EBRPD buys 160 acres to expand preserve between Dublin and Livermore

Board eyes public access, habitat protection for property in Doolan Canyon

East Bay Parks is now the proud owner of a nearly 160-acre tract of open space between Dublin and Livermore that serves to expand its Doolan Canyon Regional Preserve. (Photo by Scott Hein/EBRPD)

The Tri-Valley's Doolan Canyon Regional Preserve has nearly 160 acres of new publicly owned open space.

The East Bay Regional Park District has taken possession of the so-called "Grove property" between Dublin and Livermore after closing escrow on the nearly $1.3 million acquisition paid for largely by the district's Measure WW open space bond funds.

"The purchase will serve to protect the upper reaches of Doolan Canyon for future recreational opportunities, habitat protection, and open space preservation," EBRPD Board President Ayn Wieskamp, whose district includes parts of the Tri-Valley, said in a statement last week. "The property will also protect and preserve forever the headwaters of Cottonwood Creek."

The Grove property is now placed in land-bank status until the district completes its land-use plan for the regional preserve, according to Dave Mason, EBRPD's public information supervisor.

"Park planning is expected to take many years and will require substantial environmental evaluation and community engagement," Mason told the Weekly. "However, acquiring the property is a giant step toward opening up Doolan Canyon Regional Preserve to public access."

The new property, located off Doolan Road about four miles north of Interstate 580, is adjacent to the district's existing Doolan Canyon Regional Preserve, directly to the north of it -- and surrounded by privately owned agricultural parcels on the other sides.

EBRPD officials began negotiations with the Grove family last June before reaching agreement on a purchase price last fall. The EBRPD Board of Directors approved the acquisition Nov. 6 and the deal closed escrow later that month.

Acquisition costs totaled $1.27 million, of which about $1.23 million was allocated by the board in November from Measure WW -- the $500 million bond extension approved by voters in 2008. There had been another $32,300 previously appropriated for the project.

"The Grove family property is in the East Bay Regional Park District Master Plan and has been a longtime goal of the district's," EBRPD General Manager Robert Doyle said in a statement. "The district is pleased acquisition of the property has come to fruition."

Located between Tassajara and Collier Canyon roads and technically in far-southern Contra Costa County, the Grove property is part of land that helps provide habitat corridors for wildlife between Morgan Territory and Doolan Canyon regional preserves, including endangered species such as the Alameda whipsnake and red-legged frog according to EBRPD officials.

Acquiring the property will also help the district protect riparian and wetland habitats that support a variety of special status species, including rare alkali soil plant species, officials said.

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9 people like this
Posted by Spudly
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Feb 14, 2019 at 11:00 am

Buy more. Great use of public funds. Please add to the north end of the Pleasanton ridge too!

5 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 14, 2019 at 4:09 pm

The parks have purchase north end of the ridge, about five years ago. They are planning a staging area for car parking at West Los Positas and foothill Road with trails going up to the ridge and the water falls area.

Like this comment
Posted by Larry Gosselin DVM
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 14, 2019 at 4:37 pm

Larry Gosselin DVM, local rancher and rural lands advocate, has collaborated with EBRPD and elected officials to provide trail access, coming soon, to these properties from Collier Canyon Rd. Innovative public-private collaboration is the answer to accelerated conservation, outdoor recreation, and enhanced agriculture on a regional scale.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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