A $10 million donation of land -- the largest ever received by the East Bay Regional Park District -- will officially be donated to the Park District Board of Directors on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Two hundred ninety six acres of pristine agricultural land adjacent to Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont was donated by heirs to George and Clara Patterson, prominent residents in Southern Alameda County in the mid-1850s.
George Washington Patterson came west in 1849 to seek his fortune in the goldfields of California. Instead he "struck gold" in the fertile farm fields of southern Alameda County. The original family homestead still remains as an attraction at Ardenwood Historic Farm.
“Thanks to the adventuresome spirit of George Washington Patterson in 1849, four generations of the Patterson family have had the privilege of growing up in a small rural community that has grown into a vibrant area of over 100,000 people. We are gratified that this land is now passing from the Patterson family to the good stewardship of the East Bay Regional Park District, for everyone to enjoy,” stated Wil Patterson.
The land located near the Dumbarton Bridge was donated to the Regional Parks Foundation which is passing it through to the Park District for management and expansion of Coyote Hills.
“This is an amazing example of benevolence,” said Ayn Wieskamp, president of the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors.
“The Regional Parks Foundation is immensely grateful to the Patterson Family for their generosity in donating this land for the public’s enjoyment,” echoed William Acevedo, president of the Regional Parks Foundation.
The donated Patterson property is the largest remaining parcel of developable open space within Fremont, and will serve to buffer Coyote Hills from surrounding high-density residential and industrial park development. Acquisition of the donation property will extend the eastern boundary of Coyote Hills out to Paseo Padre Parkway, a City of Fremont designated scenic route, and will include approximately 5,000 feet of frontage along this road.
The land is the most significant addition of parkland to Coyote Hills since the park was first established in 1967, and will increase the acreage under Park District ownership within the park by more than half.
“This historical property will be preserved forever thanks to the generous donation by the Patterson family,” said EBRPD General Manager Robert E. Doyle.
The property supports three habitat types, including 74 acres of seasonal wetlands within the agricultural fields, mixed riparian forest associated with Patterson Slough and aquatic freshwater emergent marsh associated with the nearby flood control channel.
“The Pattersons have created a lasting legacy for the community of Fremont and, in fact, the greater East Bay,” said Ayn Wieskamp, “and on behalf of the public who get to access this property in the future, we thank them very much.”
1.Download:Patterson Donation Presentation (8 pp., 9.5MB)
1.San Francisco Chronicle:Gold Rush family's last bit of land goes to East Bay park
San Jose Mercury News: Record $10 million land donation expands Coyote Hills Regional Park
3.NBC Bay Area: $10M Largest Gift to East Bay Regional Park District
4.Fremont Argus/Bay Area News Group: Old Fremont farm family donates 296 acres to Coyote Hills Regional Park
5.Tri-City Voice: A Gift to the Community
10.La Grande 1010 AM
11.ABC7 Local News/KGO