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Earlier closing time for Lower Bidwell may help with crime

Chico Police are on board with the plan, hoping that having the CARD parks close at the same time will make enforcement easier.

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 9:55 AM

"Everybody does everything here - we walk our dog, I come all the way from Butte Creek Canyon to ride my bike here," said Terri McKenzie, a Chico resident.

She's right about everybody and everything ... while Chico's Bidwell Park is really cherished by the community, for some, it's literally become home.

"We have neighbors that will call it in, see the campfires ... they're actually using the barbeques and the campfire ring," said Linda Herman, the Parks and Natural Resources Manager for the City of Chico.

All too often, Chico Fire gets called out to lower Bidwell Park long after visitors are supposed to have left.

"I'm not here at night, and probably there's not very many families, probably the people that are here? Aren't here to enjoy nature," said McKenzie.

"You feel safe here, right?" I asked Katie Steadman, a park visitor.

"During the day, yes, but early morning hours? I would not be here, especially with my kids, too many extra-curricular activities that don't need to be happening," she explained.

Monday the Bidwell Parks & Playground Commission agreed to shut lower park down at 11 p.m.

Chico Police are on board with the plan, hoping that having the CARD parks close at the same time will make enforcement easier.

And it shouldn't stop anyone from enjoying the park.

Let's say you have an early morning jogging routine. You can still run through the park. What you can't do? Is stop and take a seat.

"We just want to move them along," said Herman.

There's no saying if this will make anything better, but some say it's worth a try.

"I think it should be closed at night, bottom line, start there and see if it makes a change, but that's all we can do," said McKenzie

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 910438

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Gusty winds and very dry conditions are continuing to result in a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger today. Temperatures will also be much warmer this afternoon. Dry and mild weather returns on Wednesday and continues through this weekend.
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