The Paradise Recreation & Park District (PRPD) revealed conceptual designs for two new parks in the Butte County Ridge that could potentially cost up to $9 million on Saturday.
The designs for the Lakeridge Park in Magalia and Noble Park in Paradise were presented during 2 community input meetings online where community members expressed their opinions on the concepts. In each meeting, residents had the opportunity to present their ideas to PRPD officials on what they want in these new parks.
“These parks are going to be around for generations to come,” says PRPD assistant district manager Kristi Sweeney. “It really needs to reflect the wants and needs of our public.”
Chico’s Melton Design Group drafted the designs, pulling some inspiration from resident input dating back to 2011. More recent surveys helped them incorporate what current residents envision in a community park.
“We don’t want to just put a little slide with a deck and a parking lot,” says Greg Melton. “We want to do parks that are unique to you, the people of Magalia, and the whole Ridge.”
Lakeridge Park in Magalia was drafted to include a multi-use turf field and lookout point to the Magalia Reservoir. Extensive trails and hiking paths near the reservoir were included in the discussion.
Noble Park in Paradise, named after the local Noble Orchards, similarly included a multi-use field, extensive trails and even a zipline. The design includes a large parking lot with multiple entrances to accommodate potential farmer’s markets or cultural events in the space.
There’s one obstacle standing in the way of these parks becoming a reality: funding.
To be exact, PRPD is looking for up between $8.5-9 million in Proposition 68 state grants to fund both parks. Some community members were skeptical about the reality of securing these funds.
“In the third round of funding there was $2.9 billion requested and [the state] had a little over $300 million to disperse,” says Sweeney. “So, it is really, really competitive.”
“Whether or not we get this funding, we’re going to try and build trails out there. We’re going to try and add some simple amenities,” says PRPD district manager Dan Efseaff. “What’s great for us is to have that list of features that people want and then we can prioritize them.”
While some residents expressed doubts, others remained optimistic by pitching ideas that they say would aid in bringing the community back together. One resident suggested enlarging the community barn in the Noble Park plan to accommodate community events, such as Johnny Appleseed Days and the Paradise Chocolate Fest.
“We feel we can make a really compelling case for Noble Park and Lakeridge Park,” says Sweeney. “We’re really putting a lot of time and energy into this.”
The Ridge has obviously seen extreme changes in recent years, but PRPD says they are willing to keep the conversation going for the sake of the Ridge community.
“This is the beginning of a conversation- or maybe the reignition of a conversation,” says PRPD Recreation Supervisor Scott Amick. “That’s really the vibe we want everyone to take away.”
PRPD is hosting site tours for both parks to share these conceptual designs. District staff will be at Lakeridge Park (14040 Lakeridge Circle, Magalia) on October 19 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm and Noble Park (corner of Pentz and Merrill Rd., Paradise) on October 22 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm.
PRPD is still urging residents to email them with ideas, themes and inspiration for these new parks to [email protected]