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The Great Redwood Trail – Ukiah
The City of Ukiah, with deep and broad public support, has been very active in developing the Great Redwood Trail within the City limits. The trail provides a much-needed, safe and efficient corridor for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, as well as direct access to major employment centers, services, shopping, residential areas, the future Mendocino County Courthouse, and connectivity to other bicycle routes throughout the city. The first three phases, with funding from three different grant sources, have been completed and now provide close to 2-miles of class I multi-purpose path for bicycle and pedestrian traffic to move through the city.
In the summer of 2020 the City Council voted to designate the corridor inside the City limits as a park. In December of 2020, in cooperation with North Coast Opportunities’ Walk & Bike Mendocino, the City developed and adopted a Master Plan for developing the corridor as the Great Redwood Trail – Ukiah Linear Park. Based on community input the plan outlines a wide variety of amenities deemed appropriate for transforming the corridor from a dilapidated, eye sore into a linear park that will provide benefit to the community for generations to come.
Community members have been working as volunteers for over five years to enhance the corridor. In addition to donations from private businesses a wide variety of non-profits have contributed to improving the corridor primarily through the planting of native plants and more recently adding art installations.
Great Redwood Trail-Ukiah Linear Park Master Plan Introduction
In June 2020, what previously had been known as “The Rail Trail” was officially designated a park by the Ukiah City Council and renamed The Great Redwood Trail – Ukiah. The Great Redwood Trail – Ukiah (GRT- Ukiah) is a unique 1.8-mile-long linear park, roughly 40 to 100 feet wide.
With the new designation in place, the City of Ukiah, working with Walk & Bike Mendocino, began the process of developing a Master Plan for the GRT- Ukiah. The Master Plan will serve as a guiding document for the park and help determine the current and future needs of the GRT- Ukiah. As funding becomes available, the Master Plan will also help determine what facilities and amenities, from benches and murals to dog parks and pollinator gardens, are added as the park develops.
Today, the trail is used by pedestrians, joggers and cyclists for exercise and recreation, and by office professionals on a lunchtime stroll. It is already the centerpiece of a growing active transportation network throughout Ukiah, that will in the coming decade connect to Sonoma County to the South and Humboldt County to the North.
An inclusive and connected linear park, recreation, and active transportation trail system that encourages opportunities for health and wellness, building community, and joy to the Ukiah Community and Mendocino County.
Goal 1: Gather Public Input from a Diverse Cross Section of the Community
Create a Process that captures the current state of the trail and Build a Plan that envisions its future
- Assesses how the community currently uses the GRT-Ukiah through Advisory Group input, a community survey, and public workshops.
- Establishes a GRT-Ukiah Park Master Plan Advisory Group that convenes numerous times, in person and/or on bike on the trail to adequately envision the future park.
- Organizes multiple public workshops online or in-person.
- Conducts in-person outreach on the GRT-Ukiah.
- Conducts a bilingual community needs online survey open to all.
- Assesses what the community likes about the GRT-Ukiah, improvements they would like to see and concerns they have.
Goal 2: Revitalizing & Developing Community Spaces along the Great Redwood Trail-Ukiah Linear Park
Supporting and maintaining park and recreation amenities for future generations and climates
- Develops and enhances shade throughout the linear park.
- Identifies high use areas and evaluate cost effective options to install permanent restrooms and drinking water facilities.
- Identifies high-traffic areas in need of additional parking (including ADA parking spots) to increase accessibility and usability.
- Implements projects that expand capacity and increase usability for existing facilities.
- Provides guidance on incorporating low impact, sustainable and green building practices in the development of park and trail facilities.
- Increases community access to nature.
- Commits to utilizing and exploring regenerative landscaping practices.
- Identifies areas for creek and habitat restoration.
GOAL 3: The GRT-Ukiah as a centerpiece of a regional Active Transportation Network
Envisioning a sustainable future by developing trails and building community connections
- Continues to incorporate and grow sustainable best practices, including solar-powered infrastructure, grey-water irrigation, utilizing recycled and local materials.
- Utilizes adequate signage to promote sense of security, safety, and wayfinding.
- Assess safety and visibility at crossing intersections, especially at high-traffic roads.
- Expands funding for programs and facilities through donations, grants, and alternative sources.
- Explores ecotourism potential and possibilities when the Great Redwood Trail is complete, ultimately connecting to Sonoma & Marin, and Humboldt Counties. The trail will bring in a diverse range of individuals from throughout the state and potentially from other states to travel to and experience the beauty of the wilderness in our region.
- Encourages usership for commuting as a main north-south active transportation route that will connect with Orr Creek Greenway and other future east-west corridors and routes.