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PARK HISTORY

Great Valley Grasslands State Park is a 2,826-acre park on the San Joaquin River within California's Central Valley. The park is located within Merced County, about 25 miles west of Merced and six miles east of Gustine. The park is within the Central Valley District of California State Parks.

Great Valley Grasslands State Park, which encompasses the former Fremont Ford State Recreation Area and San Luis Island Project, was opened to the public as a state park in 1992.  As of 2024, the park is largely undeveloped and a prime example of native grasslands, wetlands, and riparian forests on the floor of the Central Valley. The west side of the park contains a boat launch, parking area, restroom, and a short trail. There is no developed access to the eastern portion of the park, whcih features 5-miles of unpaved roads for hiking and biking. Both sides of the park are frequently used by local anglers.


 

GENERAL PLAN OVERVIEW

California State Parks is working to develop a general plan to guide the park’s long-term management, operations, and development. The Plan will be the primary managing document for Great Valley Grasslands State Park and will identify a vision for the park, with supporting goals and guidelines. The Plan will also guide Park staff and managers in deciding future park development of recreation infrastructure and resource management. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared for California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance as part of the planning process to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposals within the general plan.

No long-term plan for the park currently exists. A general plan will provide an opportunity to consider opportunities to improve the visitor experience, identify priority resource management and infrastructure needs, and allow members of the public to provide input on the management of the park.

California State Parks welcomes ideas and suggestions about the future of state park resources. The planning process includes multiple opportunities for engagement and public comment through an online survey and interactive map, public workshops, and a public review period of the draft Great Valley Grasslands State Park General Plan and EIR. Visit the Strategic Planning and Recreation Services Division homepage to learn more about current and past planning efforts at State Parks.

 SCHEDULE

The general plan process began in February 2024 and will be completed over a three-year period. The EIR process will begin in early 2026. Both the general plan and EIR are anticipated to be completed in early 2027.


General
Plan

Environmental
Impact Report

General
Plan

  Bar

PROJECT
PHASES

Project
Kick-Off

Issues & Opportunities

Alternatives & Feedback

Preferred
Alternative

Draft General
Plan &
Environmental
Scoping

Draft EIR

Final EIR

Final
General
Plan

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
OPPORTUNITIES

 

Survey iconPublic
Survey

Meeting iconPublic Meeting #1

Stakeholder iconStakeholder
Meeting #1

Stakeholder iconStakeholder
Meeting #2

Meeting iconPublic Meeting #2

Alternatives iconPublic Review of Alternatives

 

Meeting iconPublic Meeting #3

Notice iconCEQA NOP

Public Review iconPublic Review of Draft General Plan

EIR Review iconPublic Review of Draft EIR

EIR Final icon Release Final
EIR

Commission Hearing iconCommission Public Hearing

 

Public Final iconRelease Final
General Plan

 

January 2024

February 2024

March 2024

October 2024

November 2024

March 2025

March 2025

May 2025

May 2025

January 2026

January 2026

August 2026

August 2026

January 2027

January 2027
and later


Great Valley Grasslands SP - Schedule