The Friends of Palm Springs Mountains and The Riverside Land Conservancy are working together to build a legacy that preserves much of the Chino Canyon as open natural space for public enjoyment, and encourages limited development that enriches the cultural and recreational experience of the Canyon.
Preserve the Land
Our vision is that lands be acquired through State and Federal funding for use as parks or open space. Chino Canyon contains the proposed Shadowrock Development, lands under tribal planning jurisdiction and privately owned parcels. Our goal is to transfer part of the density from Shadowrock to already disturbed areas on the Canyon and to acquire the rest of land for a state park, using private and public funding. Preservation of the Agua Caliente sovereign land and allottee owned land is being explored and we feel confident that a mutually beneficial agreement to preserve the land will ultimately be achieved. Our vision also includes acquiring land in the Snow Creek area and that hiking trails and perhaps a hiking center be established there.
We propose that the College of the Desert locate its new satellite campus in the Chino Canyon area. Our vision is use the density transfer tool to require the City of Palm Springs to exchange city owned mountain land for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property and then exchange the BLM property to acquire this entire section of the Chino Canyon. College of the Desert spokespersons have stated that they prefer the Chino Canyon site because it is more visible and accessible than the City proposed BLM property. We feel with the appropriate architecture, this could be a beautiful campus compatible with the desert landscape. The land south of this area would remain natural open space.
At the base of the Chino Canyon alluvial fan lies the Frey/Chambers designed Visitor's Center. Our vision supports expanded Visitor's Center amenities, a boutique hotel, and an educational and cultural center that would enhance tourism and generate revenue to the City. Part of our vision includes a shuttle service to the Tramway Station, to help reduce air pollution and the threat to the Big Horn Sheep caused by the more than 400,000 visitors to the tram each year. We also believe that there is potential for a cultural interpretive center, a spa hotel, trailheads and controlled residential at the highest point of the canyon, currently occupied by the Tramway parking lots.
All photos credit: Tom Brewster Photography unless otherwise specified.