Watch CBS News

Gov. Newsom announces first California state park in a decade on Earth Day

California leaders dedicate new state park in Stanislaus County
California leaders dedicate new state park in Stanislaus County 02:32

STANISLAUS COUNTY — On Earth Day, California Governor Gavin Newsom was joined by other state officials and activists to announce the newest state park – and the first since 2014 – in Stanislaus County.

The state park will be called Dos Rios. It sits right between the Tuolomne and San Joaquin rivers, just 8 miles outside of Modesto, and will also act as a flood plain.

Dos Rios came about after some nonprofits felt the area would make a great conservation spot. The governor and the California State Parks Department agreed.

Governor Gavin Newsom helped plant a tree with first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom during the dedication of this new state park on Monday. People like Dolores Huerta also spoke at the event.

"We know that nature is so important to all of us," Huerta said. The Stockton native was invited by the state to speak on behalf of the community.  

Newsom says the state chose Stanislaus county for a reason.

"No community is more impacted than this community in terms of air quality and health related issues," said Newsom. "That's why we think it's right to be here."

Creating more state parks like Dos Rios is vital to the Central Valley and its communities who have been susceptible to climate change.

"On planet Earth last year, it was the hottest year ever recorded. Don't think it's about to get better," Newsom said.

"We're going from flood plain, to ranch, back to flood plain," Ali Manzo said.

Manzo is currently a state park trooper but almost a decade ago, she came to Dos Rios before it was a state park, as a volunteer, and planted some of the native Oak trees that stand tall today.

Manzo echoes the Governor, by saying parks like these are essential to farmland and communities downstream.

"[So that] we don't get these catastrophic flooding events," she said. "Also, flood plains are incredible for sequestering carbon, also they provide incredible habitats for junior salmon."

Dos Rios was originally farmland, but through the nonprofit group, River Partners, based in Chico, it was purchased with the goal of restoring and preserving the land.

Dos Rios will officially open to the public on June 12 during State Park Week.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.