Elkhorn Regional Park

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Elkhorn Regional Park & Earth Day 2007
April 10, 2007
By Beth Gabor, Yolo County Public Information Officer

With Earth Day fast approaching on April 21, residents of Yolo county have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the rich, natural resources of the county by participating in a fun-filled event at Elkhorn Regional Park – a 50 acre county park and river access facility located on the Sacramento River, just eight miles north of West Sacramento, and two miles south of I-5 on River Road (CR 22).

Elkhorn Regional Park, deeded to the county by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1978, is a fabulous county park along the Sacramento River with rich native habitats and recreational opportunities. This park offers the public a rare opportunity to walk amongst the sights and sounds of a riparian gallery forest, one of the most special, yet threatened wildlife habitats in California. Elkhorn is the only location in Yolo County that the public can readily view this unique wildlife habitat.

Upon entering the site, visitors are greeted by thick stands of large cottonwoods draped in a tapestry of wild grape vines. Resident and migratory birds such as great blue herons, egrets, black crowned night herons, and a variety of hawks regularly inhabit the site and a variety of anadromous fishes such as king salmon, striper, American shad, and sturgeon can be readily seen in the river from the site. Recreational opportunities available to the public at Elkhorn include, picnicking, bird watching, nature study, short hiking opportunities to view the natural habitat, a grassy play area and a boat launching facility complete with boarding floats, parking for boat trailers and fishing access from the river bank. Restrooms and potable water are available, and a park host resides on site to assist the public.

The Yolo County Parks & Open Space Master Plan, adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2006, proposes a strengthening of existing uses, and a number of improvements to enhance the habitats and recreational opportunities on the site, including additional riparian restoration projects, pedestrian trails into the gallery forest with educational/interpretive programs, the development of a park docent program, upgraded boating facilities, and additional picnic areas.

On April 21, the California State Parks Foundation will be holding one of their annual statewide Earth Day restoration and cleanup projects, sponsored by PG&E, at Elkhorn Regional Park. Volunteers of all ages are encouraged to come help with the planting of native California grasses and sedges, spreading of native grass straw mulch, installation of an irrigation system, removal of invasive, non-native plants, and installation of an educational/information kiosk. Volunteers will be greeted at 9:00 a.m. with coffee and treats, and then put to work with the morning’s activities, culminating in a BBQ picnic lunch along the Sacramento River. Come and enjoy this gratifying opportunity to contribute to the county’s environmental stewardship in Elkhorn Regional Park and to celebrate Earth Day 2007.

For more information about the county parks system contact Dimitrios Georges at (530) 666-8806. For more information about the California State Parks Foundation Earth Day restoration and cleanup project see http://www.calparks.org/programs/earth-day. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up on line by April 19.