Bidwell Park Master Management Plan Issues and Discussion Points

To assist prospective consultants assess the work effort that will be required tocomplete this project, the following is a description of known issues and
topics that will need to be addressed during this project. Consultants shouldanticipate that other issues may be added during discussions with the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission and Citizen’s Task Force. References correspond to the MasterManagement Plan.

Management Recommendations

5.1.1 – Future management responsibility for Bidwell Park.

5.1.2 – Natural Resource management goals and management practices.

5.1.3 – Park Uses, Events and Facilities in Bidwell Park. There are several proposals that would include adding a variety of improvements or convert existing passive park use to more intense uses. Specifics are presented under the discussion of Management Zones.

5.1.4 – Circulation discussion will likely focus on restricting motorized vehicles on South Park Drive along with access and trails in Upper Bidwell Park. The future for Upper Park Road is expected to addressed but may not be resolved during this project.

5.1.5 – Security, Safety and Public Health discussion will include review of current use of chemical toilets and available (acceptable) alternatives for different locations (i.e. Lower Bidwell Park versus Upper Bidwell Park).

5.1.6 – Roles and relationships for environmental/resource education and interpretation and public awareness will be amplified during this project.

Management Zones

(Note – Only those Zones where there is reasonable expectation of a change in expectations or focused work effort are included.)

1 – Lost Park

What, if any, action to take regarding encroachments and public use of this area.

3 – Annie’s Glen

Connectivity to Lower Bidwell Park, use and vegetation management.

6 – One Mile Recreation Area

Update issues and recommendations to reflect plan goals and objectives. Much of the plan for this area has or is being implemented.

13 – Nature Center/Cedar Grove

Current plan includes development into intensive use area with improved turf, picnic, play area and parking. Recent public discussion has focused on limited improvements that would still accommodate group activities and special events. This is the location for the annual Shakespeare in the Park event, Endangered Species Faire and concerts.

17 – Walnut Orchard

The existing plan includes intense development for this area. However, public discussions since 1990 have not indicated support for significant improvements. There appears to be an interest in allowing the area to revert back to an Oak woodland. Parking will be a discussion point.

Zone 27 –
Horseshoe Lake

There are several issues that will be of interest for this area and require specific discussion. The expectation is develop a specific plan detailing a more specific level of development and management strategies than currently exists. The future of the indoor pistol range, restroom facilities, trails and pathways along with proposed improvements associated with the Kiwanis Community Observatory will be a primary focus. Consultant should be prepared to provide to help facilitate conceptual and specific planning discussions. The discussion will also include the role of Parking Area E as significant trail head. Note, the City of Chico will be completing the clean-up of lead and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs) associated with the former skeet/trap, rifle and pistol ranges in 2004.

Zones 29 to 32
– Upper Bidwell Park

Trail planning will be a major work effort. Consultant will need to be prepared to facilitate and articulate a trail plan that uses the extensive public discussion that has already taken place. A lot of information has been generated and is available to carry on the discussion.

Other issues will include the future of Upper Park Road. The location and design of existing parking areas will be addressed along with the location and type of restroom facilities. Currently using chemical toilets. Emergency response, natural resource protection and outdoor education will receive considerable public comment. Fisheries will also be of concern as the spring run Chinook are a listed species.

Additional Zones – New Addition

The Park Department has prepared draft proposals for expanded and new zones for the new addition. Trail planning and public access will require a specific focus since the existing Master Management Plan does not include this area. The Park Department has considerable resource information available. A proposal for a disc golf facility has already been designed and will incorporated into the management plan update.

Management Units

The Management Units are a set of specific appendixes to the Master Management Plan that highlight areas of concern and special consideration. Since 1990, the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission has expanded the breadth and depth of the Management Units. The most notable has been the Bidwell Park Trails Manual and annual discussion of invasive plants. The Park Department expects to develop a similar approach for managing invasive plants.

Managing invasive plants has progressed ahead of that envisioned in 1990. Current practices will be used to update the plan. In addition, a growing list of recognized non-native species will be added to the list. The California Native Plant Society and Friends of Bidwell Park are important partners to managing Bidwell Park for Butte County natives. The Park Department anticipates that during the update of the Master Management Plan, a specific outline addressing best management practices for invasive species will be developed. The end product will likely be a field guide or manual that can be used by the Park Department and volunteers similar to the existing Trails Manual.

The Oak Woodland Renewal Unit will be updated and expanded to facilitate a more aggressive program in Lower Bidwell Park.

Fire protection and signage units will need to be updated. The former will require a specialist to be on the consulting team.

Design Standards

This section will need to be updated and expanded to include any new standards brought about by the addition, deleting or change in the overall plan .