Benicia

State Recreation Area - California

Benicia State Recreation Area protects tidal wetland. It is located in Solano County 2 miles (3.2 km) west of downtown Benicia. The park covers 447 acres (181 ha) of marsh, grassy hillsides and rocky beaches along the narrowest portion of the Carquinez Strait. Southampton Creek and the tidal marsh front Southampton Bay, where the combined waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers approach San Pablo Bay.

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Overview Map of the East Bay Regional Park District in California. Published by the East Bay Regional Park District.East Bay Regional Parks - Overview Map

Overview Map of the East Bay Regional Park District in California. Published by the East Bay Regional Park District.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=476 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benicia_State_Recreation_Area Benicia State Recreation Area protects tidal wetland. It is located in Solano County 2 miles (3.2 km) west of downtown Benicia. The park covers 447 acres (181 ha) of marsh, grassy hillsides and rocky beaches along the narrowest portion of the Carquinez Strait. Southampton Creek and the tidal marsh front Southampton Bay, where the combined waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers approach San Pablo Bay.
Our Mission Benicia State Recreation Area The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. The tidal marsh— where the rivers meet the bay—forms a unique habitat, home to rare and endangered California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (707) 648-1911. This publication is available in alternate formats by contacting: CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Discover the many states of California.™ Benicia State Recreation Area 1 State Park Road Benicia, CA 94510 (707) 648-1911 © 2009 California State Parks (Rev. 2011) plants and wildlife. T he combined waters of fourteen tributaries of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers surge through the Carquinez Strait, past Benicia State Recreation Area, and west into San Pablo Bay on their way to the Pacific Ocean. Over the past 150 years, these waters have carried silt and clay from historic hydraulic gold mines and timber logging sites of the Sierra and deposited the particles where fresh water meets salt water at Southampton Bay. The mudflat and marsh make up most of the recreation area, providing habitat for some unusual and endangered species. The climate may be windy and cool year-round, with frequent fog. Summer temperatures may reach 101 degrees; in winter, average rainfall is 3 inches with temperatures dipping to 40 degrees. PARK HISTORY Native Americans Today’s Solano County was first settled by the Patwin, who spoke the Southern Wintuan language. Historians estimate that about 3,300 Southern Patwin lived in the area before European encroachment. From 1800 through the 1820s, Spanish Franciscan padres from Mission Dolores, Mission San José and Mission San Francisco Solano tried to convert the Southern Patwin to Catholicism. After the mission era ended in 1834, Mexican commandant General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo used these new converts, called neophytes, as a labor force to work on his vast land holdings—nearly 175,000 acres. A century later, only about 200 Patwin were left—lost to deprivation and unfamiliar European diseases. Dillon eventually purchased the property; he built a brick kiln and began making red clay bricks. Sandstone and raw materials for the bricks were eventually exhausted. The Dillon family and subsequent owners tried sheep ranching and raising grapes until the State acquired the property for the Benicia State Recreation Area in 1967. Doña Francisca Benicia Euro-American Settlement Carrillo de Vallejo The city of Benicia was founded in 1847 by General Vallejo, Dr. Robert Semple NATURAL HISTORY and Thomas O. Larkin. Benicia was originally Geology and Habitat named “Francisca” in honor of Vallejo’s wife, Nearly 70 percent of the parkland is tidal Doña Francisca Benicia Carrillo. marsh wetland, ringed by grassy hills and Francisca’s founders changed the town’s open water. The Southampton mudflat name to Benicia on June 12, 1847, after formed by upriver silt and clay deposits is nearby Yerba Buena was officially renamed more than 1,000 feet thick. The principal San Francisco. With its strategic location habitats here are brackish marsh, saltwater skirting Southampton Bay and the Carquinez marsh and freshwater marsh. Strait, Benicia built the area’s first deepPlants and Wildlife water harbor capable of docking large ships. This rare and endangered wetland Park Property The sandstone point at Benicia SRA has been known as Rocky Point, Quarry Point and now Dillon Point. Stonecutter Patrick Dillon came to California from Tipperary, Ireland, during the 1849 gold rush. He settled in Benicia in 1851. General Vallejo leased Dillon the tidal flat at Southampton Bay and Rocky Point peninsula for a sandstone quarry. ecosystem is covered with marsh plants such as salt grass, pickleweed, coyote bush and soft bird’s-beak. Bird’s-beak is an endangered gray-green annual herb in the snapdragon family. Non-native trees provide light shade at the park entrance and picnic table areas. Native plant communities such as chaparral, valley grassland and coastal scrub bloom on the hillsides. Native Plant Botanic Garden The Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden represents over 250 species on 3.5 acres overlooking Southampton Bay. The garden pays tribute to the late Forrest Deaner, founder of the Willis Linn Jepson Chapter (Solano County) of the California Native Plant Society. In spring, colorful magenta redbuds, golden poppies, blue lupines and pink-flowered currants bloom. Summer and early fall deepen native plant foliage into russets and browns. Several demonstrat

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