Newhall Community Park an oasis for ducks and dogs

Newhall Community Park an oasis for ducks and dogs

Newhall Community Park an oasis for ducks and dogs
A walk around the duck pond at Newhall Park is a peaceful respite its urban surroundings. (Photos by Kara Navolio)

CONCORD, CA — Editor’s note: Fifth in a series on Concord and Clayton parks.

Although Newhall Community Park is the city’s largest park, it’s surprisingly easy to feel like you have found a bit of paradise in the middle of a busy city.

People visit this 126-acree area for the dog park, sports fields and bocce courts, or just to walk on the many trails. There are gravel paths around the developed areas and dirt trails in the open space that surround the park. A large pond is full of ducks and other water birds; during the wet months it is fed by Galindo Creek, which borders the east side.

“We love the ducks and the walking trails,” said Amy Weld, a mother of two. “We enjoy them while my other son plays soccer. And the playground is great for the little ones, too.”


The city purchased the first 60 acres of the park in the 1960s from the Newhall Land & Farming Co., according to Chuck Gabrysiak, a former city employee.

It started as open space with just the pond and some trails. As the neighborhoods around the park were built, it expanded with the sports fields, bocce courts and dog park.

Concord Bocce Federation operates the eight bocce courts in an agreement with the city. While the courts have been closed during the pandemic, they will reopen this month (assuming health restrictions allow it). To join a league or reserve a court, find more information at

The park also features a Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a playground, a butterfly garden and a group picnic area.

Ducks and dogs

On a recent weekday afternoon, friends met for a walk along the gravel perimeter path, kids ran to soccer practices, moms pushed strollers, families took photos of ducks, and a handful of dog owners chatted while their dogs ran and played together.

“When Rollie comes here, he makes it a point to meet all the people,” said Elaine Nagano, Rollie’s owner and a 30-year Concord resident. “It’s his favorite place to be. When he’s happy, I’m happy. People are different when they’re with their dogs; they’re more friendly. Dogs bring out the smiles.”

There are areas sectioned off for large dogs and small dogs so they can run and socialize on luscious green grass.

Whether seeking a quiet respite with beautiful views of Mt. Diablo or recreational activities like hiking, sports or dog social time, Newhall awaits you.

Read more in our Concord and Clayton parks series, click here.


Kara Navolio
Kara Navolio

Kara Navolio is a freelance writer, telling stories of real life heroes and interesting people for several local newspapers since 2015, including The Pioneer and Lamorinda Weekly.  She is also the editor of a local magazine, Northgate Living, and her debut children’s picture book Everybody Can Dance! was  released by Brandylane Publishers, Inc. in May 2019.  She has lived in Walnut Creek with her husband for 30 years and is the mom of two now grown children.