Excerpt from the Chico Record
Tuesday, July 18, 1905
The lead story pertaining to the public meeting in which the City thanked Mrs. Bidwell for the gift to the City of the Park. The principal speaker, Jo D. Sproul, accepted the gift on the part of the City and closed his acceptance speech with the following language:
And now you say to us, that none shall take it from us; that when your temporal control shall cease, we and all the countless hosts that shall come after us, shall retain therein dominion and control forever; that this one spot shall be preserved to nature inviolate and through all time.
In love of you, in love and memory of him, we take this sacred trust to have and to hold inviolate so long as time may run.
Mrs. Bidwell responded as follows:
You need no assurance from me that your expression of appreciation of the gift just presented to you is appreciated. From the first years of my residence on Rancho Chico, a sadness has at times oppressed me as the thought has been borne on me that some day the beautiful, beloved, Chico Creek would be destroyed by the diversion of its waters and the slaughter of its trees. More recently my prayer has been that these fears be laid aside, and God who made the Creek and blest us with its custody be trusted to preserve when my power to do so shall have ceased; then it was given me to see a way by which it might be saved.
As much as you love Vallombrosa, Mazy Way, Wild Way, the Canyon and the Creek, the bonny birds, wild flowers and ferns, you can never appreciate or love them as we have loved and appreciated them. When Mr. Sproul had departed, after leaving with me the completed deed, and I looked upon my signature by which this property had been saved from destruction, and for the joy of the present and future generations, a sudden overpowering sense of what that name had been able to do excited in me a tender love for it, and sinking on my knees before it, I pressed my cheek upon it and thanked God that he had invested in that simple name, such blessed power
A panorama of the past moved before me, followed by one of the future when little children., young men and maidens, men and women of all ages; the sad, the discouraged, the happy, should enjoy this garden of God, because He had bestowed upon me the power and wisdom to preserve it.
It has not caused me a tear of heartache in the giving of it, but many a tear and sleepless night and heartaching nigh to breaking, have I given, dear friends, and the best years of my life, in efforts for the betterment and happiness of this community, for the protection of your homes, in God’s sight at least, far more precious than the gift of this park precious as it is, and of which I believe you will prove yourselves worthy, teaching your children;, also, to hold it in sacred trust. It is of sufficient value to you, to influence your choice of city officials, for if unworthy men be elected it will become a thorne and a torment.
I charge you, men and women, boys and girls, that you be faithful to this trust, remembering that God holds us accountable in the manner for which we use His gifts. I have chosen to secure this park to you during my life rather than by will, knowing how often wills are broken. I have also thus voluntarily put it out of my power to sell it should financial stress come upon me or age weaken my sense of its sacredness or of the blessing it may be for all time.