Tag: zoo

Roeding Park Destruction / Zoo Expansion Begins

A few weeks ago, I was in Roeding Park and noticed some serious work underway. This week, the Bee confirmed that it’s related to the zoo expansion, although the Friends of the Park filed one final lawsuit to halt the project today.

Here’s some of the background on why the expansion is bad for the park. 

I also wrote about how the new entrance on Golden State would be bad for the neighborhood. Ironically, the lawsuit filed was because the county had to cancel those plans due to the High Speed Rail project. The entrances to the park will remain where they are today. 

The work is taking place at the south end of the park, with a side road seeing heavy deconstruction. Pardon some of the blurriness, it was darker than the pictures let on. Click to read more!

How is Storyland in such bad shape?

If you’re a resident of Fresno county, you’ve surely heard of Storyland and Playland inside Roeding Park. Intended for (small) children, they have been a part of the valley for 50 years. Besides hearing about them, you’ve probably gone to visit them as well. Storyland is a walk-through park, with fairytale stories set up. Playland is a miniature carnival. If everyone knows it, why has it been allowed to get into such bad shape?

I visited them this past weekend for the first time, using tickets given for free as part of a Grizzlies baseball package.

It’s not exactly what I expected. Click to read more!

Confused about HSR routing through Fresno

I’m a big supporter of the planned High Speed Rail (HSR) line in California, but one thing I was thinking of recently was the curious lack of options given for the routing through Fresno. The only real question was station location, but beyond that, it seemed to be set in stone that the line would run alongside 99….and require hundreds of millions in costs associated with running the length of an urbanized area.

At first, it makes sense. When it comes to transportation corridors, 99 is pretty much the biggest one here. On top of that, it runs next to a very wide Union Pacific line. The problem is, UP is not friendly to passenger rail, and won’t allow any of their space, even the portion the is empty, to be used by anyone else. Click to read more!

Chaffee Zoo construction pictures

I visited Chaffee Zoo last week, and took a few pictures of the construction of the “Sea Lion Cove” project.

While I am against the expansion of the zoo (and enormous parking lot) into public areas of Roeding Park, I have no problem with expanding exhibits in existing zoo property, or property being used for non-park purposes (asphalt).

The size of the construction project surprised me.

So here are a few pictures of the dirt being moved.






Bonus: Hungry bear

Zoo as a revitalization tool?

This post will discuss how the zoo expansion will create a zoo that turns its back on the neighborhood, further hurts businesses in an already blighted neighborhood, and closes off all walking opportunities into the park. While some have claimed that the master plan will help the area by drawing more visitors, the plan has been created to keep out-of-town visitors away from local businesses, funnel them into a paid parking lot, and do this all while keeping locals out by blocking off pedestrian access.

From what I’ve been reading of the Chaffee Zoo expansion project, the general consensus seems to be that it’s a good idea. The town officials voted unanimously for it, although to be honest, they always do tend to vote yes for every large project that passes before them. Click to read more!

Zoo expansion will bring giant parking lot into historic park

This problem deserves a longer post, but I dont have time, so here’s a summary.

-Roeding Park, one of two major parks in Fresno, the oldest and most historic.
-Fresno Chaffee Zoo, located inside the park.

The plan: Expand the zoo by closing off existing portions of the park and making them zoo-land.

The problem: The Roeding Family (they donated the land for the park) is concerned about taking public park land and giving it to the semi-private zoo, and how this will hurt recreation opportunities for the poor (it’s in a poor neighborhood).

My concern: Ignoring THAT issue, the plan has one giant flaw: AN ENORMOUS PARKING LOT! The city wants to bulldoze 100 year old trees to build a giant parking lot. What a great way to celebrate open space in a park! Click to read more!