FREMONT -- A rarely frequented 98-acre creekside park is slated next year for a major restoration that city leaders hope will solve erosion issues and attract more hikers and picnickers.
Sabercat Creek Historical Park, which snakes from Paseo Padre Parkway to Interstate 680 south of Washington Boulevard, is home to a trove of archeological treasures. But the past 30 years of intensive development in the upper reaches of the creek, near Ohlone College, has taken its toll.
Increased water runoff has eroded the banks of Sabercat Creek, threatening water quality and forcing the city to close sections of the park where the trails no longer are accessible.
But starting in summer, the city is scheduled to begin a nearly $2 million project to restore creek banks, improve trails and make the park more accessible.
Work near the intersection of Paseo Padre Parkway and Quema Drive will include a new wheelchair-accessible park entry with picnic tables and a connection to additional trails east of Paseo Padre Parkway, said Barbara Silva, Fremont's environmental specialist.
The project also will include restoring creek banks at one section of Sabercat Creek where erosion has helped create a 7-foot waterfall, Silva said.
The project, funded primarily through a $1.2 million state grant, is part of the city's goal of building a continuous trail from the Irvington district, through the park, and all the way to Livermore.
Last year, the city purchased 14 acres of adjacent hillside meadow where more than 60 years ago a team of boys helped unearth so many fossils that a new faunal age, the Irvingtonian, was named.
Earlier this year, Fremont folded those 14 acres into the newly created Sabercat Creek Historical Park. However, the city still must find additional funds to improve trails in that portion of the park.
During the past month, city officials have been presenting the creek bank restoration plan to local residents. Several people at one meeting complained of vandalism and teenagers smoking in the park.
Silva responded that the project should increase use at the park, which, in turn, will force teens to find another secluded spot to hang out.
The restoration project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2011.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-353-7002. For more Fremont news, read his blog at www.IBAbuzz.comtricitybeat