GREAT VALLEY GRASSLANDS STATE PARK
The park preserves one of few intact examples of native grasslands on the floor of the Central Valley. The park is part of the larger Grasslands Ecological Area (GEA) of federal, state and private lands all managed for wildlife values. The GEA represents the largest remaining contiguous block of wetlands in California. Several rare and endangered plant and animal species inhabit the park, including alkali sacaton, a native bunch grass, and the Delta button celery (Eryngium racemosum) a state listed endangered species found in the flood plain of the San Joaquin River. Biologists have also reported the California Tiger Salamander and endangered vernal pool fairy shrimp and tadpole shrimp. Springtime wildflower displays, fishing and wildlife watching attract visitors to this undeveloped park, which also encompasses the former Fremont Ford State Recreation Area.
Located in California's Central Valley, the park was established in 1982. It spans over 2800 acres of native grassland habitat. The area is one of the few remaining examples of such ecosystems left within the state.
The land has a rich history with Native American tribes like Yokuts and Miwok who lived here for centuries before European contact. In more recent times, it served as grazing lands during Spanish colonization and later under Mexican rule.
In an effort to preserve this unique ecosystem, several conservation groups worked together to secure its protection status from development threats around late twentieth century.
It offers visitors opportunities for wildlife viewing including rare species like Tule Elk or San Joaquin Kit Foxes along with recreational activities such as fishing and hiking trails.