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The Sumner Peck Ranch was listed for sale at $4.5 million on Image via Google Earth

published on December 31, 2020 - 1:53 PM
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The San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust is giving the public three days next week to preview its newest acquisition, the 76-acre Sumner Peck Ranch in Friant, just north of Fresno. The property will be open by reservation only from Jan. 7-9.

The River Parkway Trust announced the acquisition on Dec. 30. The property includes a half mile of river frontage, wildlife habitat and farmland. The site is located in Fresno County west of Friant Road about three miles north of Copper Avenue, and is contiguous with Ball Ranch, Ledger Island and the Willow Unit of the San Joaquin River Ecological Reserve.

The land has history. It was originally owned by the Ball Family. The controversial Ball Ranch Development Project in the mid ‘80s led to the creation of the San Joaquin River Parkway. Sumner Peck Ranch purchased the land in 2008 and used it to produce wine grapes, citrus and berries. The Peck Family developed a small winery, fruit stand and special events venue there.

In the next three to five years, the River Parkway Trust intends to continue operating the property as a farm and special events venue. In the long term, it hopes to restore the site to wildlife habitat with natural trails to benefit both people and wildlife.

Though the public has access next week, the Trust will take time to get operations underway until the public can freely access the property again.

“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.

A representative from the River Parkway Trust declined to say how much the property was sold for, but it was listed on with an asking price of $4.5 million.  

Reservations for next week’s public access are required in order to practice social distancing. People will be asked to wear a mask if less than six feet from other parties.

Planning for further public access and habitat enhancement will commence in the New Year. Groups can make reservations here.

“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.”

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