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- Mariposa Creek Parkway
Mariposa Creek Parkway
Mariposa Creek Parkway
When completed, the Mariposa Creek Parkway will provide a variety of community-driven recreational programs in a linear park located along Mariposa Creek in the town of Mariposa. It will function as an active transportation resource, linking residents and visitors to neighborhoods, businesses, and tourist amenities, while conserving and interpreting the distinctive beauty of the Sierra Foothill riparian landscape. It will provide engaging opportunities for creative placemaking projects like public art and performance, and it will build community by establishing a unique and compelling space for Mariposa to gather.
The Mariposa Town Plan identifies the Mariposa Creek Parkway as a priority project with multiple social, economic, and environmental benefits. The Mariposa Town Plan states the following:
"The Park will provide a pedestrian and bicyclist corridor...wide enough for two-way traffic...for walkers, joggers, or bicyclists...will tie together a number of tourist facilities and destinations...residents near the park will also use the creek trail."
Since it was first described in the Mariposa Town Plan, the project has been further recommended and refined in a range of other collaborative planning and design processes, highlighted by the Mariposa Creek Parkway Master Plan. Funded by a grant from Caltrans, the County began work on the master plan in 2018. The master plan process relied on extensive community engagement-including the Creek Week event- to develop a comprehensive vision for the creek corridor, and define priority actions for implementing that vision. On January 28, 2020, the Mariposa County Local Transportation Commission unanimously adopted the Mariposa Creek Parkway Master Plan. You can view the entire master plan here!
Phase iII segment
Though the master plan looks at the entire creek corridor from, the project pays special attention to the Phase III segment, in between 8th Street and Joe Howard Street. The planning process revealed a preference among the County and stakeholders to focus on this area, which is contiguous with the current Parkway’s terminus and is strategically located in the heart of the Town of Mariposa. Accordingly, many of the master plan’s recommendations prioritize implementing the Parkway in this segment.
To date, the project partnership has made significant progress achieving the master plan’s recommendations in this segment. First, the County and Sierra Foothill Conservancy partnered on a grant from the California Natural Resource Agency to purchase the bulk of the land for this segment to achieve the Parkway’s vision. Additionally, funded by a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board, project partners, including Sierra Foothill Conservancy and the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation, are also working to restore the riparian area in this segment (the restoration project includes the Phase II segment as well). Perhaps most significantly, the County received a $4.4M grant to design, engineer, and construct the Parkway in this area. Work is expected to be completed by 2025.
Finally, in spring 2022, the County received a grant from the Economic Development Administration to plan and permit the Phase III Trailhead and Destination Park on the north side of the creek in this segment. The master planning process identified this area as an ideal location for both functional uses (such as parking and wayfinding) and recreational uses, like a nature playground, soft paths, and public art that complement the Parkway’s active transportation and mobility functions. The County is currently seeking qualifications from contractors interested in completing this scope of work. The Requests for Qualifications is open until June 29. You can view the Request for Qualifications here.
Phase iv segment
Concurrent with the Phase III implementation efforts, the County is working to develop a Special Plan for the Phase IV segment of the Parkway. Located upstream of the Phase III segment, Phase IV begins near Fournier Road, where the Creekside Terraces community is located, and ends near Mariposa Creek’s intersection with Highway 49N—the Parkway’s planned upstream terminus. The Special Plan, which is funded by a grant from Caltrans, pairs engagement with local stakeholders and rigorous site, market, and ecological analyses to articulate a vision for a sustainable neighborhood along the Mariposa Creek Parkway.
The planned neighborhood that emerges from this process will address Mariposa County’s housing imbalance, gain new access encroachments to SR-49N, and establish an internal network of complete streets that support multi-modal transportation behavior and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By coordinating a diverse mix of land use types, including residential, employment, shopping, and recreation, with the Parkway, the Special Plan will result in a new community that contributes to the town and county’s economy, vibrancy, and resiliency.
The Special Plan process kicked off in early 2022 and is anticipated to be completed in 2024.
Contact Mikey Goralnik, PLA, AICP with any questions.
Email Mikey Goralnik