- Flows through Contra Costa County
- Watershed size: 6,848 acres
- Channel length: 22.22 miles
- Highest elevation in watershed: 1,905’
- Population: ~24,000 (Richmond and San Pablo, CA)
- Upper watershed: Wildcat Canyon, including Tilden Regional Park, parallel to the Hayward Fault, East Bay Regional Park District.
- Mid watershed: Alvarado Park in Richmond, East Bay Regional Park District property.
- Lower watershed: San Pablo and Richmond flatlands
Wildcat Creek’s proximity to San Pablo Creek as it flows through Richmond and San Pablo has been an historical flood problem for these low-income, high population density cities. As such, it has run the gamut of flood control methods, starting in the latter 20th century as the US Army Corps of Engineers attempted to fully enclose, or “straightjacket” the downtown run in a concrete culvert. Community activists resisted the efforts and ultimately prevailed, resulting in a more natural approach to flood management along Wildcat Creek. Current management efforts are a success story of multifaceted community involvement through the sheer number of groups working to remove invasive species, revegetate, and maintain sediment levels. In 2010, the city of San Pablo received the funding necessary to remove the remaining concrete culverts along Wildcat’s run to the Bay. In more recent years, plans are evolving for adaptive shorelines and urban forests around the creek.
Top photo: Daniel McGlynn
Other Great Stories
- North Richmond: Building Equity in the Urban Fabric and Forest, ESTUARY News June 2018, by Daniel McGlynn
- Human Centered Conservation in North Richmond, ESTUARY News March 2018, by Daniel McGlynn
- Transforming a Bay Area Brownfield into a Green Jewel, Next City, November 2017, by Lisa Owens Viani