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
Area124,909 acres (50,549 ha)
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 2020, EBRPD spans 124,909 acres (50,549 ha) [1] with 73 parks and over 1,330 miles (2,140 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. More than 200 miles (320 km) of paved trails (identified as Interpark Regional Trails) through urban areas link the parks together.


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.

2020 California Wildfires

The parks in the East Bay Regional Park District was badly affected by the various lightning complex fires plaguing the Bay Area in August 2020. The fires have enveloped the Bay Area in a layer of smoke and forced the closures of many national parks within the Bay Area including all parks in the East Bay Regional Parks District. [8]

Notable parks

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, [9] 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


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

Interpark Regional Trails

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

Vargas Plateau Regional Park

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. [10] Subsequently, park use was pushed back. As of 2007, the opening was expected by 2010. [11] In 2010, EBRPD directors were expecting it would open soon. [12] In 2011, EBRPD put the start in 2012. [13] As of January 2015, EBRPD pointed to late 2015; [14] [15] while as of May 2015, the district pointed to spring 2016. [16]

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. [17] The park opened on May 5, 2016. [18]

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. [19] “The park could remain closed for months or years,” until the improvements are completed. [18]

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. [lower-alpha 1] [20]

Open space (land banks)

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.

Doolan Canyon tracts

Early in March 2019, EBRPD announced that it had finalized the purchase of 160 acres (65 ha) in unincorporated Contra Costa County, from the Grove family. Funding of $1.24 million was provided by Measure WW. The parcel is about 3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of Livermore, and is bounded on the south by the proposed Doolan Canyon Regional Preserve. The other sides are bounded by private ranches and farmland. A park spokesman said that the parcel, "... will protect the upper reaches of Doolan Canyon for 'habitat protection, open space preservation, and potential recreational opportunities.'" [21]

According to Sciacca's article, EBRPD had already purchased 640 acres (260 ha) adjacent to the Grove tract with funding from Altamont County (Altamont Landfill Open Space Landfill Fund, the City of Livermore, East Bay Community Foundation and Measure WW The price was $6.4 million. [21]

EBRPD says that the Doolan Canyon area is habitat for the endangered species Alameda whip snake and red-legged frog. It also supports other "special status" species and some rare alkali soil plants. [21]

The parcel will remain in land bank status until a land-use plan is written and approved. Making it into a park will require environmental assessments and community input, which could take many years, according to EBRPD. Meanwhile, EBRPD's holdings are known as Doolan Canyon Regional Preserve [21]

Suncrest Homes/Antioch Holdings LLC property

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. [22]

Hanson Hills property

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. [lower-alpha 2] [24]

Roddy Ranch parcel

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

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. [25]

James Ball Dainty, a rancher and coal miner, acquired Dainty Ranch in 1872. [25]

Mollar Ranch parcel

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. [26]

Wildcat Canyon addition

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. [27]

Eddie's Flat acquisition (Brushy Peak Regional Preserve)

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. [28]

Public safety and support organization

The district maintains a police department [29] and a fire department. [30]

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. [31]


East Bay Lifeguards can work at eleven different facilities. [32]

East Bay Lifeguard Training at Cull Canyon Regional Park's Lagoon East Bay Life Guard Training.JPG
East Bay Lifeguard Training at Cull Canyon Regional Park's Lagoon

Staff members

Full-time aquatic employees

Aquatic Manager

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. [33]

.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

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.


  1. Widening of Vargas Road had already been completed before the settlement was published. [20]
  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. [23]

Related Research Articles

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Contra Costa County is a county located in the U.S. state of California, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 1,165,927. The county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area and is primarily suburban. The county's name refers to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Morgan Territory is an historic ranching area on the east side of Mount Diablo in San Francisco East Bay's Contra Costa County. It was named after Anglo-American pioneer Jeremiah Morgan, a migrant from Alabama and Iowa who acquired 2000 acres and developed a ranch here, starting in 1857.

Alameda Creek River in California, United States

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Wildcat Canyon Regional Park

Wildcat Canyon Regional Park is a 2,789-acre (1,129 ha) East Bay Regional Parks District park bordering the city of Richmond in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It includes a portion of Wildcat Canyon as well as a portion of the adjoining San Pablo Ridge, and is directly connected to the more heavily used Tilden Regional Park.

Briones Regional Park

Briones Regional Park is a 6,117-acre (24.75 km2) regional park in the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) system, located in the Briones Hills of central Contra Costa County of the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve United States historic place

The Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is a 6,000-acre (2,400 ha) park located north of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, California under the administration of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). The district acquired the property in 1973. The preserve contains relics of 3 mining towns, former coal and sand mines, and offers guided tours of a former sand mine. The 60 miles (97 km) of trails in the Preserve cross rolling foothill terrain covered with grassland, California oak woodland, California mixed evergreen forest, and chaparral.

Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve (BRRP), also known as Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve is a 444-acre (1.80 km2) regional park on a ridge top at the edge of San Ramon, California. It is near a residential area, west of San Ramon Valley Road and south of Bollinger Canyon Road. Trails are steep and there are no facilities other than a trailhead. It is part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD).

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve is a regional park that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) and the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) systems. It is located in unincorporated land in Alameda County, just north of Livermore, California.

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness is a 5,342-acre (21.62 km2) regional park located in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in Northern California. The nearest city is Danville, California. Las Trampas is Spanish for the traps, or the snares. The park belongs to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD).

Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline

Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline (RMRS) is a regional park on the shoreline of Carquinez Strait in Martinez, located in northern Contra Costa County, California. Formerly known as the Martinez Regional Shoreline, it was renamed on December 6, 2016, in honor of the late Ted Radke and his late wife Kathy Radke.

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve is a regional park in Contra Costa County, California. Located east of Clayton and north of Livermore, California, bordering on Mt. Diablo State Park, it is part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). The preserve was founded in 1975 with fewer than 1,000 acres (400 ha), but EBRPD has gradually acquired more property, and, since 2015, the preserve encompasses 5,230 acres (2,120 ha). The main access roads run from Livermore and Clayton.

Round Valley Regional Preserve is a regional park just outside Antioch, CA and Brentwood, CA that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system. It is on Marsh Creek Road, approximately 5.2 miles (8.4 km) west of the intersection with Vasco Road. The park was begun in 1988, when Jim Murphy sold 700 acres (280 ha) of land to EBRPD. The land originally belonged to Mr. Davis' grandfather Thomas Murphy, an Irish immigrant, who had purchased the land in 1878 for a farming and ranching operation. The preserve has since expanded to encompass 1,911 acres (773 ha).

Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve (SRRP) is a regional park in Contra Costa County, California near Richmond and is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system. The park may be best known as habitat for the Alameda manzanita, which is deemed extremely rare, according to EBRPD.

Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve is a regional park in Contra Costa County, California, outside of Danville, California, United States that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system.

Crockett Hills Regional Park is a regional park in Contra Costa County, California, just south of Crockett. opened to the public in 2006. Part of the East Bay Regional Park District, it consists of 1,939 acres (7.85 km2) of rolling grasslands, wooded ravines and shoreline along the south bank of the Carquinez Strait. Its elevation ranges from 100 feet (30 m) to 800 feet (240 m) above sea level. The higher elevations offer good views of San Pablo Bay, the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta, Mount Tamalpais, and Mount Diablo.

Marsh Creek (California) River in California, United States

Marsh Creek is a stream in east Contra Costa County, California in Northern California which rises on the eastern side of Mount Diablo and flows 30 miles (48 km) to the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta at Oakley, California, near Big Break Regional Shoreline. The creek flows through Marsh Creek State Park (California), where water is impounded to form Marsh Creek Reservoir, then through the city of Brentwood, California.

Doolan Canyon

Doolan Canyon is a canyon in Alameda County, California, northwest of Livermore.

Vargas Plateau Regional Park

Vargas Plateau Regional Park sits on a plateau in the Fremont Hills of Alameda County, California that overlooks the San Francisco Bay, Niles Canyon, and the cities of Fremont, Union City and Newark. The elevation of the park is about 1,000 feet (300 m), making it an important link with nearby ridge-top parks such as Garin Regional Park, Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, Mission Peak Regional Preserve, and Sunol Regional Wilderness.

Dublin Hills Regional Park covers 654 acres (2,650,000 m2) in Alameda County, California, United States, west of the city of Dublin. It is part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). The park is accessible from the Donlon Hill Staging Area, which is on Dublin Boulevard near Dublin, California.

Five Canyons Open Space (FCOS) is located in Castro Valley, in Alameda County, California. Five Canyons is a multi-agency collaboration between East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD), Alameda County Public Works, Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District (HARD), and several homeowners associations. EBRPD is the lead agency for this open space. FCOS opened in 1998, consists of 300 acres (1.2 km2) and 5 miles (8.0 km) of trails and has almost no amenities. The main visitors are hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and dog walkers. Restrooms and drinking water are available at HARD's nearby Five Canyons Park.


  1. "Profile". East Bay Regional Park District. 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  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. 1 2 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. "Historic Bay Area fires cause closure of nearly 200 parks and beaches". 25 August 2020.
  9. Denis Cuff (8 January 2006). "Find your way to the 'lost volcano' in Oakland". OC Register. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  10. Bay Area Ridge Trail: Vargas Plateau Construction
  11. Guaranteed Returns Banking Land for Future Parks
  12. Newest gem in East Bay Regional Park system, Vargas Plateau, will be safe
  13. Fremont park to open next year Archived 2015-01-28 at the Wayback Machine
  14. Park opening is expected to be in late 2015
  15. "New Year, New Initiatives And Partnerships" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  16. "Planning, Trails, Development & Stewardship Workshop" (PDF). EBRPD. p. 66. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  17. city of Fremont Cooperative Funding Agreement with East Bay Regional Park District, https://fremontcityca.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=30&ID=2499%5B%5D
  18. 1 2 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 1 2 "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.
  21. 1 2 3 4 Sciacca, Annie. "Park District buys 160 acres to expand Doolan Canyon." East Bay Times. March 5, 2019.] Accessed March 6, 2019.
  22. Szymanski, Kyle. "East Bay Regional Park District purchases more land in Antioch, Byron." Brentwood Press. December 23, 2016.] Accessed May 22, 2018.
  23. Goodrich, Nick. "Park District purchases 76-acre property in Marsh Creek Watershed south of Antioch." Antioch Herald. April 2017. Accessed April 13, 2017.
  24. Cuff, Dennis. "Deer Valley Regional Park to add 76 acres." East Bay Times. October 2, 2016. Accessed October 11, 2016.
  25. 1 2 Cuff, Dennis. "965 acres being bought for new regional park near Antioch." Contra Costa Times. December 4, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  26. "Park district to expand regional preserve." the press.net. January 23, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  27. Jones, Carolyn. San Francisco Chronicle. "Big Tract of pristine acreage being added to East Bay hills parklands." February 17, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  28. Press release by Center for Biological Diversity. April 3, 2014. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  29. "EBRPD - Police Department".
  30. "EBRPD - Fire Department".
  31. "Bay Area Open Space Council | COMMUNITY | Member Roster". Archived from the original on 2012-08-18. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  32. 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.
  33. "Job Opportunities".