historically endowed site is the Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) historic district, including munitions storage magazines, some of the oldest homes on Mare Island and the U. S. Navy’s oldest cemetery in the Pacific. The National Park Service recognized Mare Island’s exceptional value when it designated Mare Island as a National Historic Landmark for representing a century and half of both American military history and the maritime heritage of the United States.  Today the park’s purpose is simply the enjoyment of the public and protection of history and nature resources. 

We will hear about community efforts to preserve the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve from Myrna Hayes who has led this effort.

Location of proposed (but never approved!) Orcem Cement plant and Vallejo Marine Terminal  —  Joe Feller of the Solano Sierra Club will tell us about the community’s fight against this development due to noise and air pollution issues and the proposed use of the VMT to ship coal.

American Canyon High School  —  built in 2010 to meet a green building standard, the school has a 1 megawatt photovoltaic system, a ground-loop heat pump mechanical system, an energy efficient design, and uses reclaimed water for irrigation.

Site of proposed Rotten Robbie Gas Station, Broadway & Donaldson Way  —  This project will not go forward if American Canyon bans additional fuel station development. 

Green Island  —  Part of the Napa River Bay Trail.  The waters, wetlands and uplands you see along the Napa River Bay Trail are part of an interconnected watershed system that drains into the San Francisco Bay. Before the 1850’s, San Francisco Bay had edges with extensive, miles-wide tidal marshes. By the 1950’s, nearly 85% of these marshlands had been diked or filled. The low-lying flood plains found in American Canyon include mudflats, tidal and seasonal wetlands, former salt ponds, riparian corridors, and lands reclaimed for agriculture and development. These “baylands” provide habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, fish and wildlife species.

Community Park 1  (Lunch stop)  We will hear from City Councilmember Pierre Washington and Schools for Climate Action Co-Presidents, Emily Bit and Alisa Karesh about proposed fuel station ban during our lunch break.

June 6, 2021 Napa to St. Helena Climate Ride  —  Climate Points of Interest

Napa Valley Vine Trail  — 47-mile walking & biking trail system from the Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga.  We’ll ride on a 7-mile stretch from Napa to Yountville.  The Vine Trail has been planted with over 300 new trees.

Yountville Veterans Home  —  Trees have been planted here for 130 years and now 15 central acres, called The Alameda, are formalized as an arboretum with signage and a Tree Walk map.

Oakville to Oak Knoll Reach River Restoration Project  —  This 9 miles on Napa River is comprised of 70 different parcels.  Through a public-private partnership, the following restoration work is being done: river channel restoration and stabilization, site revegetation, and habitat enhancement.

Rutherford Hill Winery  —  Enrolled in new Napa Green Vineyard Certification which requires a carbon farm plan to increase carbon sequestration on the property.  Napa Green Vineyard has six core elements: Social Equity, Justice and Inclusion; Carbon Farm Plans & Regenerative Farming; Irrigation Assessments & Water Efficiency; Tree & Forest Preservation and Enhancement; Prohibited & Restricted Pesticides; Conservation Burning or Burning Alternatives. The Vineyard program evaluates the entire vineyard property, including Soil Organic Matter, water, energy and nutrient management and efficiency, on-property carbon footprint, and advancing stewardship of employees and the community.

Crane Park, St. Helena  —  Hear from Paul Asmuth about the St. Helena Redwood Forest and from St. Helena City Councilmember and Climate Action Committee rep Anna Chouteau about the city’s plans for climate actions.

Tres Sabores Vineyard and Winery  —  Hear from owner Julie Johnson about the regenerative farming practices on her property.  Tres Sabores is enrolled in the Napa Green Vineyard Certification program and is certified Organic.

Raymond Vineyards —  Raymond’s 90-acre estate vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena are certified organic and Biodynamic.  Their farming techniques use cover crops, the application of Biodynamic specific preparations and composts, and the maintenance of biodiversity within the estate vineyard property.  Sheep, goats and chickens now make their home on the property and provide some of the compost for the vineyards.  Raymond is enrolled in the Napa Green Vineyard certification program.

Wheeler Ranch Winery  —  Installed a membrane bioreactor to treat winery wastewater to a Title 22 standard (safe for non-potable use).  This water is then used for landscape and garden irrigation.  The winery is a Napa Green Winery and farms organically and biodynamically.

St. Helena Redwood Forest viewed from Zinfandel Road  —  The initial planting, done in 2012, on 1.5 acres of the St. Helena wastewater spray fields consists of approximately 450 trees.  This will be expanded to 10 acres of land and 3,000 trees.

Cliff Lede Vineyards  —  Uses compost and organic fertilizers, cover crops, no till, mechanical weed control to increase soil health and carbon sequestration.  The property also provides wildlife habitat on 50 acres of unplanted land and uses native plant insectaries to attract beneficial insects to assist in pest management.

Napa River Ecological Reserve  —  The 73-acre Reserve is the last sizable section of riparian forest in the Napa Valley.  Valley oaks can still be found in the diverse habitat within the Reserve.

Yountville Park  (Lunch Stop)–  One of the few town-owned properties with a grass lawn area.  We will hear from Town Mayor John Dunbar about the many actions Yountville has taken to reduce climate impacts including passing the first gas leaf-blower ban in Napa County.