History of Laguna Creek Trails
From at least the 1970’s, Sacramento County planners and supervisors had discussed the idea of creating a bicycle trail along Laguna Creek that would serve as both a recreational opportunity for residents, and a conceptual boundary for future growth in south Sacramento County.
By 1988, the first section of the Laguna Creek Parkway was completed by the City of Sacramento as part of the North Laguna development. Bicycle and walking trails were installed on both sides of Laguna Creek from Center Parkway to Franklin Blvd., a pedestrian bridge was built over the creek to connect the two trails, and the creek channel itself was modified to increase its conveyance capacity. In addition, both banks were revegetated with native trees and shrubs, and regulations for flood risk reduction, wildlife habitat and wetlands preservation required the dedication of several hundred feet of open space riparian buffer on both sides of the creek. The North Laguna Wildlife Area reach of trails and open space is managed to this day by the City of Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation. Funding for maintenance is provided by a perpetual assessment established in the late 1980s by the first community of residents in the area.
Since the North Laguna trail section was established, the scenario of associating creekside development with dedicated riparian buffers bounded by recreational trails has been repeated several times along Laguna Creek. In 1991 the Fallbrook Subdivision trail reach from Waterman Rd. to Elk Grove-Florin Rd. was completed. In the early 1990’s Laguna Creek north of Bond Rd. was excavated to create the Camden Lakes development with associated parks and trails around a large floodplain. The parkway regularly floods during the heavy winter storms. Also by the early 1990’s, the first phases of development of the Vineyard Springs Comprehensive Planning area (Silver Springs developments) established bicycle, walking, and equestrian trails from downstream of Excelsior Rd. to a point downstream of Vineyard Rd. In the late 1990’s the Laguna Bypass Channel was excavated along the north side of Laguna Creek from Hwy 99 to downstream of Bruceville Rd. and a bicycle / pedestrian trail has been completed along the eastern half of the Bypass reach, from HW 99 to Lewis Stein Rd. In 2005, the Creekside development at the site of the old Fish Hatchery implemented improvements to the trail between Elk Grove-Florin Rd. and Bond Rd.
Funding for operation and maintenance of the trail systems, including repair of pavement and irrigation, replanting trees and vegetation, grafitti removal and litter and trash pickup, is typically provided through assessments that were established when the adjacent land uses were developed. In short, the community residing and working in neighboring areas are paying the local park district or City Parks Department for the long-term upkeep.