Bidwell Park

Google Books

Nancy's Bookshelf revisits a conversation with retired professors Roger Lederer and Carol Burr who wrote and illustrated The Birds of Bidwell Park. Now they have collaborated on a guide to the trees of Bidwell Park.  

Downtown Chico

It may cost you to park in Bidwell Park come July. A proposed Upper Bidwell Park parking fee goes up for debate in Chico tomorrow evening.


The proposal, approved by the council’s Internal Affairs Committee, would initiate a $2 daily fee and $25 annual pass for driving into Upper Park. Seniors, the disabled and qualifying low-income households would be exempt. The fee would take effect July 1.

Gold Field Books

Nancy Leek is a librarian who writes biographies of California pioneers for children.  Her book on Peter Lassen, like her biographies of John and Annie Bidwell, are illustrated by Steve Ferchaud.  

From GoldReads:

My name is Nancy Leek. I live in Chico, California and am a retired librarian. I have worked in public, school and academic libraries, including reference librarian for the Butte County Library and children’s librarian at the Orland Free Library.

I am the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer, and the co-editor (with John Rudderow) of The Miner Poet: The Poems of Pres Longley.

Officials are working on new procedures after dozens of prized valley oaks were mistakenly chopped down in Bidwell Park last week. 


Erik Gustafson, City of Chico Public Works Director for Operations and Maintenance, described a “series of miscommunications” involving an inmate tree crew contracted to remove a stand of damaged Catalpa trees. 


Derek Curry / Flickr via Wikipedia

The to-do list is getting longer.

Facing another year with a skeleton crew and a budget more bones than meat, parks officials in Chico are again downplaying expectations.

The two-year work plan that was up for consideration by the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission Monday night leaves more items on the back burner than officials realistically expect to accomplish.

The situation at Bidwell Ranch won’t change soon. That’s the short version of more than an hour of discussion at the Chico City Council meeting Tuesday night where the 756-acre parcel was front and center.

The council voted to give a new public agency a crack at lining up the money to buy the property and essentially run it as a preserve. The parcel, adjacent to Upper Bidwell Park, is home to several endangered species including Butte County Meadowfoam and fairy shrimp.

Discussion of a large, undeveloped property on the east edge of Chico may be headed from contentious to consensus.

The 756-acre Bidwell Ranch is among the issues up for consideration by the Chico City Council Tuesday evening with city administrators offering a recommendation that may prove palatable across the local ideological divide.

Updated 10 a.m. on July 9

It could have been the clock nearing 11, or fatigue and frustration at a vexatious land use dispute stretching back three decades, but the 759-acre Bidwell Ranch property inched a hair closer to being formally added to Bidwell Park at a City Council meeting Tuesday night.

The property has been a local political lightning rod test since before preservationists blocked a 1,500-home subdivision and 14-acre commercial development with a citywide referendum in 1988.

No formal action was taken on the issue Tuesday.

Council members in Chico tackled a series of minor issues with little acrimony Tuesday night, agreeing to small changes to various programs and to conduct an inventory of potentially surplus city-owned real estate.