The Ivy House Park sits alongside the Ivy House Parking Lot which was originally the site of the Placerville Academy (est. 1864) and the Ivy House Hotel (1898 - 1964).
In response to the collapse of a vertical retaining wall in 1993, Debra Power of the Hangtown Creek Stewardship Committee, Ron Mueller of the City of Placerville, and Mark Hicks of the El Dorado Resource Conservation District secured a grant from the CA Department of Water Resources to restore the creek gradient, install public spaces that included ramps that met ADA, picnic tables, park benches, wrought-iron fencing, and native gardens.
To date, the City of Placerville maintains this park. Community Pride has suspended work on this project because continued vandalism makes sustaining the gardens cost prohibitive.
Gold Bug Park is an abandoned mine - remnant of the historic gold rush days. It is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places. The park covers 61 acres & is presently a city park with a museum and gift shop; owned by the City of Placerville and managed by local volunteers. Visitors can enjoy the Hattie Museum, Hendy Stamp Museum, picnic areas, as well as explore the hiking trails.
The exterior of the mine is landscaped into three areas: 1) a shade garden, 2) riparian vegetation along Big Canyon Creek, and 3) raised planters near the shaded picnic area. Giant sequoia and dogwood trees provide the shade canopy. Understory plants include: columbine, western bleeding heart, trillium, coral bells, scarlet monkey-flower, tufted hair-grass, rushes, sword ferns, and Oregon grape. The planter boxes are populated with a mixture of native and non-native blooming plants: spiraea, Spanish lavender, purple cone flower, rudbeckia, sunflower, iris, daffodils, fountain grass and native strawberries. The project is maintained by Cindy Podsiadlo who hosts work days on a regular basis.