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Albany Bulb: Wikis


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Coordinates: 37°53′24″N 122°19′29″W / 37.89°N 122.32472°W / 37.89; -122.32472

The Albany Bulb (also simply known as The Bulb) is a landfill owned by the City of Albany, in California. It sits on a small strip of wetland, and extends into the northeast San Francisco Bay.

The Bulb originally consisted of construction debris such as concrete and rebar, but has since become a natural extension of the Albany Waterfront's wetland habitat. The City of Albany is currently in negotiations with the East Bay Regional Park District to turn The Bulb into a regional park.



The Bulb was created in 1963, after the City of Albany and Santa Fe, which owned the land, signed a contract for the disposal of construction debris. Lawsuits against the landfill operator brought the dumping to a halt in 1987. Following the lawsuit, the shoreline associated with The Bulb became part of The Eastshore State Park, while the City of Albany maintained ownership of The Bulb itself.[1] Today, 99% of The Bulb is owned by the City of Albany, the other 1% being owned by East Bay Regional Park District.


The Albany Bulb sits between The Eastshore State Park, and the east San Francisco Bay. Directly south east of The Bulb sits Golden Gate Fields, the only commercial race track in the Bay Area. The city of Albany lies directly to the east. The Bulb, like the Eastshore State Park, is an estuarial habitat. It houses geese, ducks, and various birds, as well as reptile populations, and small mammals such as rats, mice, and rabbits. The Albany Waterfront Coalition, a group focused on the conservation of The Bulb, has stated that The Bulb is a Burrowing Owl habitat, but no official sightings have been made. Vegetation on The Bulb is typical of wetland ecosystems, but notably includes naturalized palm trees and blackberry bushes native to the East Bay Area.

Notable Features

Because the Bulb is geographically unorganized and seldom patrolled by the Albany Police Department, it is often described as Anarchical. Many interest groups have "claimed" The Bulb, including urban artists, local homeless, dog-walkers, teenagers, and environmentalists.



The Bulb is home a vast array of urban art including mural, stencil, graffiti, sculpture, and installation art. Sniff, a group of artists composed of Scott Hewitt, Scott Meadows and David Ryan has notably worked on the Bulb, painting large driftwood murals, as well as erecting sculptures on the north west corner of The Bulb, colloquially referred to as "Sniff." Another Bulb landmark, referred to as "The Castle," is a large concrete, rebar and plaster shelter which sits on the south west corner of the Bulb, directly opposite the Golden Gate Bridge.

Dog Walking

The Bulb is a common recreational destination for East Bay dog owners. The Bulb's long, natural meander provides healthy exercise, while its location next to the Albany Waterfront is ideal for dog owners who enjoy beaches. Environmentalists have raised significant controversy over the destruction of The Bulb's habitat due to dog walking, but as of yet, there are no restrictions on dog walking on The Bulb.


The Bulb is home to a small, makeshift library, assembled by a homeless man who calls himself Jimbow the Hobow. The library, which Jimbow refers to as "The Landfillian Library," comprises, on average, 300 volumes in various conditions, donated by its patrons. The books are free to take and to keep.


Within The Bulb there exists a scattered shanty town and a small homeless population. The City of Albany has made several attempts to relocate the homeless, but due to litigation, as well as the persistence of the population, it has of yet been unsuccessful.


In 2006, Golden Gate Fields hired an independent contractor to plan a large commercial shopping area next to the Eastshore State Park. After extensive civilian protest, notably lead by former Albany mayor Robert Cheasty, the plans were discarded. However, Golden Gate Fields has continued to express interest in developing next to the Eastshore State Park, and its future is uncertain.


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