California Nursery Historic Park Master Plan

CA Nursery Logo

​Setting the Stage...


In 1884 a German immigrant named John Rock purchased 463 acres on a site that is today known as the town of Niles in Fremont.  He moved his start-up nursery from San Jose’ and named it “The California Nursery Company.”  Rock set about to create the best known Nursery Company in the State of California and became the premier supplier of fruit and nut trees.  He marketed and hybridized 100’s of plant varieties with the assistance of the famous botanist Luther Burbank of Santa Rosa.  In addition to fruit trees, the California Nursery became known for ornamental shrubs and 100’s of varieties of roses.  Rock is thought to be responsible for introducing more new plants into the State than any other nurseryman. More...

The Final Master Plan - Click image(s) to enlarge.

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The Final Master Plan - Click image(s) to enlarge.

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Downloadable Master Plan Documents

The entire Adopted Master Plan is available for viewing. The downloadable document contains three volumes: Volume 1, Master Plan Report, Volume 2, Urban Forestry Master Plan, and Volume 3, Supporting Documents. These volumes are available for individual viewing below. 

Master Plan: Volume 1, Master Plan Report

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The Adopted Master Plan: Volume 1, Master Plan Report is available for viewing. A printer-friendly PDF of the Master Plan graphics is also available.

The park master plan proposes a relatively light touch, in response to the
overwhelming preference that the park remain a passive park. At the same
time, the City desires the park to require as little ongoing subsidy from the
General Fund as possible, and preferably no ongoing subsidy. This implies
a need to accommodate activities and uses of the park that either generate
revenue or attract partners that can take responsibility for portions of the
park’s need for ongoing operations and maintenance. Examples include
environmental education, rentals of picnic areas, and day camps.

Master Plan: Volume 2, Urban Forestry Master Plan

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The Adopted Master Plan: Volume 2, Urban Forestry Master Plan is available for viewing. 

The Tree Report and Urban Forestry Master Plan is a comprehensive inventory, analysis, and recommendations for the preservation and enhancement of the 20 acre, 756 tree urban forest, at The California Nursery Historical Park.

Master Plan: Volume 3, Supporting Documents

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The Adopted Master Plan: Volume 3, Supporting Documents is available for viewing.

These documents were used to assist the community input process, to inform the evolution of the master plan and feasible uses of the site, understand financial impacts and to document existing features. They provide technical information and quantify specific data in relation to the site. 

City Council Next Steps and Recent Actions :
December 12, 2017, 7:00 p.m: 

 City Council adopted the California Historical Park Master Plan during their regularly scheduled meeting at the City Council Chambers, located at 3300 Capitol Avenue.

Currently underway:


President's House Repairs Project:  
This project includes roof and support structure, electrical, plumbing, paint, and windows.  Estimated completion is May, 2018. 

Stay tuned for updated on phase one projects at the California Nursery Historical Park.


Master Plan Public Involvement and Process

First Public Workshop

The first public workshop was held on July 12, 2014. The City and PGAdesign presented slides on the history of the California Nursery Company and a site analysis of the existing conditions. Slides from the workshop are available here.

Second Public Workshop
The second public workshop was held at the Fremont Teen Center on September 25, 2014. PGAdesign presented two
conceptual design plans for public input. Attendees were also asked to provide 1-5 things they considered a top priority, or were most excited about. Slides that were presented at the meeting can be found on Recreation Service's California Nursery Historical Park Master Plan community meetings page

Photos from the first workshop.

First Meeting 1
First Meeting 2
Phase 1, Developing the Design with the Community
Following the second public workshop, draft drawings for the two designs options were produced according to comments received. These design options are part of Phase 1 of 3. Out of the two design options, Option 2 was selected as the Draft Master Plan as seen in the two drawings at the top of this page and reviewed for impacts in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). 

A complete 200 page report was drafted, titled: "Draft Phase 1 Master Plan Report". This preliminary report documents the design, and site development criteria as of November 2014.

Phase 2, Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
As part of Phase 2, a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was conducted on the draft master plan final shown at the top of this page. The draft EIR is currently available for public comments starting December 22, 2016 through February 10, 2017. More information the EIR and how to access the document can be found in this Notice of Availability. Furthermore, the EIR for the Master Plan for the California Nursery Historical Park can be found on the City's Planning Division's Environmental Review page

Phase 3, Developing the Final Master Plan
A third community meeting was held at the Teen Center on January 19, 2017 to present the California Nursery Historical Park Final Draft Master Plan. The Final Draft Master Plan graphics are available for viewing at the top of this page.

Historical and Landmark Trees

The City of Fremont places great value in promoting and protecting its historical or landmark trees. Many of the trees designated for landmark status in the Niles District are located in the California Nursery. Some of these trees date back to the period when the California Nursery spanned throughout what is now the Niles District; and some trees that were propagated by John Rock in the early 1800s, such as the Dwarf Blue Gum, still exists on the current nursery property.

To take a self-guided walking tour of the trees and existing features on the property, please view and download the map

The Boxed Tree Forest

Box Trees

Programs and Tours


Are you interested in learning more about the California Nursery Historic Park? Stop by for docent-led tours on Sundays at 2pm, and visit the museum open on Sundays from 1-4pm. A self-guided walking tour map is also available to those who prefer to explore at their own leisure. 

Recreation services also offers spring and summer camps for children. To learn more about these programs, check out their programs page for dates, times, and sign-up information.