I’m Jan Burnham (aka Jan Sellers) and I was born and raised here in Chico, CA. After working for CSU Chico for 30 years, I retired in 2012 and now spend my time walking our two dogs, helping family and friends and participating in a variety of volunteer, community and personal development activities. A few I am involved in include the Butte Rose Society, Butte Habitat for Humanity and Basenji Dog Rescue and Transport.
What do you do during your free time?
I am active in the community by volunteering in my grandson Finn’s classroom and spending time with our son’s family who lives here in Chico. Our other son’s family lives in Lodi including their 3 ½ year old twins! I provide assistance and companionship to my 89-year-old mother, enjoy lunch dates with friends, volunteering and supporting the Butte Rose Society as President, Habitat for Humanity of Butte County (former Board member and President, committee member for our 25 year anniversary), the Basenji Rescue and Transport and participating in OLLI classes.
As a family, we have recently become interested in financially supporting the Caper Acres renovation and have focused on the cheese renovation, being labeled as the “Cheese Family” in local media.
You were born and raised here in Chico. Have you ever moved away?
I left a few times while in college and for a year more recently due to a job opportunity. We returned as it is “home” and the place I can find support when needed. It’s close to my family, which is very important to me. And, of course, Chico is a great place to live!
What makes you want to stay in Chico?
First, Chico is my hometown and I’m proud of it. My husband and I were both very fortunate to be able to find meaningful employment at California State University, Chico which allowed us to remain in Chico, raise our family here, remain close to other family members who live in the Chico area, and to develop long-lasting relationships. If only it weren’t so darn hot in the summer!
Your favorite thing about Chico?
Hands down, Bidwell Park. I walk our dogs almost daily in lower park and bicycle through it on my way downtown or other destinations. I loved swimming in the creek and now it is a favorite activity of our grandchildren. It is a true treasure and every day when I walk in it, I thank Annie Bidwell and marvel at its beauty.
Downtown is cool too, and we have several favorite shops and restaurants.
What "local gem" would you share with someone new to Chico?
It’s a friendly city, with lots to offer young families as well as mature adults. My favorites things are Bidwell Park, including Caper Acres, the creek, walks in upper park –especially in the Spring. Walking on the dirt paths along Vallombrosa or Creekside. Longtime businesses Colliers Hardware and Northern Star Mills are community treasures. I remember going to Collier’s with my father as a young girl. The proximity to Lassen Park – a gem in and of itself.