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 120,000 acres (49,000 ha)
Created 1934
Website www.ebparks.org

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 2015, EBRPD spans 120,000 acres (49,000 ha)[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 trails are frequently used for non-motorized transportation such as biking, hiking, and horse riding. Nearly 150 miles (240 km) of paved trails (identified as Interpark Regional Trails) through urban areas link the parks together.

History[edit]

A destructive grass fire that broke out in Wildcat Canyon blew west into Berkeley on September 27, 1923, and burned down 640 structures (mostly) homes. The East Bay Water Company was harshly criticized for its failure to deliver enough water to successfully fight the fire. Much of the problem arose from having a system of small private water companies who obtained water either from their own wells or from runoff, then pumped the water to the water companies wells, Chabot and Temescal. A state law was passed that enabled citizens of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties to create a special district that could obtain water from the Mokelumne River and pump it directly to customers. The East Bay Municipal District (EBMUD) was formed and approved by the electorate.[2]

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] 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.[6]

In 2016, Vargas Plateau Regional Park in Fremont was the first park ever to have been shut down as the result of legal action in the more than 80-year history of EBRPD.[7] During 2014, EBRPD cut park hours on a temporary and interim basis to reduce public access to Mission Peak in Fremont, using a media strategy designed by political consultant George Manross.[1][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,[8][unreliable source?] 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]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Name changed from Martinez Regional Shoreline by EBRPD Board on December 6, 2016.

Interpark Regional Trails[edit]

Interpark Regional Trails connect various Regional Parks. Their routes may take them through other parks, along creeks and channels, or even down streets and sidewalks in urbanized areas. The list below does not include trails that exist inside single parks.


Planned expansions[edit]

Vargas Plateau Regional Park[edit]

Around 1995, EBRPD acquired 1,200 acres (490 ha) of the Vargas Plateau in Fremont, with 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and 3 miles (4.8 km) of other trails.[9] Subsequently, park use was pushed back. As of 2007, the opening was expected by 2010.[10] In 2010, EBRPD directors were expecting it would open soon.[11] In 2011, EBRPD put the start in 2012.[12] As of January 2015, EBRPD pointed to late 2015;[13][14] while as of May 2015, the district pointed to spring 2016.[15]

A 2012 settlement agreement between EBRPD and the owners of two large nearby ranches required the construction of improvements to park access roads. EBRPD and the city of Fremont agreed in 2013 to undertake them jointly, using $260,000 of funding by EBRPD and performed by the city.[16] The park opened on May 5, 2016.[17]

However, the park was closed by a court-issued preliminary injunction on July 13, 2016. The court found that the park district “did not complete the improvements required by the settlement agreement prior to opening,” which had “very specific road widening requirements.” The order applied to access by motor vehicles, as well as to access by non-motorized users for hiking, bicycling and horse riding, with immediate effect.[18] “The park could remain closed for months or years,” until the improvements are completed.[17]

On May 2, 2017, EBRPD announced that it had settled the lawsuit, and that the park would reopen on May 15, 2017. EBRPD said that it agreed to construct a paved shoulder along Vargas Road, and a vehicle turnaround on the upper part of Morrison Canyon Road. It also announced that the City of Fremont had agreed to contribute part of the necessary funds.[a][19]

Open space (land banks)[edit]

One quarter of the District is designated as “land banks,” with no public access. The conversion of that open space to public use as regional parks has no fixed time line, and may span decades. Some parcels may never be converted.

Suncrest Homes/Antioch Holdings LLC property[edit]

EBRPD acquired a 50 acres (20 ha) hillside in Antioch, between Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve and Contra Loma Regional Park, and bought 80 acres (32 ha)near Byron Vernon Pools Regional Preserve for $520,000. The 50-acre hillside, valued at $3.5 million, was donated to EBRPD by Suncrest Homes and Antioch Holdings LLC, a Suncrest land-holding subsidiary. The Byron tract is being purchased through the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy, a joint-powers authority created by the county, Brentwood. Oakley, Pittsburg and Next Era Energy.[20]

Hanson Hills property[edit]

EBRPD announced in September 2016 that it had finalized the purchase of 76 acres (31 ha) of ranch land east of Mount Diablo, near Antioch and Brentwood. The tract was identified only as the Hanson Hills property, which had previously been bought by the Save Mount Diablo conservation group. EBRPD reported that it had paid $730,000 for this property, which it intends to include in the Deer Valley Regional Park. The East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy contributed $547,000 to the purchase, and the remainder was supplied from the regional park Measure WW bonds approved by East Bay voters. Deer Valley Regional Park remains in Land Bank status and is closed to the public.[b][22]

Roddy Ranch parcel[edit]

In 2013, EBRPD began acquiring Roddy Ranch a 1,900 acres (770 ha) 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.[6]

Dainty Ranch parcel[edit]

In 2013, EBRPD announced plans to acquire 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of grazing land southwest of the Roddy Ranch tract for $5 million. It will provide hiking and recreation services, and protect habitat for rare species such as the California red-legged frog. The combined Dainty and Roddy tracts will form the future Deer Valley Regional Park near Antioch and Brentwood.[23]

James Ball Dainty, a rancher and coal miner, acquired Dainty Ranch in 1872.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25]

Eddie's Flat acquisition (Brushy Peak Regional Preserve)[edit]

On April 3, 2014, two conservation groups, Center for Biological Diversity and the Alameda Creek Alliance, announced the acquisition of a 79 acres (32 ha) land parcel known as "Eddie's Flat, adjacent to the western boundary of Brushy Peak Regional Preserve.[26]

Public safety and support organization[edit]

The district maintains a police department[27] and a fire department.[28]

A volunteer organization that supports the work of EBRPD, the Regional Parks Foundation raises funds for the improvement of the parks. The EBRPD is a member of the Bay Area Open Space Council.[29]

Lifeguards[edit]

East Bay Lifeguards can work at eleven different facilities.[30]

East Bay Lifeguard Training at Cull Canyon Regional Park's Lagoon

Staff members[edit]

Full-time aquatic employees[edit]

Aquatic Manager[edit]

General function

Under general direction, this position administers the District's extensive aquatics program, which includes the lifeguard service and aquatic recreation programs. Assures that the highest quality of lifeguard services is provided at the District's guarded beaches and swim facilities. Develops in-house training and recruitment programs to maintain adequate staffing of qualified and certified seasonal lifeguards. Determines staffing levels and adjusts the workforce size and work schedules to assure park visitors the safest possible aquatic recreation. Provides Emergency Medical Services and infection control training to appropriate District staff.[31]

.Oversee 11 open water, lagoons, and pools within Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

The Aquatic Manager reports back to the Chief the East Bay Regional Park District Fire Department.

Program Lieutenant[edit]

General function

To assist in planning, developing, conducting and overseeing a wide range of lifeguard training, including emergency medical services, water safety, and lifeguard operations. To development and administration of aquatic recreation programs and promotional efforts. The job also entails supervising and evaluating aquatic programs staff.

The Program Lieutenant reports to the North Captain.

Current position holder Rank
Chief of Aquatics
Pete Dequincy
1

(reports to Chief of the Regional Parks Fire Department)

Captain "North Region"
Eric Nurse
2

(reports to Aquatic Manager)

Captain "South Region"
Nick Schriver
2

(reports to Aquatic Manager)

Lieutenant "South Region"
Tyler Waespi
3

(reports to South Aquatic Supervisor)

Lieutenant "North Region"
Kyle Maxwell
3

(reports to North Aquatic Supervisor)

Lieutenant "Programs Manager"
Aaron Roth
3

(reports to North Aquatic Supervisor)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Widening of Vargas Road had already been completed before the settlement was published.[19]
  2. ^ In April 2017, The Antioch Herald reported that the Viera Farm will remain in this status until the Deer Valley Regional Park Land Use Plan is completed.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile". East Bay Regional Park District. 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-30.
  2. ^ McCreery, Laura. Living Landscape. Berkeley, California. Wilderness Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-89997-628-0. p. 7.
  3. ^ "History". East Bay Regional Park District. 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. 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. Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  5. ^ William Penn Mott, Jr. biography Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine., California State Parks Foundation.
  6. ^ a b Burgarino, Paul. East County Times. "Ranch's future at last secure." June 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Cuff, Denis. East County Times. July 15, 2016. p. B3. Accessed July 15, 2016.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-29. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  9. ^ Bay Area Ridge Trail: Vargas Plateau Construction
  10. ^ Guaranteed Returns Banking Land for Future Parks
  11. ^ Newest gem in East Bay Regional Park system, Vargas Plateau, will be safe
  12. ^ Fremont park to open next year Archived 2015-01-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Park opening is expected to be in late 2015
  14. ^ "New Year, New Initiatives And Partnerships" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  15. ^ "Planning, Trails, Development & Stewardship Workshop" (PDF). EBRPD. p. 66. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  16. ^ city of Fremont Cooperative Funding Agreement with East Bay Regional Park District, https://fremontcityca.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=30&ID=2499[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ a b Alexander, Kurtis. San Francisco Chronicle. July 16, 2016. URL= http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/East-Bay-s-newest-park-Vargas-Plateau-shuts-8381247.php Accessed July 16, 2016.
  18. ^ Superior Court the County of Alameda, Balch and George vs. East Bay Regional Park District, No. RG16814952, Order Granting Preliminary Injunction, July 13, 2016, Accessed July 17, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Vargas Plateau Regional Park to Re-Open May 15, 2017." Archived 2017-06-06 at the Wayback Machine. EBRPD Public Affairs. May 2, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2017.
  20. ^ Szymanski, Kyle. "East Bay Regional Park District purchases more land in Antioch, Byron." Brentwood Press. December 23, 2016.] Accessed May 22, 2018.
  21. ^ Goodrich, Nick. "Park District purchases 76-acre property in Marsh Creek Watershed south of Antioch." Antioch Herald. April 2017. Accessed April 13, 2017.
  22. ^ Cuff, Dennis. "Deer Valley Regional Park to add 76 acres." East Bay Times. October 2, 2016. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  23. ^ a b Cuff, Dennis [Contra Costa Times. "965 acres being bought for new regional park near Antioch." December 4, 2013.] Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  24. ^ "Park district to expand regional preserve." the press.net. January 23, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  25. ^ Jones, Carolyn. San Francisco Chronicle. "Big Tract of pristine acreage being added to East Bay hills parklands." February 17, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  26. ^ Press release by Center for Biological Diversity. April 3, 2014. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  27. ^ http://www.ebparks.org/about/police
  28. ^ http://www.ebparks.org/about/fire
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-18. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  30. ^ O'Brien, Matt; Chavez, Ray (June 13, 2014). "With summer around the corner, lifeguards prepare to save lives". Contra Costa Times News. David Rounds. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  31. ^ "Job Opportunities".

External links[edit]