FRESNO, CA: The River Parkway Trust is pleased to announce the acquisition of Sumner Peck Ranch as the newest addition to the San Joaquin River Parkway. The site is located in Fresno County just south of Friant on the San Joaquin River, and contiguous with Ball Ranch, Ledger Island, and the Willow Unit of the San Joaquin River Ecological Reserve. The property includes a half mile of river frontage and wildlife habitat in addition to farmland.
The Trust will be opening the property for three days next week to give community members the opportunity to enjoy a first visit to the site. Reservations are required in order to ensure social distancing, and visitors will be asked to wear masks if they are within 6 feet of people from other households.
The 76-acre parcel was originally owned by the Ball Family. Longtime residents may recall that the controversial Ball Ranch Development Project initially proposed in the mid-1980s led to the creation of the San Joaquin Parkway. The property was purchased by Sumner Peck Ranch in 2008 and converted to the production of wine grapes, citrus, and berries. The Peck Family developed a small winery, fruit stand, and special events venue accessible from Friant Expressway, just south of the community of Friant.
The Trust intends to continue operating the site as a farm and special event venue in the short term (3-5 years). Long-term plans include restoring the site to wildlife habitat with a natural surface trail system. The site will be operated to benefit people and wildlife along the San Joaquin River Parkway. Planning for public access and habitat enhancement will commence in the new year.
“After this challenging pandemic year, we’re excited to meet 2021 with a new property that will provide access to the San Joaquin River and opportunities for children to explore and learn about the local environment,” states Julia O’Kane, President of the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust.
“Our family is pleased that the Trust was able to acquire the property and will be able to utilize the farm and public event venue we started more than a decade ago.” John Kelly Peck, Sumner Peck Ranch
“This property is a tremendous addition to the San Joaquin River Parkway that we have been interested in for years,” commented John Shelton, Executive Officer for the San Joaquin River Conservancy. “Helping the Trust with this acquisition was supported by all of our Board members as an important addition to what will become a contiguous recreational area of the Conservancy’s Ball Ranch and Ledger Island.”
The River Parkway Trust invites interested individuals out for a first look at the property from Thursday, January 7 to Saturday, January 9. In order to minimize risk, we will require pre-registration and limit visitors to 10 households per hour. This will allow for plenty of social distancing both in the parking area and as visitors take a leisurely walk around the site.
We encourage you to sign up now for your preferred visit time using the link below.
559-248-8480 extension 105