Steep Corona Heights park making strides on new trail 

A Corona Heights park caps a peak with panoramic views of the Bay in the Western Addition neighborhood.

It rises above its surrounding landscape because the reddish-brown chert rock that’s the bulk of this former quarry area resists erosion more than other soils.

But try hiking it. 

The Recreation and Park Department is spending $100,000 of voter-approved bond money set aside for trail restoration to clean up the area bounded by Roosevelt Way, Flint, 15th and 16th streets.

There are hundreds of steep, wooden steps, sometimes winding through paths where transients sleep.

“Because it’s so steep, sometimes the only people who go there are homeless. We want to actually get people walking by there with some frequency,” said Cathy Moyer, executive director of Volunteers for Outdoor California. “It’s absolutely beautiful up there.”

The plan is to replenish the steps and most likely create an entirely new path on the north end near the tennis courts with the help of VOCAL, and the Recreation and Park Commission just has to agree that it’s the best way to spend the money.

That vote should be on the agenda in July.

Meanwhile, park officials are drafting their first proposal for the commission.

“Some of it is just looking at the existing trail alignments and clarifying the designated paths, fencing to protect habitats, rebuilding steps and stairs, and restoring plants,” Project Manager Meghan Tiernan said.

And without the help of 150 volunteers from VOCAL, a new gradual path about 3 feet wide on the north side probably won’t be possible.

“It’s really exciting that [VOCAL] chose us to work with,” said Marc Etter, president of the Corona Heights Neighborhood Association.

It’s just one of 10 trail projects benefiting from the $5 million set aside specifically from the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, and Tiernan is in charge of all of them.

“We’re just trying to maximize volunteer hours and stretch those dollars,” she said.

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Kamala Kelkar

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