Future SHCP Trails!

The Riparian Interpretative Trail:

  • Downstream, visitors will have an opportunity to experience views of the river, a vast and beautiful open-space meadow, and 21 acres of certified organic farmland, including an active dry-land farming area demonstrating water conservation techniques. The Riparian Interpretative Trail will also include nearly 1/4 of a mile of ADA accessible trail through 7+ acres of old-growth redwood at Tooby Memorial Park. We hope to eventually connect the parkway to Benbow Lake State Park and the regional redwood trail system.

Frequently asked questions:

Why is it important for the park to request changes to its zoning and land use designations?”

Formerly, the Park property was zoned Agriculture-Exclusive (AE), which is the most restrictive zoning. Many of the activities that we wanted to enjoy at the park were inconsistent with AE zoning without a Recreation overlay. This included activities like hiking, bicycling, birthday parties, weddings, memorials, bike races and clinics, painting workshops, picnicking, baby showers, exercise classes, and non-profit benefits.

The Park requested a General Plan Amendment to add a Public Recreation (PR) land use designation to the entire parcel which would allow recreation, education and research uses along with the existing natural resource and resource production uses. Under this designation, the public can use our Park, and we can retain our Agricultural zoning on the majority of the property – 305 acres. In addition, we wanted to create a 96-acre area zoned as Public Recreation that allows for the possibility of future community and recreational infrastructure.

For more information on this issue, see our General Plan Amendment application on our Document Library page.

What is the park’s organizational structure and how does that relate to public participation in SHCP board meetings?

Public benefit entities qualifying for 501(c)(3) non-profit status may be structured as “membership” or “non-membership” organizations.  Some examples of the former would be KMUD, RRHC, MCC, and MRC.  These organizations maintain a roster of current members in good standing and hold elections in which these members get to choose among a slate of candidates for their boards of directors.  This approach provides a comforting feeling of democratic participation for all, tends to weight boards with people who have broad name recognition or effective campaigning personas, and sets the board up for potential disruption by minority factions or mischievous outsiders.

A “non-membership” structure permits an organization to select its board by inviting potential directors specifically for their commitment to the organization’s goals, the energy they have available contribute to its service, and the mutual compatibility of their various personalities as participants in a smoothly-functioning, effective cooperative group.  Local examples besides the Park that have chosen this structure include Friends of the Eel, Hospice, ISF, RFFI, Sanctuary Forest, Trees, and WISH.  So this structure is nothing unusual, and in fact Humboldt Area Foundation is now recommending it, except in cases when special conditions make the “membership” framework desirable.

A “membership” organization is obliged to give due notice of its board meetings and to make them open to the public.  “Non-membership” status doesn’t carry that requirement and so permits meetings on short notice and at irregular intervals, as the actual requirements of the organization may necessitate.

However the park board is committed to holding regular public community meetings and public board meetings to facilitate both community participation and community access to information about the park.