A new outdoor experience will be coming to the heart of Yuba City by the end of the year as officials begin the process of expanding Feather River Parkway.
By the end of fall, officials plan to expand the current 60-acre park by another 84 acres. The new expansion will have 10 acres of preserved woodland, an additional approximately two miles of walking and biking trails, two acres of enhanced wetlands and other recreational amenities.
Brad McIntire, director of Community Services for Yuba City, said the park will provide residents with natural habitat to run, bike and explore. The former elementary school teacher said aside from the recreational opportunities, the site can hopefully become a learning tool for local schools.
“I used to teach sixth grade at Gray Avenue School and we used to go to Woodleaf. One of the things I loved about that is we got to take the ‘city kids’ out of the city where they could learn about the outdoors. This will be right in their backyards, so we are hoping to partner with Shady Creek and a variety of others to set up tours and stuff like that where these kids can go to learn about the habitat for the day,” McIntire said. “I think it will also be a great place for people who love photography and bird watching.”
The first phase of the park was completed in 2013 using a $1.4 million grant from the California Natural Resources Agency. The city constructed access roads, a parking lot, walking and biking trails, picnic benches, a pavilion, interpretive signage and an ADA accessible concrete river overlook.
Around that same time, the city also accepted another grant through the resources agency worth approximately $1.8 million to carry out a second phase of the project – contingent on the city pledging $106,000 for construction funds.
The city hired Domenichelli & Associates of El Dorado Hills in 2013 to design the second phase of the project, which will be located just north of the current park.
McIntire said there were some holdups with permitting through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because the project is along a waterway and within the levee system. With the necessary environmental permitting out of the way, the city now plans to go out to bid on the project.
“We hope to have the bid process completed within the month to take back before the council for approval by the end of July or first meeting in August,” McIntire said. “We hope to break ground immediately after that and look to be completed with the project by the end of fall.”
As part of the grant, the project must be completed by December. City Council members approved the plans for the park expansion at their meeting on June 18.
“The city’s Parks and Recreation Department plans on putting together a fun run down there in the spring to show everyone the great opportunity it will provide for a 3K and 5K run,” he said.
Feather River Parkway is located on the west side of the Feather River just north of the 10th Street Bridge in Yuba City.