The History

It all started when...

In 1957 the concept of Caper Acres was discussed with the Chico Women’s Club and the City of Chico. Activity began in 1958 with a naming contest followed by active fundraising in 1959. Progress is slow. In 1964, the Humpty Dumpty wall and other features begin to take shape leading to the opening 6 years later in 1970.

 1958: 10 yr old Carla Norlie wins $5 for her winning name entry of Caper Acres. Carla and her family still live in Chico!

1958: 10 yr old Carla Norlie wins $5 for her winning name entry of Caper Acres. Carla and her family still live in Chico!

By 1985, Caper Acres was beginning to show the wear of vandalism that had plagued the park over the years. A decade later, a windstorm damages the playground resulting in a decline in playground appearance.

In 1995, a storm damaged or destroyed many of the play structures. Several community members stepped up and led the charge for repairs and a playground facelift.

In 2007, the Nico Project was initiated leading to the addition of a new toddler focused area of the playground.

Three years later, infrastructure issues were identified leading to a proposed renovation led by the Bidwell Parks and Playground Commission (BPPC). 

In 2013-14, City budget issues resulted in reduced staffing delaying the release of the master plan.

The end of 2014 resulted in the completion of the renovation plan triggering the next phase of fundraising.

January of 2017 resulted in the demise of the crooked house as it was destroyed by a falling tree during a wind storm.  The crooked house re-build was moved to phase 1.

Summer 2017: Aggressive fundraising and community support for phase 1 kicks into gear.  Get involved to ensure the history of this Chico gem continues!