East Bay Regional Park District

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East Bay Regional Park District
East Bay Regional Park District insignia.jpg
Type Special district
Location East Bay in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, United States
Area 112,000 acres (45,000 ha)

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a special district operating in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, California, within the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. It maintains and operates a system of regional parks which is the largest urban regional park district in the United States. The administrative office is located in Oakland.

As of 2012, EBRPD spans more than 112,000 acres[1] with 65 parks and over 1,200 miles (1,900 km) of trails. Some of these parks are wilderness areas; others include a variety of visitor attractions, with opportunities for swimming, boating and camping. The 1,100 miles (1,770 km) of trails are frequently used for biking, hiking, and horse riding. Nearly 150 miles (241 km) of paved trails through urban areas link the parks together. In 2013, EBRPD began acquiring Roddy Ranch a 1900 - acre additional tract in east Contra Costa County. The new acquisition will create a nearly continuous offer zone of undeveloped land in eastern Contra Costa County from Black Diamond Mines Regional Park to Marsh Creek State Park.[2]

History[edit]

The EBRPD was founded in 1934,[3] and acquired its first land two years later, when the East Bay Municipal Utility District sold 2,166 acres (877 ha) of its surplus land. The founders of the district included Robert Sibley, a hiking enthusiast, Hollis Thompson, then Berkeley City Manager, and Charles Lee Tilden, among others.[4][dead link] William Penn Mott, Jr. served as director of the agency from 1962 to 1967, and oversaw a doubling of the system's acreage from 10,500 to 22,000.[5]

In June 2013, EBRPD purchased a 1,900 acres (770 ha) tract of land formerly known as Roddy Ranch in east Contra Costa County. The tract lies south of Antioch and west of Brentwood.The cost was reported as $14.24 million. Funding will also be provided by California Wildlife Conservation Board and an unidentified private foundation. The acquisition does not include Roddy Ranch Golf Club or about 240 acres of privately owned land inside the project boundary. The East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy will install gates, fencing and signs around the tract in the coming year, while the sale is in escrow. The new area will likely be named Deer Valley Regional Park.[2]

Notable parks[edit]

The parks administered by the EBRPD vary greatly in size and character. Particularly notable are the string of parks along the Berkeley Hills above and east of both Berkeley and Oakland, including Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, Tilden Regional Park, Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, and Redwood Regional Park.

There are also bay shore parks such as the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline north of Richmond, the Coyote Hills Regional Park near Fremont, the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline on San Leandro Bay, and the Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline south of the Oakland International Airport.

The district also includes a former farm, a former coal mine, an extinct volcano,[6] and one of the biggest dog-walking parks in the country. Redwood Regional Park contains the largest remaining natural stand of coast redwood in the East Bay.

District parks[edit]

District Trails[edit]

Future expansion[edit]

Roddy Ranch parcel[edit]

In 2013, EBRPD began acquiring Roddy Ranch a 1900 - acre additional tract in east Contra Costa County. The new acquisition will create a nearly continuous offer zone of undeveloped land in eastern Contra Costa County from Black Diamond Mines Regional Park to Marsh Creek State Park.[2]

Dainty Ranch Parcel[edit]

On December 4, 2013, EBRPD announced that it had agreed to pay $5.4 million for a 960 acres (3.9 km2) tract of grazing land. It is southwest of the Roddy Ranch parcel already approved for purchase by EBRPD. The two tracts will be combined and form the core of a future Deer Valley Regional Park near Antioch and Brentwood, California. The park will provide hiking and other low-key public recreation, and protect habitat for the California red-legged frog and other rare species. Park officials hope to complete the purchase by July 2014, contingent on obtaining state and federal funding. Officials have not determined when the proposed park can open.[7]

Dainty Ranch was acquired in 1872 by James Ball Dainty, a rancher and coal miner. It has recently been owned by a trust for Anna Mae Diffin Smith.[7]

Mollar Ranch parcel[edit]

Antioch Unified School District agreed to sell a 192 acre tract known as Mollar Ranch to EBRPD. The tract adjoins the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve on Somerville Road in Antioch, California. EBRPD plans to use the property to create a northern entrance to the preserve. The price agreed upon is $305,000. Funding is expected to come from the California Wildlife Protection Act and East Bay Regional Parks Measure WW funds.[8]

Wildcat Canyon addition[edit]

EBRPD announced on February 17, 2014 that it had acquired 362 acres (146 ha) of woodland on the east side of Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, which will be added to the existing park. The property is hilly with a mixture of laurels, oaks and native grasses. Fauna include mountain lions, coyotes, deer and hawks. The property had been owned by a developer who had intended to build 36 houses on it, before the recent collapse of real estate prices.[9]

Public safety and support[edit]

The district maintains a police department[10] and a fire department.[11]

The work of the EBRPD is supported by a voluntary body, the Regional Parks Foundation, which raises funds for the improvement of the parks. The EBRPD is a member of the Bay Area Open Space Council.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile". East Bay Regional Park District. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  2. ^ a b c Burgarino, Paul. East County Times. "Ranch's future at last secure." June 20, 2013.
  3. ^ "History". East Bay Regional Park District. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  4. ^ Glen Martin (August 15, 2004). "A hard-bought swath of green Nature lovers' living legacy: Nation's largest urban park district always short of cash". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  5. ^ William Penn Mott, Jr. biography, California State Parks Foundation
  6. ^ http://voices.yahoo.com/a-volcano-oakland-visit-robert-sibley-volcanic-484540.html
  7. ^ a b Cuff, Dennis. [Contra Costa Times. "965 acres being bought for new regional park near Antioch." December 4, 2013.] Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  8. ^ "Park district to expand regional preserve." the press.net. January 23, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  9. ^ Jones, Carolyn. San Francisco Chronicle. "Big Tract of pristine acreage being added to East Bay hills parklands." February 17, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  10. ^ http://www.ebparks.org/about/police
  11. ^ http://www.ebparks.org/about/fire
  12. ^ http://www.openspacecouncil.org/community/roster.php

External links[edit]