Mission and History
Stewarded by the River Parkway Trust
of volunteer service in 2020
To River Parkway Trust properties in 2020
In partnership with state and federal agencies and local governments, the River Parkway Trust has been successful in protecting San Joaquin River landscapes through fee title acquisition, conservation easements, and wildlife habitat restoration. The River Parkway Trust undertakes projects to provide public access to the river and implement the Parkway’s multiple-use Lewis S. Eaton Trail. In addition, the River Parkway Trust provides outdoor education programs for youth and recreational opportunities for the community.
Our primary focus is on the 22-mile reach of the river between Friant Dam and Highway 99, which consists of approximately 6,000 acres of San Joaquin River bottomlands. This particular reach of the San Joaquin River has attained statewide significance through legislative action that created a state agency to oversee the San Joaquin River Parkway. In 1992, the state of California enacted the San Joaquin River Conservancy Act, finding that,
In 2006, a landmark agreement was reached between water users, environmental groups, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to restore a 130-mile section of the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River by reintroducing a sustainable wild population of salmon. Salmon were extirpated from the upper San Joaquin in the 1940s as a result of building Friant Dam. In 2009, Congress authorized the San Joaquin River Restoration Program to implement the settlement agreement. Also in 2009, the River Parkway Trust led efforts to form the San Joaquin River Partnership, a non-profit collaborative of organizations supporting the restoration efforts.
Since its inception in 1988, the River Parkway Trust has evolved from its planning role to being a driving force in creating the San Joaquin River Parkway.