Good things are on the horizon for Arcata! On Friday afternoon, the City of Arcata sent out announcements about big developments in several ongoing park and trail projects in the city, including construction of the final segment of the Arcata Ridge Trail.
The City has been working to complete the Arcata Ridge Trail – a five mile long trail planned to run all the way from Buttermilk Lane to West End Road, connecting the Sunny Brae and Arcata Community Forests – for years. The final segment, which includes the Fickle Hill Crossing, was a little difficult to approve because it runs near several private properties and the property owners had issues with the proposed trail. A group of residents even sued the City over the proposed trial, saying that it would impact their water supply.
But despite some community concerns, the Arcata City Council approved the final segment last year. The City says it has now finally obtained all the necessary permits, has finalized the designs and hired a contractor and construction will commence at the end of August.
Read more in this City of Arcata press release:
The City of Arcata is excited to announce that construction of the final segment of the Arcata Ridge Trail and Fickle Hill Crossing will commence in late August 2022. The City has obtained all necessary permits, completed final designs for the project and secured a contractor for the crossing of Fickle Hill Road. The City has contracted with GR Sundberg Inc. to construct the final road crossing, and City crews will complete the final trail segment through the Sunny Brae Forest.
The completion of the Arcata Ridge Trail has been a City and community priority for many years. The Fickle Hill crossing will not serve as a trailhead but rather a vital connection along this four-mile trail between West End Road and Margaret Lane in Sunny Brae. Parking or temporary stopping of vehicles near the Fickle Hill crossing will not be permitted. There is sufficient parking near the West End Road and Margaret Lane trailheads to accommodate Arcata Ridge Trail users. There are also trailheads on Diamond Drive and California Drive to access the Arcata Ridge Trail at a higher elevation.
Community members are asked to be patient during construction and not bypass trail closure notices. The Arcata Ridge Trail on the north side of Fickle Hill Road will be periodically closed during construction and due to private property on both sides of the Arcata Ridge Trail, no detours will be provided to connect trail users to Fickle Hill Road. Residents are advised to plan their hikes accordingly.
Work will last approximately one month, weather permitting. Portions of the work will require temporary one-lane closures on Fickle Hill Road. Traffic control and flaggers will be in place to help mitigate disruptions in the roadway. Although delays are expected to be minimal, members of the community are encouraged to follow all safety directions. Construction will take place Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m and the project is scheduled to be completed by early October.
If problems are encountered with this project, please contact GR Sundberg at 707-825-6565 or the City of Arcata at 707-825-2151. Updates on construction progress and project plans can be viewed at cityofarcata.org.
In other exciting news, the City announced that construction has begun on Phase II of the Shay Park Improvement Project, which will include the addition of some challenging fitness equipment (the City says it might be good for “aspiring Ninja Warriors”.)
Other Shay Park improvements include the addition of table tennis, a drinking fountain and benches. A new basketball court was already added to the park and last year local nonprofit group REBOUND also helped spruce up the court with the addition of a colorful mural.
Here is more info from the City of Arcata:
Aspiring Ninja Warrior participants will soon have an outdoor fitness area in Arcata to improve their skills. Phase Two of the Shay Park Improvement Project has commenced, and the improvements include challenging fitness equipment such as a cargo net, ledge hanger, unstable bridge and plyometrics machines. In addition to fitness equipment, there will be table tennis, drinking fountain and benches.These improvements will help Shay Park become a more vibrant center for the surrounding neighborhoods.
The City of Arcata has contracted with Hooven & Co. and Ross Recreation for Phase Two. Construction began on Monday, August 22 at Shay Park off Foster Avenue. Work will last approximately one month, weather permitting. Traffic delays are expected to be minimal, however, members of the community are encouraged to follow all safety directions. Construction will take place Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the project is scheduled to be completed by September 30.
Funding for Phase Two of Shay Park was made possible by an Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) through the City of Arcata Community Development Department.
If problems are encountered with this project, please contact Hooven & Co. directly at 707-839-1291 or the City of Arcata at 707-825-2151. Updates on construction progress and project plans can be viewed at cityofarcata.org.
Finally, the City also announced that it was selected to receive $812,949 in grant funding to improve Carlson Park in Valley West. Funds will be used to construct a multi-age ADA accessible playground, a special event area with picnic tables and BBQs and a new restroom.
The City was also recently awarded $612,000 from the Wildlife Conservation Board to improve the trails and river access at Carlson Park. You can read more about the Carlson Park plans in this recent Outpost article.
Read more from the City of Arcata here:
The City of Arcata will receive a $812,949 grant to improve Carlson Park in the Valley West neighborhood. Enhancing Carlson Park and improving opportunities in Valley West are among the Arcata City Council’s priority projects in 2022.
The California State Parks approved the City of Arcata for the grant award through the Rural Recreation and Tourism and Regional Parks Program, which funds new recreation opportunities within rural communities to support health-related and economic goals. The program is funded by Proposition 68 (2018 Bond Act), which provided $46.2 million in grant funds this round. 12 projects were selected out of 80 proposals received.
Funds will be used to construct a multi-age playground, including pieces that allow for universal accessibility, a special event area with picnic tables and BBQs, and a new restroom. Trails throughout Carlson Park will be renovated and new landscaping with native, drought-tolerant species will be added. Earlier this year the City was also awarded $691,000 from the Wildlife Conservation Board to improve nature and river access at Carlson Park, which will renovate the trail system, create an ADA river lookout trail and observation deck, a parking lot, bilingual interpretive signage, multipurpose court/boat staging area, and two access points to the Mad River.
The development of Carlson Park will provide numerous benefits to the residents of Arcata and surrounding communities, tourists, and the natural environment. The Park’s proximity to the Valley West neighborhood will provide nearby families and individuals with accessible and affordable recreation opportunities within walking and biking distance from their homes.
“I am super excited for a safe neighborhood park to be built just a short walk away for families that have lived in Valley West for decades,” says Lucy Salazar, Cumbre Humboldt President.
The City of Arcata would like to thank all community members who have participated in Valley West and Carlson Park community engagement activities over the years. Their vision and support were vital to the success of the grant application. The City would also like to thank the California State Parks for their financial assistance in bringing the community’s dreams to a reality.
For a list of all grant recipients visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=28439. For information on Carlson Park, contact the Environmental Services Department by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 822-8184.