City opens new wetlands to public

Chico’s new nesting place

The city of Chico recently transformed the 32-acre oxidation pond near the city’s Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) into a wetlands area and trail that’s suitable for public wildlife viewing and recreation, according to a city press release.

In mid-January, the city formally opened the area to the public. It features a half-mile-long ADA-accessible trail leading from a new parking area to a bird blind at the northwest corner of the pond. The wetlands feature recently planted native vegetation that will serve as wildlife habitat and cover, shallow- and deep-water zones for migrating birds, and islands and tree snags for nesting and roosting.

To visit, head west on West Fifth Street, which becomes Chico River Road. The WPCP is at 4287 Chico River Road. The area will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. October to March and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. April to September.