Chamber hosts 2nd River District workshop

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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The Folsom community came together for the second River District Workshop on Monday, June 4, and this time it was very interactive.

Presented by the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, this community workshop was the second of three that will be available to the community to collaborate what they envision along the river. The workshops are not sponsored by the City of Folsom. The workshops are just to see what the areas could be. The ideas will be offered to the city as a suggestion if and when they decide to develop the land, said Will Kempton, of the Folsom Chamber.

During Monday’s workshop, Kempton and Allen Folks, director of planning and design for Ascent, the hired planning and environmental firm, gave an overview of the land and requirements, as well as gave guests an interactive survey to learn how they feel about certain possibilities.

Kempton mentioned that they have also been working with the state on their requirements and plans for the land.

During the first workshop, six locations were discussed, which included land near the CSUS Aquatic Center and Nimbus Flat, the Chinese Diggins located near Iron Point and Folsom Boulevard, Willow Creek located near Folsom Boulevard and Natoma Station, open space near Kikkoman Foods, Inc., the corporation yard located at the end of Leidesdorff Street, and Negro Bar located off Greenback Lane.

Since, two locations were added to the 5.5-mile stretch of prospective land, such as the Folsom Prison and portions of the Folsom Junction.

Folks went over the ownership of the land up for discussion and informed the guests that 76.8 percent is owned by the State and Federal Government; 7.2 percent is owned by the City of Folsom; and 16 percent of the land is owned by private parties.

During his presentation, Folks showed guests what possibilities were discussed at the first workshop. Some possibilities included a natural reserve, wildlife viewing, public art, a history museum, a visitor’s center, small amphitheatre, food and boat concessions, an overlook, restaurants and more. Some of the recreational activities discussed included boating, fishing, camping, biking, a zip line, boathouse and horseback riding.

Folks said the State Parks is looking at having low-intensity development and conservation which would be food and boat concessions, an overlook, as well as a visitor’s center, public art and wildlife viewing.

The interactive survey portion of the workshop included visuals, and guests were asked to use a provided clicker to vote for what they would like to see in the River District. Some of the visuals included different styles of museums, cultural centers, visitor’s centers, small amphitheaters, public art, river taxis, restaurants, hotels and more. After each visual question, everyone was asked if they would support the idea of each item in general. The majority of possibilities were very supported except for the possibility of a river taxi, hotel and food concession.

After the survey, guests were asked to look at five different map stations on the other side of the room and put slicker icons of activities near the spot they would like them on the map.

The third and final workshop is planned for Aug. 6. Look for more information on the next meeting in the Folsom Telegraph in the weeks to come.