Chico is the most populous city in Butte County, California, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 86,187, reflecting an increase of 26,233 from the 59,954 counted in the 2000 Census. The city is a cultural, economic, and educational center of the northern Sacramento Valley and home to both California State University, Chico and Bidwell Park, the country’s 26th largest municipal park and the 13th largest municipally-owned park. Bidwell Park makes up over 17% of the city.
California State University–Chico is a public institution that was founded in 1887. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 16,127, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 119 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. California State University.
Students at California State University—Chico can choose from more than 300 fields of study, including master’s degree programs such as business, health, and political science. Outside the classroom, Chico State students can get involved in more than 200 campus clubs, join Greek life, and write for The Orion newspaper. Student athletes can play at the intramural, club, and intercollegiate levels. The Chico State Wildcats varsity teams are members of the NCAA Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association and compete in about a dozen sports.
Students at California State University—Chico have many opportunities to have fun off campus as well. The city of Chico is known as a bicycling community and hosts the Wildflower Century 100-mile bike race each April. Chico is also home to a world music festival, concert series, parks, and museums. Chico State students who want to venture out of town can drive to Table Mountain and Lake Oroville in minutes and to Sacramento and San Francisco in just a few hours. Notable Chico State alumni include Ken Grossman, cofounder and CEO of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Bidwell Park was established July 20, 1905 through the donation by Annie Bidwell of approximately 2,500 acres of land to the City of Chico. Since that time, the City has purchased additional land, such as Cedar Grove in 1922, and 1,200 acres of land south of Big Chico Creek in Upper Park in 1995. Today, the total Park size is 3,670 acres (nearly 11 miles in length), making it one of the largest municipal parks in the United States.
Bidwell Mansion State Park. Honoring the memory of Chico founder John Bidwell, the highlight of this park is a three-story, 26-room Italianate mansion which was begun in 1865 and completed in 1868 in time for Bidwell’s marriage to Annie Ellicott Kennedy of Washington, D. C. When constructed, the house featured the most modern plumbing, gas lighting, and water systems available. It was visited by many famous people over the years, including President Rutherford B. Hayes, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Susan B. Anthony, Governor Stanford, and John Muir.
The wooden Honey Run Bridge was originally built in 1886 by the American Bridge & Building Company of San Francisco, and was opened to the public on January 3. 1887. Construction at the site was supervised by George Miller, Butte County Superintendent of Roads and Bridges.The bridge was open to vehicular traffic until a truck crashed into the eastern span and was damaged in 1965 thus making the bridge virtually impassable. A new steel bridge was built upstream for vehicular traffic.The covered bridge is now used as a pedestrian footbridge, protected within Honey Run Covered Bridge County Park. Residents raised funds and rebuilt the eastern span and from the ruins and the bridge re-opened in 1972.
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