Public input sought on Fortuna trail

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

What should a proposed multi-use trail and public park stretching along a section of Strong's Creek in Fortuna look like?

Residents will have a chance to influence the design of the pedestrian, bicycle, and possibly equestrian trail at a number of events next week as a master plan for the John Campbell Memorial Greenway and Trail project is developed.

The John Campbell Memorial Greenway and Trail is a park that will follow Strong's Creek for a little over a mile-and-a-half from U.S. Highway 101 to Newburg Park.

The series of events next week will "help identify a range of improvements along the creek corridor, including safe trail crossings, appropriate lighting, benches, privacy measures, and ecological restoration with native plants," said Fortuna Associate Planner Stephen Avis. "The hope is to have as many as possible participate and exchange ideas."

There will be two field trip opportunities to view proposed locations of the trail. The first on-site visit will be Monday, Oct. 14, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the California Conservation Corps (CCC) campus on Alamar Way. Those who attend will be able to view (but not enter) the Strong's Creek culvert box under U.S. Highway 101, and also discuss alternative routes. The second field trip will be conducted Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to view the proposed location of the trail crossing Redwood Way. This site visit will focus on safe trail crossings and how to best utilize city-owned property at this location. Those interested in this field trip should meet in the rear parking lot of Redwood Memorial Hospital.

A second event on Oct. 15 will be a community workshop, with the goal of allowing participants to become "community designers" to help create the trail and greenway project. The event will take place at the Fortuna River Lodge from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and will also feature displays from Fortuna High School students on Fortuna Creeks and Green Technology. A free dinner will be provided by the Fortuna Dutch Oven Society.

Members of the community are encouraged to take a look at the designs in progress and talk with the design team at an Open Studio gathering on Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the multi purpose room on the Fortuna CCC campus. Community input at forum will be incorporated into the final plan.

A more complete presentation on the concepts of the John Campbell Memorial Greenway and Trail will be made on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Monday Club in Fortuna. Preliminary designs for the project will be presented from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

"It was former Fortuna Mayor John Campbell who envisioned a trail along Strong's Creek that connects nature, commerce, and community activity," Avis said.

He said Campbell was inspired by community trail systems in Park City, Utah and Reno, Nevada.

"John saw firsthand that trails in small and large communities throughout the nation have proven to be a boon to economic development, while providing safe transportation choices for cyclists and pedestrians," Avis said.

He said Campbell also believed that such projects enhanced a sense of community and improved property values.

"The John Campbell Memorial Greenway Master Plan furthers this vision," Avis said, "and is an implementation of the Fortuna General Plan."

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

A multi-use trail along Strong's Creek in Fortuna could cross under U.S. Highway 101, near the California Conservation Corps' Fortuna campus.