The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the first-ever countywide Placer County Parks and Trails Master Plan, which could double the amount of recreation acreage by 2040 and triple the amount of trail miles.
The plan provides a 20-year-and-beyond vision for the development and operation of parks, recreation opportunities, open space and trail networks in the county. It also includes future improvements and maintenance for existing parks and trails.
With a final plan now in place, the county can adjust and update the plan to respond to changing trends and opportunities in a timely manner. It allows residents and decision makers to focus specifically on parks, trails and open space needs as part of the planning process and align those needs with current standards and funding and operational considerations.
“This plan gives us a road map into the future for parks and trails as our county population and the demand for these services continue to grow,” said Placer County’s new Parks and Open Space Director Steve Gayfield. “It also takes into consideration the diverse recreational values, which are important to our many distinct community areas.”
The plan includes a list of proposed capital improvement projects, each project having its own public review and approval process. It doesn’t approve any new parks and trails but directs staff on where to put resources into future development, priority projects and grant funding.
Tier 1 capital improvement projects, which are projects already in the planning or design stage, include Phase 1 of the Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion Project, Dry Creek Community Park in Roseville, the Resort Triangle shared-use path in the North Lake Tahoe region, Memorial Overland Emigrant Trail near Donner Summit and a new skate park in Colfax to name a few.
The plan also features projects that will complete trail connectivity throughout Placer County.
“Prior to this master plan, trail planning has been done on a localized basis within separate jurisdictions,” said Placer County Parks Administrator Andy Fisher. “An exciting thing about this plan is that it is the first time we looked at all the trails throughout Placer County and saw that there is a very real opportunity to fill in the gaps and create a connected regional network. Imagine one day being able to get on your bike in Roseville and pedal all the way to Lake Tahoe.”
“We have a wonderful opportunity for younger generations to experience the vast recreational and outdoor experiences that exist within our county,” said Placer County District 1 Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “I am very excited about the possibility of partnering with local programs for kids to learn about our open spaces, agricultural lands and trails.”
The final plan reflects community input provided over a two-year planning process through a series of public workshops, 2,400 completed online surveys, 60 focus groups and over 50 municipal advisory council meetings.
“From pickleball courts to dog parks to trail systems, the Parks and Trails Master Plan is a true reflection of the interests of our community members,” said Fisher. “This plan would not be possible without everyone’s valued participation.”
Feedback indicated high support for paved and dirt trails, natural areas and new and improved facilities particular to each community. The results also affirmed that the park and trail projects already in development in the county are consistent with communities’ desired improvements.
Learn more about the Placer County Parks and Trails Master Plan online at http://www.placerparksplan.com.