General Park Information:
Sparks Marina Park is a 109-acre Sparks park with a restroom.
Playground, volleyball court, walking and biking paths, dog park, picnic area, lake with fishing and beach access, showers, bird watching, concession stand, and benches. Park is ADA accessible. Park hours are 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Here is a link to Sparks Marina Park on City of Spark’s website.
View the slideshow to see some of this park's amenities!
Submission Box for Personal Stories/Photos:
Do you have personal photographs or stories about this park and are willing share your memories with your community?
If you have a photo 10 years or older of this park, they could potentially be used in an exhibit in our traveling Parks Rephotography Project photo collection! How exciting to have your memories on display!
Click here to learn more.
From Pit to Pond:
From 1968 to 1995 the Helm’s Construction Company owned the land which is now the Sparks Marina. When this land was in the Helm’s Construction Companies’ possession, the land was used as a 100 ft deep gravel pit.
In 1987 a leak of petroleum products was discovered seeping into the pit from an oil tank farm located a mile away. This site was declared a “Toxic Superfund Site” and cleanup commenced on the area. The land that is now Sparks Marina was granted to the City of Sparks in 1996 when the groundwater tested free of all petrochemicals. The City of Sparks used the money won from the spill mitigation fees to turn the gravel pit into a recreational pond for the community. The City of Sparks was going to change the 100 ft pit into a 30 ft pond, but the Truckee River had different plans for the area. In 1997 the Truckee River flooded and filled the pond fully in two days which was thereafter kept at 100 ft instead of making it the shallow 30 ft!
Sparks Marina Sign
Image by Jay Kolbet-Clausell
Typical Flora and Fauna:
The following are a few of our favorite highlights.
See the community submission section below to view additional wildlife sightings found at this park, and submit you own favorite naturalist sightings through iNaturalist!
Submission Box for Biodiversity Sightings:
Click here to document your own biodiversity observations from this park on iNaturalist.
Any observations noted along the Truckee River, please share with the
Truckee River Guide here.
Community Stories and Photos:
To learn more about volunteering for this Project, click here.
Enjoy history? Then consider volunteering as a History Researcher today!
Like plants and animals? Then volunteer as our Biodiversity Researcher!
Rephotography Site Stewards:
To view this collection, click here.
Ernest Ross is one of the Site Stewards for Sparks Marina Park. He has been involved with The Parks Rephotography Project since 2015.
Ernest Ross is also the main photographer for the Parks Rephotography Project historic collection. Thank you Ernest for your dedication to the Parks Foundation!
City of Sparks Park Map.
Sparks Marina Park Map.
City of Sparks: Details about Sparks Marina can be found here.
Nevada Department of Wildlife: Sparks Marina Pond.
Backyard Traveler by Rich Moreno: “The Gravel Pit That Became a Lake.”
New to Reno: “Sparks Marina Park and Helms Lake.”
City of Sparks YouTube Video: Sparks Marina.