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July 2, 2008 > Dumbarton Quarry Park coming to Fremont

Dumbarton Quarry Park coming to Fremont

By Meenu Gupta

There is good news for all those who love the outdoors. A desolate site at the Dumbarton quarry, located at the end of Quarry Road off Paseo Padre Parkway, northwest of Highway 84 is gradually being transformed into a new park. The park, nestled next to Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, is tentatively named "Dumbarton Quarry Park"

DeSilva Gates, operators of the quarry, used crushed rock from this site in its grading operations. When they applied to the city of Fremont to extend their quarry operation, a condition to develop a park was added for approval of that extension. The new park was to be developed and constructed by DeSilva Gates and turned over to East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) to own and manage.

Mike Anderson, Assistant General Manager of Planning, Design and Construction for EBRPD discussed the latest developments of this large scale reclamation project.

TCV: How did the project get started?

Anderson: Ten years ago the city of Fremont's approved the extension of quarry operations at Dumbarton Quarry on the condition that after ten years, the quarry would be converted to a park. This year, Dumbarton Quarry Associates, ended their quarry operations and began the task of converting this 91-acre rocky and barren site into a leafy green retreat along the bay.

TCV: What are the challenges facing this project?

Anderson: Considered a reclamation project of significant scale, the plan is to create an oasis of irrigated turf meadows, trees and picnic areas along the edge of a 20 acre lake at a site most recently mined for rock, which is no small task. With several years of planning and park design completed jointly with the East Bay Regional Park District, implementation of this vision begins by providing two essential elements, water and soil.

According to Dumbarton Quarry Associates General Manager, Bob Mc Carrick, over 100,000 cubic yards of soil will be required to create the landscape needed to complete this conversion. That is enough dirt to cover a football field, from goal line to goal line with soil, 56-feet deep. Park plans also require the filling of the existing 300-foot deep quarry pit with fresh water to support fishing.

Diversion of flood water from the Alameda Creek channel is being studied as a potential source. Getting water from the channel would also increase the flood control capacity of the wetlands in Coyote Hills Regional Park and allow flushing the marshes with fresh and brackish water to help control cattails. "Dumbarton Quarry Associates is very pleased to see that supplying the water for the new lake will also improve the existing wetland habitat for the many birds that rest there. This is an important but unexpected benefit that will come from this project," Mc Carrick indicated.

TCV: What will the park offer to its visitors?

Anderson: Once completed, the park will become part of the East Bay Regional Park District's Coyote Hills Regional Park. Visitors to Coyote Hills, which is known for its abundance of natural and cultural resources, will gain a new way to experience this setting along the bay with extensive picnic areas and turf meadows. Planned activities for the park include lake fishing and boating as well as a variety of overnight camping opportunities, from primitive to RV camp sites. Since the camp area will be connected by an extensive system of hiking and biking trails, campers will be able to spend several days exploring the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge as well as the wetlands and interpretive programs provided by the Park District at Coyote Hills.

The location of the new park will provide a unique opportunity to picnic along the lake, fish, boat, ride a bike or walk to the bay shoreline, participate in interpretive programs on natural and cultural resources offered by the Wildlife Refuge or the East Bay Regional Park District or extend the adventure by connecting with the Alameda Creek Regional Trail or the Bay Trail.

TCV: When will the park be completed?

Anderson: The park is expected to be completed in 2010.

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