Winter storms in the beginning of 2023 brought on a slew of damage to local trails and outdoor recreation spaces. Over the past several months, the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District has been working to repair many of the most prominent paths with erosion.
The organization recently announced the completion of the trail rehabilitation projects in the Livermore area. The projects focused on critical areas that experienced extreme weather damage and disrupted access.
"Our primary goal for these projects was to safely get the community and visitors back to enjoying the beauty and accessibility of our parks and trails," said David Weisgerber, LARPD community outreach supervisor.
LARPD completed work on three primary sites, the Sycamore Grove Paved Path, Holdener Park Multi-use Trail and the Sycamore Grove Wetmore Entrance.
Weisgerber told the Weekly the total cost of the three projects was approximately $225,486.
"The immediate funding for these projects came from LARPD's general fund and we're working with the city of Livermore to apply for FEMA reimbursement to recoup some of the costs associated with the storm damage," Weisgerber said.
"In the case of the two sites at Sycamore Grove, the park sees nearly 100,000 visitors annually, and with the paved path at Sycamore Grove compromised, it severely impacted the access to people using strollers, bicycles, and wheelchairs due to the gap in the paved trail," said Weisgerber.
Following the intense storms earlier this year, a section of the Sycamore Grove Paved Path was eroded into the creek from excess water flowing through Arroyo Del Valle. LARPD estimated that water flowed into the area at 3,000 cubic feet per second. Part of the asphalt path was removed and rerouted to connect to the existing trail network.
At the Sycamore Grove Wetmore entrance, a portion of the nearby trail was severely eroded. LARPD managed to repair the area, in conjunction with the city of Livermore. Both groups approached the repair work with sensitivity due to the area's precious ecosystem.
Fred Haldeman, LARPD parks and facilities manager, added in a statement "due to the sensitive nature of the habitats where these trails are located, LARPD partnered with the city of Livermore and local environmentalists, completing the work under the auspices of the city's stream maintenance permit."
Along the Holdener Park Multi-use Trail, a pipe ruptured from a clogged culvert that impacted the path's functionality. LARPD repaired the pipe and cleared the culvert, in coordination with property owners north of the trail and with Wente Vineyards to the south.
"In the case of Holdener Park, the pipe needed to be repaired to help control the future run off for the upcoming rainy season," Weisgerber said.
LARPD's trail work also included minor repair and upkeep of other recreational areas.
"In addition to the highlighted projects, LARPD undertook several other repair and restoration efforts in the aftermath of the winter storms," Weisgerber told the Weekly. "These projects included trail maintenance along the Arroyo Mocho Trail and within Sycamore Grove, clearing 50 fallen trees and other debris throughout the district's parks and open space."
LARPD General Manager Mat Fuzie also shared comments on the recently completed projects via a statement.
"We're excited to complete the rehabilitation of these trails, particularly the damage to the paved path at Sycamore Grove, as that is a heavily used trail," Fuzie said. "These repairs have been vital to maintaining the accessibility of our parks and ensuring that our community can continue to enjoy Livermore's open space safely."