Building on Valley’s Edge protects agricultural land

Chico is known for its rich farmland and vibrant agricultural community. Agriculture plays a significant role in the economy, and it has a long history going back to the city’s founding. Since the late 19th century, the industry has continued to grow to reach an annual value of production of between 600 and 700 million dollars. Almonds are the number one crop, and rice, walnuts, and cattle are other top commodities. 

Image courtesy of the Chico Enterprise-Record.

Agricultural land is a precious resource

With these numbers in mind, it’s understandable some Chicoans have strong feelings about the preservation of land for agricultural uses. It’s important to prioritize farming for food and other useful products. However, not all land in the city is viable for this purpose. In fact, some parcels have been too overgrazed to support livestock or don’t have the right soil to produce crops. 

Not all land is fit for farming

Valley’s Edge is a good example of acreage no longer viable for farming. After over a century of grazing, most of the land can no longer regenerate to a condition required for agricultural uses. Also, the majority sits on a “lava cap” made up of exposed volcanic rocks. The soil deposits in this area are thin, riddled with sand, cobble, and boulders and are classified as “clayey.” This type is not optimal for growing or grazing, and much of it is covered by weeds or a thin layer of grass.

Valley’s Edge is just right for homes

After undergoing a geotechnical survey, it was determined the land at Valley’s Edge is most suitable for a multi-use development of parks, homes, trails, retail, and recreation. In addition to providing much-needed housing options, the project will also protect and preserve precious oak woodlands. Nature and land use will co-exist harmoniously and make the most out of this agriculturally unusable land.

Want to find out more about Valley’s Edge? Head here for details!