Park management and information

Groups operating facilities in the park and nearby

Currently six organizations lease areas within Bidwell Park. These include the Bidwell Park Golf Club, Chico Area Recreation District (CARD), Chico Creek Nature Center, Chico Equestrian Association, Chico Rod and Gun Club and Kiwanis Chico Community Observatory.

    • The 18-hole Bidwell Park Golf Course, located on about 130 acres of Upper Bidwell Park, is leased and operated by the non-profit Bidwell Park Golf Club. The club’s web site is available at
    • The Chico Creek Nature Center, located on East 8th St. in Lower Park, operates as the information and interpretive center for Bidwell Park and houses a non-releasable living animal museum. They are open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Phone 891-4671.
    • The Pacific Center for Astrological Outreach’s Chico Community Observatory offers telescopes for public star gazing. Located near Horseshoe Lake, It is open Thursday through Sunday nights, weather permitting, and Sunday afternoons for observations of the sun. A map showing the observatory can be seen here [pdf].
    • Just upstream from the Upper Park, the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve is owned and operated by the Bidwell Environmental Institute at California State University, Chico.  Because of the research that’s conducted here and the hunting that’s allowed at various times of the year on this property, dogs are not allowed and you must sign in at one of the entrances for access.  Also, bicycle riding is not permitted on the BCCER trails–they can’t afford to upgrade the trails to accommodate mountain bike use.
    • The Chico Area Recreation and Park District (CARD) provides recreational facilities for the greater Chico area. CARD facilities leased within Bidwell Park include Sycamore Field at One Mile, and the Hooker Oak Recreation Area.
    • The Chico Rod & Gun Club has an indoor shooting range in Upper Bidwell Park.
    • The Chico Equestrian Association leases about 19 acres in Upper Park, which includes the horse arenas off Wildwood Ave. near the entrance to Upper Park.
      P.O. Box 136, Butte City, CA 94920, 895-8550
    • Bidwell Mansion State Historical Park is located on The Esplanade at the west end of Bidwell Park.
    • The Gateway Science Museum (formerly called the Northern California Natural History Museum) has a facility next to Bidwell Mansion. They also offer 2 lectures series each year.

Groups concerned with the park’s environment and wildlife

    • Altacal Audubon Society, the local chapter of the National Audubon Society, focuses on birds and includes a page on Upper Bidwell Park.
    • Bidwell Park Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 3223, Chico CA 95927-3223.  The investment income from donations will be used for park projects.
    • The Butte Environmental Council sponsors a September Bidwell Park and creeks of Chico cleanup. Also, BEC holds the Endangered Species Faire every year at One Mile Recreation Area on the first Saturday in May.
    • The California Conservation Corps offers training and work experience to recent high school graduates.  Their Chico-based workers frequently volunteer in Bidwell Park.  For more information, call 894-0495 or visit their office at 2725 Hwy 32 Suite F, Chico.
    • The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) — the Mt. Lassen Chapter is the local group — is a statewide non-profit organization of amateurs and professionals with a common interest in California’s native plants. Volunteers from the local chapter provide maintenance of Upper Park’s creekside Yahi Trail.
    • Contact Neighborhood Cat Advocates to report cats abandoned in the park or elsewhere in Chico.
    • The Herbarium at CSUC provides information about plants in workshops, books, CD-ROMs, and a searchable database.
    • Kids and Creeks is a hands-on science education program which does restoration work in the park.
    • Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria,125 Mission Ranch Blvd. Chico, CA 95926 Ph. (530) 343-6614
    • Northern California Regional Land Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the conservation and preservation of northern California’s open spaces.
    • The Yahi Group of the Sierra Club promotes conservation, parklands, and leads hikes in the park and throughout the area.
    • Sacramento River Preservation Trust, an educational organization to protect and preserve the natural values of the Sacramento River.

Recreational groups that use the park

Useful information online

Park Advocacy Groups