On June 28, 2018, the California Transportation Commission approved a funding award of $660,000 to the California Conservation Corps to support two years of trail construction within the McKay Community Forest, located southeast of Eureka. Funding was provided through the Active Transportation Program, which is intended to increase use of active modes of transportation such as biking and walking.
The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is a work development program for men and women between the ages of 18 to 25, offering work in environmental conservation, fire protection, trail maintenance and construction, and emergency response to natural disasters. The CCC’s Fortuna Center houses nearly 100 residential Corpsmembers who work on projects throughout Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The CCC assisted in the construction of the Hammond Trail in McKinleyville, the City of Arcata’s Humboldt Bay Trail North, and the Eureka Waterfront Trail.
One thousand acres of forestland were acquired by Humboldt County in 2014 with state and federal funds to create the McKay Community Forest. The community forest will be managed for multiple uses including public access and recreation, sustainable timber harvest, and watershed and resource conservation. Development and management of the community forest will be funded primarily by timber harvest revenue, grants, and donations with support from the Volunteer Trail Stewards program of the Humboldt Trails Council. Grant applications are pending to fund the second phase of acquisition for 197 acres near Ridgewood Heights.
Humboldt County Public Works expects to release the McKay Community Forest 2018 Trail Plan in August for public review. The Trail Plan will provide the blueprint for development of access points and approximately 25 miles of trails to enable recreational and educational use throughout the community forest. Trails will be designed and built as much as possible to provide accessibility for people with physical disabilities. Trail construction work with the CCC is expected to start in September.
Construction of parking and trailhead facilities along Northridge Road in Cutten was initiated in May and is nearly complete. This project included a new left-turn pocket from Walnut Drive onto Northridge Road to enhance safety for turning movements. Funding for the Northridge public access project was provided by a state Housing-Related Parks Program grant, Eureka Community Planning Area Parkland Dedication fees, and Measure Z. This project was accelerated to ensure work was completed before the grant deadline.
For more information, contact:
Hank Seemann, Deputy Director - Humboldt County Public Works
Mark Allee, Conservation Supervisors - California Conservation Corps
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