At their meeting September 3, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors authorized an application for a $1 million grant through the Alameda County Altamont Landfill and Resource Facility Open Space Advisory Committee to acquire the 231-acre Castleridge property for resource protection and expansion of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. The grant funds will be matched by Measure WW funds to complete the acquisition for a total purchase price of $2.2M in early 2014.
“The site’s significant biological resources, wildlife corridors, public access opportunities and strategic location make this acquisition a high priority for the Park District,” said Board Vice-President Ayn Wieskamp. “This gently rising, mostly shaded trail will provide one of the best opportunities for so many more people to be able to walk into the park.”
The Castleridge property represents a rare opportunity to acquire and protect a large, contiguous landscape with mostly intact and diverse plant and wildlife communities. The property also contains important habitat for protected species such as the golden eagle, California red-legged frog and Alameda whipsnake.
Together with over 8,800 acres already protected in adjacent Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park and more than 6,000 acres at EBRPD’s nearby Garin/Dry Creek and Vargas Plateau parks, the Castleridge property can become part of a significant preserve being assembled in Niles Canyon around the East Bay’s largest watershed, Alameda Creek. According to the Upland Habitat Goals Project, acquisition and permanent protection of the Castleridge property is essential to regional conservation goals.
In 1999 various environmental groups and Alameda County (County) entered into a settlement agreement regarding the increased traffic in the I-580 corridor due to the expansion of the Altamont landfill facility. The parties to the lawsuit, Alameda County, Waste Management of Alameda County (WMAC), the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton and various environmental groups, agreed that the County would charge WMAC fees totaling $1.25 per ton of waste disposed at the landfill. WMAC is required to pass the fees on to its franchisors and other jurisdictions that use the landfill. Of those fees, $0.75 per ton must be spent on acquisition of open space, either by purchasing the land or obtaining conservation easements over it.
Download: Castleridge Property Presentation
Originally shown at the Sept. 3 Board Meeting
More information: Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park