Natural Areas

As an established municipality, the City has a comprehensive network of parks and trails. Within these parks are natural areas that include ravines and steep slopes, which are in turn home to fish bearing streams and native plant species.

Since most City parks are fully developed, the impact on habitat and vegetation is largely the result of human use and dog activity. Some of the activities people most enjoy in the City such as walking their dogs, hiking trails, or mountain biking can have significant negative effects on the natural environment. In other instances, some of the City's natural areas are vulnerable to erosion, sedimentation and storm water problems.

The City recognizes the value in balancing the recreational and educational aspects of its urban parks. Without a clear vision for environmental protection and a commitment to environmental best practices, the City's popular and picturesque parks would not be enjoyed by future generations.

Among the environmental initiatives being explored and integrated by the City are:

  • Pursuing creative solutions for storm water management that include designing and implementing community detention ponds that do not affect existing waterways and help to educate the public on its use
  • Using bio-retention areas or rain gardens in private development sites
  • Limiting the installation of new trails or facilities that do not benefit a sensitive habitat
  • Erecting trailside barriers such as fences along heavy use trails to protect sensitive ravines and creeks
  • Restoring riparian areas that have been negatively impacted by erosion or park use
  • Implementing policies that balance the health and safety of residents with the protection of the environment
  • Managing invasive non-native plant species and integrating naturescaping principles to increase the habitat for wildlife and birds
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