by Natalie Hanson
posted Nov. 1
The city of Chico winds around one of the largest municipal parks in the country — Bidwell Park. Step off the sidewalk and enter the park, and the city seems to disappear. You’re under a tree canopy, on a street or trail lined with oaks, ferns and sycamores.
Park lovers -— who on most days see dog-walkers, cyclists, runners and skateboarders -– say they fear losing this precious place to climate change, wildfires, littering and human overuse and indifference. Residents and scientists say they want to see city leaders step up to protect the parks to prevent loss to wildfire and climate change -– particularly now that usage has increased. Bidwell, like many of California’s public parks, saw an increase in visitors during the COVID pandemic.