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BIDWELL PARK LOOKING TO THE FUTURE WITH THE PAST IN MIND.

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Presentation on theme: "BIDWELL PARK LOOKING TO THE FUTURE WITH THE PAST IN MIND."— Presentation transcript:

1 BIDWELL PARK LOOKING TO THE FUTURE WITH THE PAST IN MIND

2 Friends of Bidwell Park Goals Protect the natural qualities of Bidwell Park Encourage responsible park use Facilitate the development, funding and implementation of the Bidwell Park Master Management Plan Help educate the public about their natural environment and important issues regarding park management

3 Topics of Discussion Brief human history of Bidwell Park Details of funding and management Development of the Bidwell Park Master Management Plan/EIR Threats to Bidwell Park Future of Bidwell Park

4 Brief Human History of Bidwell Park Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Konkow and Mechoopda Maidu Indians ranged throughout large portions of the region. The Mechoopda tribe, with its own distinct dialect of the Maidu language, had a village along Butte Creek, ~3.5 miles from the current site of Chico at the time when John Bidwell arrived. John Bidwell purchased a Spanish Land Grant, Rancho Arroyo Chico, from the Dickey brothers in Impressed with the magnificent scenery of the Big Chico Creek canyon, he and his wife Annie would later deed over 2000 acres to the City of Chico in order to preserve the natural beauty for future generations to enjoy. In 1905, the City of Chico accepted this gift from the Bidwells and promises to preserve this one spot to nature, inviolate and through all time. The Bidwell Park and Playground Commission was formed in 1918 with..the power and the duty to operate and maintain all of the parks and playgrounds owned by the City… With the purchase of several additions over the years, Bidwell Park has grown to 3670 acres. Today, several hundred thousand people visit Bidwell Park every year to transverse the trails through nature, enjoy Big Chico Creek, and to use the various existing recreational facilities.

5 City of Chico General Services Department Park Division

6 The Park Divisions responsibilities include: Bidwell Park acres Creekside Greenways and Open Space: –Annies Glen –Bidwell Ranch (long-term management proposals currently being solicited) –East 20th St at Notre Dame Open Space –First and Verbena Open Space –Little Chico Creek Creekside Greenway –Lost Park –Mud Creek Creekside Greenway –Sycamore Creek Creekside Greenway –Comanche Creek Linear Park –Sandy Gulch (Lindo Channel)

7 The Park Divisions responsibilities include: (cont.) Developed Parks: –Bidwell Bowl Amphitheater –Camellia Way Park –Children's Playground –Depot Park –Humboldt Park –Plaza Park –Ringel Park –Skateboard Park –Wildwood Park

8 The Park Divisions responsibilities include: (cont.) Undeveloped Neighborhood Parks –Baroni Park (master plan recently approved) –Ceres Park (master plan under development) –Henshaw Park Maintenance of 30,000 street trees Management of more than 130 maintenance districts

9 Park Lessees Bidwell Park Golf Club Chico Area Recreation and Park District (Sycamore Field, Hooker Oak Recreation Area) Chico Creek Nature Center Chico Equestrian Association Chico Rod and Gun Club Kiwanis Chico Community Observatory

10 Personnel Summary Funded Allocated Positions: Park Administration 1Administrative Secretary 1Park Director 2Total Parks and Open Spaces 1Field Supervisor 6Maintenance Worker 1Park Ranger/Volunteer Coordinator 0.81Seasonal Park Ranger 2Senior Maintenance Worker 1Senior Park Ranger 11.81Total Street Trees/Public Plantings 1Field Supervisor 3Maintenance Worker 0.6Seasonal Maintenance Worker 3Tree Maintenance Worker 1Urban Forester 8.6Total 22.41Total Funded Permanent Positions 0.08Administrative Secretary 1.15Maintenance Worker 1.15Maintenance Aide 0.64Landscape Inspector 0.42Head Lifeguard 0.36Assistant Head Lifeguard 1.44Lifeguard 0.72Special Project Worker 5.32Total Hourly Positions 27.73Department Total Hourly Positions:

11 City of Chico Annual Budget (proposed) Park Division Expenditure Category General Fund Other Salaries and Employee Benefits $1,805,174 0 Materials and Supplies $225,561 0 Purchased Services $537,550 0 Other Expenses $148,122 0 Allocations $226,684 0 Department Total $2,943,091$0 Department Summary by Fund-Activity Title General Fund Park Administration $350,148 Parks and Open Spaces$1,528,306 Street Trees/Public Plantings$1,064,637 Department Total$2,943,091

12 All Park Division operating expenditures are paid from the Chico General Fund whose income sources are: Sales tax 43% Utility users tax 15% Motor vehicle in-lieu fees 12% Interfund transfers 10% Property taxes 8% Other 8% Transient occupancy tax 4%

13 Additional funding sources for operating expenses in other municipal parks include: Fixed percentage of sales tax (requires voter approval) Parcel tax (requires voter approval) Fixed percentage of the transient occupancy tax (requires voter approval) Donations from individuals and businesses Foundations

14 Volunteer Organizations Working in Bidwell Park on a Regular Basis (about 15,000 hours in 2004) Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliancewater quality testing & grant-writing for fish ladder repairs Butte Environmental Councilannual Bidwell Park and Creeks of Chico cleanup California Native Plant Society, Mt. Lassen Chapterremoval of invasive Spanish broom in Upper Park and Lindo Channel Chico Cat Coalitionrescue, care for, spay & neuter and find homes for cats and kittens that are dumped in the park (more than 600 so far) Friends of Bidwell Parkinvasive plant removal, mapping, trash pickup, oak tree restoration, Annies Glen Centennial restoration project Kids and Creeksinvasive plant removal and riparian restoration by K-12 students Park Watchthe eyes and ears of the park, report problems to ranger, provide information to park visitors Streamindersriparian restoration at One Mile and in Upper Park VIPsChico Police Dept. volunteers patrol Upper Park

15 Recent Major Capital Projects in Bidwell Park DescriptionFunding SourcesAmount Clean-up of former rifle/skeet/pistol ranges Park Operating Fund (Fund 2)$130,258 Transportation Equity Act (Fund 311)$614,474 Remediation Fund (Fund 312)$1,310,145 Total Cost$2,054,877 One Mile Recreation Area Irrigation & Lighting Park Operating Fund (Fund 2)$66,908 Proposition 12$101,622 Total Cost$168,530 Bidwell Park Master Management PlanPark Operating Fund (Fund 2)$103,627 Community Park (Fund 330)$320,238 Total Cost$423,865 Caper Acres Waterline ExtensionPark Operating Fund (Fund 2)$41,006 Big Chico Creek Flood Plain RestorationIn-lieu payment for non-compliance fine by RWQCB $27,041

16 Major Upcoming Funded Capital Projects DescriptionFunding SourcesAmount Chico Creek Nature Center--New Building (plus an additional $100,000 needed to outfit building, of which $50,000 has been raised so far) Proposition 40 per-capita funds$200,000 Private (individuals and organizations) donations$57,000 Insurance payment from 1998 fire$30,000 Loan from City of Chico$185,000 Total$472,000 One Mile Dam ReplacementProposition 40 (additional funding of about $200,000 needed) $382,353 Wildwood Ave. Bike Path (to Golf Course) Chicos bikeway improvement fund$269,360 Day Camp BridgeProposition 12$222,000 Bidwell Park Centennial PrintsMerged Art (Fund 382)$11,673

17 Major Proposed Unfunded Capital Projects DescriptionProposed budget yearAmount Allocated Annies Glen Bike Underpass (possible partial funding from Caltrans Safe Routes to School grant) $585,800 One-Mile Recreation Area Bike Bridge (most funding to come from Chicos bikeway improvement fund) $319,000 Bridge near Browns HoleUnknown Cedar Grove Improvements (to be funded from future grants) $188,832 Horseshoe Lake Area ImprovementsUnknown Permanent bathrooms on north side of One Mile (to be funded from future grants) $203,840

18 Potential Bidwell Park Redevelopment Projects in Budget DescriptionRDA FundsOther FundsTotal Big Chico Creek Greenway Downtown (Lost Park) Unknown Sycamore Pool Reconstruction$400,000$1,200,000$1,600,000

19 Parks and Open Space Acquisition Funds DescriptionFund Balance 06/30/05 Expected Revenue * Exp. Fund Balance 06/30/06 Bidwell Park Land Acquisition Fund($2,000,181)$148,000($1,852,181) Linear Parks/Greenways Fund$298,450$89,937$387,387 *Income to these funds is from development impact fees

20 Bidwell Park and Playground Park Commission Commissioners apply for these volunteer positions, are appointed by the City Council and serve four year terms. CommissionerOccupationTerm Expiration Tom BarrettEnergy & toxics consultant1/09 Michael CandelaDeputy District Attorney1/09 Stephen LucasButte County Planner1/07 Russell MillsCSUC Engineering Professor1/07 Richard OberSoftware company employee1/07 Jim Walker (Chair)Physician Assistant (PA-C)1/07 David WoodOwner of security alarm business1/09

21 Development of the Bidwell Park Master Management Plan/EIR Why the Update? Contract with EDAW – scope and content Where is the update process now? Key issues and proposed changes

22 Why the Update ? 1990 MMP recommends an update about every 5 years 15 years had lapsed In 1995, the City purchased two parcels as an addition to Bidwell Park, totaling approximately1420 acres, that had never been subject to inclusion in the MMP

23 Contract with the Consulting Firm EDAW Total estimated cost: $423,865. Highlights from the Project Scope language: ° Create a user-friendly GIS database using existing information about Bidwell Park ° A field guide or manual for invasive weed removal is the desired outcome of the planning process. ° Create a Cultural Resource Plan ° A trail plan for Upper Bidwell Park is one of the desired outcomes of the Updated Plan. ° Develop Goals and Guidelines ° Develop other specific project plans: a) Cedar Grove b) Horseshoe Lake c) One Mile Recreation Area d) CEQA compliant project plan and EIR for Proposed Disc Golf Courses in Upper Park

24 Contract with the Consulting Firm EDAW (cont.) EIR: …existing conditions section ( section 2 of the Draft ) of the updated plan shall serve as the setting section of the EIR. Up to two alternatives will be analyzed in addition to the no project alternative. Draft EIR Project Specific EIRs (EDAW): Annie Bidwell Trail, Disc Golf

25 Where is the Update Process Now? Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) activity is formally complete A Draft of the Updated Plan has been submitted to the BPPC for review, comment and input The BPPC has scheduled a series of public meetings to discuss various components of the Updated Plan (draft): September 29th (regular BPPC meeting) October 3rd, 12th, 17 th, Nov 2 nd, 3 rd 10 th, 14 th (specially scheduled) November 7 th & 28 th (regular BPPC meetings) BPPC approves a version of the Draft Plan Administrative Draft EIR goes to City staff A Draft EIR will then be presented to the public for a comment period of 45 days. Final Draft BPMMP and the Final Draft EIR are presented to City Council for approval/adoption

26 Key Issues and Proposed Changes Format of the Plan: 1990 BPMMP Draft MMP Park-Wide Goals and Objectives Existing conditions Issue Specific Recommendations V ision Zone Specific Recommendations Goals & Objectives and Management Units Implementation Strategies & Guidelines Design Standards Lower, Middle, Upper Park Zones Appendices Appendices: CRMP NRMP Regulatory Framework Gen. Plan Policies

27 Key Issues: Potentials for Significant Change Loss of Language Alteration of wording Loss of clarity / rearrangement into new contexts Loss of the specific Zone concept User friendliness? Defensibility?

28 Key Issues: Potential Improvements Section 2; Existing Conditions – the BPMMP as a learning tool Clarification of the roles of the BPPC, Park Director, and the BPMMP Creation of the Bidwell Park Sphere of Influence Overlay Zone Clarification of Bidwell Parks role as a recreational facility

29 Two Very Key Issues: Degree to which the terms of Annie Bidwells Deed of Conveyance plays a role Development of recreation inside and outside of Bidwell Park

30 Annie Bidwells Deed of Conveyance 1990 MMP Decision Making and Management Issue 4: The intent of Annie Bidwells gift to the City of Chico is held in high regard among park managers and park users. Recommendations: A) Annie Bidwells requirements as noted in the Deed of Conveyance must always remain a primary consideration in all decision making related to Bidwell Park. B) The Deed of Conveyance should be used to maintain the Citys dedication to stewardship of Bidwell Park. C) The Goals, Objectives and Recommendations in the MMP should be considered as a supplemental policy statement for management of Bidwell Park. Recent draft references to 1990 MMP: Park wide Goals and Objectives; Decision Making and Management. 3rd Objective: Annie Bidwells requirements as noted in the Deed of Conveyance for the original Park area should be a consideration in decision-making related to Bidwell Park, especially as it relates to Park stewardship. 4th Objective: The Goals and Objectives of the BPMMP should be considered the primary policy statement for management of Bidwell Park and future revisions or amendments to those will be subject to review and approval by the City Council.

31 Recreational Uses Plan 1990 Plan: Current Draft: Two general mechanisms Still forming language around that address impacts to BP this issue as a result of recreation 1)Use-Intensity 2) Location of Developed Recreation to areas outside of Bidwell Park

32 Threats to Bidwell Park Threats From Adjacent Development Building next to natural areas without providing adequate buffers leads to… Habitat fragmentation and increased edge effect Increased invasions of invasive plant and animal species Reduction of native biodiversity through displacement and predation Increased extinction rates of local populations Hydrological alterations Destruction of functioning corridors between habitats Diminution of the majestic views for park users

33 Threats from lack of adequate information Detailed information about Bidwell Parks natural communities and their associated functions is limited Specific information regarding sensitive plant and animal species and their habitat requirements is limited Incomplete documentation of cultural resources Identification of active soil erosion sites has never been conducted by qualified soil scientist

34 Threats From Lack of Management Bidwell Parks new Draft Master Management Plan fails to clearly define the priority of management tasks and identification of funding sources City lacks ability to provide enforcement to stop illegal uses of the park (bootleg trails, alcohol consumption, seasonal smoking ban, camping) City proposes more development of Bidwell Park, without attempting to outline a maintenance plan for existing park trails and existing facilities During the update process the City is questioning the General Plan Resource Conservation Area designation for all of Bidwell Park

35 Suggestions for the Advocacy of the Conservation of Bidwell Park Help Commissioners, Councilors and fellow citizens understand : The significance of Bidwell Park as a historically and currently intended natural park The significance of Bidwell Parks size, quality and location in reference to statewide/regional preservation of species/natural habitats The sustainable ecosystem needs of Bidwell Park Bidwell Park as the worst choice for locating developed recreation Bidwell Park as a quality of life issue Bidwell Park as an economic influence Bidwell Park as an educational resource

36 Questions and Comments


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