Opinion: Make More of Regional Park Accessible

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Photos of wildlife and parkland taken at the North Natomas Regional Park by Roslyn Bell.

FOR THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

With a quickly growing population, North Natomas Regional Park is among the remaining cherished open space in our area. Adding a variety of unpaved trails would allow more people to enjoy the park, while protecting birds and other wildlife and maintaining the essential flood retention component of the park. Further, increasing the number of benches would allow more walkers, runners, and people of all ages to have a place to rest while enjoying nature.

I am a long-time resident of north Natomas and remember when North Natomas Regional Park was intended to be a show piece of our community. Although recently amenities have been added to the south side of the park such as the North Natomas Community Center & Aquatics Complex, portions of the park are used for flood protection and not amenable to development. During heavy rains, those areas serve as a flood control basin that collects stormwater runoff. Any further park development must be responsible and take into account this essential purpose.

With a growing population, the flood control function is even more important. Still, unpaved trails and benches can be added to the park to allow people of all ages reasonable access to the park to walk, run and enjoy nature. The park is also very popular among birders, who come from near and far.

In the past, there have been grants available for unpaved trails. Signing the petition below will tell Lisa Kaplan, the councilmember for Sacramento Council District 1, to stop any intrusive developments that would impair the park’s flood retention purpose and instead encourage her to champion more user, neighbor and animal friendly amenities that will enhance the park for years to come.

Sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/make-north-natomas-regional-park-more-accessible-with-trails-and-more-benches

Roslyn Bell has lived in north Natomas for nearly 20 years. She became a certified UC California Naturalist after completing a program at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in 2021. You may follow her on Instagram @408rb and iNaturalist.

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