Parks & Recreation History

Parks & Recreation History


Starting in the 1930s, the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers Sacramento District began constructing dams and reservoirs for the primary purpose
of flood risk management. But they also created the added benefit of
recreation. The Flood Control Act of 1944 granted the
Corps, the authority to operate and maintain recreation areas. Sacramento District parks showcased some of
the best outdoor activities, wildlife and historical sites that Northern California
had to offer. With the increase in visitors, staff were
needed to operate and maintain recreation sites. The district instituted the Ranger Program
in the 1970s. By the late 1980s, the district’s water
safety program also became a big part of the recreation mission. Rangers and staff regularly participated in
public outreach programs. Today, the district manages 10 parks in California’s
Central Valley, with more than 45,000 acres of public lands, and receives 2.5 million
visitors annually.

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