Walnut Creek, California
|City of Walnut Creek|
|Incorporated||October 21, 1914|
|• Type||General Law|
|• City Council|
|• State Leg.|
|• U. S. Congress||Mark DeSaulnier (D)|
|• Total||19.77 sq mi (51.21 km2)|
|• Land||19.76 sq mi (51.18 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2) 0.06%|
|Elevation||131 ft (40 m)|
|• Density||3,500/sq mi (1,400/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1660120, 2412174|
Walnut Creek is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, about 16 miles (26 km) east of the city of Oakland. With a total population of 70,127 per the 2020 census, Walnut Creek serves as a hub for its neighboring cities because of its location at the junction of the highways from Sacramento and San Jose (I-680) and San Francisco/Oakland (SR-24), and its accessibility by BART. Its active downtown neighborhood features hundred-year-old buildings and extensive high-end retail establishments.
There are three bands of Bay Miwok Native Americans associated with the area of Walnut Creek (the stream for which the city is named):the Saclan, whose territory extended through the hills east of present-day cities of Oakland, Rossmoor, Lafayette, Moraga and Walnut Creek; the Volvon (also spelled Bolbon, Wolwon or Zuicun), who were near Mt. Diablo; and the Tactan, located on the San Ramon Creek in present-day Danville and Walnut Creek.
The city of Walnut Creek has developed within the earlier area of four extensive Mexican land grants. One of these land grants – measuring 18,000 acres (73 km2) – belonged to Juana Sanchez de Pacheco. The grant was called Rancho Arroyo de Las Nueces y Bolbones, named after the principal waterway, Arroyo de las Nueces (Walnut Creek in English), and for the local group of Volvon indigenous Americans (also known as Bolbones in Spanish). The Arroyo de las Nueces was named for the local species of walnut tree, the California Walnut. The two grandsons of Sanchez de Pacheco inherited the thousands of acres of land. One, Ygnacio Sibrian, built the first roofed home in the valley in about 1850.
As settlers from the United States arrived following US annexation of California after victory in the Mexican–American War, a small settlement called "The Corners" emerged. It was named for the junction where roads met from the settlements of Pacheco and Lafayette. The intersection of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and North Main Street is now at this site. The first town settler was William Slusher, who built a dwelling on the bank of Walnut Creek, first called "Nuts Creek" by Americans in 1849. In 1855, Milo Hough of Lafayette built the hotel named "Walnut Creek House" in The Corners. A blacksmith shop and a store were soon established by settlers. In 1850 Hiram Penniman laid out the town site and realigned Main Street to what it is today. (Penniman also developed Shadelands Ranch.)
In December 1862 a United States Post Office was established here, named "Walnut Creek".Pioneer Homer Shuey platted the downtown street patterns in 1871–1872 on a portion of one of his family's large cattle ranches. These streets have been maintained to the present.
The arrival of Southern Pacific Railroad service in 1891 stimulated development of Walnut Creek. On October 21, 1914, the town and the surrounding area were incorporated as the 8th city in Contra Costa County. A branch line of the Southern Pacific ran through Walnut Creek until the late 1970s. Portions were adapted by East Bay Regional Park District for the Iron Horse Trail, which is used by walkers, runners and bikers.The mainline of the Sacramento Northern Railway passed through Walnut Creek. Both railroads had stations here. Today, the Antioch–SFO+Millbrae line of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) serves Walnut Creek with a station adjacent to Highway 680.
With the 1951 opening of the downtown Broadway Shopping Center (now Broadway Plaza), Contra Costa County's first major retail center, the city took off in a new direction. In the postwar period of suburban development, its population more than quadrupled – from 2,460 in 1950 to 9,903 in 1960. Growth has accelerated since the late 20th century, and the population in 2019 was estimated at slightly more than 70,000.
Walnut Creek is located at 19.8 sq mi (51.2 km2), 0.06 percent of which is water. Walnut Creek – the actual waterway that runs through the town – has been routed underneath downtown through a series of tunnels. These start at the southwest end of Macy's and ending just southwest of El Charro Restaurant.. Portions lie in both the San Ramon Valley and the Ygnacio Valley below the western slopes of Mount Diablo. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of
Walnut Creek owns more open space per capita than any other community in the state of California. In 1974, Walnut Creek voters approved a $6.7 million bond measure to acquire and protect open space: the city purchased 1,800 acres (730 ha) of undeveloped hillsides, ridge lines, and park sites. Walnut Creek owns parts of Lime Ridge Open Space, Shell Ridge Open Space, Acalanes Ridge Open Space, and Sugarloaf Open Space.
The East Bay Regional Park District operates Diablo Foothills Regional Park and Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area, both of which are located in Walnut Creek.
Walnut Creek's warm summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb) is typical of California's interior valleys. In summer, high pressure results in almost unbroken sunshine and virtually no precipitation. Days start out cool but quickly warm up, with high temperatures normally in the 80s Fahrenheit (27 to 32 °C). Temperatures of 100 °F (38 °C) or hotter occur numerous times during heatwaves, however. In the winter, the jet stream moves far enough south so that Pacific storms can reach Walnut Creek, bringing much-needed rain – average annual rainfall approximates 20 inches (510 mm), with slight variations occurring in microclimates based on elevation and topography. During particularly cold storms, snow falls on the peak of nearby Mount Diablo, but snow in the valley floor is very rare. There are numerous clear, mild days in winter, often with morning frost. The climate allows for the successful cultivation of many plants and crops, being warm enough for citrus yet cold enough for apples. The Ruth Bancroft Garden is a renowned botanical garden that showcases the diversity of plants that can be successfully grown.
|Climate data for Walnut Creek (1893–1974)|
|Record high °F (°C)||80|
|Average high °F (°C)||56.4|
|Average low °F (°C)||39.5|
|Record low °F (°C)||17|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.8|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||11||11||9||6||3||1||0||0||1||3||7||11||63|
The city has two Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stations – Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill (in the unincorporated area known as Contra Costa Centre Transit Village) – both served by the Antioch–SFO+Millbrae line.
Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (County Connection/CCCTA) provides bus service throughout Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County at a modest cost. County Connection also operates three free weekday shuttles within city limits: the Downtown Trolley/Route 4 loops from Walnut Creek BART to Broadway Plaza; Route 5 runs from Walnut Creek BART to Creekside; and Route 7, which runs from Pleasant Hill BART to Shadelands Business Park.
Walnut Creek is transected by the Iron Horse Trail (running north–south) through its downtown, as well as the Contra Costa Canal Trail (running east–west) at the north end of the city. Both these trails, in addition to city bike lanes, make bicycle transportation feasible both for recreation and as an alternative commute.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Censusreported that Walnut Creek had a population of 64,173. The population density was 3,246.2 people per square mile (1,253.4/km2). The racial makeup of Walnut Creek was 50,487 (78.7 percent) White, 1,035 (1.6 percent) African American, 155 (0.2 percent) Native American, 8,027 (12.5 percent) Asian, 125 (0.2 percent) Pacific Islander, 1,624 (2.5 percent) from other races, and 2,720 (4.2 percent) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5,540 persons (8.6 percent).
The Census reported that 63,171 people (98.4 percent of the population) lived in households, 176 (0.3 percent) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 826 (1.3 percent) were institutionalized.
There were 30,443 households, out of which 6,363 (20.9 percent) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,305 (43.7 percent) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,071 (6.8 percent) had a female householder with no husband present, 844 (2.8 percent) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,286 (4.2 percent) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 298 (1.0 percent) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 11,884 households (39.0 percent) were made up of individuals, and 6,424 (21.1 percent) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08. There were 16,220 families (53.3 percent of all households); the average family size was 2.79.
The population was spread out, with 10,719 people (16.7 percent) under the age of 18, 3,599 people (5.6 percent) aged 18 to 24, 15,137 people (23.6 percent) aged 25 to 44, 17,653 people (27.5 percent) aged 45 to 64, and 17,065 people (26.6 percent) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.
There were 32,681 housing units at an average density of 1,653.2 per square mile (638.3/km2), of which 20,262 (66.6 percent) were owner-occupied, and 10,181 (33.4 percent) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.4 percent; the rental vacancy rate was 6.7 percent. 43,079 people (67.1 percent of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 20,092 people (31.3 percent) lived in rental housing units.
City Council members are elected at-large to staggered, four-year terms, in elections held in even-numbered years.
As of 2021, the current elected representatives are Kevin Wilk (Mayor), Matt Francois (Mayor Pro Tem), Loella Haskew, Cindy Darling and Cindy Silva (Council members).
On the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, Walnut Creek is split between Supervisorial District 2 and Supervisorial District 4, represented by Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff, respectively.
In the California State Legislature, Walnut Creek is split between the 14th Assembly District , represented by Democrat Tim Grayson and the 16th Assembly District , represented by Democrat Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and in the 7th Senate District , represented by Democrat Steve Glazer.
In the United States House of Representatives, Walnut Creek is located in California's 11th congressional district, represented by Mark DeSaulnier ( D – Concord ).
According to the California Secretary of State, as of February 10, 2019, Walnut Creek has 46,149 registered voters. Of those, 21,391 (46.4%) are registered Democrats, 10,708 (23.2%) are registered Republicans, and 12,147 (26.3%) have declined to state a political party.
Walnut Creek residents attend schools in five public school districts. –8) has five elementary schools, one magnet school (K–8), and one middle school in the city. Some residents are served by schools from the Mount Diablo Unified School District (K–12), the Acalanes Union High School District (9–12), the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (K–12), and the Lafayette School District (K–8). The following public schools are within the city limits of Walnut Creek:The Walnut Creek School District (K
Walnut Creek is home to several private schools, including:
The Walnut Creek Library and the Ygnacio Valley Library of the Contra Costa County Library are located in Walnut Creek.The Ygnacio Valley Branch, which opened in 1975, is also known as the Thurman G. Casey Memorial Library. Fundraising and other support is provided by the Walnut Creek Library Foundation.
On February 26, 2008, the city demolished the Walnut Creek Library, that was built in 1961 at the southern end of Civic Park. Mayor Gwen Regalia hosted a groundbreaking on the same site for the new library on May 19, 2008. The new library, designed by Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning, Inc., has 42,000 square feet (3,900 m2) and an underground parking garage. Construction was completed in 2010 and the library was officially opened on July 17, 2010.
Companies based in Walnut Creek include Central Garden & Pet (makers of the AvoDerm, Amdro, Kaytee brands, among others),American Reprographics Company, CSE Insurance Group, Maximum Games, and the PMI Group.
Walnut Creek is served by the daily newspaper, The East Bay Times (formerly The Contra Costa Times ). The paper was originally run and owned by the Lesher family. Since the death of Dean Lesher in 1993, the paper has had several owners. The Times, as it is known, has a section called "The Walnut Creek Journal."
Walnut Creek TV (WCTV) is the city's government-access television channel, covering local government and community events. WCTV is available in Walnut Creek on Comcast channel 28 (channel 26 in Rossmoor), Astound channel 29, AT&T U-verse channel 99 under the menu option "Walnut Creek Television," and on YouTube. Claycord.com is the widely read independent news and talk blog serving the greater Walnut Creek metropolitan area.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(August 2021)
Walnut Creek has an active Sister Cities International program with two sister cities. Schools in the city have a yearly student exchange with these cities.
Contra Costa County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2020 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.
Alamo is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. It is a suburb located in the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay region, approximately 28 miles (45 km) east of San Francisco. Alamo is equidistant between the city of Walnut Creek and the incorporated town of Danville. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,750. The community of Alamo is well known for its bucolic country feel, notable residents, and its affluent lifestyle with the median home price being $2.59 million.
Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.
Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California. According to an estimate completed by the United States Census Bureau, the city had a population of 129,295 in 2019 making it the 8th largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1869 as Todos Santos by Don Salvio Pacheco II, a noted Californio ranchero, the name was later changed to Concord. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area, and is 29 miles east of San Francisco.
The Town of Danville is located in the San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County, California. It is one of the incorporated municipalities in California that use "town" in their names instead of "city". The population was 43,582 at the 2020 census. Since 2018, for four years in a row, Danville was named "the safest town in California".
Lafayette is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. As of 2020, the city’s population was 25,391. Today Lafayette is known for its wealthy inhabitants and pastoral rolling hills. The town is also known for excellent schools within the highly ranked Acalanes School District. In 2012, estimated median household income in Lafayette was over 175,000 dollars, more than double the statewide average and nearly triple the national average. It was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, a French military hero of the American Revolutionary War.
Martinez is a city and the county seat of Contra Costa County, California, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 38,290 at the 2020 census. The city is named after Californio ranchero Ygnacio Martínez. The downtown is notable for its large number of preserved old buildings and antique shops. Martinez is located on the southern shore of the Carquinez Strait in the San Francisco Bay Area, directly facing the city center of Benicia and the southeastern end of Vallejo, California.
Moraga is a town in Contra Costa County, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The town is named in honor of Joaquín Moraga, member of the famed Californio family, son of Gabriel Moraga, and grandson of José Joaquín Moraga, famous 18th century expeditionaries of Alta California. As of 2020, Moraga had a total population of 16,870 people. Moraga is the home of Saint Mary's College of California.
Pleasant Hill is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 34,613 at the 2020 census. It was incorporated in 1961. Pleasant Hill is the home of College Park High School, Diablo Valley College, the Pleasant Hill Library of the Contra Costa County Library system, and the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District.
The County Connection is a Concord-based public transit agency operating fixed-route bus and ADA paratransit service in and around central Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area. Established in 1980 as a joint powers authority, CCCTA assumed control of public bus service within central Contra Costa first begun by Oakland-based AC Transit as it expanded into suburban Contra Costa County in the mid-1970s.
Diablo Valley College (DVC) is a public community college with campuses in Pleasant Hill and San Ramon in Contra Costa County, California. DVC is one of three publicly supported community colleges in the Contra Costa Community College District. It opened in 1949. DVC has more than 22,000 students and 300 full-time and 370 part-time instructors.
Acalanes Union High School District is a public high school district in southwest/central Contra Costa County in California. It currently has four schools: Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Campolindo High School in Moraga, Las Lomas High School and The Acalanes Center for Independent Study in Walnut Creek, and Miramonte High School in Orinda. A fifth campus, Del Valle High School located in Walnut Creek was closed at the end of the 1978–1979 school year and remaining students were transferred to Acalanes, Campolindo, and Las Lomas High Schools. The district's alternative school, Del Oro High School, opened on the former site of Del Valle High School, closed following the 2009–2010 school year, although the district still operates Acalanes Adult Education at the Del Valle Education Center in Walnut Creek. John Nickerson has served as the district's Superintendent since May, 2011.
Walnut Creek station is an elevated Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in Walnut Creek, California, served by the Antioch–SFO+Millbrae line. The station is located north of downtown Walnut Creek, adjacent to Interstate 680 and near the Ygnacio Valley Road and California Boulevard arterial roads.
Mount Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) is a public school district in Contra Costa County, California. It currently operates 29 elementary schools, 9 middle schools, and 5 high schools, with 7 alternative school programs and an adult education program. MDUSD is one of the largest school districts in the state of California, with over 56 school sites and a budget of approximately $270,000,000. The district has over 36,000 K-12 students, over 20,000 adult education students, and over 3,500 employees, including over 2,000 certificated educators. The district covers 150 square miles (390 km2), including the cities of Concord and Clayton; as well as most of Pleasant Hill and portions of Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Lafayette, and Martinez; and unincorporated areas, including Pacheco, Clyde, and Bay Point.
John Albert Nejedly was a district attorney and Republican state senator in California who represented Contra Costa County from 1958 to 1980.
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.
Shadelands Ranch was established by Hiram Penniman, an early American settler of California in 1856 as one of the first and largest farms in California's Ygnacio Valley.
Northgate High School (NHS) is a public high school located in the suburban Northgate neighborhood of Walnut Creek, California, United States. The most recent of five high schools in the Mount Diablo Unified School District, the school was built in 1974, and is home to approximately 1,500 students from Walnut Creek and Concord, California, grades 9–12. Its name derives from its location at the north entrance of Mount Diablo State Park.
Rancho Arroyo de Las Nueces y Bolbones was a 17,782-acre (71.96 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Contra Costa County, California given in 1834 by Governor José Figueroa to Juana Sanchez de Pacheco.
The Walnut Creek mainstem is a 12.3-mile-long (19.8 km) northward-flowing stream in northern California. The Walnut Creek watershed lies in central Contra Costa County, California and drains the west side of Mount Diablo and the east side of the East Bay Hills. The Walnut Creek mainstem is now mostly a concrete or earthen flood control channel until it reaches Pacheco Creek on its way to Suisun Bay. Walnut Creek was named for the abundant native Northern California walnut trees which lined its banks historically. The city of Walnut Creek, California was named for the creek when its post office was established in the 1860s.
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