By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
River Islands Park will serve as cultural monument to Yokuts
German-American painter Albert Bierstadt in the 1880s painted this rendering of a Yokut encampment in Yosemite Valley.

Long before it was one of the fastest-growing residential developments in the state, River Islands was likely the home of the Northern Valley Yokut Tribe.

By the end of the year, a park in the Lakeside East area of the sprawling development will pay tribute to those who settled the land first.

And it’ll be an official cultural monument owned by the modern descendants of those early Yokut tribes.

Listed on planning documents as the Nototomne Cultural Preservation, the site will include a girl’s adolescence ceremony preparation monument as well as a number of themed playgrounds that pays respects to the indigenous people of the area.

According to the staff report, the developer of River Islands will grant the property to the City of Lathrop who will then grant the property to the Nototomne Cultural Preservation with an easement that will allow for city access to maintain the facility.

The improvements necessary for the park are being guaranteed by the City of Lathrop before the next parcel map in River Islands comes up for review and approval by the city council later this month – with the grading and site improvements already underway.

Development fees for the area will cover the cost of the park and the installation of the monument, and River Islands has agreed to cover the city’s costs in bringing the project to fruition.

The park is just latest in a number of historically significant park dedications that Lathrop has undertaken this year – including honoring Leland and Jane Stanford (Lathrop), the latter of which for whom the city was named by her railroad tycoon husband, and the man for whom Mossdale got its name.

The balance of the parkland will be formally transferred next week when the Lathrop City Council accepts the parcel map for the area that includes the park, and the recording of the deed is expected to take place in December.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.