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California Citrus State Historic Park, located in Riverside, Californiamarker, preserves some of the rapidly vanishing cultural landscape of the citrus industry and tells the story of the industry's role in the history and development of Californiamarker. The park recaptures the time when "Citrus was King" in California, recognizing the importance of the citrus industry in southern California.

In the early 1900s, an effort to promote citrus ranching in the state brought hundreds of would-be citrus barons to California for the "second Gold Rush." The lush groves of oranges, lemons and grapefruit gave California another legacy—its lingering image as the Golden State—the land of sunshine and opportunity.

The design of the park is reminiscent of a 1900s city park, complete with an activity center, interpretive structure, amphitheater, picnic area, and demonstration groves. The land contained within the park still continues to produce high-quality fruits.

In 1873, the U.S.marker Department of Agriculturemarker forever changed the history of Southern California when it sent two small navel orange trees to Riverside resident Eliza Tibbets. Those trees, growing in near perfect soil and weather conditions, produced an especially sweet and flavorful fruit. Word of this type of orange quickly spread, and a great agricultural industry was born.

The park's visitor center houses a museum about the state's citrus industry, and antique citrus grove equipment is on display around the park.

Proposed for closure

In January, 2008, the California Citrus State Historic Park became one of the 48 California state parks proposed for closure by California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of a deficit reduction program. To keep the park open, the city of Riverside has proposed to enter into a 40 year lease with the state. A bill to approve the lease, authored by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, has been tabled until January, 2010, due to lack of support.


  1. List Of Calif. Parks To Close In Budget Proposal
  2. Miller, Jim. Citrus park proposal dies. The Press~Enterprise, September 5, 2009, Section D.

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