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Park Ranger Talks New Park Rules and Public Safety

Changes to park closure times, BBQ rules and security cameras could all have a positive impact on Chico public safety.

Posted: Sep 19, 2018 4:38 AM
Updated: Sep 19, 2018 2:43 PM

CHICO, Calif.- Chico City Council addressed safety concerns in city parks head-on at Tuesday night's meeting, voting on some new proposals to ramp up security.

One of them was the decision to install security cameras, rather than require people to get permits, to use certain areas of the parks.

The push for stricter rules is not just about issues stemming from the homeless population; law enforcement says many people - like some new college students - just don't know the rules yet and it can create some dangerous situations.

Last June, Chico City Council asked the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission to consider a few new policies to increase safety, like adding security cameras and changing the closing times for all city parks and greenways.

The BPPC also considered city staff's request to revise regulations on BBQ's and the Council Fire Ring in Bidwell Park for fire safety purposes.

Last night at the meeting, the BPPC and the Public Works director recommend that the city council approve closing Lower Bidwell Park and city parks at 7:00 p.m. from Oct. 1 to March 31st and at 9:00 p.m., and from April 1 to Sept. 30 each year, staying consistent with Lower Bidwell Park's current closing times. 

That includes the Bidwell Bowl Amphitheater and the Children's Playground, the Depot Park and the Council Ring.

Middle & Upper Bidwell, the remainder of Lower Bidwell, including Cedar Grove, 5 Mile Recreation Area, individual picnic sites and other areas, as well as the CARD parks and city plaza will stay open until 11 p.m.

As for security cameras, they'll go in at the Children's Playground and Amphitheater, One Mile and Caper Acres.

Now, wood burning at the BBQ's and fire pits is a no, but you can use charcoal or gas BBQ's in Bidwell Park until 7 p.m. from Oct. 1 to March 31, and after 9 p.m. from April 1 to Sept. 30 each year.

They also will prohibit all fires in BBQ's and at the Council Fire Ring during Red Flag Fire Warning days.

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