About the Project
No Longer the End of the Trail
You’re moving quickly down the trail, energized by the tree branches swaying in the breeze as they dapple the sunlight across your face. You smile, wondering what will be around the next bend, when suddenly, you can go no further. Along with the trail, your adventure has come to an end. For 75,000 visitors each year to beloved Sycamore Grove Park, this has been the case when the Arroyo del Valle Regional Trail dead-ends into Arroyo del Valle. Or for those more daring, attempts to cross the creek by foot, bike, or horseback have ended in injury either to themselves or to the creek’s critical wildlife habitat. But, thanks to Tri-Valley Conservancy supporters like you, the days of this sad tale are numbered.
You and your fellow supporters are helping to connect the Tri-Valley’s trails, thereby increasing recreational opportunities and wildlife corridors while solidifying our lovely community as a destination—come for the wine, stay for the trails! We call it the Valley Trail Connections program and, thanks to our partners and supporters like you, we are close to finishing our first-priority connection in Sycamore Grove Park.
People just like you are helping to connect Sycamore Grove Park in Livermore Valley all the way to Mission Peak in Fremont! Nearly 25,000 acres of open space will be linked together through five parks—Sycamore Grove Park, Del Valle Regional Park, Ohlone Regional Wilderness, Sunol Regional Wilderness, and Mission Peak Regional Preserve.
By connecting a dead-end trail in Sycamore Grove Park, one of our easiest to reach open spaces, recreational opportunities will increase exponentially. It will become part of a continuous 44-mile regional trail. You’ll have more than 17 times the trails to explore from your doorstep through the five linked parks. Trail access will open up for equestrians, cyclists, strollers, and people with disabilities to enjoy too. Wildlife will also have the interconnected habitat they need to survive. The payoff from this project will be huge, but it’s been years in the making.
For nearly two decades, you have helped bring the pieces together to make this possible. In 2014, you helped us preserve the Bobba Property between Sycamore Grove Park and Del Valle Regional Preserve. That land has been preserved forever and added 74 more acres to Sycamore Grove Park. However, Arroyo del Valle runs between the Arroyo Road staging area of Sycamore Grove Park and these new acres on the backside of the park. The only safe way to cross the creek now is on a footbridge that is available when conditions allow. Due to high creek flows in the Winter and Spring, the footbridge is removed completely. For over half of the year, this popular trail dead-ends and no one can cross the creek. The seasonal footbridge also does not allow bikes, wheelchairs, strollers, or horses access to the other side of the creek and the rest of the park. This has left park-goers, determined to visit the less explored acreage of the park, with the choice of changing their plans or deciding to enter the creek to attempt to cross it—which poses a danger to the visitor and the creek habitat. In recent years, horses bearing their riders across the creek have fallen, injuring themselves so severely that they have had to be put down.
Creating a permanent trail connection is a priority to improve park users’ experience as well as the creek. A bridge over the creek will connect the trail year-round, improve trail access for all park users, and decrease impacts to the creek, which will help wildlife to thrive in the park and keep the water cleaner.
In fact, making sure water flow in the arroyo isn’t impacted by the bridge is just one of the many steps that have been taken to prepare for construction. Working with Livermore Area Recreation and Park District, Zone 7 Water District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Water Resources, and the Army Corps of Engineers, just to name a few, we have gone through a vigorous feasibility study, biological assessment, and planning and permitting process in order to ensure the success of the project and the completion of the bridge. The permitting is not only required to be completed prior to construction, but it also ensures that the natural resources surrounding the project area such as wildlife habitat and water quality are enhanced rather than impacted by the project.
The construction of the bridge itself is being carefully planned and coordinated around “fledgling season” for sensitive bird and bat species in the park.
Thanks to you and our partners, significant progress has been made toward connecting this trail. Provided the permitting phase and fledgling season go according to expectations, we’re preparing to break ground on building the bridge to connect the trail this Fall.
We can’t wait to share more news with you about this amazing project that you are helping to make possible. Soon, the days of our most popular trail dead-ending before it reaches more preserved natural land to explore will be over. Until then, you can watch a video about the Valley Trail Connections project here!
5 Minute Video
1 Minute Video
Funding the Connection
Your Name Here
You can have a physical piece of this legacy that will be a part of the trail connection, the park, the community forever. Whether its for yourself or to honor someone near and dear to you, the name of your choosing can be forever engraved along this creekside trail. Your gift will help support this project today and will continue to provide comfort to park goers for generations to come!
If you are interested in purchasing an item in Sycamore Grove Park at the trail connection to help fund this project, please contact Beryl Anderson, Communications Director, via email or (925) 449-8706 for availability. Please note that all donations are helpful to this project and will be gratefully accepted in any amount!
Benefiting the Next Generation
Spending time outdoors keeps us healthier. Do you remember playing outside until mom called you in for dinner? Most kids today won’t. Over the last 20 years, childhood has moved indoors. Boys and girls spend as little as 30 minutes playing outside a day but more than 7 hours a day in front of a screen. There’s a reason they call it the great outdoors. Research confirms what many of us already knew, nature is good for us and gives us both mental and physical health benefits.
Studies show many of the major health problems on the rise among youth, such as obesity, ADHD, depression, and poor vision, could be improved by spending more time outdoors. Getting children outside and providing them a natural environment will increase attentions spans, creative thought, and the desire to learn through exploration, making for healthier and happier kids. That’s exactly what we’re doing through Valley Trail Connections.
By connecting Tri-Valley parks and open spaces together by trails, we’ll all have more options to explore, exercise and adventure! Connecting parks and open space isn’t just good for us, it’s great for plants and wildlife too so they can get the water, food, shelter, travel or finding that special someone to continue the species with.
Our first phase of Valley Trail Connections will connect Sycamore Grove Park to Del Valle which will open up trail access from Livermore to Fremont. But we can’t do it without you.
Help us link parks through trails for you and future generations to enjoy!
Bridge Construction Request for Bid
If you are interested in helping us construct the bridge connecting Sycamore Grove and Del Valle, CLICK HERE
Enormous thanks to our visionary partners for helping to make Valley Trail Connections a reality with our first connection between Sycamore Grove Park and Del Valle Regional Park:
Alameda County Transportation Commission
Bay Area Barns and Trails
California State Coastal Conservancy
City of Livermore
Dean Witter Foundation
East Bay Regional Park District
Friends of Open Space and Vineyards
Livermore Area Recreation & Park District
The Joseph & Vera Long Foundation
Zone 7 Water Agency