Annie’s Glen: This section of the park is on the south side of Big Chico Creek between the Pine St. and Camellia Way bridges. It became separated from the rest of Lower Park when the Pine St. bridge was built. In 2009, a bicycle and pedestrian underpass was completed that re-connects Annie’s Glen to Bidwell Park. At the same time, a bike/pedestrian bridge was built over the creek from Annie’s Glen to provide a safe crossing route to nearby schools, avoiding a major vehicle intersection.
Cedar Grove Improvements: This proposal would provide irrigation, pathways, parking, lighting and picnic site improvements in Cedar Grove. The cost would be $155,000 spread over several years. The Park Commission has proposed using $100,000 of Proposition 40 money to start this project.
Horseshoe Lake Master Plan: A comprehensive master plan for the Horseshoe Lake and former Rifle Range area has been proposed. It would address parking, restroom and trail access to Upper Park. No funding source has been identified.
Light Pollution at Observatory: The unshielded parking lot lights at Wildwood Park obscured the view from the Observatory. FOBP requested that the city correct this problem, which was done. FOBP has also asked the Park Commission to consider initiating a discussion of adoption of a Night Sky Ordinance for Chico, but they declined to do so.
Lost Park: The area along Big Chico Creek between the Memorial Way bridge and the Esplanade is part of Bidwell Park, but encroachments and zero lot line coverage by adjacent property owners have made much of it unusable as park land. FOBP adopted Lost Park in 2013, see our Lost Park page for a map and more details.
Memorial Benches: Park benches have become a popular way to honor the memory of a loved one who enjoyed visiting Bidwell Park. The donor can propose a specific site, but it’s up to the Park Division and Park Commission to decide whether the location is appropriate. Generally, benches are less likely to be approved in Upper Park, where, according to the current Master Plan, the wilderness aspect is supposed to prevail. At some point, there won’t be any more places to add benches so the Park Commission may want to start considering offering other options to potential donors. There is currently a 3-per-year limit on new Lower Park bench donations.
Middle Park: The area between Manzanita Ave and the start of the Upper Park gravel road is sometimes called Middle Park, but other times it is included in Upper Park. Although Chico’s General Plan defines Upper Park as a Resource Conservation Area, which limits its use to passive recreation, the golf course, Rod & Gun Club, Horse Arena, fishing pier and observatory (all active uses) are in this part of the park.
Observatory Outdoor Seating Area & Roadway Realignment: The Kiwanas Club, who built and operate the observatory, want to build a outdoor seating area next to the observatory. They recently added concrete spotting pads and realigned the road into the parking area to reduce glare. A Mitigated Negative Declaration level of environmental review has been approved and the Kiwanas are raising money for the seating area.
One Mile Recreation Area: A new computerized lighting and irrigation system was completed in 2005. The lights are similar to those at Wildwood Park. The new system will reduce the city’s water usage and maintenance staff time.
Rod and Gun Club: The Club’s prior lease expired November 30, 2005. In September, 2003, they requested initiation of discussions to extend the lease for an additional 5 years with 2 automatic extensions of 5 years each. Although the continued presence of the Rod and Gun Club had been controversial in the past, in 2004, the Park Commission extended the lease with little discussion.
Sycamore Pool Replacement Dam: The Park Division is planning to use $240,000 of Proposition 40 funds and a possible Prop 40 grant of $260,000 to replace the current board dam with an inflatable dam. It will be safer and less time-consuming for park maintenance workers during their weekly cleaning of Sycamore Pool.