Photo caption: "Grass Valley Mayor Howard Levine (right) and Wolf Creek Commons co-housing's Bob Branstrom, lead the way on the inaugural hike of the Wolf Creek Trail, which celebrated it's official opening for public use Saturday morning. The trail begins at the Grass Valley Wastewater Treatment facility, and follows Wolf Creek downstream for one mile before ending at the Wolf Creek co-housing development. While the current portion of the trail only spans one mile, plans are already in the works to extend the length of the trail." (Photo credit, Elias Funez)
Now, in 2018, finally, a one-mile stretch of trail along Wolf Creek has opened for public use.
The creation of the trail was made possible through the efforts of the Bear Yuba Land Trust, the Wolf Creek Community Alliance, the City of Grass Valley and various other public and private property donations and easements. It is the first phase in a series of planned trails along Wolf Creek that call for pedestrian bridges over Little Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek.
On Saturday, Grass Valley Mayor Howard Levine, along with members of the Wolf Creek Community Alliance, led the first group of hikers along the trail. Animal artwork provided by Grass Valley Charter School students helps to mark the way of the trail, which begins at the Grass Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant, 556 Freeman Lane, and ends at the Wolf Creek Commons co-housing at Freeman Lane and McKnight Way.
The trail passes the portion of Little Wolf Creek where a massive sinkhole formed in January of 2017, and runs along a portion of the service road made during the repair process.
"We don't own the sinkhole property as of yet," Mayor Howard Levine said to attendees of the hike. "We're negotiating with the property owner. We're very close on the cost of the land."
The Wolf Creek Trail continues beyond the Little Wolf Creek sinkhole property, then follows a service trail created during the homeless camp clean up in the summer of 2016, which was the impetus for the creation of the Wolf Creek Trail.
City officials hope providing public access to Wolf Creek will keep people from creating encampments in the Wolf Creek drainage.
"We pulled 10,000 pounds of trash out of there," Mayor Levine said about the 2016 camp cleanup. "And hundreds of needles."
Members of the Wolf Creek Community Alliance will be maintaining the trail and have already begun building portions of trail that travel closer to the creek.
Added by Don Pelton:
"An important influence in the creation of this trail has been the Bear Yuba Land Trust, who have been working tirelessly for the last few years to make this first stage of the greater trail plan a reality. And, the idea for the trail originated more than a decade before the recent cleanup of the homeless camp. It goes back at least to 1999, as explained below in a paragraph from the Wolf Creek Community Alliance webpage:
"On a rainy April night in 2006 the Grass Valley City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Wolf Creek Parkway, thereby adopting the Parkway Alignment Study and Conceptual Master Plan. This action came on the heels of an extensive series of public meetings that confirmed widespread community support for the project. A "Wolf Creek Trail" is also mentioned in the 2020 General Plan adopted in 1999 and the Downtown Strategic Plan from 2003."
Much of this article was written by Elias Funez and was published in The Union newspaper, CLICK HERE to see that article and more pictures.