News Pic

Natural expansion

Photo By Tom Gascoyne

Chico Creek Nature Center Director Tom Haithcock, second from right, announced this week that the center’s plans to expand are now out to bid. A contract should be signed by March and construction could begin by summer. Haithcock and members of the center have raised more than $500,000, including a $185,000 low-interest loan from the city, $200,000 in state funding from the Prop. 40 bond measure and $120,000 in private donations. Haithcock said another $50,000 donation toward the new exhibit facility in the name of Howard Salem Tucker was given by his widow. The Bidwell Park Centennial Committee raised and donated another $10,000. Pictured here from left are U.S. Fish & Wildlife employee Marilyn Gamette (holding an owl named Otis), Sarah Frost, Dolores McHenry, Geanne Boze (seated), Arlene Ward, Barbara Rose, Chico City Councilmember Ann Schwab, Tom Haithcock, the center’s director and former Director Janeece Webb. McHenry, a member of the Mechoopda Indian tribe, which lived here long before the property became a park, blessed the land in the name of Jesus Christ and thanked the folks at the center for “taking care of what we had formerly lost.”