River Parkway Trust and San Joaquin River Conservancy celebrate 7 days a week opening at Sycamore Island
June 23, 2023
Sycamore Island, a 600-acre natural open space area in Madera County near Valley Children's Hospital, has long been recognized by Central Valley anglers for its exceptional fishing opportunities. The property has also gained popularity among hikers, runners, bikers, paddlers, picnickers, and wildlife enthusiasts in recent years. Now, community members can take advantage of these amenities and the associated health benefits every day of the week.
The news conference will be held near the Old Muddy Pond at Sycamore Island beginning at 8:30 am.
Distinguished speakers at the event will include Congressmember Jim Costa and Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula, two key figures who have played instrumental roles in propelling the Parkway forward through legislative action.
Sharon Weaver, Executive Director of the River Parkway Trust, expressed her gratitude for the State's investment in Sycamore Island. She emphasized that the funds will enhance the Trust's ability to manage the site and complete crucial maintenance projects that will enhance the overall visitor experience.
"The River Parkway Trust is committed to high-quality management of San Joaquin River lands,” said Weaver. "Sycamore Island is a significant conservation area that contributes to our region’s health and quality of life. We are thrilled to leverage the State’s investment to expand access to the Parkway at Sycamore Island.
Under the River Parkway Trust's contract with the Conservancy, Sycamore Island will now be open seven days a week, with free public access from Monday to Friday, and a $9 vehicle day-use fee on weekends. The operational hours will vary depending on the season, with summer hours from 6:00 am to 8:30 pm. To ensure a quality and safe visitor experience, River Parkway Trust Park Hosts will staff the site during open hours. Over the course of the three-year contract, the Trust will undertake deferred maintenance projects, including significant improvements to the primary road system throughout the site.
Karen Buhr, Interim Executive Officer of the Conservancy, acknowledged the crucial role of partners in realizing the vision of a completed 22-mile Parkway. She highlighted the River Parkway Trust as a vital partner since the establishment of the Conservancy through legislation spearheaded by Congressman Jim Costa in 1992 (then State Assemblymember). Buhr expressed excitement about partnering with the River Parkway Trust to commence the implementation of the State's investment in the Conservancy.
"The 7-day-a-week operations at Sycamore Island is a testament to our commitment to making the Parkway accessible to all,” said Buhr.
Other officials scheduled to speak Monday include Madera County Supervisor Bobby McCauley, Conservancy Board Vice Chair; Julia O'Kane, Board President River Parkway Trust; Karen Buhr, Interim Executive Officer, Conservancy; Sharon Weaver, Executive Director River Parkway Trust.
Sycamore Island is located at 39664 Ave 7 1/2. Take Highway 41 N to the Children's Blvd exit (Ave 9). Look for the signs directing you to turn on Road 40. Road 40 curves around and becomes Ave 7 1/2. A Sycamore Island Sign will direct you to turn left towards the property gate. Follow the road downhill and look for the sign directing you to the Old Muddy Pond. Parking will be available near the Old Muddy Picnic Shelter. ###