Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area

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Coordinates: 37°34′37″N122°0′23″W / 37.57694°N 122.00639°W / 37.57694; -122.00639

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.


Quarry Lakes
Quarry Lakes (5003082542).jpg
A view of Mission Peak from Lago Los Osos.
Type Regional park
Location Fremont, California
Area 471 acres
Created 1997-2000
Operated by East Bay Regional Parks
Website http://www.ebparks.org/parks/quarry_lakes

Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area is a regional park located in Fremont, California that is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system. Before being converted into a park, the site was used as a gravel quarry. When water purchased by the public for groundwater recharge of the Niles Cone flooded the gravel pits, the gravel harvesters began to daily pump the seeping water down Alameda Creek into San Francisco Bay. The Alameda County Water District acquired the quarry after the pumping was declared to be an illegal waste in 1976.

A regional park is an area of land preserved on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, recreational use or other reason, and under the administration of a form of local government.

Fremont, California City in California, United States

Fremont is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the annexing of Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San José, and Warm Springs. The city is named after John C. Frémont, an American explorer and former US Senator from California, Governor from Arizona, Major General in the Union Army, and the first Republican presidential candidate, in 1856.

East Bay Regional Park District

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.

The Park is located roughly between Centerville and Niles. It is bounded to the northeast by the train tracks of the BART system, and to the south and west by Alameda Creek.

Bay Area Rapid Transit Railway system in California, USA

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a rapid transit public transportation system serving the San Francisco Bay Area in California. The heavy rail elevated and subway system connects San Francisco and Oakland with urban and suburban areas in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Mateo counties. BART serves 48 stations along six routes on 112 miles (180 km) of rapid transit lines, including a ten-mile spur line in eastern Contra Costa County which utilizes diesel multiple-unit trains and a 3.2-mile (5.1 km) automated guideway transit line to the Oakland International Airport. With an average of 423,000 weekday passengers and 124.2 million annual passengers in fiscal year 2017, BART is the fifth-busiest heavy rail rapid transit system in the United States.

Alameda Creek river in the United States of America

Alameda Creek is a large perennial stream in the San Francisco Bay Area. The creek runs for 45 miles (72 km) from a lake northeast of Packard Ridge to the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay by way of Niles Canyon and a flood control channel.


As early as 1912, the Niles Sand and Gravel Company operated a gravel plant along the south bank of Alameda Creek in Niles, processing gravel and sand from the river bed for concrete production. [1] In 1954, the company expanded into the area now in the park, acquiring an operation previously managed by Black Point Aggregates. [2] By 1969, some of the gravel pits had been dug down to 120 feet below the surface, well below the water table. To continue extraction at this point, the company pumped the water flooding the pits out into adjacent Alameda Creek at a rate of five million gallons a day, enough to continuously supply 30,000 people.

Aggregate (composite) component of a composite material that resists compressive stress and provides bulk

Aggregate is the component of a composite material that resists compressive stress and provides bulk to the composite material. For efficient filling, aggregate should be much smaller than the finished item, but have a wide variety of sizes. For example, the particles of stone used to make concrete typically include both sand and gravel.

Gravel pit open-pit mine for the extraction of gravel

A gravel pit is an open-pit mine for the extraction of gravel. Gravel pits often lie in river valleys where the water table is high, so they may naturally fill with water to form ponds or lakes. Old, abandoned gravel pits are normally used either as nature reserves, or as amenity areas for water sports, landfills and walking. In addition, many gravel pits in the United Kingdom have been stocked with freshwater fish such as the common carp to create coarse fishing locations. Gravel and sand are mined for concrete, construction aggregate and other industrial mineral uses.

Water table top of a saturated aquifer, or where the water pressure head is equal to the atmospheric pressure

The water table is the upper surface of the zone of saturation. The zone of saturation is where the pores and fractures of the ground are saturated with water.

In 1972, the Niles Sand and Gravel Company sued the Alameda County Water District, arguing that its groundwater recharge program constituted a damaging of their ability to use the quarry. After finding that the replenishment program served a beneficial purpose in combating seawater intrusion from the San Francisco Bay and that the gravel pits would have flooded naturally even if the program were not in place, the court ruled against the company, declaring its pumping to be an illegal waste of groundwater. [3]

The Alameda County Water District (ACWD) is a public agency in Alameda County, California, United States, which has responsibilities for managing and protecting certain groundwater resources within Alameda County. While most of the county is served by the East Bay Municipal Utility District, the Alameda County Water District serves only the cities of Newark, Fremont, and Union City. While not an administrative unit of the county government, this water district derives certain of its authorities from the County of Alameda. In particular, much of the work of the ACWD relates to management of the Niles Cone aquifer. (ACWD, 2007) Some of the work of the ACWD is regional in nature, coordinating with water management agencies of the San Francisco Peninsula and Santa Clara Valley Water District. (S.F. Bay, 2003) The Alameda County Water Agency receives grant funding from such agencies as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and State of California Department of Water Resources, for the purposes of technical assessment of the Niles Cone and other hydrological features of its jurisdictional area.. Specific capital programs of the ACWD include the construction of water supply pipelines, monitoring wells and blending facilities.(Earth Metrics Inc, 1990)

Groundwater recharge groundwater that recharges an aquifer

Groundwater recharge or deep drainage or deep percolation is a hydrologic process, where water moves downward from surface water to groundwater. Recharge is the primary method through which water enters an aquifer. This process usually occurs in the vadose zone below plant roots and, is often expressed as a flux to the water table surface. Groundwater recharge also encompasses water moving away from the water table farther into the saturated zone. Recharge occurs both naturally and through anthropogenic processes, where rainwater and or reclaimed water is routed to the subsurface.

San Francisco Bay bay on the California coast of the United States

San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary in the US state of California. It is surrounded by a contiguous region known as the San Francisco Bay Area, and is dominated by the large cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

Between 1975 and 1992, the EBRPD and ACWD purchased the land which would become Quarry Lakes. The two agencies began to convert the area into parkland in 1997, with the ACWD continuing to pursue restoration projects beyond 2017. [4]

Restoration ecology scientific study of renewing and restoring ecosystems

Restoration ecology is the scientific study supporting the practice of ecological restoration, which is the practice of renewing and restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by active human intervention and action.

Bodies of Water

Fishermen at Horseshoe Lake. Clouds over Horseshoe Lake (5463811533).jpg
Fishermen at Horseshoe Lake.

Due to the important role the lakes play in groundwater percolation, only Rainbow Lake and Horseshoe Lake are open to the public for water contact. These two lakes are stocked regularly with rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and other game fish. Fishing is allowed with a permit. Horseshoe Lake also includes a swimming complex and a pier for boating, although no gasoline motors are allowed to avoid water contamination. [5]

Lago Los Osos and Willow Slough are open to nature observation, but water contact is not allowed. Two additional unnamed lakes are closed entirely to the public for use by the ACWD. [4]

List of Lakes


Quarry Lakes is home to over fifty species of wildflower, [6] as well as a rare fruit grove on the peninsula of Horseshoe Lake, which contains both native and exotic trees and shrubs. At the south end of the park is a sizeable grove of bald cypress. In 2010, a demonstration garden of native and drought resistant plants was started along Horseshoe Lake through a University of California extension. [7]

As one of few riparian zones in a near-natural state along Alameda Creek, Quarry Lakes serves an important role is harboring migratory birds. Thanks to restoration projects in the park, the area has attracted wood ducks, great blue herons, snowy egrets, and other water birds. Nesting boxes and berry planting have also brought smaller birds like tree swallows, northern flickers, and salt marsh yellowthroats. [4]

Related Research Articles

Aquifer Underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock

An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, rock fractures or unconsolidated materials. Groundwater can be extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology. Related terms include aquitard, which is a bed of low permeability along an aquifer, and aquiclude, which is a solid, impermeable area underlying or overlying an aquifer. If the impermeable area overlies the aquifer, pressure could cause it to become a confined aquifer.

Quarry A place from which a geological material has been excavated from the ground

A quarry is a type of open-pit mine in which dimension stone, rock, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, gravel, or slate is excavated from the ground.

Tulare Lake

Tulare Lake, Laguna de Tache in Spanish, is a freshwater dry lake with residual wetlands and marshes in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California, United States. After Lake Cahuilla disappeared in the 17th century, Tulare Lake was the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River and the second-largest freshwater lake entirely in the United States, based upon surface area. A remnant of Pleistocene-era Lake Corcoran, Tulare Lake dried up after its tributary rivers were diverted for agricultural irrigation and municipal water uses.

Borrow pit

In construction and civil engineering, a borrow pit, also known as a sand box, is an area where material has been dug for use at another location. Borrow pits can be found close to many major construction projects. For example, soil might be excavated to fill an embankment for a highway, clay might be excavated for use in brick-making, gravel to be used for making concrete, etc.

The Waterloo Moraine is a landform and sediment body that was created as a moraine in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada. It covers a large portion of the cities of Waterloo and Kitchener and the township of Wilmot, and some parts of the townships of Wellesley and North Dumfries. About 90% of the water supply of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo is derived from groundwater of the Waterloo Moraine aquifer system.

Lockhart Beach Provincial Park provincial park Located 40 km north of Creston, British Columbia, Canada

Lockhart Beach Provincial Park is a provincial park Located 40 km north of Creston, British Columbia, Canada, on BC Highway 3A. "This park and the adjacent Lockhart Creek Provincial Park extend 3 hectares, from the sunny shores of Kootenay Lake to the headwaters of Lockhart Creek. "This small park provides the only easy access to public camping along the south arm of Kootenay Lake. An 18 site campground and day use area are located near a sand and fine gravel beach where visitors can relax and enjoy the clear waters of Kootenay Lake."

Los Gatos Creek (Santa Clara County, California) river in the United States of America

The Los Gatos Creek runs 24 miles (39 km) in California through Santa Clara Valley Water District's Guadalupe Watershed from the Santa Cruz Mountains northward through the Santa Clara Valley until its confluence with the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose. The Guadalupe River then continues onward into San Francisco Bay.

Professor's Lake is a 65-acre (26 ha) spring-fed artificial lake located in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Beginning in 1918, the area where the lake currently is was used as a gravel pit. In total, the pit produced approximately 20 million tonnes of sand and gravel. It re-opened as a quarry from 1954 to 1973. When digging hit the water table, the gravel pit flooded and the lake was formed. Improvements to the resulting lake were undertaken in 1973 by the company that owned the gravel pit operations, and it was at this time that it was given its name in honour of Hans Abromeit, a German professor of economics and the company's president.

San Juan Creek river in United States of America

San Juan Creek, also called the San Juan River, is a 29-mile (47 km) long stream in Orange County, California, draining a watershed of 133.9 square miles (347 km2). Its mainstem begins in the southern Santa Ana Mountains in the Cleveland National Forest. It winds west and south through San Juan Canyon, and is joined by Arroyo Trabuco as it passes through San Juan Capistrano. It flows into the Pacific Ocean at Doheny State Beach. San Juan Canyon provides a major part of the route for California State Route 74.

The Niles Cone is a groundwater basin in Alameda County, California, United States which is the source of drinking water for a sizeable human urban population in the East Bay. The land area corresponding to this groundwater basin is approximately 103 square miles; the Niles Cone Basin is bounded on the east by the Diablo Range and on the west by San Francisco Bay. Surface runoff in the Alameda Creek catchment basin accounts for much of the recharge of the Niles Cone. The Alameda County Water District is responsible for management of the Niles Cone aquifer and has developed water treatment plants and pipelines for the conveyance of its waters to urban users. The Alameda County Water District also performs water quality monitoring of the Niles Cone Basin for total dissolved solids and other parameters.

Alameda Ridge

The Alameda Ridge is a large gravel bar located in Portland, Oregon, United States.

Columbia Slough narrow waterway in the floodplain of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Oregon

The Columbia Slough is a narrow waterway, about 19 miles (31 km) long, in the floodplain of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Oregon. From its source in the Portland suburb of Fairview, the Columbia Slough meanders west through Gresham and Portland to the Willamette River, about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Willamette's confluence with the Columbia. It is a remnant of the historic wetlands between the mouths of the Sandy River to the east and the Willamette River to the west. Levees surround much of the main slough as well as many side sloughs, detached sloughs, and nearby lakes. Drainage district employees control water flows with pumps and floodgates. Tidal fluctuations cause reverse flow on the lower slough.

Blue Lake Regional Park

Blue Lake Regional Park is a public park in Fairview, in the U.S. state of Oregon. The 101-acre (41 ha) park, near the south shore of the Columbia River in Multnomah County, includes many covered and uncovered picnic areas, playing fields for sports such as softball, a cross country course and infrastructure related to lake recreation including swimming, boating, and fishing. Encompassing wooded areas, three ponds, and a wetland in addition to the lake, the park is frequented by migrating birds and other wildlife. Paved paths run through the park, which is near the 40-Mile Loop hiking and biking trail. Park vegetation includes cottonwoods, willows, and other trees and shrubs as well as wetland plants such as cattails.

Permanente Creek river in the United States of America

Permanente Creek is a 13.3-mile-long (21.4 km) stream originating on Black Mountain in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is the namesake for the Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization. Named by early Spanish explorers as Arroyo Permanente or Rio Permanente because of its perennial flow, the creek descends the east flank of Black Mountain then courses north through Los Altos and Mountain View culminating in southwest San Francisco Bay historically at the Charleston Slough but now diverted via the Permanente Creek Diversion Channel to Stevens Creek and the Mountain View Slough in San Francisco Bay.

Sonoma Water, formerly known as the Sonoma County Water Agency, maintains a water transmission system that provides naturally filtered Russian River water to more than 600,000 residents in portions of Sonoma County, California and Marin County, California. The Water Agency is a water wholesaler that sells potable water to nine cities and special districts that in turn sell drinking water to their residents. These cities and special districts are: the City of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Sonoma, the Town of Windsor, Valley of the Moon Water District, Marin Municipal Water District, and North Marin Water District.

Calabazas Creek (Santa Clara County) river in the United States of America

Calabazas Creek is a 13.3-mile-long (21.4 km) northeast by northward-flowing stream originating on Table Mountain in Saratoga, California in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It courses through the cities of Saratoga, San Jose, Cupertino, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, culminating in the Guadalupe Slough in south San Francisco Bay.

Thelma G. Spencer Park is a city park owned and operated by the city of Rochester Hills, Michigan - a northern suburb on the outskirts of Metro Detroit. Its main attraction is a 38-acre (150,000 m2) man-made lake with a lifeguarded beach, which complements an array of picnic facilities, full service concession stand, boat rental, volleyball courts, tennis courts, playground, horseshoe pits, soccer fields and walking/biking paths.


  1. Cement and Engineering News, Cement and Engineering News., 1912, pp. 338–339
  2. Text of Black Point Aggregates, Inc. v. Niles Sand & Gravel Co. is available from:   Justia  
  3. Text of Niles Sand & Gravel Co. v. Alameda County Water Dist. is available from:   Justia  
  4. 1 2 3 "Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area" . Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  5. "Which Fish Are in Which Lakes?" . Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  6. "Quarry lakes Wildflowers" (PDF). Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  7. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. "Quarry Lakes Demonstration Garden" . Retrieved 23 November 2015.