California State Parks Begins General Planning Process for Great Valley Grasslands State Park

Danielle Gerhart
Central Valley District Superintendent

California State Parks today announced the department is developing a comprehensive General Plan for Great Valley Grasslands State Park (GVGSP). This initiative marks a pivotal step toward guiding the park's long-range management, operations, and recreational development. The General Plan aims to enhance visitor experiences, address resource management and infrastructure needs, and incorporate public input into decisions shaping the park's future direction.

The 2,826-acre park is situated along the San Joaquin River in Merced County, approximately 25 miles west of Merced and six miles east of Gustine, within California's Central Valley.

“Great Valley Grasslands State Park welcomes the community to take part in the planning process for future improvements, enhanced recreation opportunities and to help create an engaging venue for outdoor adventures within California’s Central Valley,” said Danielle Gerhart, Central Valley District superintendent. “The park’s valuable natural resources, including the San Joaquin River, open grasslands and riparian woodland, has the potential to offer an escape to nature and we look forward to the public’s input in creating this important General Plan, which will guide the future development of the park.”

Over the upcoming months, State Parks will host public engagement events to introduce the General Plan process, gather feedback on a vision for the park, and collect public insights to enhance visitor experiences while addressing opportunities and constraints within the park. As an initial step, State Parks invites the public to share their thoughts about the park's future direction through a survey and online mapping exercise open now until Monday, June 17. To access the survey, please click here

The planning process is underway and expected to be completed within a three-year time frame. The General Plan will serve as a guiding framework for State Parks staff and managers, facilitating informed decisions regarding the park's future and the stewardship of its rich natural and cultural resources. In adherence to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the GVGSP General Plan will include an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to thoroughly evaluate potential environmental impacts associated with proposals within the plan.

State Parks looks forward to embarking on this journey with public support and input, ensuring the park remains a cherished and accessible destination for all visitors.

To stay informed and receive updates on upcoming engagement opportunities and project developments, please visit The public can also sign up for updates by visiting

Great Valley Grasslands State Park. Photo from California State Parks.

Great Valley Grasslands State Park. Photo from California State Parks.

Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at

California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.