Park Site Improvements And Planning Move Ahead
Plans for public use of two open space park sites that were acquired as part of Placer County’s Placer Legacy Open Space Preservation program are moving ahead.
Work at the Didion Ranch, a 221-acre site located in the rural area between Auburn and Lincoln, will continue this summer as crews construct a paved access road, a 50-space paved parking lot, an equestrian staging area, a 60-foot emergency access bridge, utilities and restroom facilities.
In June, 2006, staff will recommend a contractor to the Board of Supervisors for this work to be done, with completion planned for the fall. It must be completed before the park can be opened for public use. Already completed are seven miles of natural surface trails.
The Didion Ranch trails are expected to link someday to the adjoining 961-acre Spears Ranch. Together the sites would offer 1,182 acres of recreation land suitable for hiking, biking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and fishing along several miles of Coon Creek.
Later this summer, the Placer County Parks Department will meet with the public in scoping meetings to discuss additional plans for the Spears Ranch that would be consistent with open space and habitat preservation goals.
Possible uses for an existing ranch house and other buildings on the property could include activities such as a nature center or caretaker facilities. Educational activities could incorporate school programs, scouting camps, cross country training and ecology classes.
The public meetings will be advertised through news media and Municipal Advisory Council meetings as well as on the county web site, www.placer.ca.gov.
With input from the public, staff will be able to finalize the project description and proceed with environmental review, which must be completed before improvements for Spears Ranch can take place.
“To date, this park is the flagship of our Legacy program,” said Supervisor Robert Weygandt, who represents District 2 where the Spears property is located. “It will be cherished for generations.”