Plan for Regional Park at Concord Site Takes Shape

A 2,600-acre park at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station in northern California would include a 24-mile network of paved and natural surface trails, preserve wildlife habitat and provide multiple opportunities to learn about the installation’s past, under a proposed plan for the regional park.

Concord Hills Regional Park — which will include grasslands, wildflower fields, rolling hills, oak trees and wetlands — is one component of the larger reuse plan the city of Concord adopted for the inland portion of the weapons station.

Residents stressed the need for trails, passive recreation opportunities, resource conservation, wildlife protection and habitat restoration during two public workshops held last year, reported the Contra Costa Times. The new trails will connect to two neighboring paths, and possibly link to a regional preserve and Mt. Diablo State Park.

“What we did was took a look at what was existing out there; quite an extensive network of paved roadways, rail lines and dirt access roads,” said Brian Holt, park district principal planner.

One local nonprofit underscored the need to ensure the park’s trails connect to surrounding neighborhoods and public transportation, particularly the North Concord/Martinez BART station.

“The more parks that you can BART and bike to, the happier we are,” said Cynthia Armour, project manager for Bike East Bay.

The park district also is looking for creative ways to reuse about 30 concrete munitions storage magazines scattered across the property, Holt said. Suggested uses include event rentals, art exhibits, camping and a hostel, according to the story.

The park district also is working with the National Park Service to develop a joint visitor center for the National Port Chicago Naval Magazine Memorial, which is at Military Ocean Terminal Concord, an active Army facility located on what had been considered the tidal portion of the naval weapons station. The waterfront memorial honors the 320 sailors and civilians killed in an explosion at the Port Chicago naval munitions base in 1944, the deadliest homefront accident of World War II.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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