FRIANT — The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and partners announce the opening of a new link of the San Joaquin River Parkway Trail, part of the Friant Interactive Nature Site (FINS), and new outdoor educational facilities at the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery.
The trail stretches nearly a mile from the community of Friant to Lost Lake Recreation Area in Fresno County.
FINS includes a new parking lot located on Friant Road to serve school buses and other visitors, an outdoor classroom, trailhead facilities, interpretive exhibits and the following:
- Small Fry Children’s Trail and “Stormy Creek” — A play area and educational introduction to ecosystems, encouraging children to learn about the life of a trout while enjoying nature. “Stormy Creek” demonstrates a bio-swale, which is a landscaped area designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water before entering a river system like the San Joaquin River.
- San Joaquin Hatchery— Conveniently located for tourists, visitors and Friant residents, offers free visitation and public viewing of the life stages of a trout.
- Salmon Conservation and Research Facility — Construction is slated to begin this fall on a state-of-the-art $40 million fisheries facility that will produce spring-run Chinook salmon for reintroduction to the San Joaquin River.
“We accomplish a lot when we all work together,” says CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham.
Funding for the $3.38 million project was provided by the San Joaquin River Conservancy with approval of the California Wildlife Conservation Board, using state bond funds from the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Fund of 2006 (Proposition 84) and the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2002 (Proposition 40).
“To me, this new link of the trail signifies our connection to the outdoors. It connects the public to nature, providing environmental educational opportunities that we can all be proud of for generations to come. Thank you to the partners and volunteers for their work on this important part of the trail.”