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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
August 8, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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August 8, 2012

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6A Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 Feather River Bulletin Debra Moore Staff Writer dmoore@plu Directions Big Springs Gardens is a 25- minute drive from Graeagle. Turn right on Gold Lake Road from Highway 89 and travel through the Lakes Basin Region to Bassetts Station. Turn right on Highway 49 and drive for 1.5 miles. After crossing Salmon Creek Bridge, take the second drive- way on the right, which is Big Springs Road. It is clearly marked. Once you turn onto the dri- Veway, bear left. The entrance is up a short dirt road. "It wasn't love at first sight," according to Don Phillips, when he bought a ll8-acre par- cel near Sierra City in 1964, but PROFILES IN BUSINESS it certainly was for this re- BIG SPRINGS GARDENS porter who visited the property for the first time last week. couples would get back to na- On Phillips' initial visit he ture for a week or so. "I have had to crawl over downed trees such great memories of that and thick shrubs, but now visi- time," he said. tors can walk along meander- In 1970 a fire burned a small ing trails lined with lush fo- portion of the acreage, but it ac- liage and wildflowers, tually turned out to be a fortu- Phillips opened Big Springs itous situation. Gardens to the public in 2002. "I never would have cut "I was walking on a trail and down that many trees," Performances looked around and thoughtPhillips said. The site of the Live music performances are 'There is too much here; it fire is where his house and the held Friday evenings at Big should be shared,'" he recalled, pond now sit. Springs Gardens. The music be- Phillips transformed 30 acres By 1985, Phillips decided to gins at 5 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres of the property nestled at the build his home and in '87 the are served, followed by dinner bottom of the Sierra Buttes us- ground floor had been excavat- at 6 p.m. ing nature as his guide. He set ed. Phillips served as own- Upcoming performances in- out to simply clean up the prop- er/builder and hired a superin- clude: erty a little, but it gradually tendent to oversee construction The Kepple Family (vocals and evolved. details, strings): Aug. 10 and24, and Sitting on the deck of his When county inspectors Sept. 7 3,300-square-foot home, which came to check on the progress, Dave & Shelley Johns with many visitors mistake for a Phillips said they seemed more Hank Alrich (old-time favorites lodge, Phillips looks across the interested in the heavy equip- and new): Aug. 17 and Sept. 14 vista and talks about the past, ment that was excavating the property. "I wanted a feeling present and future, large area in front of the cabin, that a glacier came down the He soon received a letter and side of the mountain and left The past visits from the California De- In the early '60s, Phillips was the boulders," he said. "Nature partment ofFish and Game and is the senior partner here; I the assistant dean of instruc- the Water Resources Board. tion at Stanford's school of just embellish it." business. When he was told that hePhillips said he is very proud needed an environmental He had just purchased a 13- of what he has achieved. ',It's acre waterfront property to de- study, he asked if he could far more difficult to make a write it and they agreed. "That natural garden than a flower velop near Monterey, and the would never happen today," he garden," he said. owners of that property talked said. him into the Sierra County acreage as well. The pond is stocked with The present rainbow trout and visitors can Big Spring Gardens is open For 17 years, Phillips made feed the fish and watch them to the public by reservation on- monthly payments, but was too swim among the lily pads. At ly Wednesday through Sunday busy to do much else with the the far end of the pond, a blue at 10 a.m. Details are property, walking bridge, reminiscent of available at bigspringgar- He and his sons would camp Monet's bridge in Giverny, or by calling 862-1333. out there during the summer. "We just slept on the ground France, provides a stunning The gardens are open June under the stars," he said. And backdrop for photographs.15 through the end of Septem- eventually he added a road and Phillips carefully selected ber. Admission is $12 per adult built some platforms for tent large boulders to place around and $8 for children. camping. Each year several the pond and throughout the See Big Springs, page 7A Protect our forests, wild life, and your property. Only you can prevent forest fires. W Cal-Sierra " tlelSompany Quincy (530) 283-0700 Blairsden (530) 836-0700 Chester (530) 258-0700 This message is brought to you by these community-minded businesses: INTERMOUNTAIN ADVANCED CLINI L DENTISTRY Michael Herndon, DDS Emily Herndon, DDS 431 W Main St Quincy 283-1 ! 19 I' S. HEADSTART [ ] '" Preschool ]NaY I I! i il I. Serving Plumas, Lassen, - esr 1$7, I ~ Sierra & Modoc counties ~ 493 W. Main St ( i 404-1242 60 East MWEa~ESL~ =VE21~?.2320 Boarding Kennels II] lKadlo Shack /I 3.3386 II J: 283.2350 Jl 1695E. Main St East Quincy II 283-283 169 Lawrence St Quincy [ ~" 283-1600 283-9200 1 I S )nUASPT : I I I I 111N ii SlrOILAGE 1 01 Trilogy Lane l* I I I 1972 Lee Rd (behind SavMor) Quincy Qu cy, I II -- -3s s KEN BARNAI:,EA JOHN BREAUX, CHA EA Enrolled Agents Bus: (530) 283-3965 Res: (530) 836-0349 Fax: (530) 283-4369 14 Crescent St, Quincy 283-1956 "The Bridge of Dreams" is perhaps there are many to choose from on landscapes. Photo by Debra Moore the most photographed element of Big Springs Gardens, but 30 acres of meandering trails, waterfalls, creeks and natural /